What are T levels?

Meg Timbrell
Meg Timbrell
Content & Social Media Manager
3 min read

The Sort guide to T levels - new technical courses that are equivalent to 3 A Levels.

The face of the education system and how young people go about entering into a career is rapidly changing around us. Arguably one of the most significant changes in the UK education system within our generation was implemented this autumn, with the introduction of T levels.

T levels are the latest unveiling by the UK government in an attempt to keep pace with the period of transition of education and job-hunting as we enter into the next decade. The aims of T levels are to prepare young people for entry into employment, and build a bridge between industries and potential young employees. They will become one of the three main options for students after GCSE study, to join A levels and apprenticeships that are currently available.

What are T levels?

T levels essentially combine ‘on-the-job’ experience (industry placement of at least 45 days or roughly 350 hours) with traditional classroom learning. You can think of it as combining the kind of experience you’d get during an apprenticeship with A level study. 

T levels are different to an apprenticeship which is 80% on the job and 20% classroom study. It suits students who have a good idea of what career they want to pursue. The industry experience can be offered as part of a block of days or weeks, single day release, or a mixture of these. 

Structure

  • Technical qualification - including core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area; and specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation/career 
  • Industry placement with an employer
  • Minimum standard in maths and English if not already achieved

What are the benefits of T levels?

It will help young people gain a taster within an industry they are interested in, without feeling they have to make a certain decision as you might have to with an apprenticeship. Nearly all students who have just completed GCSEs don’t have a clear career path mapped out ahead of them, and T levels might just be a step in the right direction to aid these decisions. 

What subjects will be available and when? 

Eventually, you should be able to do T levels in the subjects below:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Animal care and management
  • Building services engineering for construction
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Digital business services
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Digital support and services
  • Education and childcare
  • Finance
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Legal
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing
  • Management and administration
  • Engineering, manufacturing, processing and control
  • Media, broadcast and production
  • Onsite construction
  • Science

However, not all of these subjects will be released immediately. The first three T level areas introduced in September 2020 were Digital, Construction, and Education and Childcare, with subjects in these areas including:

  • Digital: T levels in Digital Production, and Design and Development
  • Construction: T level in Design, Surveying and Planning
  • Education and Childcare: T level in Education

From September 2021, T level courses started in these seven subject areas:

  • Building services engineering for construction
  • Digital business services
  • Digital support and services
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Onsite construction
  • Science

From September 2022, these new subject areas will be introduced: 

  • Accounting
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing
  • Engineering, manufacturing, processing and control
  • Finance
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing
  • Management and administration

From September 2023, the government aims to implement all remaining T levels, including:

  • Animal care and management
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Legal
  • Media, broadcast and production

List of providers offering T levels

How does the grading system work?

T levels work on a pass/merit/distinction/distinction* system, with separate grades for the core component (from A* to E) and each occupational specialism (pass/merit/distinction). By the end of T level study you will also receive confirmation that you've achieved minimum requirements in English and maths, a certificate of completion of the industry placement, and confirmation of any additional mandatory requirements. 

What happens after T level study?

The benefit of the placement element of T level study is that students can build a rapport with potential employers or companies, giving them the possibility of being recruited immediately after their experience with them is over. 

Some T levels may also be a great pathway into university study to further an understanding of a field. But, unlike A level students, T level students will have gained not only specialist knowledge but actual industry experience to turn them into better candidates for jobs further down the line. 

For more information on T Levels, click here.

Related articles
Sort logo
Sort
2 min read

Getting started in your career in Tech

So, a career in Tech sounds exciting to you. Brilliant! Now, how do you actually get started? The most important factor...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

What's it really like to work in Tech?

What a question! Technology, as we’ve said, is a broad and expansive career path, but there are some fundamental simil...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

Guide to roles in the Tech industry

Technology is seriously broad. Just take a look at this government list of Tech roles, and you’ll see how varied the fi...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

Why work in the Tech industry?

Careers in Tech are often portrayed as working for major brands, high paying, and your best chance at buying your own...

Hailey Hudson
Hailey Hudson
7 min read

Building A Career While Living With a Genetic Disease: ...

Like many US-based high school students, I started planning for college early. I took the SAT and ACT. I toured colleg...

Emily Hanson
Emily Hanson
7 min read

15 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My First Job

So it’s finally time. Perhaps you’ve just left college, or you’ve graduated. You’ve got the job offer, HR have you all...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

Different Works - the Sort podcast

Learn from those who did it different . Different Works is Sort's fortnightly podcast series hosted by Josh Sult...

Najite Phoenix
Najite Phoenix
7 min read

There’s more than one way to build a career you love - ...

I recently sat down with coach, content creator, and founder of Revolution Hive - Keshav Bhatt where we explore how im...

Sort logo
Sort
3 min read

Getting started in your Health & Social Care career

So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

What's it really like to work in Health & Social Care?

Health and Social Care is a seriously broad career path. There are some fundamental similarities across the sector, th...

Sort logo
Sort
2 min read

Guide to roles in Health & Social Care

Roles in Health and Social Care  Health and Social Care offers such a broad range of different job options. Fo...

Sort logo
Sort
2 min read

Why work in Health & Social Care?

Looking for a career path that allows you to make a direct impact on the lives of those around you? Health and Social...

Sort logo
Sort
2 min read

Getting started in your Hospitality and Catering career

So, a career in Hospitality sounds like it could be the path for you? Whether you’re an amateur baker or dream of havi...

Sort logo
Sort
1 min read

What's it really like to work in Hospitality & ...

Hospitality is an exciting career, with plenty of scope to learn on the job. What is it really like, though? Read on t...

Sort logo
Sort
3 min read

Guide to roles in Hospitality and Catering

Hospitality is a broad career path where creating a great customer experience is vital. In fact,  45% of the rol...