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T Levels: The UK's New Vocational (Technical) Focused Qualification


T Levels are a new type of vocationally (or technically) focused qualification, which are the same level as A Levels.

They will replace the large choice of current technical qualifications – including level 3 BTEC certificates and diplomas.

They are a two-year qualification that brings together classroom study and work placement. They are based on the same standards as apprenticeships – which have been designed by employers with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education – to make sure that students develop the knowledge and skills required by employers.

Take a look at our frequently asked questions below to find out more.


Who are T Levels for?

T Levels are a level 3 qualification (the same level as A Levels) and are for young people (under 19) after their GCSEs.

When do T Levels start?

T Levels are being introduced in phases. The first pilot starts in Autumn 2020 but Leicester College is not part of the pilot.

The first T Levels at Leicester College will start in Autumn 2021 in the following routes. There may be more than one programme per route available.

What subjects will T Levels be offered in?

T Levels are split into routes, and most routes have a number of different T Levels to choose from. In some T Levels you will then also be able to choose different specialisms.

  • Education 
  • Construction 
  • Digital 
  • Health and science 
  • Legal, finance and accounting 
  • Engineering and manufacturing 
  • Agriculture, environment and animal care 
  • Business and administration 
  • Hair and beauty 
  • Creative and design 
  • Catering and hospitality. 

Some subjects will only be available as apprenticeships. These are:

  • Transport and logistics
  • Sales, marketing and procurement
  • Social care
  • Protective services.

The first T Level routes that we at Leicester College will offer will be in  

  • Digital 
  • Construction 
  • Education and childcare 
  • Health and science. 

What T levels will be taught at Leicester College?

T levels have pathways and specialism within them. From September 2021 we will be running the following T levels.

T LevelPathwaySpecialism
ConstructionOnsite constructionCarpentry and joinery
Building services engineering for constructionElectrical and electronic equipment engineering
Electrotechnical engineering
Heating engineering
DigitalDigital production, design and developmentDigital production, design and development
Digital support and servicesNetwork cabling
Digital support
Education and childcareEarly years education and childcare
Health and scienceHealthSupporting the adult nursing team
Supporting the midwifery team
Supporting the mental health team
Healthcare scienceHealthcare science assistant
ScienceLaboratory services

How are T Levels graded?

T Levels will comprise five parts. Some of these receive a grade, while others need confirmation that it has been successfully completed: 

  1. core component (graded A*-E) 
  2. occupational specialisms (graded Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* for each specialism) 
  3. English and maths qualifications (confirmation that minimum requirements have been met) 
  4. industry placement (confirmation that this has been successfully completed) 
  5. other mandatory requirements (confirmation that these have been met) 

Students who pass all parts will receive an overall grade of Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. 

Can I go to university with a T Level?

Yes.  You will be awarded UCAS points based on the overall T Level grade that you achieve, in the same way that A Level students do.  

T Level overall gradeEquivalent A Level gradeUCAS points
Pass (C or above on core component)CCC96
Pass (D or E on core component)DDD72

What qualifications do I need to study a T Level?

What qualifications you need to study a T Level will depend on the course you wish to study. We are still working on what our T Level offer will be and have therefore not set entry requirements for T Levels starting in Autumn 2021 yet.  

What is an industry placement?

An industry placement is an important part of the T Level and helps students to prepare for work. They will last at least 45 days, and depending on the course may be undertaken as a block or as individual days.  

How are T Levels different from an apprenticeship?

T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships. With a T Level you spend about 20% of your time in the work place and 80% in college; with an apprenticeship you spend 20% of your time in college and 80% in the work place.  

Like A Levels, there are no tuition fees to study a T Level if you start before you are 19.  

What can you do after a T Level?

A T Level is equivalent to 3 A Levels, and students who complete their T Level will earn UCAS points (currently the maximum for 3 A*s is 168 UCAS points). 

T Levels will help to prepare students to enter work with good technical skills and knowledge, or go onto to higher education if they wish to. As with all courses, students should check universities’ or colleges’ entry requirements for higher education courses. 

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