Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Certificate

Qualification code

The Cambridge Pre-U curriculum is underpinned by a core set of educational principles and values:

  • Encouraging the development of well-informed, open and independent-minded individuals.
  • Promoting deep understanding through subject specialisation, with a depth and rigour appropriate to progression to higher education.
  • Helping students to acquire specific skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, team-working, independent learning and effective communication which are needed for study in higher education.
  • Recognising the wide range of individual talents and interests.
  • Promoting an international outlook and cross-cultural awareness.

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Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, Short Courses and GPR are graded Distinction 1, D2, D3, Merit 1, M2, M3, Pass 1, P2, P3.

The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma does not have grades. Results are reported as a score out of 96, with 96 being the maximum score and 32 being the minimum pass score.


Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject syllabuses are examined at the end of the two-year programme of study.

Principal Subjects are externally assessed, using appropriate assessment methods. For example, Biology is 100% externally assessed, with 15% of the total allocated marks being given to experimental and practical skills. Economics is assessed through a variety of multiple choice, short answer, data response and essay-based external assessments. Some subjects include coursework which is also externally assessed.

If coursework is included in the assessment, it can be completed whilst doing the course but will not be moderated or externally assessed until the end of the two-year course.

Short Courses are examined at the end of the one-year programme of study and follow a similar approach to assessment as Principal Subjects.

Global Perspectives is assessed through three compulsory components: a written paper, an essay and a multimedia presentation, all of which are externally examined.

The Independent Research Report submission is a single piece of extended writing in the form of a dissertation or a report based on an investigation or field study. The dissertation or report must be no more than 5,000 words in length. Where a project has involved extensive field study, manipulation of data, or laboratory experiment, the resulting report length may fall below these guidelines.

Further information

Constituent qualifications/units all have separate codes

Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects and Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) qualifications are regarded as broadly comparable in level to the A Level.

Cambridge Pre-U Short Courses are regarded as broadly comparable in level to the AS.

Many HEPs regard Cambridge Pre-U Principal subjects as interchangeable with A Levels for the purposes of HE admissions.

Cambridge Pre-U Short Courses are generally accepted in lieu of AS Level.

The Cambridge Pre-U GPR is generally accepted as equivalent to an A Level.

The majority of students take Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects or GPR in combination with A Levels, so offers need to be flexible.


Details of syllabuses can be found at the awarding body website: