AQA Applied Generals (reformed)

AQA Level 3 Applied Generals (180 and 360 GLH)
Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
Purpose

These qualifications are listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables in the Applied General category.

Applied General qualifications are designed to develop transferable knowledge and skills for 16-19 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning.

Applied General qualifications are recognised by at least three higher education providers as fulfilling entry requirements to a range of HE courses, either in their own right or alongside other Level 3 qualifications.

You can view those HEPs supporting these qualifications: http://www.aqa.org.uk/qualifications or visit either the AG Business or Science subject pages.

Education context

Following the Wolf review of vocational qualifications in England in 2011, the Department for Education announced a number of characteristics that Level 3 Applied General qualifications have to demonstrate to feature in performance tables from 2016 onwards.

As a result, over 90% of the Level 3 qualifications previously recognised in performance tables are now not recognised.

The intention was to make reformed qualifications more rigorous and robust. As a result, they have to meet specific requirements in respect of purpose, size, recognition, content, assessment, and grading.

Between 2016 and 2018, awarding bodies have been permitted to phase in the reforms.

These qualifications meet the full requirements for reformed qualifications.

Awarding organisation
  • AQA
Qualification codes
601/7145/5 (AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Business – 2018/19 performance tables)
601/7146/7 (AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Business – 2018/19 performance tables)
601/7104/2 (AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science – 2018/19 performance tables)
601/7105/4 (AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science – 2018/19 performance tables)
Structure

The specifications are modular in structure. Learners have to pass each unit to achieve the qualification. The Certificate qualification is 180 GLH and consists of three 60 GLH mandatory units. The Extended Certificate qualification is 360 GLH and consists of six 60 GLH units. Five of the six units are mandatory and the 6th unit represents a choice from three optional units. The three Certificate units are 'nested' in the larger Extended Certificate qualification.

66% of the Certificate is externally assessed, and 50% of the Extended Certificate is externally assessed. External assessment is mainly conducted through examination, some units also use externally set and marked assignments.  

HEP endorsements for each qualification can be found on the subject pages of the AQA website.

Subject areas
  • Applied business
  • Applied science
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

A levels are also Level 3 qualifications regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

Level 3 is the same level as the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6.

Grading

Certificate (180 GLH) – P, M, D, D*

Extended Certificate (360 GLH) – P, M, D, D*

All units are graded – P, M, D

The grades for each unit attract points, which are added together to identify the final overarching qualification grade. 

Assessment

To ensure assessment is rigorous and robust, all reformed Applied General qualifications must meet the following assessment criteria:

  • There must be a minimum of 40% external assessment.
  • There must be an element of synoptic assessment.
  • There are new rules for internal assessment, with only one opportunity to submit each assessment.
  • Quality assurance of internal assessment must be rigorous.

For Applied Generals, externally assessed units have timetabled 1.5 hour examinations in January and June of each year, and externally set and marked assignments (done in class over a specified time period) in January and June of each year. Internally assessed units are assessed by the centre and externally moderated by AQA in January and June each year.

Centres are also given opportunities to develop internal assignments in a way that encourages both synoptic learning and assessment.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

External assessment: 66.6% of Certificate, 50% of Extended Certificate

Internal assessment: 33.3% of Certificate, 50% of Extended Certificate

Resit arrangements

Learners are allowed to resit an examination on one occasion per qualification.

They are permitted to retake an internally assessed assignment once per qualification.

Guided / notional learning hours
For comparison, this is the size of half an A level: 180 hours
For comparison, this is the size of one A level: 360 hours
UCAS Tariff points

AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Business

Grade Points
D* 28
D 24
M 16
P 8

AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Business

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16

AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science

Grade Points
D* 28
D 24
M 16
P 8

AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science

Grade Points
D* 56
D 48
M 32
P 16
Key issues for UK HE admissions

Applied General qualifications are rigorous advanced (Level 3) qualifications, mainly taken by16-19 year old students who want to develop transferable knowledge and skills.

They are designed to support progression to a range of higher education courses.

Applied General qualifications differ in size, some will meet the entry requirements for higher education in their own right, some will be offered in conjunction with other Level 3 qualifications, for instance, A levels.

The exact curriculum studied may depend on the choice of optional units taken, however reformed qualifications require a specified core of at least 60%.

All Applied General qualifications have the endorsement of at least three higher education providers.

Applicants holding reformed Applied General qualifications will have had experience of external and synoptic assessment.

Timing of assessments and results

Externally assessed units have timetabled examinations and externally set and marked assignments in January and June of each year. Internally assessed units are assessed by the centre and moderated by AQA in January and June of each year.

Results for the January session are published in March, and results for the June session are published in August. Overarching certification is available in March and August.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2016
Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current.

Certification information

The results of many UK qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

  • A levels and results from larger awarding bodies are reported automatically
  • IB results are only reported with the candidate’s permission
  • Some results are not reported through ABL, this does not reflect the validity of the qualification.

View the results available through ABL

Where results are not available through ABL, HEPs will need to ask applicants to provide their own evidence of achievement.

AQA reports results through the ABL system. High-level qualification results data is published on the AQA website shortly after results day. AQA submits results data to a variety of third parties, i.e. the Department for Education, Ofqual, and the Welsh Government.

Progression information

These qualifications offer progression to a range of higher education courses as a part of a package of A levels and/or other vocational qualifications.

Applied General qualifications are supported by at least three HEPs. HEP endorsements for each qualification can be found on the subject pages of the website.

Further information

Link to DfE Technical Level Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/16-to-19-vocational-qualifications-technical-guidance

Link to AQA specifications on website:http://www.aqa.org.uk/qualifications

Link to the AQA TVQ Admin page and Applied General Centre Handbook: http://www.aqa.org.uk/resources/tvq/assess/tvq-administration