Next September, three T-levels - digital, construction, and education and childcare - will be rolled out in 50 further education providers across the country.

The aim of the government in introducing T-levels is to have a comparable vocational standard to A-levels.

To be awarded a T-level certificate, students must pass both components of their technical qualification (TQ), complete a three-month industry placement and achieve level 2 English and maths.

The three-month industry placement will last approximately 45 days and may be undertaken as a block, day release or a mix of these, and may be shared between a number of companies. 

How will they be graded?

Students will be graded on their performance in the TQ. This is made up of a core component and the occupational specialism. The core component will be graded A*-E and the occupational specialism will be graded pass, merit or distinction. Overall students will receive either a pass, merit or distinction with a distinction* if they gain an A* on the core component and a distinction on their occupational specialism.

What will be taught?

From Autumn 2020 T-Level courses will start for specific occupations in 3 industries:

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • education

This will be followed by:

Autumn 2021

  • building services engineering
  • digital business services
  • digital support and services
  • health
  • healthcare science
  • onsite construction
  • science

Autumn 2022

  • legal
  • financial
  • accountancy
  • maintenance, installation and repair
  • manufacturing and process
  • design, development and control
  • human resources
  • management and administration

Autumn 2023

  • animal care and management
  • agriculture, land management and production
  • craft and design
  • cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • media, broadcast and production
  • hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • catering

How are they perceived?

The qualification is being introduced to try to increase the rigour and prestige of technical education, with the top grade in a T-level judged by the university admissions service UCAS to be worth three A*s at A level.

However, with less than a year to go until T-levels are rolled out, 16 of the 22 Russell Group members that responded to an enquiry by TES magazine said they had not decided whether they would accept them. One member, Imperial College, has already decided that they will not accept them. 

For more information, please see the Government website