T Levels are new courses which you can study following your GCSEs. They are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience needed to open doors to skilled employment, further study or a Higher Apprenticeship.
Cheshire College – South & West is one of a limited selection of colleges chosen by the government to offer the following T Levels from September 2021:
- Science and Health
- Education and Childcare
The College is working with a range of local, national and international employers to deliver T Levels, including:
College course: Engineering BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 and participated in a T Level pilot programme
Progressing to: Lancaster University to study a Master’s Degree (MEng) in Electronics & Electrical Engineering
“After completing GCSEs and having an interest in engineering, I looked for the next step. This I found in the BTEC Level 3 Engineering course at CCSW. The course included work experience which gave me access to a great team both in finding the work experience as well as the company itself. Because of the support from College staff and staff at my work experience placement, I developed an interest in CAD and 3D printing that led into coding. The next step for me is Lancaster University where I’ll be studying a Master’s Degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering.”
Why should I choose a T Level?
Here are 6 great reasons for choosing a T Level – and get ready to move to the next level.
- T Levels have been designed with leading businesses and employers to give you the knowledge and skills you need.
- T Levels give you the chance to learn what a real career is like while you continue your studies.
- When you pass your T Level, you will get a nationally recognised certificate showing the overall grade you achieved. It will also give details of what you learned on the course.
- Your T Level will be worth UCAS points.
- T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships, which means you can experience an industry while you continue your studies.
- From 2023, T Levels will form the three main pillars of education alongside A Levels and Apprenticeships.
How are T Levels different?
T Levels have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content is relevant to industry and prepares you to start your career once you complete your qualification.
T Levels are two-year courses that are equivalent to three A Levels and comprise:
- a core programme of study of 2 years
- Extended work placement of a minimum of 45 days (80% classroom-based:20% on-the-job experience)
- specialist, career-specific unit
- maths, English and digital competencies
- the development of skills, knowledge and behaviours you need to progress directly into industry
- the application of theory in real work environments
What can a T Level lead to?
Following the completion of a T Level programme, you could progress to:
- employment in a skilled occupation. Learners completing a T Level will be in high demand for the best-paid jobs
- Higher or Degree-level Apprenticeships
- Higher-level study on a technical programme
- university to study on a Degree programme
To help T Level learners get into higher education, UCAS tariff points will be allocated to each T Level qualification, and these will be accepted by universities for entry on to Level 4 and 5 programmes.
What are the entry requirements for T Levels?
You should have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 9/A* – 4/C, including Maths and English.
If you are aged 16 years and are not ready to undertake a T Level programme, we also offer a one-year Level 2 Pre-T Level preparation course to ensure you are at the right level to start your T Level course.
What is an industry placement?
Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Industry placements give learners an opportunity to develop their practical and technical skills in a role directly relevant to their course. They also give employers the chance to ensure that young people are developing the skills and experience that industry needs.
Industry placements can vary in length but must last for a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days). Most placements will last an average of 350 hours (approximately 50 days) although some will be much longer if required for a particular specialism.
The College has a dedicated Work Experience Team that will support you with your industry placement.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will take place through:
- Workplace observations
- Employer project
- End Point Assessment (EPA)
How will I be graded?
Learners who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. A nationally recognised certificate will show their overall grade and a breakdown of what they have achieved.
In addition to confirmation that the learner has completed the industry placement and met any other mandatory requirements, the certificate will also confirm if the minimum requirements for English and Maths have been met.
For learners who want to progress to higher education, UCAS tariff points will also be allocated to the overall T Level grade.
How do T Levels compare to other options?
T Levels have the same entry requirements as A Levels and both routes can lead to higher-level study at university. The difference with T Levels is that, if you know the area you would like to start your career in, you can gain valuable work experience to make you stand out in your chosen area.
Apprenticeships are valuable if you already know which area you are interested in studying and you have a specific job role or employer you would like to work for in mind. Your T Level course will give you a broader understanding of your chosen industry with the option to specialise once you complete your course.
Other Level 3 full-time courses
T Levels are structured in a similar way to Level 3 Diplomas and Certificates, however the entry requirements are higher and the work experience duration is longer. T Levels are currently only available in certain subjects at selected Colleges, however, the government’s intention is to eventually replace all Diplomas and Certificates with T Level programmes.
What T Levels will be on offer in 2022?
From September 2022, the College will be delivering an additional four routes:
- Business and Administration: Management and Administration
- Engineering and Manufacturing: Design and Development
- Engineering and Manufacturing: Manufacturing, Processing and Control
- Engineering and Manufacturing: Maintenance, Installation and Repair
A wider choice of T Level subjects will be introduced in future years. For further information on T Levels click here.
Please check this page regularly for future updates on our T Level provision.