Looking for a qualification that’s a mix of the practical and academic? Want to gain industry experience?
Then T Levels could be right up your street. These new qualifications are equivalent to A Levels at Level 3, but combine academic study with a 45-day industry placement.
With an industry placement alongside academic learning, you can increase your employment opportunities significantly with these technical qualifications. Find out more about T Levels and what you can learn with our simple guide below.
What are T-Level qualifications?
The new T-Levels are a further study alternative to A-Levels and Apprenticeships. They offer learners the opportunity to do an in-depth placement in their chosen industry as well as classroom learning of theoretical knowledge. Every T-Level includes a skilled employment placement of at least 45 days in their chosen industry, and the learning is split between 80% classroom learning and 20% industry placement.
During your classroom study you will be learning core theory which develops your academic knowledge. One T-Level equivalent to 3 A-Levels and like A-Levels they also carry UCAS tariff points so you can apply for higher education. They are a nationally recognised qualification that can help prepare you for your career and/or studying at a higher leve
How long do T-Levels take to complete?
T-Levels are 2 year courses when taken full time, and this includes a 45 day (315 hours – although some courses require more) industry placement. Part time courses will take 4 years.
How can T-Levels help me?
Whether you want to go into higher education or jump straight into the working world, T-Levels are a great next step.
They are ideal for learners to take following their GCSE’s or for those wanting a next level qualification to progress their career. One T-Level is worth the same UCAS points as 3 A-Levels, so you still have the same process if applying to university.
If you want to go straight into the world of work, then this is a fantastic way to gain job experience, meet potential future employers, develop practical skills and to see whether this career is right for you.
What T-Level subjects can I study?
There are currently 12 T-Level subjects you can study however this will expand over the next few years. The aim is to have 20 or more T-Level subjects in the following years.
Other subject areas are in the process of being developed such as hair and beauty, animal care and agriculture. The development of T-Levels is very fast, with businesses wanting to give students industry experience, so keep an eye out for new T Level courses in a variety of subjects.
Why shouldn’t I do A-Levels instead?
T-Levels have many advantages, particularly if you are looking to kick-start your career. Over 250 businesses work with T-Level students, so you might well find that your placement is with a world-famous company such as Fujitsu. The balance of an in-depth placement and classroom learning means you are learning practical and theoretical knowledge which you would not be able to gain from A-Levels.
Whether you choose to do T-Levels, A-Levels, a BTEC or an Apprenticeship depends on what you want to get out of your course. A-Levels are more academic, whereas BTEC and apprenticeships are more vocational. However, T-Levels provide a more in depth, industry placement which is more akin to an apprenticeship or BTEC, but it also has substantial classroom-based learning so you don’t miss out on the all-important theory.
Do I have to pay for T-Levels?
If you are under 19 years old then you don’t have to pay to study T-Levels. Much like A-Levels, they are offered by colleges and don’t require tuition fees unless you are over 19.
If you are over 19 you can enrol in one of their part time or adult courses, you may have to pay for your T-Levels depending on what qualifications you have already. You can find out more about T-Levels and funding options on the Gov.co.uk website and see whether you are eligible for funding and financial support.
How are T-Levels assessed?
During your work placement, you will be set a project which you need to complete to demonstrate what you have learned during your technical education. At the end of each year, you will also sit an exam to examine how well you understand the subject as well as a skill assessment which is a practical exam to test your skills.
After your assessments, your grades will be a mix of the A-Level grading system and the BTEC system. For the practical element you will get a Pass, Merit or Distinction and for the written assessment you will get a grade from A*-E. You will then get an overall grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.
What are the entry requirements for T-Levels?
Schools and colleges set their own entry requirements which also vary depending on the subject you study. For example, the Education and Childcare T-Level may require 5 GCSE’s including English and Maths at high C (grade 5) or above at one college whereas they may need grade 4 at another college. There is also the opportunity to integrate an English and Maths qualification with your T-Level at some colleges.
What if I don’t meet the entry requirements?
If you do not have GCSE’s or you don’t have the right grades then you can still apply for a T-Level programme. Many colleges and education providers accept lower grades or alternative qualifications, particularly if you have other work experience or demonstrate knowledge and passion for the subject area in your application. You can also undertake Pre-T-Levels at some colleges which are Level 2 Diplomas which prepare you for T-Levels.