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Ucas Tariff: everything you need to know

Here's everything you might want to know about the Ucas Tariff points system, which universities use to communicate their entry requirements…

The Ucas Tariff may sound like a bit of a head-scratcher, but in practice it's just a way for unis to be able to work out what your qualifications are worth in one easy figure. Not all unis use the Ucas Tariff to analyse your results - but for those who do, here's the lowdown.

What is the Ucas Tariff?

The Ucas tariff assigns a points value to the different grades for post-16 qualifications, such as AS or A-levels. For example, A-level grades receive the following Ucas points:

  • A* = 56
  • A = 48
  • B = 40
  • C =32
  • D =24
  • E = 16
Must-read: what are university entry requirements?

How do I know how many Ucas points I have?

Each qualification (e.g. A-level, Scottish Higher etc.) is allocated a size band value from 1-4, based on the number of learning hours. Each qualification is also allocated a grade band point from 3-14.

To work out the number of Ucas points your qualifications is worth, just multiply the two together: Size x grade = Tariff points

Or, you can cut out the mental arithmetic and use one of our infographics below.

Calculate your Ucas Tariff points

A-levels and Highers

New Ucas Tariff - A-levels and Highers

BTEC Nationals

New Ucas Tariff - BTEC Nationals

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma itself does not attract Ucas points but the components which make it up do. To achieve the IB Diploma, you have to pass each component and achieve a total IB point score of 24 or more.

New Ucas Tariff - International Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate

New Ucas Tariff - Welsh Baccalaureate

How come not all universities use Tariff entry requirements?

Only around a third of undergraduate courses list a Tariff entry requirement at the moment; the rest just list grades. It doesn't make any difference, and one way isn’t 'easier' or harder than the other - it's just a different calculation.

Remember, you can always check a course's up-to-date entry requirements here on Which? University; once you’ve searched for a course, you can read exactly what grades or Ucas points that university is asking for.

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    Wait a sec, didn't the Ucas Tariff used to be different?

    Yes, a new Tariff was implemented for students applying to uni to start in 2017. There are a couple of reasons why this was done. 

    • BTECs: one is the increase in students taking vocational qualifications like BTECs, something which the old system didn't quite take into consideration.
    • Some general clarification: it was all a bit fuzzy as to how points were allocated in the first place. 

    How is the new Ucas Tariff different?

    The new Tariff doesn't mean it's any easier or harder to get into university. It's more to do with the way Ucas points are calculated and attributed value.

    • Under the old Tariff: an offer of 3 As at A-level equated to 360 Ucas points (one A at A-level was 120 points).
    • Under the new Tariff: this same offer of 3 As equates to 144 points because (one A now equals 48 points).

    What next?

    If you're thinking about uni, get researching now with the Ucas Tariff in mind. Our course search allows you to search for courses based on your predicted grades or the number of Ucas points you're likely to achieve.

    Take a look and see what you could study.

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