A’Level Reforms

New AS and A-Level Qualifications

Over the next few years, A-level qualifications will be changing. Below is a quick guide to how the changes will affect you. For more information, please contact our Student Support Team.

What are linear exams?

New A-Level qualifications are now linear. This means that students will sit exams for their particular qualification at the end of the completed course in the June series. Re-sits also can only be sat in the June series. You will still receive UCAS points as part of your A-Level qualification and these can be used to help you gain entry to University.

What does the term decoupling mean?

AS levels will become decoupled from A-levels, which means that they will both become entirely separate qualifications. You will no longer be able to carry forward your AS qualification to the A-level qualification and you will sit either AS or A-level exams. This does not affect previous AS/A2-levels that are being phased out over the next few years.

Below is a guide to when the first teaching of the new specifications that we offer will happen:

First Teaching 2015
Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Economics
English
History
Physics
Psychology
Sociology

First Teaching 2016
Geography
Religious Studies

First Teaching 2017
Accounting
Citizenship Studies
Environmental Studies
Government and Politics
Law
Mathematics
Philosophy

How can I be sure I am studying the correct specification?
As a transitional period will take place with the crossover of specifications, we will aim to ensure that you are studying the correct syllabus for completion of your A-level, whether it is in 12 months or 24 months.

As an example: Psychology linear A-level will be first taught in 2015, with your first opportunity to sit AS level exams in 2016 and A-level exams in 2017. The previous specification of AS/A2 level will allow you to complete your full A-Level in 2016.

Any subjects being listed as a new AS or A-Level to be taught from September 2017 must have core content developed that meets Ofqual’s principles. Until the content is drafted, it is not possible to say for certain that all of the subjects listed above will be available to be taught from September 2017.

If you should need any more information concerning the changes, you can contact Ofqual who will be happy to help you and as further information becomes available, we will keep you up to date.

Please note: whilst every effort has been made to ensure the above is accurate, all this information is subject to change and final approval.