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T Levels

Business students 2019 Bedford College


T Levels are two-year courses that can be studied by 16–18-year-olds after finishing their GCSEs and are tailored for young people who know their chosen career to ensure that they are skills-ready for the workplace once they’ve completed their course.

Introduced nationally in 2020, T Levels are a new alternative to A- Levels, an apprenticeship or other post-16 courses. What’s more, the courses on offer have been designed in collaboration with businesses and employers to ensure students gain all the skills and knowledge they need for a career in their chosen field.

T Levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers, and will offer around 1,800 hours of study over two years. This will include a 45-day work placement, so T Levels will be more suited to students who know what occupation or industry they want to move into.

After two years of full-time study to complete a T Level, the qualification is equivalent to three A-Levels. Students can progress to university, further study or employment and T Levels provide up to 168 UCAS points for entry to Higher Education (with Distinction).

Frequently asked questions

How long does a T level take?

A T Level takes two years of full-time study.

When do students find out which placement they have? Can they choose their own employer?

Students can approach employers and if they meet the health & safety, insurance and other criteria we can support the student and the employer to set up an industry placement.

The College will also work with employers to provide industry placements that are open for application. Students generally will have to apply for these with a CV and may have an interview to ensure there is a match between the student and the employer.

How long is the industry placement?

An industry placement lasts around 45 days, undertaken as a block or as individual days.

The specific length of the placement and when it takes place will differ depending on your T Level. Typically, your placement will be across 1-2 days per week.

Can you progress to Higher Education or University with T levels?

Yes. With T Levels, you can gain just as many UCAS points as you would with A Levels. For example, gaining a Distinction* in your T Level is the equivalent of three A* grades at A Level – both will get you 168 UCAS points.

Electrical Installation Bedford College student and tutor
I’m an employer and I’d like to offer industry placements, can I get involved?

Absolutely! T Levels include a 45-day industry placement at the heart of every course which will be with an external employer to help students develop technical skills and become more employable. Industry placements are not only beneficial for students but also for employers as you’ll have early access to the new talent in your market.

If you are interested in finding out more about T Levels then contact our Business Development team on 01234 291747 or email

Why choose T Levels?

Here are five reasons why you should choose to study a T Level course.

Backed by businesses

All T Levels have been designed in collaboration with leading businesses and employers to allow students to meet the needs of the industry and get a head start after College.

Industry experience

When studying a T Level, you will learn what a real career is like in your chosen field through an industry placement.

A qualification that counts

When you pass your T Level, you will gain a nationally recognised certificate that shows the overall grade you achieved. Details of what you learned on the course will be included so that you can move into skilled employment or a higher apprenticeship.

Gain UCAS points

If you wish to move on to higher education, UCAS points will be awarded to T levels and will be recognised by universities and other education providers.

Learn and experience at the same time

T Levels offer more classroom time as well as experience within an industry; this is what makes it different to an apprenticeship. In the classroom, you’ll learn all the skills that employers look for and during your industry placement, you’ll put these skills into action.

What are the other benefits of industry placements for my business?

Smarter recruitment
  • Industry placements are great for entry-level skills and can help you build talent for junior positions or apprenticeships
  • Work alongside the next generation of talent in your industry
  • Cost-effective for recruitment
Support for your existing staff
  • Young people are an invaluable source of new ideas and can provide a fresh perspective
  • Staff usually have multiple projects and deadlines to meet and an industry placement student can provide extra support with key projects
  • Creates opportunities for staff to undertake and gain experience in coaching, mentoring or management
Supporting your local community
  • Industry placements can improve diversity and this can help your business understand customers better, increases creativity and creates better performance
  • They create ‘shared value’ as you will be giving back to young people in your community as well as your business
  • Offering industry placements can help you enhance your brand image and profile