What is a Science T Level?

  • Helena Kudiabor
  • Apr 24 2024

Launched in September 2020, T levels are a new educational opportunity for post-16 students. These two-year programmes allow students to develop core skills and knowledge to prepare them for a variety of careers. This article will delve into the content and structure of the new Science T level, explaining how it can prepare you for a career in STEM.


What is a T level?

T levels are a technical qualification (the T stands for technical) that students can complete after their GCSEs. Developed in consultation with the government and employers, these two-year courses have been designed to prepare post-16 students for the working world. 

T levels combine classroom learning (80%) with an industry placement (20%), which allows you to put the theory you’ve learned into practice. The placement must be at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).

Upon completion of a T level, students receive a qualification that’s equivalent to three A-levels. 

What’s the difference between a T level and an apprenticeship?

T levels are designed to suit a different learning style. While both courses combine classroom and hands-on experience, T levels are 80:20 classroom:practical work, while apprenticeships are 20:80 employment: practical work. As a result, T level students are not obliged to receive payment for their work, although the education itself does tend to be free.

Furthermore, apprenticeships are specialised and prepare you for a specific job, in contrast to T levels which are more general. Therefore, completing a T level is a great option if you’re not yet sure what careers you’re interested in.

What T levels are there?

There are now over 20 T level subjects:


  • Building Services Engineering for Construction
  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction
  • Onsite Construction

Creative and Design:

  • Craft and Design (September 2024 onwards)
  • Media Broadcast and Production (September 2024 onwards)


  • Digital Business Services
  • Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Digital Support Services

Education and Early Years:

  • Education and Early Years

Engineering and Manufacturing:

  • Design and development for Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Health and Science:

  • Health
  • Healthcare Science
  • Science

Legal, Finance and Accounting:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Legal Services

Sales, Marketing and Procurement:

  • Marketing (September 2025 onwards)

There’s also a one year T level transition programme, which allows you to develop your academic, technical and study skills before starting an actual T level. 

What do Science T levels involve?

As discussed, there’s three main science T levels: Health, Healthcare Science and Science.

The Health T level allows you to better understand the healthcare sector, and develop expertise in diseases and disorders and person-centred care. Alongside this, you’ll choose one of six specialisms: adult nursing, midwifery, mental health, children and young people, therapy and dental nursing.

The healthcare science T level develops student’s understanding of core scientific concepts, and learns the principles of good scientific and clinical practice. The specialty options are assisting with healthcare science and optical care services. 

Finally, the Science T level teaches students about scientific methodology and experimentation, more complex scientific concepts and adhering to the ethics of science. Students can specialise in laboratory science, food science and metrology (precise measurement) science.

Why should I take a T level?

Completing a T level is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the working world. Through the industry placement, you’ll be able to gain hands-on experience, and network with professionals in your chosen sector. T levels are also more general, so taking one is a great opportunity to help you figure out what you want to do and what areas of science you’re most interested in. This experience provides you with an excellent foundation for future opportunities (an apprenticeship, university degree, or college course) given that each T level offers UCAS points. 

How are T levels assessed?

Each T level is assessed through a combination of written exams and an employer-set practical project. Candidates are assessed on both core and specialist content. 

The grading system is as follows:

  • T level Distinction: Equivalent to 144-168 UCAS tariff points or A-levels at AAA*-AAA
  • T level Merit: Equivalent to 120 UCAS tariff points or A-levels at BBB
  • T level Pass (C or above): Equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points or A-levels at CCC
  • T level Pass (D or E): Equivalent to 92 UCAS tariff points or A-levels at DDD

Students who partially achieve their T level can receive tariff points for the section of the course they passed.

Where can I learn more about T levels?

Hopefully this article has piqued your interest in T levels. To learn more about the T levels on offer, and discover opportunities to complete a T level in your local area, check out:

T levels (HM Government)

What are T levels? (The Institute of Physics)

T levels (Amazing Apprenticeships)