Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Certificate

Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Certificate
  • Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Principal Subject
  • Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Short Course
  • Cambridge International Level 3 Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR)
Countries
  • England
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
  • International (Qualifications are also available to international centres on request)
Purpose

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.

For more information please see our website at

www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/uppersec/preu/overview_html

Education context

Cambridge Pre-U is a linear qualification with all assessment being undertaken at the end of the programme of study – two years in the case of a Principal Subject and one year for a Short Course.

Schools began teaching Cambridge Pre-U courses in September 2008.

The linear structure of Cambridge Pre-U differentiates it from current A Levels.

From 2015-16, A Levels in England will move from being modular to linear qualifications. However, it is likely that the modular A Level structure will remain in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Awarding organisation
  • Cambridge International Examinations
Qualification code
Structure

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

Each subject is graded and certificated separately.

Students who have passed four components comprised of three Certificates (Principal Subjects) plus the core component, Global Perspectives and Research (GPR), can obtain a Cambridge Pre-U Diploma.

Candidates can substitute up to two qualifications, e.g. A Levels, for two of the three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, within the Diploma.

Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects and Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) are stand-alone qualifications.

GPR may be taken and certificated on its own alongside A Levels and other 16–19 qualifications, or as the core component of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma.

Candidates who meet the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma requirements will receive an additional certificate for the Diploma as well as certificates for each individual Principal Subject and for GPR.

The Cambridge Pre-U Short Courses in Modern Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Global Perspectives are one-year stand-alone linear qualifications.

A Short Course outcome cannot contribute to a Principal Subject result nor can it count towards the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma.

Subject areas
  • Art and design
  • Art history
  • Biology
  • Business management
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Greek
  • Comparative government and politics
  • Drama and theatre
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • French (short course)
  • Further mathematics
  • Further mathematics (short course)
  • Geography
  • Global perspectives (short course – UK only)
  • Global perspectives and research (International version)
  • Global perspectives and research (UK only)
  • History
  • Italian
  • Italian (short course)
  • Latin
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Mandarin Chinese (short course)
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics (statistics with pure mathematics) (short course)
  • Music
  • Philosophy and theology
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Russian
  • Russian (short course)
  • Spanish
  • Spanish (short course)
Levels

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.

Grading

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.

Assessment

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.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Assessment of Principal Subjects may involve a number of different components depending on the subject. For details of assessment for each syllabus, please see Cambridge’s website:

http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-advanced/…

Global Perspectives is assessed through three compulsory components; the weighting given to each component is in brackets: written paper (25%), essay (30%), presentation (45%).

The assessment of the Independent Research Report will focus on the ability to design, plan and manage a research project; to collect and analyse information; to evaluate and make reasoned judgements; and to communicate findings and conclusions. For further details, please see the GPR syllabus on Cambridge’s website.

The full Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is given a separate score out of 96, derived by weighting and adding up the scores for the grade achieved in each subject, including GPR. Each grade achieved contributes points to the total Cambridge Pre-U Diploma score, for example, a D1 grade is awarded 24 points, a D2 grade 22 points, an M1 grade 18 points. A complete table can be found in the Guide for Schools on Cambridge’s website. For further details, see previous URL

Assessment of Short Courses may involve a number of different components depending on the subject taken. For further details, see previous URL.

Resit arrangements

Individual Cambridge Pre-U qualifications (i.e. Principal Subjects and Global Perspectives & Research) are linear; therefore candidates must resit the whole qualification, not just individual components within it. Resits are available for all Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, except Art and Design. Resits are not available for Cambridge Pre-U Short Courses.

The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is a composite award and resit arrangements apply to its constituent qualifications rather than the Diploma as a whole.

Where A Levels form part of the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma, they are subject to resit arrangements set by the respective awarding body.

Guided / notional learning hours
Principal Subjects: 380 hours
Global Perspectives: 200 hours
Diploma - Consists of three Principal Subjects and GPR (3 x 380) + 320: 1460 hours
Short Course: 180 hours
UCAS Tariff points

Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal

Grade Points
D1 56
D2 56
D3 52
M1 44
M2 40
M3 36
P1 28
P2 24
P3 20

Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Short Course

Grade Points
D1 22
D2 20
D3 20
M1 18
M2 14
M3 12
P1 10
P2 8
P3 6

Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate in Global Perspectives and Independent Research

Grade Points
D1 56
D2 56
D3 52
M1 44
M2 40
M3 36
P1 28
P2 24
P3 20
Key issues for UK HE admissions

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.

Timing of assessments and results

Coursework is submitted in April for assessment in June.

Cambridge Pre-U examinations are taken in May / June.

Results are available in mid-August.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Jun 2009 (Operational end date is not specified.)
Qualification dates notes

The first Cambridge Pre-U Short Course examinations were taken in June 2009 with the first Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject examinations being taken in June 2010.

Reporting of results and certification information

Results are available in mid-August.

Information on grade and point distributions is not available.

Further information

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

www.cie.org.uk