If you aren’t familiar with them, UCAS Tariff Points can be a little confusing. But basically, they’re an easy way for universities to work out what your qualifications are worth in a simple, straightforward figure.
Not every university uses UCAS Tariff Points to assess your results, but for those that do, we’ll clear up some key questions to help you out.
Join us as we take a closer look at what UCAS Tariff Points are, how they’re used, how many points your qualifications are worth, and what you may need if you’ve got your sights set on higher education in the near future.
Under the UCAS Tariff Points system, the qualifications and grades you have – whether they’re A-levels, BTECs, International Baccalaureates or Welsh Baccalaureates – are translated to a numerical value.
Many qualifications (but not all) have a UCAS Tariff value that varies depending on things like qualification size and the grade you achieved. It’s the numerical value assigned to each qualification or grade that higher education course providers use to see if you meet the entry requirements for a certain course.
Each qualification (e.g., A-level or Scottish Higher) is allocated a size band value from 1-4 based on the number of learning hours on the course. They’ll also be assigned a grade band point from 3 to 14.
So, to work out the number of UCAS Tariff Points your qualifications are worth, you just need to multiply the two together: Size x grade = Tariff points.
Or to make things easier, you can use one of our handy reference tables below.
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.
You might see course listings that don’t mention UCAS Tariff requirements and instead just list grades. It doesn’t make any difference; one way isn’t easier, harder or more prestigious than the other, it’s simply a different calculation.
Students of a certain vintage may remember the UCAS Tariff being a little different. If you’re thinking “hang on a sec…” then you’d be right; the old system made way for the new Tariff, which was implemented for students applying to university courses that started in 2017.
This was done for a few different reasons:
How else does it differ? Well, for one thing, it isn’t any easier or harder to get into your university of choice. The new system is more a matter of calculating and attributing value to your UCAS points.
Under the old Tariff, things looked a little like this:
But under the new Tariff, things look more like this:
It’s important to understand the entry requirements for the course or university you want to attend, so keep the following things in mind before applying:
If the entry requirements for your course and university are still confusing, then you should get in touch with the registrar’s offices as soon as possible.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve been in education or you weren’t as passionate about academia back then, then there’s a chance you might not have enough UCAS points to study at an institute of higher education right now.
And that’s perfectly fine, people change. The great news is there are plenty of different ways you can earn UCAS points and get yourself closer to your goal of studying for that dream degree, including:
We hope this guide helps clear up any confusion you have about the UCAS Tariff Points System. Whatever your goals and aspirations, our distance learning courses could help get you there. For more information or to browse our complete range of courses, visit the homepage or call our experienced learning advisers on 0121 630 3000.