T Levels

What is a T Level?

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2021. These courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to prepare students for work in a specific industry.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement. They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

How long is a T Level? Can you study T Levels alongside other qualifications?

Students will study a T Level over two years, and both years need to be completed for a student to achieve the qualification. Students will typically undertake 900 guided learning hours in total, each year, and no more than 1800 guided learning hours in total, over the two years.

As such, a T Level is equivalent in size to three A Level options, and cannot be taken alongside any other Level 3 qualifications.

How does it differ from existing qualifications?

BTEC delivery can vary quite differently from one institution to the next, depending on what units are chosen. Often students with the same BTECs have different skill sets. BTECs are also historically dominated by coursework, where as a T Level is assessed with three end of course exam components. BTEC Assignments usually mimic real life vocational scenarios, where as a T Level will provide a genuine, authentic
industry placement instead.

Aside from the inclusion of an industry placement, the most significant difference between an A Level and a T Level, is the size of the qualification, as discussed above.

Are T Levels better than apprenticeships?

T Levels will be based on the same high standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Apprenticeships are different in that they are typically 80% on-the-job training and 20% in the classroom learning, and are more suited to students who know what occupation they see themselves working in, want to earn a wage, learn at the same time and are ready to enter the workforce at age 16.

What is an industry placement and who organises it?

The Institute for Apprenticeships will oversee the development and approval of the standards, qualifications and occupational maps for T Levels placements. In addition to their role in approving apprenticeship standards, the Institute’s route panels – made up of employers and industry experts – are scrutinising the outline content for all T Levels. The Institute will also award and manage contracts for the development of T Levels.

Do students have to do an industry placement?

Yes the industry placement is compulsory, and students cannot be awarded a T Level without this component. Students receive a grade for their employer engagement project, assessed during their placement.

Do universities recognise them? Do they carry UCAS points?

Yes, T Levels have been designed by the government, to provide qualifications that industries, higher education providers, and employers can trust. Therefore T Levels will provide students with UCAS points, recognised by universities.

• 168 UCAS points for a Distinction*
• 144 UCAS points for a Distinction
• 120 UCAS points for a Merit
• 96 UCAS points for a Pass (C)
• 72 UCAS points for a Pass (D or E)

What can you study a T Level in?

Initially there are three T Level options, with the government committing to a new suite of options each year. Currently, from September 2021, you can study the “Digital Production, Design and Development” or “Health” at Durham Sixth Form Centre. We hope to offer the “Media, Broadcast and Production” option in 2023.

How is the government paying for T Levels?

Government will have committed half a billion pounds to delivering T Levels once they are fully rolled out. This includes the recent announcement that the further education sector will receive an additional £400m. This includes funding earmarked specifically to support workforce development and to build capacity on industry placements.

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