What are T levels?
T Levels are an alternative to A levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses. A T Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.
T-levels are a new type of technical qualification, designed to be taken after GCSEs. They've been developed alongside employers to make sure that what you learn meets the needs of industry and prepares you for work. Here's some key info to give you an idea of what to expect:
- T-levels are two-year courses
- They are equivalent to three A-levels
- Your time is split: 80% classroom learning; 20% industry placement
- Placements are at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days)
- T-levels could help you get into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship
What you need to know about T-levels
Why Choose T levels?
The T Level or Technical Level has been developed in conjunction with over 200 businesses to address the skills gap and boost economic productivity. Developing a skilled home-grown workforce is more important than ever and T Levels will play a key role in this.
There is currently a large array of technical and vocational qualifications available which can be confusing for students and employers. Reforms to technical education aim to streamline the qualifications available, simplifying the landscape for parents, students, teachers and employers.
T Levels aim to raise the prestige of technical education. Designed by employers and with longer teaching hours and a substantial industry placement, these high-quality qualifications will ensure students have the skills and knowledge businesses are looking for.
What is the difference between a T Level and a level 3 vocational course?
T Levels are the technical equivalent to three A levels. They will cover core theory, concepts and specialist skills and knowledge for a specific career or occupation. The main difference between the T Level and a level 3 course is the compulsory industry placement. This will last a minimum of 315 hours and makes up 20% of the course. Academically demanding, T Levels incorporate English, maths and digital content.
What is the difference between a T Level and an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are built for those who know what occupation they want to pursue and are ready to enter the world of work. They are typically made up of a combination of 80% on-the-job training and 20% in the classroom. T-levels have been developed in collaboration with employers and providers so that the content “meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work”. T Levels are based on the same industrial standards as apprenticeships, created specifically by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. On a T Level you will spend 80% of your time in the classroom and 20% on a placement.
What will the T-level qualification look like?
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
- A student’s overall T Level grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component and the occupational specialism(s)
- 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
UCAS tariff points
Although T Levels are primarily designed to provide a direct route to skilled employment, T Level students will have other progression options open to them. These include moving on to an apprenticeship, higher technical training or progressing to higher education.
To support progression into higher education, UCAS tariff points will be allocated to T Levels. Points will be allocated to overall T Level grades, not to separate elements of the T Level. This is to recognise the value of the T Level programme as a whole. Students must achieve at least an overall Pass grade or higher in order to receive UCAS points. UCAS points will not be allocated where a student receives a Statement of Achievement, although a student may subsequently retake T Level components and meet all the requirements for a Pass.
The size and rigour of a T Level programme is comparable to a 3 A Level programme. Therefore, T Levels will attract UCAS points in line with those allocated to 3 A Levels. This alignment is based on a notional comparison of standards with A Levels and other Level 3 qualifications. Although the T Level programme is broadly the same size as a 3 A level programme, the qualifications have different purposes. The T Level programme is intended to help students develop the knowledge and technical skills required for skilled employment. T Levels and A Levels, therefore, measure different abilities, using different grading scales.
What are the entry requirements?
Entry requirements will vary depending on the course, however, as the T levels are the equivalent to A levels, good GCSE results at level 2 (grade 9-4) will be essential, including English and Maths. There will also be an interview in college and with your industry placement.
Where can I study in Worcestershire?
Heart of Worcestershire college and Warwickshire College Group (WCG) are both offering T levels across their sites.
Heart of Worcestershire College
From September 2022, Heart of Worcestershire College are offering T levels in the following subjects:
- Childcare and Education
- This T level develops the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career as an early years practitioner or primary school teacher through this new T level qualification.
- Digital Production, Design and Development
- This T level is aimed at learners who want to be digital (software) developers.
- Digital Support Services
- This T level develops the core knowledge and skills that are needed for entry to a range of digital occupations.
Warwickshire College Group (WCG)
From September 2022, Warwickshire College Group are offering T levels in the following subjects:
- Digital Support Services (Malvern Hills Centre for Digital & Cyber Technology)
- This T Level is an introduction to the skills needed to work within a business & information technology environment.
- Health (Pershore College Campus)
- You will study a variety of topics which will help you to develop a general understanding of health and science.