T Levels

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:

  • Construction
  • Digital
  • Science and Health
  • Education and Childcare

Learner Limelight
Aaron Shephard

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.”


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. 

How will I be assessed? 

Assessment will take place through: 

  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Workplace observations
  • Employer project
  • End Point Assessment (EPA)

How do T Levels compare to other options? 

A Levels 

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. 

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.