80% Classroom, 20% Work
Equivalent to 3 A Levels
45-day Industry Placement
T Levels – What are they? What do you need to know?
T Levels – the next level qualification
We were very excited to learn about the Government’s plans to introduce T Levels. T Levels are a new type of technical qualification, giving young people another possible choice for post-16 education. This guide tells you everything you need to know about T Levels as a student or parent.
What are T Levels?
T Levels are qualifications in vocational, technical and hands-on subjects that students can choose to do after GCSEs. They will include a mixture of classroom-based learning and industry placements where students can put their new skills into practice in real-world scenarios. In most cases the industry place will be for around three months in the second year of study.
T Levels will join the other main options available to students for post-16 study – A Levels and Apprenticeships – to help create a more well-rounded system that offers something for everybody, whatever their strengths and areas of interest.
When will T Levels be introduced?
The first T Level courses will roll out for study beginning in September 2020, with the full range of T Level subjects expected to be on offer by September 2023.
Who can study T Levels?
Any young person who has completed GCSEs is able to apply to take T Levels. Those finishing their GCSEs in 2020 will be the first to have the opportunity to apply for T Level qualifications.
What qualifications do you need to study a T Level?
Normally you’ll need 5 GCSEs at grades 4–9, including Maths and English. Some colleges only need Maths and English. Others ask for particular subjects or will consider relevant work experience or another technical qualification (like an NVQ Level 2) as part of your application. Always check with your college before applying and ask them if you’re not sure.
You might also need to write an application document like a personal statement,. You might be invited for an interview, to learn more about the programme and help the staff see if you will be a good fit for the course. Other than that, you need buckets of enthusiasm and a can-do attitude!
Why choose T Levels?
T Levels are great if you want to do something that is more practical, hands on and directly geared towards a specific field of employment. They’re ideal if you have a good idea of what you want to do in your future career and are looking for a way to start out along that path.
Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, T Levels are a great way to spend two years diving deeply into a subject area that interests you – and you never know what you might learn or what doors might open up for you as a result. The wonderful thing about T Levels is that the subjects on offer will be as diverse as the students studying them! All that matters is that you have a passion for your subject and are willing to work hard to succeed.
How do T Levels compare to A Levels?
T Levels are equivalent to 3 A Levels.
T Levels take the same amount of time as A Levels – normally 2 years of full-time study – and the amount of work involved and the qualification at the end will be roughly equivalent to 3 A Levels (most students doing A Levels take 3 or occasionally 4 subjects over 2 years.)
The point of introducing T Levels is to improve technical education in the UK to the point where it is truly on a par with our academic education offerings.
Employers, including big-hitters such as IBM, Fujitsu and GlaxoSmithKline, have been involved in designing T Level course content to make sure that these qualifications are really relevant, competitive and desirable.
Former Education Secretary Damian Hinds on T Levels:
“For too long young people have not had a genuine choice about their future from the age of 16. Whilst A levels provide a world-class academic qualification, many technical education courses are undervalued by employers and don’t always provide students with the skills they need to secure a good job – that has to change.”
What T Level subjects are there?
The 3 T Level subjects available in 2020 are:
Education and Childcare | Design, Surveying and Planning | Digital Production, Design and Development.
By 2023 many more T Level subjects will be offered. This full list shows 25 subjects you can choose from:
- Agriculture, Land Management and Production
- Animal Care and Management
- Building Services Engineering
- Craft and Design
- Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attractions
- Design and Development
- Design, Surveying and Planning
- Digital Business Services
- Digital Production, Design and Development
- Digital Support and Services
- Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics
- Healthcare Science
- Human Resources
- Maintenance, Installation and Repair
- Management and Administration
- Manufacturing, Processing and Control
- Media, Broadcast and Production
- Onsite Construction
Where can you study T Levels?
The following providers will be offering the first T Level courses from September 2020. More providers are expected to be announced as more subjects become available over the next 3 years.
- Access Creative College
- Barnsley College
- Bedfordshire & Luton Education Business Partnership
- Bishop Burton College
- Blackpool and the Fylde College
- Bridgwater & Taunton College
- Cardinal Newman College
- Chichester College Group
- Cirencester College
- City College Norwich
- City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College
- Cranford Community College
- Derby College
- Dudley College of Technology
- Durham Sixth Form College
- East Essex College Group
- Exeter College
- Fareham College
- Farnborough College of Technology
- Gateshead College
- Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
- Havant & South Downs College
- HCUC London
- La Retraite RC Girls’ School
- Lordswood Girls’ School & Sixth Form Centre
- Nelson & Colne College
- New College Durham
- Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College
- Oldham Sixth Form College
- Painsley Catholic College
- Peter Symonds College
- Priestley College
- Runshaw College
- Salesian School
- Sandwell Academy
- Scarborough Sixth Form College
- Shipley College of Further Education
- St Thomas More Catholic School
- Strode College
- Suffolk New College
- The College of Richard Collyer
- The Leigh UTC
- Thorpe St Andrew School & Sixth Form
- Truro and Penwith College
- University College Birmingham
- Ursuline High School
- Walsall College
- Walsall Studio School
- Weston College
- York College
What can students do after T Levels?
University, Further Education and Apprenticeships
After studying T Levels, many students may want to further their studies at University. A Distinction* (the top grade you can achieve) is worth 168 UCAS points, the equivalent of AAA* at A Level.
Another option is to continue your education in your chosen field by doing a higher level apprenticeship, which can teach you any additional skills you need and prepare you for the world of work.
Getting a job after T Levels
If you don’t want to go to University or take on further study, T Levels can set you up perfectly for a job in your chosen field or industry. When you’re close to finishing your course, start looking around at what jobs are available. You’ll probably need to start in an entry-level role and work your way up, but a T Level in a relevant subject can give you a foot in the door. You might even be able to find a job with the company or employer who you work for when you do your placement!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your future.