Sixth Form

T Levels: what they are?

T Levels are new courses equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

In the long term students will be able to take a T Level 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 3 T Levels will be available at selected colleges and schools (providers) across England in September 2020.

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • education

How T Levels will work with other post-16 choices

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

It is expect the total time for a T Level 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.

Structure of a T Level

T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:

  • a technical qualification, which will include
    • 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 will include 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.

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

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.

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 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

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