T Levels

Get ready to take the next step on your educational journey after your GCSEs, and the challenge of a new and exciting type of qualification.

View T Level courses at Guildford College

Ask about T levels at our upcoming open event

Come to an open event and find out all about our T Levels and how they compare to A Levels and BTECs.

What are T Levels?

Technical Levels (T Levels) are a new qualification that will be equal to three A Levels.

T Levels are the new technical vocational qualifications introduced by the government to meet the demands of various industries that require a highly skilled and practical workforce. They are designed to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enter employment within industries such as Engineering, IT, Business, Health and more.

Available to school leavers after they have completed their GCSEs, T Levels offer an alternative to A Levels or an apprenticeship.

The difference between a T Level and an A level is that with a T Level, 80% of the course is in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where you’ll put these skills into practice.

T Levels have been designed in collaboration with employers and businesses, so that you will learn everything you need to prepare for the workplace. They offer you more practical work experience and industry placement hours as part of your education than any other qualification currently available, except for apprenticeships.

In fact, as part of your T Level education, you will do more than 315 hours of industry placements over the course of your two-year programme.

And because they are the equivalent of three A Levels, T Levels also give you the option to move onto university or a higher apprenticeship once you’ve completed the programme.

The entry requirements for T Levels differ from course to course, but as they are equivalent to A Levels, bear in mind that good GCSE results are necessary. 

What is the difference between a T Levels and BTECS

T Levels are advanced level 3 courses and are equivalent to 3 A Levels. They offer you a much longer period of industry placement (315 hours) and are aimed at students who are very clear on the career path they wish to pursue. The course is a combination of in-class study and work placement.

To undertake a T Level you will need confidence to work alongside managers and supervisors who will teach you a specific trade and skills, give you real job responsibilities and you will be accountable for your work.

BTEC’s are also advanced level 3 courses and are equivalent to 3 A-Levels however, they have a shorter work experience period (2 weeks) and are mainly focused on developing key skills during practical sessions in college.

Both T Levels and BTECs are the same level and are equal in terms of what you will learn. They are both equally valuable to employers and universities. The main difference is the industry placement and work experience you will gain as part of the practical side of the course.

For both T Levels and BTECs, you will need to be dedicated, highly focussed and have a good sense of which career you would like to follow. Depending on your study style, you can choose whichever programme you feel would suit you more.

What is a T Level Foundation Year?

If you think you might like to do a T Level, but need more time to get ready, a T Level Foundation Year will help you develop your skills and prepare you for the next level.

It’s a one-year post-GCSE course designed to give you the relevant knowledge, plus both practical and study skills, as well as work experience.

You can expect to:

  • learn technical knowledge and practical skills relevant to your chosen T Level
  • gain relevant industry work experience
  • develop industry-relevant English and maths skills, as well as digital skills
  • continue working towards achieving a GSCE grade 4 in English and / or Maths if you do not already have this
  • receive focused individual support and growth in personal development

What’s different about a T Level Foundation Year?

The programme is specifically designed to give you the best chance of progressing onto and successfully completing your chosen T Level. Developed with leading employers, schools and colleges who have provided their unique understanding of the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that industry employers look for in future employees.

The programme will provide you with a clear understanding of what a T Level course involves, as well guaranteeing you an interview for your chosen T Level at the end of the year.

The following T Level Foundation Year courses are available, along with entry requirements:


Entry Requirements


4 GSCEs at grade 3, including maths at 4


4 GSCEs at grade 3, including English at 4 and science at 3

Digital Production

4 GSCEs at grade 3, including maths at grade 4

Engineering Four GSCEs at grade 3, including maths at grade 4


What T Levels are available and when do they start?

T Levels went live at Activate Learning in September 2021. From September 2023, we will be offering the following courses: 

Health: Adult Nursing

Are you thinking about a career in Nursing? Our Adult Nursing T Level will give you the skills, knowledge and experience to set you on the path towards your ideal career. 

The course covers all aspects of working in the health sector and combines a mix of college-based study, training in simulated environments, work experience and a 45-day Hospital Industry Placement, alongside mandatory training within the hospital setting. 

You’ll develop an understanding of a broad range of issues relevant to the sector and get the chance to specialise in subjects that support your interests. You’ll undertake a practical work placement in a real-world environment, giving you the opportunity to learn from professionals on-the-job and utilise your new skills and knowledge.  

Following this course, you could progress into a skilled profession as an Adult Nurse, Health Care Assistant, Emergency Care Assistant, Palliative Care Assistant and Care Worker 

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Education and Childcare

This T Level focuses on children and young people and will help you develop the skills and essential knowledge needed for a range of careers.

This is a new two-year course that is designed in collaboration with employers to ensure that you have the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of industry or progress into higher education.

You’ll be able to put everything you learn in the classroom into practice. You’ll be given an amazing opportunity to work with an employer while you study, such as a school or nursery, and gain invaluable experience as well as key skills that employers are looking for.

You will learn about the differences between a range of childcare and education provisions, from 0 to 19 years, along with the different stages of development, and the possible barriers to learning.

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How are T Levels graded?

Once you complete your T Level, there are several options that are available to you. These include moving into full-time employment, an apprenticeship or higher education.

To help T Level students get into higher education, UCAS tariff points have been allocated to T Levels, which means they will be equivalent to three A Levels.

UCAS points will only be allocated to the overall T Level grade, so you must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points.

UCAS tariff points T Level overall grade A Level
168 Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism) AAA*
144 Distinction AAA
120 Merit BBB
96 Pass (C or above on the core) CCC
72 Pass (D of E on the core DDD


Find out more about how T Levels are graded on the government website.

Find out more

Whether you are a prospective student, parent or employer partner, there are additional resources available to find out more about T Levels.

If you are interested in finding out more about being a T Levels student, you can:

  • read more about T Levels on the government website
  • watch Department for Education’s T Level videos
  • register for an upcoming Open Event where you can speak to our teaching staff about T Levels

If your child is currently in Year 10, and thinking about post-GCSE options from September 2021, you can find out more information to help make the right decision for your child’s future:

  • watch Department for Education’s T Level videos
  • visit the National Careers Service website for information and guidance on all post-16 options for your child
  • speak to the careers advisor at your child’s school
  • register for an upcoming Open Event where you can speak to our teaching staff about T Levels

We work with more than 2,000 employers and businesses across our college group and we are always looking for new industry partners to help us co-create placements and input into our curriculum.

By partnering with Activate Learning you will have direct input into ensuring that the talent you need for your business to thrive and succeed is being developed at your local college.

Watch our video T Levels Event Explores Developing Future Business Talent to find out how industry placements for T Levels work, what the benefits are to your organisation, and how employers can get involved.

Get ahead of the game and start working with the best young talent now. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll find the right fit for you.