T Levels are a brand new vocational qualification and they’re coming to colleges near you. Want to know more? Our complete guide to T Levels will give you all the information you could possibly need, from the subjects you can study to the way you’ll be taught.
What is a Level 3 qualification?
The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) sets different levels which help students and employers to see how qualifications relate to each other in terms of difficulty and size. Level 3 is the highest entry-level qualification and is preceded by Levels 1-2. Examples of Level 3 qualifications include AS and A-Levels, and there are in a variety or disciplines, for example, you can qualify in becoming an assessor with Level 3 Qualifications.
There are eight qualification levels in total, preceded by three entry levels. Check out what qualification each level corresponds to below.
GCSE grades 1-3; Level 1 Functional Skills; Level 1 award/diploma/certificate; music grades 1-3.
GCSE grades 4-9; Level 2 award/diploma; Level 2 Functional Skills; Level 2 NVQs; music grades 4-5.
AS & A Levels; Level 3 NVQs; advanced apprenticeships; International Baccalaureate.
Higher National Certificate; Certificate of Higher Education; Level 4 NVQs; higher apprenticeships.
Foundation degree; Higher National Diploma; Diploma of Higher Education; Level 5 NVQs.
Degrees; graduate diploma/certificate; Level 6 NVQs; degree apprenticeships.
Master’s degree; PGCEs; postgraduate diploma/certificate; Diploma of Higher Education.
Doctorates or PhDs; Level 8 award/diploma/certificate.
What are T Levels?
The introduction of T Levels in England was announced in 2017 by Chancellor Philip Hammond, who described them as the “biggest overhaul of post-school education in seventy years”. Aimed at 16-19-year-olds, the new technical qualifications are worth three A levels and will be one of three educational options for students who have finished their GCSEs. The other two options are:
T Levels have been developed with employers and businesses so that the course content matches their needs and prepares students for the workplace. While they do feature more classroom learning than apprenticeships, they’re based on the same standards and also include an industry placement.
If you pass your T Levels you’ll be able to enter skilled employment, apply for a higher/degree-level apprenticeship or move into higher education. UCAS have already stated that the points they allocate to T levels will be in line with the points awarded for 3 A levels.
Employers involved in developing the content of T Levels include:
Why does England need a new Level 3 qualification?
There are two main reasons for England introducing another Level 3 qualification in the form of T Levels – these are:
1. Simplifying the system
In 2016, a report known as the Sainsbury Review recommended simplifying vocational training by replacing 13,000 different qualifications with just one. This new Level 3 qualification would group technical education options by the skills needed to work in different industries. It would also provide high-quality education, placing technical qualifications on an equal footing with academic ones.
2. Filling the skills gap
As well as preparing students for “the jobs of tomorrow”, education secretary Damian Hinds claimed that the new qualifications would form “a vital part of our industrial strategy.” Put simply, the UK has a serious skills shortage in a number of important industries, which can only be filled by improving technical education.
T Levels will help thousands of people across the country to compete globallyTheresa May
What subjects can I study?
Once all of the T Level routes are up and running you’ll have a choice of 25 subjects. However, many of these will be gradually introduced over the next few years, so some options won’t be available until 2023.
Education and Childcare
Education T Level (2020)
Design, Surveying and Planning T Level (2020)
Onsite Construction T Level (2021)
Engineering T Level (2021)
Services Engineering T Level (2021)
Digital Production, Design and Development T Level (2020)
Digital Support Services T Level (2020)
Digital Business Services T Level (2021)
Health and Science
Health T Level (2021)
Healthcare Science T Level (2021)
Science T Level (2021)
Legal, Finance and Accounting
Legal, Finance and Accounting T Level (2022)
Engineering and Manufacturing
Maintenance, Installation and Repair T Level (2022)
Design, Development and Control T Level (2022)
Manufacturing and Process T Level (2022)
Agriculture, Environment and Animal Care
Animal Care and Management T Level (2022)
Agriculture, Land Management and Production T Level (2022)
Business and Administration
Management and Administration T Level (2022)
Hair & Beauty
Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics T Level (2022)
Craft and Design T Level (2022)
Cultural Heritage T Level (2022)
Visitor Attractions T Level (2022)
Media, Broadcast and Production T Level (2022)
Catering T Level (2022)
Completing a T Level will take around 1800 hours over 2 years. This is a major increase compared to most current Level 3 technical education courses.
Who will deliver T Levels?
T Levels will be delivered by various institutions; those are:
A more detailed list of all the providers that have been chosen to deliver T Levels in 2020 is available on the gov.uk website.
How will T Levels be graded?
If you pass every element of your T Level education, you’ll receive a nationally recognised certificate showing an overall grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction. To achieve an overall a pass you’ll need:
If you don’t achieve a pass don’t despair, as you’ll still receive a statement that lists your achievements for each element of the T Level, including the placement and the technical qualification.
The government hopes that the introduction of T Levels will create a world-class system of technical education that delivers the skills people really need. So if you’re looking for a Level 3 qualification that combines theory, practical learning and industry experience, T Levels could be the perfect choice.