The short video above is designed for learners, and gives a quick summary of how the new Tariff points work. The second new video above is aimed at mature applicants, and covers how the Access to HE Diploma works in terms of Tariff points.
At our recent Teachers and Advisers Conference we received feedback that an editable document for students would be useful, to communicate the changes for 2017. We have included the template below along with the latest resources on Tariff 2017.
- Fast facts about the new UCAS Tariff – what you need to know now.
- New Tariff toolkit for advisers (4.28 MB) – the latest conference slides for you and your colleagues who need an overview of why, how and when the Tariff is changing.
- The Tariff points calculator – updated every May with qualifications that have been added to the UCAS Tariff.
- An editable factsheet (39.4 KB) that you can use to inform your students about Tariff 2017.
- Bryanston School Tariff Guide (114.75 KB) – an example of how a school is sharing Tariff information.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or ideas about how to better support you though this change.
We held a webinar about the new Tariff, in which we:
- gave an overview of the new Tariff
- outlined the changes
- gave examples of how the new points system works
If you missed the session or want to watch it again, view the playback here.
UCAS Tariff points calculator
Based on the new Tariff, our calculator provides an indicative guide to learners of how many points each qualification is awarded.
UCAS Tariff tables
New Tariff tables (2.31 MB) — reference tables summarising the new Tariff points.
Additional information documents
We would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the following documents that have been created to provide you with the information you might need to know about the new Tariff.
- Factsheets — for you to use with your colleagues, students and their parents.
- New Tariff qualifications list (176.78 KB) — this is a technical document showing the size x grade calculation of the new Tariff points, against each of the relevant qualifications. Updated May 2016 – new additions are marked as May 2016 in the Release version column.
You may also find our digital Qualification Information Profiles (QIPs), which we launched in August 2016, useful.
The UCAS Tariff is a broad metric and the QIPs are meant to compliment it. QIPs provide objective, comparable information about qualifications which providers can use to inform decisions about the admission of students. They help to provide information in a clear and consistent format across different qualifications, and include a range of information such as size, grading, assessment, structure, and content. The format of the QIPs was agreed with universities and they replace the Qualification Guides, which UCAS used to publish.
The QIPs include 2016 updates to our UK benchmark, EU and international 2015 QIPs, previously published as PDFs, and additional UK, EU, and international qualifications. The new UK QIPs include vocational qualifications, reflecting the changes triggered in this area by the DfE performance measures. We’ve also included some key Level 1/2 qualifications, such as current GCSEs and reformed GCSEs, for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Please see our dedicated QIPs section in the guides and resources area of the site for more information.
We would like to know if QIPs are a helpful resource. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please email Jochen Pichler, Senior Policy Executive, at email@example.com.
Why we changed the Tariff
The UCAS Tariff was first introduced in 2001 to help those working in admissions to make comparisons between qualifications. Since then, however, both the range of qualifications held by applicants, and the variety of progression routes into HE have increased.
In 2012 UCAS completed a review looking at what information universities and colleges, students, and schools and advisers needed about qualifications to facilitate admission to HE.
The review identified the needs of admissions teams for more detailed, structured information about qualifications.
A feedback exercise with the HE sector, and secondary education community, shaped the new UCAS Tariff. This was agreed by the UCAS Board in June 2014, for implementation in the 2017 entry admissions cycle.
Timings for the new UCAS Tariff
The new UCAS Tariff will be used for courses starting from September 2017. The new UCAS Tariff points apply to learners who are currently in Year 13 or S6 in Scotland and younger, who are thinking about applying in 2016/17, and start university or college from September 2017.
- The new UCAS Tariff points are based on a different methodology to the current Tariff.
- A key principle of the new UCAS Tariff is consistency and we have tried to ensure minimal disruption.
- All Level 3/SCQF Level 6 qualifications that are currently on the UCAS Tariff will continue to attract points under the new system.
- The AS has been repositioned as 40% of an A level in light of the qualification regulators' statements regarding the standard of the AS.
What the new points mean to students
New UCAS Tariff points should not have any impact on students' decisions on qualification choices at school or college, or their preparation for higher education. The change to new UCAS Tariff points will not in itself change entry requirements for university or college courses. Universities and colleges are independent organisations and each year they decide how to set their entry requirements. Those universities and colleges that use UCAS Tariff points to express their entry requirements will simply set their requirements using the new number system.
Frequently asked questions about the new Tariff
Will universities and colleges count both AS and A level grades?
No – they'll only count the highest level of achievement. Therefore if a learner has completed an AS and A level in the same subject, they will only count the A level.
Will all universities and colleges use the new Tariff?
No – around one third of courses in the UCAS search tool list a Tariff entry requirement. We don't expect to see a sudden increase or decrease in use of the Tariff. However, some universities and colleges are moving towards qualifications and grade-based entry requirements.
Has anything been lowered?
- The principle in moving qualifications from the current Tariff to the new Tariff has been to minimise change as much as possible.
- The AS has been deliberately repositioned as 40% of an A level, as opposed to 50%. This is in line with qualification regulators’ statements.
- We've produced a full list of qualifications on the Tariff with an impact assessment that indicates any movement. For example small qualifications in a small size band may now have a lower Tariff point score.
When is this change happening?
- The new Tariff will first be used in the 2017 admissions cycle for courses starting from September 2017. This means applicants applying for courses from September 2016 may see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new Tariff.
What’s the impact of the new Tariff on the reformed and unreformed AS – as qualifications reform is staggered?
- The new Tariff and repositioning of the AS will apply to ‘old’ and ‘new’ AS and A level qualifications from the September 2017 admissions cycle.
- The Tariff applies to UK and international qualifications.
- Qualification reforms are taking place at different times across the UK and it's important that there is one switchover for all qualifications.
- We published the new Tariff points in 2014, highlighting that the AS (both reformed and unreformed) will be repositioned to 40% of the A level from September 2017. This brings it into line with UK qualification regulators’ statements that the reformed and unreformed AS is not the same standard as A level.
- The new Tariff is not connected to UMS, this means that UMS for the unreformed AS will remain at 50% in England, but is being changed to 40% in Wales and Northern Ireland, where the AS will remain coupled with the A level.
Are there any other issues to be aware of with the new UCAS Tariff?
- The new Tariff is based on a finite grading scale, meaning that some qualification grades may get the same points. For example, Pre-U D1 and D2.
- Not all BTECs have a D* grade, such as BTEC (NQF) qualifications.
- Some qualifications have been prioritised on the drop-down menu on the new Tariff calculator because there are lots of variations of similar titles. For example, BTEC and CACHE qualifications.
We will continue to support you in understanding and using the new Tariff.
- The UCAS Correspondent at your school or college will be able to provide more information on the new Tariff.
- Regular updates on the new Tariff will be provided in the monthly advisers’ newsletter.
- Regional training is currently available on the new Tariff for schools, colleges and universities.