AS - reformed Ofqual accredited (First awarded 2016)

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First teaching 2015
First AS award 2016

This QIP refers to AS - reformed Ofqual accredited first teaching 2015

  • England
  • Northern Ireland (due to the qualification open market arrangement)
  • Wales (where there is no specification designed to meet new Welsh Government requirements.)

The purpose of the reformed Ofqual accredited A level, as set out in Ofqual’s Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements is as follows:

  • provide evidence of students’ achievements in an internationally comparable post-16 course of study that is a sub-set of A level content; 
  • enable students to broaden the range of subjects they study.
Education context

AS and A levels are the qualifications that the majority of young people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland use to gain entry to university.

The reformed Ofqual accredited AS and A levels will be available in some subjects in England and Northern Ireland (where the open qualifications market operates) from September 2015, with first A level exams being sat in 2017.

The introduction of reformed Ofqual accredited AS and A levels will be phased. A list of the subjects being reformed for first teaching from September 2015 is available below in the field for subject areas.

The following types of AS and A levels will be available for use in schools in England from September 2015:

  • Reformed AS and A levels for first teaching September 2015, accredited by Ofqual, and offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC Eduqas.
  • All current AS and A levels offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC in unreformed subjects.
  • As part of CCEA's withdrawal plan there is still a resist opportunity in England, and a cash-in opportunity possibly into summer 2016.

Note that students in Wales will be able to undertake Ofqual accredited A level qualifications in subjects where there is no specification designed to meet new Welsh Government requirements.

Further information about the reformed qualifications can be found at: and

Awarding organisations
  • AQA
  • WJEC Eduqas
  • OCR
  • Pearson (Edexcel)

Reformed Ofqual accredited AS are linear in their structure and are designed to be delivered over one year with terminal exams and, in some cases, non-exam assessment.

They can be co-taught alongside the A level, but will no longer contribute towards the final A level grade. They will be a standalone qualification. Students will be able to:

  • sit the AS examination during their A level programme of study and continue towards their final A level exam. The AS examination result does not contribute to the A level mark and students will have two qualifications.
  • sit the AS examination but not continue with their studies.
  • not sit the AS examination and continue towards the final A level exam.
Subject areas
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English language
  • English literature
  • English literature and language
  • Art and design
  • Business
  • Computer science
  • Economics
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Level 3

Whilst both the AS and A level are Level 3 qualifications, assessment within the AS is regarded as less demanding than that of the A level.


A – E


Reformed Ofqual accredited AS will be linear in their structure, with all assessment at the end of the qualification.

Students will sit a terminal examination, and, in some cases, undertake non-exam assessment.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

In England and in other countries where Ofqual accredited A levels operate, the Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) process is no longer required.

The vast majority of AS are examined at the end of the course. However, in some subjects there is an element of non-exam assessment. For example in AS French/German/Spanish (30%), PE (30%), Dance (50%), Drama and theatre and music (60%) and in art and design (100%) of the marks are available through non exam assessment. This webpage gives a list of all non-exam assessment per AS subject

The reformed Ofqual accredited AS qualification is standalone and does not contribute to the final grade.

Grade boundaries for the AS are set after the examinations.

Resit arrangements

Resits are taken the following summer.

Guided/notional learning hours
180 hours
UCAS Tariff points


Grade Points
A 20
B 16
C 12
D 10
E 6


Key issues for UK HE admissions

The introduction of reformed Ofqual accredited AS and A levels will be phased. The subject timetable for AS and A level reform is as follows:

The 2017 and 2018 admissions cycle will see large numbers of applicants applying to HE with a mixture of new and current AS and A levels due to the staggered reform timetable.

AS and A levels accredited in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will differ in terms of structure, content and assessment arrangements. Grading will remain the same.

Not all applicants will choose to study AS qualifications.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Reformed Ofqual accredited AS will continue to be taken in May/June and results will continue to be made available mid-August.

Qualification date
This is a current qualification. (Ofqual accredited AS qualifications in reformed subjects will be delivered from September 2015 as per list of subject areas.)
Reporting and certification information

Grade distributions by subject and total entries by subject are published by the Joint Council for Qualifications:

Further information

Link to rules, regulations and guidance for the reformed A levels and AS qualifications (taught from September 2015) published by Ofqual:…

Links to awarding organisation websites and specifications: