What are T Levels?

T Level LogoT Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares learners for work.

T Levels will offer learners a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 45 days. They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

Learners will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas:

  • Accountancy
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Animal care and management
  • Building services engineering
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • Design, development and control
  • Design, surveying and planning for construction
  • Digital business services
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Digital support and services
  • Education and childcare
  • Financial
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Human resources
  • Legal
  • Maintenance, installation and repair
  • Management and administration
  • Manufacturing and process
  • Media, broadcast and production
  • Onsite construction
  • Science

Here’s a short video for you to see how they’ll work:

When they will start

When will they start?

The first three T Levels will be available at selected colleges and schools, of which we are one, across England in September 2020 with more subjects offered in the years that follow.

That means, Dudley College of Technology will be offering the first three T Levels in:

  • Digital production, design and development
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Education

How T Levels will work with other post-16 choices

T Levels will become one of the main choices for students after GCSE alongside:

  • Apprenticeships for learners who wish to learn a specific occupation ‘on the job’
  • A levels for learners who wish to continue academic education
  • Other vocational qualifications

T Levels will be based on the same standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). Students will study over two years and will typically have 1,800 hours of tuition over those years, including their industry placement. This is a significant increase on most current technical education courses.

How T Levels are being developed

Employers and providers are working together to develop each T Level, with support from DfE and the Institute. Groups of employers define the skills and requirements for each T Level course by participating in T Level panels. This ensures that students taking T Levels will develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry.

Structure of a T level

T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:

  • A technical qualification, which will include specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
  • Core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
  • An industry placement with an employer
  • A minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them


Learners who pass all the elements of their T Level will get a nationally recognised qualification showing an overall grade of pass, merit or distinction. T Levels will primarily prepare students to move into a skilled job but can also lead to further technical training, such as higher technical qualifications, higher apprenticeships or a degree. T Levels will be recognised by Universities and will carry UCAS points.

T Levels will also set out the details of what students have achieved on their course including:

  • An overall pass grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit or distinction
  • A separate grade for the occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction
  • A separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
  • Grades for maths and English qualifications
  • Details of the industry placement

Download our leaflets to find out more about T Levels for learners, parents and employers:

Or visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-t-levels