The New T-levels

T-levels are new technical and professional qualifications available for 16 to 18-year-olds from September 2020. Equivalent to three A-levels, T-levels will combine class-based theory, practical learning and an industry placement of at least 45 days to provide students with real experience of the workplace which will give students the edge. 

Why are T-levels being introduced?

T-levels are aimed at young people whose career ambitions are in technical occupations that are in high demand in the economy.  Co-created with employers, they equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to get ahead in the workplace as well as producing skilled workers for the UK economy.

What will T-levels look like?

T-levels are technical and professional alternatives to A-levels, and will cover 15 industry-related subjects, known as pathways. 

Learning over two years, each T-level will consist of the following:

  • technical knowledge and practical skills specific to the student’s chosen industry or occupation
  • an industry placement of at least 45 days in the student’s chosen industry or occupation
  • relevant maths, English and digital skills
  • much needed workplace skills

Assessment is through a combination of exams for the core skills and practical skills tests for the occupational specialisms.

How will T-levels differ from A-levels?

A-levels are 2-year general academic courses and are beneficial to those students who prefer examinations and are unsure of what career path to follow. 
T-levels are designed by both employers and educationalists to combine academic and practical skills aligned to the needs of the economy. Both types of qualification provide the maximum 168 UCAS points required for university entry. 

The table below shows how T-levels equate to A-levels

   UCAS Tariff points        T-level overall grade  A-level grades  
168Distinction*A*A*A*
144DistinctionAAA
120MeritBBB
96Pass (C or above on the core)CCC

How will T-levels differ from Apprenticeships?

T-levels differ from apprenticeships in that they allow students to gain a broader idea of what it’s like to work in a particular sector with the option to specialise later. T-level students will spend around 80% of their time in college, with the remaining 20% spent in industry.

Apprenticeships are paid employees, learning and training alongside work aimed at those who feel ready to enter the workforce straight away and know exactly which occupation is for them. Typically, an apprentice will spend 80% of their time on-the-job and 20% in a class-based environment.

What subjects are available?

The first T-levels will be in Construction, Digital, Education and Childcare. Blackpool and The Fylde College is one of only 16 colleges in England that will be offering all 3 T-levels from September 2020.  

A further 22 pathways will be rolled out in stages from 2021, which will cover subjects such as Finance and Accounting, Engineering and Manufacturing, and Creative and Design.

Download the leaflet below to read more about the content covered for each T-level.

What are the entry requirements?

Blackpool and The Fylde College will publish its T-level entry requirements shortly, but it is expected that the entry requirements will be 5 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above, including English and maths.

What progression routes do T-levels offer?

T-levels provide the skills and knowledge needed to progress to university-level study, highly skilled employment, higher technical qualifications or higher apprenticeships. 

Where can I find out more?

We will update this page as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can read the Department for Education’s guide to the Introduction of T-levels.