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T Levels

T Levels are new courses, which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses, which launched in September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study.

T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).

When they will start?

The first 3 T Levels are now available at selected colleges, schools and other providers across England.

A further 7 T Levels will be available in September 2021 with the remaining courses starting in either 2022 or 2023.

Please click for a list of the providers who are offering T Level courses up to September 2022.

In time, students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas:

September 2020 September 2021 September 2022  September 2023
Design, surveying & planning for construction Building services engineering for construction Accounting Animal care & management
Digital production, design & development Digital business services Design & development for engineering & manufacturing Agriculture, land management & production
Education and childcare Digital support and services Engineering, manufacturing, processing & control Catering
  Health Finance Craft & design
  Healthcare science Maintenance, installation & repair for engineering & manufacturing Hair, beauty & aesthetics
  Onsite construction Management & administration Human resources
  Science   Legal
      Media, broadcast & production


How T Levels will work with other qualifications?

T Levels will become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside:

*  Apprenticeships for students who wish to learn a specific occupation on the job

*  A levels for students who wish to continue academic education

The government is currently reviewing post-GCSE qualifications to create a simpler, high-quality system that students, parents and employers will all understand.

T Levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. It is expected that the total time for a T Level is to be around 1,800 hours over the 2 years, including the industry placement. This is a significant increase on most current technical education courses.

This differs from an apprenticeship, which is typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom and is more suited to those who know what occupation they want to pursue, want to earn a wage and learn at the same time and are ready to enter the workforce at age 16.

How T Levels have been developed?

Employers and providers have been working together to develop each T Level, with support from DfE and the Institute. Groups of employers have defined the skills and requirements for each T Level course by participating in T Level panels. This ensures that students taking T Levels will develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry.

The T Level panels have developed the content for the qualification, based on the same standards as apprenticeships and these plans are then tested and reviewed with students, education providers and employers.

Structure of a T Level

T Level courses include the following compulsory elements:

*  A technical qualification

*  Core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area

*  Specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career

*  An industry placement with an employer

*  A minimum standard in Maths and English if students have not already achieved them

 Industry placements

Every T Level includes an industry placement with an employer focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the occupation. These will last a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days) but can last longer. Employers can offer industry placements as a block, day release or a mix of these, and can discuss sharing part of the placement with another employer if necessary.

Providers will support employers offering industry placements. This will include assistance with the necessary paperwork, a careful planning process and support with designing the industry placement.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service (part of ESFA) are working with employers and providers on industry placements.

Grading and Certification

Students who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. They will get a nationally recognised certificate which will show their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved.

The 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, shown as pass, merit or distinction

It will also include confirmation that the student has:

*  Met the minimum requirements for Maths and English qualifications

*  Completed the industry placement

*  Met any additional mandatory requirements

A student’s overall T Level grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s).

Students who do not pass all elements of their T Level will get a T Level statement of achievement which will show the elements they have completed.

UCAS Tariff Points

T Levels will provide several progression options to students. These include skilled employment, an apprenticeship and higher education.

To help T Level students get into higher education, UCAS tariff points will be allocated to T Levels.

UCAS points will only be allocated to the overall T Level grade. Students must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points.

UCAS Tariff Points T Level Overall Grade A Level
168 Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism) AAA*
144 Distinction AAA
120 Merit BBB
96 Pass (C or above on the core) CCC
72 Pass (D or E on the core) DDD


Find out more

If you’re interested in finding out more, visit the government's T Levels website where you can add your postcode to find colleges, schools or other providers who’ll be offering the first 3 T Levels in 2020.

Watch industry placement videos to hear from students and employers who have benefited from industry placements. Read the T Level action plan for detailed information about how the government is developing the T Level qualifications for post-16 students.

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