What are the T-Level Entry Requirements?

What are the T-Level Entry Requirements

If you are interested in pursuing T Levels, it’s important to note the T-level entry requirements. T Levels are two-year courses that offer practical and knowledge-based learning, as well as an industry placement of at least 315 hours.

These courses are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to enter skilled employment, an apprenticeship, or related technical study through further or higher education. T Levels are available at selected colleges, schools, and other providers across England. 

Wondering what you need to get into T levels? This post contains details of all you need to know about TLevel requirements. 

How Do T Levels Work With Other Qualifications?

T Levels are set to become one of the main options for students after GCSEs, alongside apprenticeships and A levels. Other qualifications such as sports science, performing arts, and small qualifications designed to be taken alongside A levels are also available.

The Department for Education is working to improve the quality of the post-16 level 3 qualifications system. Hence, its creation of clearly defined academic and technical routes with high-quality qualifications leading to further study or skilled employment, helping students make informed choices. 

T Levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships and are designed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. They are two-year courses that offer practical and knowledge-based learning, as well as an industry placement of at least 315 hours.

T Levels differ from apprenticeships in that they are not focused solely on on-the-job training and are more suited to those who want to pursue further education after completing the course.

Read Also: Can You Do A Levels at Any Age in College?

How Are T Levels Being Developed?

To ensure that T Level courses are designed to meet the needs of employers and industries, employers and providers work together to develop each T Level, with support from the Department for Education and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Groups of employers define the skills and requirements for each T Level course by participating in T Level panels, which ensures that students taking T Levels will develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry. 

The content for the technical qualifications which are part of each T Level program proposed by these panels, is based on the same standards as apprenticeships.

These plans are then tested and reviewed with students, education providers, and additional employers. The technical qualifications for T Levels in 2020, 2021, and 2022 have already been approved by the Institute.

Read Also: When Do T-Levels Start & Finish?

What is The Structure of a T-Level

To succeed in T Levels, students must complete a technical qualification and work with an employer as part of an industry placement. Also, students must work towards achieving a certain level of proficiency in maths and English, similar to other 16 to 19 programs.

It’s worth noting, though, that T-level students don’t need to obtain a grade 4 in English and maths GCSE or level 2 in functional skills to pass since the program aims to prepare students for skilled employment, apprenticeships, or further/higher technical study.

Below are other structures of T-Level. 

#1. Transition program

The T Level transition program is a one-year post-GCSE study program intended to aid students in progressing towards and excelling in a T Level. It caters to students who would like to pursue a T Level but require extra preparation and assistance before embarking on one.

The program enables students to learn technical content aligned with T Levels, as well as develop their English, maths, and digital skills, in addition to gaining work experience and personal development. You can find a list of providers delivering the T-Level transition program on the official website.

The T Level transition program framework for delivery includes guidance on how the program should be delivered from the academic year 2022 onwards, so be sure to refer to it.

#2. Industry placements

It’s important to note that T-level courses require an industry placement with an employer to develop the practical and technical skills necessary for the occupation.

These placements can last a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days) but can last longer and may be offered as a block, day release, or a mix of both. Employers can also potentially share part of the placement with another employer if needed.

Providers offer support to employers offering industry placements, including assistance with paperwork, careful planning, and designing the industry placement. The Department for Education’s employer engagement teams work with employers of all sizes and providers on industry placements.

If you’re an employer looking for more information on industry placements, you can reach out to 08000 150 600, email tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk, or visit the T Levels and industry placement support for employers page.

#3. Grading and certification

After completing a T Level, students receive a certificate that shows their overall grade and achievement breakdown.

This certificate is nationally recognized, and it serves as proof of their technical skills and knowledge. It can help them pursue further education, apprenticeships, or skilled employment in their chosen field.

Read Also: Do A Levels Matter? Insights from a 2nd Year Student

About T Level Certificate:

Upon completion of a T-level course, students are awarded a nationally recognized certificate. This certificate includes an overall grade for the T Level, which can be passed, merit, or distinction.

There is also a separate grade for the core component, which ranges from A* to E, and one for each occupational specialization, which is pass, merit, or distinction. 

Furthermore, the certificate confirms that the student has completed the industry placement, met additional mandatory requirements, and references any level 2 maths or English qualifications the student has achieved.

If a student does not pass all elements of their T Level, they will receive a T Level statement of achievement that highlights the elements they have completed.

Read Also: T Level Subjects | What Courses are Available?

Can you go to university with T-Levels?

It is a fact that T-Level qualifications, while relatively new, are already widely accepted by most universities in the UK. However, acceptance into university is dependent on several factors, such as the subject a student wishes to take and their previous academic achievements. It is also important to note that grades play a crucial role in being accepted into university.

Although most universities accept T-Level students, some exceptions do exist. Notably, some Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, do not allow T-Level students to apply for their courses. This is because they believe that the qualification may not adequately prepare students for the nature of their courses.

While T-Levels do include both practical and academic components, students with A-Levels may be more familiar with the teaching style typically seen at universities. 

Read Also: T Levels vs A Levels: Are T Levels Harder than A Levels

How do you apply for T-Levels?

When applying for T-Levels, it is not necessary to apply for a specific type of qualification such as A-Levels or T-Levels, but rather to the college itself. However, it’s important to ensure that the college you’re applying to offers T-Levels as a course. To ensure this, you can use the government T-level search engine to find a sixth-form offering the right course near you.

As part of the application process, the application form usually requires you to present your GCSEs before a deadline.

There is no limit to the number of schools and colleges you can apply to, unlike with university where you can only inquire into a maximum of five schools. Just keep track of the applications you’ve made. For more information about the limits on applications, visit the Think Student website.

You can book yourself onto one of their T-Level courses once you have been accepted by a college. It’s worth mentioning in your statement or on the form that you have a particular interest in studying T-Levels.

It’s important to note that within the first few weeks of sixth form, there is flexibility if you’re not enjoying the subject. You can always switch to a different course within the college.

How old should you be to take T-Levels?

To be eligible for T-Levels, it’s crucial to meet both educational and logistical requirements. T-Levels are intended for Level 3 education and usually commence at age 16. However, those under 16, even if they have completed GCSEs, cannot start T-Levels until they reach this age.

Regrettably, all but two T-Level courses mandate students to have commenced learning before the age of 18. Though students of any age can undertake other Level 3 qualifications such as A-Levels and BTECs, T-Levels are not yet available in adult education colleges as of 2022. This is due to them being new and unfamiliar qualifications.

However, with only ten T-Level subjects accessible and the qualifications not yet fully implemented, adult T-Levels are not a top priority. The exception is education and healthcare science courses, where students can continue learning until the age of 24 because it takes longer to complete training in these fields.

Many students begin these courses at age 16, participate in other programs to broaden their knowledge, and then return to finish the practical aspect of the T-Level course.

What are the other academic entry requirements for T-Levels?

When applying to colleges for T-Levels, it is important to research the specific requirements for each institution and course.

While some may require a set of GCSEs, others offer a Transition to T-Level program for Level 2 students that allows for a different way of learning and can provide valuable experience.

This program may not be required by all colleges, but it can demonstrate dedication to the subject and provide helpful knowledge.

Additionally, some T-Level courses may have an “occupational specialism” listed as an entry requirement, which is similar to work experience.

It is important to participate in this component as part of the T-Level course. To learn more about T-Level components, visit the government article.

Should you complete any work outside of the entry requirements?

While it is important to have completed the required qualifications beforehand to be eligible for a T-Level course, it is possible to do additional work to prepare for it, particularly during the summer after GCSE exams.

Even though this work is not a mandatory T-Level Entry Requirement, it can be useful to obtain extra practice. If you take any notable courses, such as online certificates, you could mention them on your CV in the future.

Whether or not to do work outside of the T-Level program beforehand is mainly your decision. If you have a genuine interest in your subject, you might want to research the field further anyway.

If you are hesitant to participate in courses over the summer, you should consider whether your selected course is truly the best option for you.

What T-level subjects are available?

In September 2020, the first three T Levels began in Digital Production, Design and Development, Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, and Education and Childcare.

As of September 2021, T Levels are now available in Building Services Engineering for Construction, Digital Business Services, Digital Support and Services, Health, Healthcare Science, Onsite Construction, and Science.

From September 2022, T Levels will be offered in Accounting, Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing, Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing, and Control, Finance, Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, and Management and Administration.

Starting September 2023, T Levels will be available in Animal Care and Management, Agriculture, Land Management and Production, Catering, Craft and Design, Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics, Legal Services, Media, Broadcast, and Production. 

To ensure that T Levels are offered at the college of your choice, it is recommended that you confirm availability before applying.

What are the benefits of T-Levels?

T-Levels offer an additional study option for school leavers after their GCSEs. They provide more opportunities after obtaining your certificate, including skilled employment or pursuing a higher/degree apprenticeship.

With T-Levels, you’ll spend about 80% of your time in the classroom and the remaining 20% gaining hands-on experience through an industrial placement directly related to your course.

This placement allows you to develop skills that employers seek and increases your chances of finding a job after you’ve completed the course. Unlike work experience, which is typically short and focused on observation, the industrial placement provides a learning experience in a real role.

Before applying, make sure that all the colleges you’re interested in offer T-Levels as a course. If you begin a T-Level before turning 19, there are no tuition fees.

While the industry placement is mandatory, the employer is not legally obligated to pay you. However, the host company may choose to provide payment for your work.

How do T-levels compare with other qualifications?

After completing a T-Level, you will receive one of four grades: pass, merit, distinction, or distinction. It’s important to note that a T-Level distinction is equivalent to three A grades at A-Level, making it a nationally recognized qualification.

If you plan on applying to university, keep in mind that a T-Level distinction is worth 168 UCAS Tariff points, which is the maximum amount universities use to assess qualifications for entry requirements.

How long do placements last?

The work placement’s length can vary depending on the employer’s needs and the area of specialization, but it is required to last for at least 315 hours (around 45 days) excluding lunch breaks. Most placements last about 50 days and are typically scheduled during regular working hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

If an employer cannot commit to the full 315 hours, the placement can be shared between two organizations. This would involve sharing your learning goals to ensure that you meet your objectives.

As the industrial placement accounts for approximately 20% of your course, it can be completed in several ways, such as a block, series of blocks, day release, or a combination of these. The best approach to undertaking the placement will be determined by the T-Level, your college, and the employer.


It is crucial to conduct thorough research when pursuing a T-Level course as entry requirements can vary depending on the program. Meeting the specific prerequisites of your selected T-Level program is essential to ensure a successful application and begin a fulfilling vocational education journey.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Are T-Levels, and Why Should I Consider Them?

T-Levels are a two-year course that combines classroom learning with industry placements in the UK. They equip students with practical skills and knowledge in specific fields, making them job-ready.

What Age Do I Need to Be to Enroll in a T-Level Program?

To enroll in a T-Level program, it is generally required to be 16 years old or older.

Do I Need to Excel in English and Mathematics to Pursue a T-Level?

Proficiency in English and mathematics GCSEs may be necessary for specific T-Level courses, especially those in healthcare or science fields.

Are There Specific Entry Requirements for Different T-Level Courses?

Each T-Level course may have different entry requirements.



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