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UCAS Progress Search and Apply maintenance: 15 – 17 December

UCAS Progress Search and Apply will be unavailable from 20:00 on Friday 15 December until 23:59 (UK time) on Sunday 17 December, due to planned maintenance.

During this time, you will be unable to access, work on, or submit your application. Teachers and advisers will also be unable to review applications, or add references.

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UCAS Progress phone lines availability – 13 December

Our UCAS Progress phone lines will be unavailable from 14:55 until close (17:00) on Wednesday 13 December, due to staff training.

They will reopen as usual from 09:00 on Thursday 14 December.

A levels

Facts about A levels: recent changes, subjects and grades, who they are for and what you can do afterwards.
Relevant to

A levels are subject-based qualifications that can lead to university, further study, training, or work. You can normally study three or more A levels over two years. They’re usually assessed by a series of examinations. 

Changes to A levels

New AS and A level qualifications are being introduced in England from September 2015. These changes will not happen in Wales and Northern Ireland. 

  • Some new AS and A levels will be introduced in England in September 2015 – the changes affect some subjects you may want to study.
  • You will also be able to do A level and AS level courses in other subjects which are not being reformed yet.

You can find out more information about what subjects will be affected by changes to A levels in our  guide to the changes to A levels.


What grades do I need to take A levels?

You normally need:
  • at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C
  • at least grade B in the specific subject(s) you want to study

However, the specific requirements needed to study A levels will vary across schools and colleges. It's important to check what you will need with the school or college you are looking to study at.  


Who are they for?

  • If you're thinking about going to university, most higher education courses require specific A levels or combinations of A levels (or alternative level 3 qualifications).
  • If you’re not sure what career or job you want to do, studying a selection of A levels can be a good way of keeping your options open.

Choosing A level subjects

The most important criteria for choosing A levels subjects are:

  1. Looking at what you are likely to enjoy and be good at. If you enjoy a subject or have an ability in it already, you are more likely to do well.
  2. Are there any particular subjects and/or grades you may need? If you have a particular career, job, or further study in mind, you may need to choose specific A levels in order to meet entry requirements.
  3. How open you want to keep your future study and career choices?

See our tips on choosing A level subjects for more ideas about picking the subjects you want to study. 


What you can do after A levels

Many people ask 'What can I do with my A-levels?', here are some answers:

  • Here is a great place to start looking at all the options open to you.
  • Continue on to university – A levels are the most common qualifications studied to get into higher education.
  • Keep your options open if you’re unsure about what you want to do in the future.
  • Look for employment – they’re valued by employers because they show a good level of education.
  • Go on to vocational or work-based qualifications, such as a higher apprenticeship.