Introduction to T-levels: What Are They, and Could They Be the Right Path for You?


  1. What are T-levels? 
  2. What do T-levels stand for?
  3. Are A-levels better than T-levels?
  4. Will T-levels replace BTCE's? 
  5. How many T-levels are there?


It’s not always easy to keep track of all the new options and qualifications when it comes to education and different qualifications. 

If you’re in secondary school, you may have heard of T-levels. But what exactly are T-levels, and how could they impact your schooling? In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what T-levels are and what they mean for pupils across the UK.teens studying science

What are T-levels? 


You might have found yourself wondering, what are T-levels? Well, T-levels are a new type of technical qualification for 16-18-year-olds after GCSEs. T-levels are technical-based qualifications that have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to ensure that students are trained appropriately for the technical field they’re interested in. 

T-levels are two-year courses designed for students that have finished their GCSEs and would like to build a foundation of skills within a technical sphere. 

T-levels give students a mix of traditional classroom learning and valuable onsite experience with an industry placement lasting around 45 days. Students can expect around 80 per cent of the 2-year course to be centred around classroom learning and 20 per cent to be “on the job” learning. ☝️

After completing a T-level qualification, you will be prepared to go straight into certain professions or be ready for further training or schooling depending on your long-term goals. 

Discussing T-levels, the Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Exeter College says:

As well as offering a clear line of sight to industry, T-levels are recognised by UCAS to support applications to study at university, with a starred distinction in a T-level being worth the equivalent of three A*s at A-level.  They also offer students that all-important real-world experience which places them in a great position when it comes to finding a job.”


What do T-levels stand for?


The name ‘T-levels’ refers to the technical nature of this type of qualification. The ‘T’ stands for ‘technical’, and these qualifications have also been referred to as Tech Levels. 

Currently offered at institutions across the UK, T-levels are set to be one of the main progression options for students who have completed their GCSEs alongside A-levels and apprenticeships

The Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Exeter College goes on to say that:

T-levels are different to the traditional route of A-levels as they focus on the skill acquisition required to move directly into industry. Courses consist of around 80 per cent of time spent in the classroom with the remaining 20 per cent being spent on a valuable work placement in a relevant workplace. 

This differs from an apprenticeship where around 80 per cent of the time is spent with an employer and 20 per cent in the classroom and is more suited to those who feel ready to enter the workforce at age 16 while learning at the same time.”  

The T-level UK schools are currently offering a focus on a range of different subjects, from education to design and science. In 2022 and 2023, further T-level courses will be added to the list. 📋


Are A-levels better than T-levels?


A-levels and T-levels are both valid options for further study depending on the interests and goals of the student. Neither is “better” than the other option since the right choice for each individual is subjective. 

However, a T-level qualification is equivalent to 3 A-levels in terms of UCAS points. T-levels are academic qualifications that sets a student up well for further study or progressing directly into a working role. 👩‍💼

Furthermore, the Assistant Principal for Curriculum from Exeter College says:

“T-levels provide students with a more technical choice of qualification, combining a mix of classroom and practical learning. This high-quality, technical alternative to A-levels ensures thousands of students across the country will have the skills they need to be successful in a modern world.

T-levels are a great choice for students who prefer a blended approach to learning and will benefit from that combination of classroom-based study and work placement. This may suit learners who don’t want to rely on exam results as they will be assessed through external assessments, practical assignments and an employer set project.”

Keep in mind that there is a range of different options and avenues available to young people, and you should determine what path is right for you – whether that might be studying abroad, taking a gap year, doing an EPQ or whatever appeals most. 


Will T-levels replace BTECs? 


The government has announced that BTECs that overlap with T-levels and A-levels are set to lose public funding starting in 2024. This is because the Department for Education is planning to make A-levels and the new T-levels the main paths for further education qualifications in the UK. Progression options for further education post-GCSE overlap in terms of content, and this includes many BTECs. 


How many T-levels are there?


There are T-level courses offered in a range of different sectors where a high degree of technical training is required in order to find employment. 

Young students across the UK can currently apply for 10 T-level courses, and more than 20 T-level subjects are due to become available over the next couple of years. ✔️

The T-level subjects currently available include: 

  • Design, surveying and planning for construction
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Education and childcare
  • Building services engineering for construction
  • Digital business services
  • Digital support and services
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Onsite construction
  • Science

What are the next T-level subjects to be added? 

Starting in autumn 2022, the following T-level subjects will be added: 

  • Accounting
  • Engineering, manufacturing, processing and control
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing
  • Finance
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing
  • Management and administration

From autumn 2023, the following subjects will be rolled out: 

  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Animal care and management
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Human resources
  • Legal
  • Media, broadcast and production

We hope this article has clarified what T-levels are and whether they may be the right path for you following your GCSEs.

If you are currently in secondary school and preparing for your exams, why not book a 1-1 tutoring session with one of our skilled tutors? We offer free trial lessons so you can see what tutoring is all about and how it might help. Book a free trial session with us today, and see how we can boost your learning experience!