This information comes from the Ucas website and provides students with useful advice on how to calculate their Tariff points
What are the Ucas Tarrif points?
UCAS Tariff points translate your qualifications and grades into a numerical value. Many qualifications (but not all) have a UCAS Tariff value, which will vary dependent on the qualification size, and the grade you achieved.
How are UCAS Tariff points used?
Some universities, colleges, and conservatoires refer to UCAS Tariff points in their course entry requirements, but this doesn’t mean they won’t consider qualifications that don’t appear on the Tariff ¬– so make sure you check the course entry requirements carefully!
Find out what your qualifications are worth
You can look up your UCAS Tariff points by finding your qualifications in our Tariff tables (1.69 MB), or use our Tariff point calculator.
Not all qualifications are on the Tariff, so don’t worry if you can’t find your qualification, as a university, college, or conservatoire may still accept it. It’s a good idea to read the guidance notes in the Tariff calculator to understand how the Tariff works.
Three key things to know about the UCAS Tariff
1. The Tariff simply uses a different set of numbers, which some course providers use to describe qualifications and grades in their entry requirements. But only one third of university courses use the Tariff and most use qualifications and grades.
2. Just because a qualification is on the Tariff, doesn’t mean a course provider will accept it. Therefore, it’s really important to check the entry requirements for the course you’re interested in, don’t just rely on your number of points.
3. There are only a certain number of qualifications on the Tariff. A university, college, or conservatoire may accept a qualification even if it isn’t on the Tariff, so it’s best to check with them to see if they will accept your qualification. Remember, lots of course providers do not use Tariff points.
Some employers use the Tariff to help with their selection process. This is not encouraged by UCAS. If an employer uses the Tariff, it is their responsibility to ensure their information is clear and accurate. If your qualification is not on the Tariff, you should contact the employer directly to discuss your job application.
AS/A Level Qualifications
AS Levels A Levels UCAS tariff points
B E 16
UCAS Tariff Points table
Below is a series of tables and a list of the UCAS Tariff points associated with the most common qualifications and grades.
A Level Grade UCAS Tariff Points
AS Grade UCAS Tariff Points
Extended Project Grade UCAS Tariff Points
BTEC Grade UCAS Tariff Points
Access to HE Diploma UCAS Tariff Points
45 Distinctions 144
45 Merits 96
45 Passess 48
Why are UCAS points important?
Most university degrees state their entry requirements as a list of grades that you need to achieve at A Level or equivalent. So, offers to prospective students typically look like “ABB” or “BBC”. But about a third of degree programmes make their offer based on total UCAS points instead of a set of fixed grades.
So, essentially, UCAS points are important because they can be the difference between you meeting or missing the entry requirements for your chosen course.
How do UCAS points work?
UCAS points can only be assigned to a level 3 qualification or above (in Scotland, SCQF Level 6. These are typically the FE courses you would study in post-16 education, at Sixth Form College. They include A Levels; some NVQs; BTEC Firsts, Nationals and Apprenticeships, Welsh Baccalaureate; Scottish Highers; and many more.
When browsing university entry standards, you might notice a particular number over and over again, as many degree programmes require prospective students to achieve 112 UCAS points. You can reach 112 points in a variety of ways through your A Levels (such as with A*A*, or BBC / ACC / ABD grades), Scottish Highers (AAAC, or Advanced Highers at BBD), or numerous combinations of other level 3 qualifications. Plus, we’ve got some tips for beefing up your points score further down the article.
What’s good about receiving a UCAS points offer?
A fixed grade offer from a uni needs a very rigid outcome. BBD is not BBC, after all. But if the offer is made as a UCAS points score, then there is more flexibility in how you achieve the results. It’s a bit like rolling a dice three times to add up to the number ten: there isn’t one set way to do it, but lots of different combinations of numbers that can add up to the necessary total. It gives you more wiggle room in your results, as you might struggle in one subject but excel in another, and overall still achieve the total points that you need. Another advantage to this kind of points-based offer is that it’s sometimes possible to create a safety net, boosting your UCAS points score further through more than just your A Level results.
How many UCAS points do I have?
Just remember; UCAS points=grades x course size
Every grade is assigned a number between 3 and 14. The highest scores (such as A*) get the highest number, while lower grades get a lower number.
The length of the course is also factored into its points value, so the ‘course size’ is based on the hours of study needed to complete the programme. Each eligible FE qualification is given a number from 1 to 4 based on its size: longer courses have higher numbers, and shorter courses have lower numbers.
The size and grade scores are then multiplied together to produce the equivalent UCAS tariff points. So an A* at A Level, for example, is worth 56 points (56=grade 14 x size 4).
That’s how UCAS has ensured that the points are assigned fairly across all eligible courses, but you don’t need to sit there doing repeated multiplication yourself (unless you’re revising for a Maths exam, of course). Rather than worrying about how to calculate UCAS points, just use our simple UCAS calculator to work out your point score.
How many UCAS points is a diploma / IB / Higher / A Level?
Want to work out your A Level UCAS points total, or IB points, or Scottish Advanced Highers points? The tables below show the most up-to-date UCAS points to grades conversions. NB: There are multiple types of BTEC qualification, so we have included the most popular kind here – the level 3 diploma.
How can I get more UCAS Points?
If you’ve used our UCAS tariff calculator and discovered that your A level UCAS points aren’t quite enough for the course of your dreams, don’t fret just yet. There are various ways of boosting your UCAS tariff points outside of the normal ‘adding another subject’ route.
If you want to increase your UCAS points for eligible degree programmes, then how about a spot of volunteering?
It can help you develop important skills for the future.
You can even earn points for a hobby you’re already pursuing, as musical instrument and singing grades can help you earn more UCAS points. Grades 6 to 8 carry different points scores at different attainment levels (e.g. 6 points for a pass at grade 6; 14 points for a merit at grade 7; 30 points for a distinction at grade 8). So don’t give up on your piano lessons just because you’re busy with college work!
International students have much to benefit from gaining an ESOL qualification. Demonstrating proficiency in English for speakers of other languages can accrue anything between 12 and 42 UCAS points, depending on level of study.
Any combination of these UCAS points-boosting tips could be enough to supplement your college results, but do always check the specific degree admissions requirements carefully. Some programmes may cap the points they accept (e.g. only accepting UCAS points from A Levels or equivalent, or from named subjects, or from your best three A Level grades).
Do I get UCAS points for GCSEs?
No, sorry! Because they are a level 2 qualification, there are no GCSE UCAS points. Only level 3 qualifications carry UCAS points. Although, your GCSEs will still be useful during your university interview.
As part of the changes to UCAS tariff points, 2017 also saw more new qualifications being converted into the system. Because the number and type of vocational study options had increased for students, the UCAS points system needed updating to include them (hence our UCAS points BTEC calculator, which includes various levels of BTEC study alongside more traditional A Level UCAS points routes).
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).
The biggest shift within the UCAS points 2017 overhaul was the change in points score for AS Levels. That year, the UK qualifications body reduced the status of an AS Level to 40% of an A Level. The AS Level UCAS points score is now proportionately lower to signify this change in value.
More information about UCAS points
It’s always important to confirm the specific entry requirements for a degree programme. Some courses, even if they list UCAS tariff points, may only consider the points awarded from a student’s three best A Levels, and nothing else. Alternatively, they might accept more unusual or international qualifications not included in the table or converter, and that’s worth knowing too. So after using the degree calculator to calculate UCAS points, double check the info against the university’s specified entry requirements.
• D =24
• E = 16
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma itself does not attract Ucas points but the components which make it up do. To achieve the IB Dip loma, you have to pass each component and achieve a total IB point score of 24 or more.
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.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.