New Ucas Tariff: everything you need to know
The Ucas Tariff points system, which universities use to communicate their entry requirements, is undergoing some changes you should know about...
Why the new Ucas Tariff?There are a couple of reasons. One is the increase in students taking vocational qualifications like BTECs, something which the current system doesn’t quite take into consideration.
Also, it's all a bit fuzzy as to how points are allocated in the first place.
All in all, it’s hoped that the new system will be simpler, fairer and more efficient.
Don't worry, it's not all change
According to Ucas, it will be a case of business as usual for the most part when it comes to Ucas points and admissions:
How is the new Tariff different?
A 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. In fact, it's all a bit less intimidating now.
For example, 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. Much more manageable and less scary, right?
So how are points calculated under the new Tariff?
Now, each qualification (e.g. A-level, Scottish Higher etc.) will be allocated a size band value from 1-4, based on the number of learning hours. Meanwhile each qualification will also be allocated a grade band point from 3-14. To work out the number of Ucas points your qualifications is worth under the new Tariff, 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 points under the new TariffWe've made things easy! Just look up your qualifications below to see what it's worth under the new Tariff:
A-levels and Highers
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.
The information below refers to the new award being taught from September 2015:
Will it be harder to get into university?Not at all. What you actually need to achieve to get on to a particular course will remain the same; how this is displayed will change.
Will universities count both your AS and A-levels?No, universities will only count your highest level of achievement. So if you take a subject at both AS and A-level, they will only count the A-level.
Will all universities use the new Tariff?No. As it stands, only a third of undergraduate courses list a Tariff entry requirement anyway; the rest just list grades. Ucas expects this to remain pretty much the same.
However some universities may use the switchover to reconsider how they do things. 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.