T-level update: Ucas points revealed

The DfE’s policy update for the T-level programme includes information on the Ucas points assigned. We round up the basic information on the new qualifications

What is a T-level?

A T-level is the new format that the government has developed for technical education.

They have been the subject of discussion for many years but will officially be launched in England in September 2020.

T-levels are an equivalent to A-levels, and include a three-month placement.

They can be taken in the following subject areas:

  • Accountancy
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Animal care and management
  • Building services engineering
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • Design, development and control
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Digital business services
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Digital support and services
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Human resources
  • Legal
  • Maintenance, installation and repair
  • Management and administration
  • Manufacturing and process
  • Media, broadcast and production
  • Onsite construction
  • Science

The first three T-levels will be available in England from September 2020, in:

  • Digital production, design and development
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Education

View this video for info on T-levels from the DfE

What does a T-level Certificate include?

A T-level certificate will include:

  • An overall grade for the T-level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*;
  • A separate grade for the core component, using A* to E;
  • A separate grade for each occupational specialism studied, shown as pass, merit or distinction;
  • Confirmation that the minimum requirements for maths and English qualifications have been met;
  • Confirmation that the industry placement has been successfully completed;
  • Confirmation that any additional mandatory requirements have been met.

Students who pass all elements of their T-level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*.

This overall grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component, and on the occupational specialism(s). If students study more than one occupational specialism, an aggregate grade across these will be used.

A T-level distinction* is only awarded to students who achieve an A* in their core component, as well as a distinction in their occupational specialism. All other T-level requirements must also be met.

Those who don’t pass all elements of their T-level will receive a T-level Statement of Achievement as opposed to a T-level Certificate. This will show what elements have been studied, but will not include an overall grade.

Can I get into university with T levels?

Yes. Although they are primarily designed to provide a direct route into skilled employment, T-level students also have the option to progress to higher education, an apprenticeship, or higher technical training.

The DfE’s policy update states that “the size and rigour of a T-level programme is comparable to a three-A-level programme. Therefore, T-levels will attract Ucas points in line with those allocated to three A-levels.”

How many Ucas points is a T-level worth?

Ucas tariff points T-level overall grade A-level equivalent
168 Distinction* A*A*A*
144 Distinction AAA
120 Merit BBB
96 Pass (C or above on core) CCC
72 Pass (D or E on core) DDD


However, although the T-level programme is approximately the same size as a three-A-level programme, the qualifications have different purposes. T-levels are intended to help students develop skills and knowledge required for skilled employment, therefore measuring different abilities than A-levels, and using different grading scales.

The standards of attainment for the technical qualification component within each T Level programme will be approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) and regulated by Ofqual.

The DfE’s policy update paper can be viewed in full here.

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