Study>Advice for Applicants>Qualification Reforms

Qualification Reforms

Cardiff Metropolitan University is aware that qualifications are changing in Wales and England from 2015 onwards, and we aim to be as flexible as possible during this transitional period so as not to disadvantage applicants.  The University will accept the new GCSE and A Level qualifications, and offers will reflect the new reforms.  Cardiff Met has reviewed its programme entry requirements for entry and these are now outlined on each individual course page.

Some adjustments to subject requirements may need to be made for individual Programmes - our website has been updated to reflect any changes.


  • We appreciate that some students may be applying for University over the next few years with a combination of old and new style GCSEs, and we will not discriminate against this.

  • We will continue to expect applicants to have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSEs (A*-C or 9-4) or equivalent, to include Maths and English Language.  Science GCSE is required for some of our programmes, further details can be found on individual course pages.

  • From 2017 entry for Undergraduate programmes, we will ask applicants who have sat reformed GCSEs in England to achieve a minimum Grade 4 as an equivalent to GCSE Grade C.  For PGCE, we will ask for a Grade 5 as an equivalent to GCSE Grade B.

  • For students studying in Wales, we will accept both GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy and GCSE Mathematics.

  • For students in Northern Ireland studying GCSEs offered by CCEA, the grading will include a C* from summer 2019. The C* will sit between a B/C grade in Wales and align with the grade 6 in England. Cardiff Met will continue to ask for a C grade or above for those applicants sitting GCSEs through CCEA.

 AS Levels

  • The AS Level is now worth 40% of an A Level.  In Wales, the AS level will remain embedded in the A Level;  in England, the AS Level will no longer form part of the A Level as A Levels become linear.  We will not discriminate against applicants who are not undertaking AS levels and will continue to take the whole application into consideration.

  • For students who have undertaken AS levels, we will not be considering 2 AS Levels as an equivalent to 1 A Level.

 Extended Project

  • The Extended Project qualification will continue to be considered by the University and we welcome the additional breadth of study this qualification brings. 

 A Levels/Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate

  • We appreciate that some applicants may be applying for programmes with a mixture of old and new style A Levels, and we will not discriminate against this. 

  • We will continue to expect applicants to undertake 3 A Levels (or equivalent) and offers will be based on this.  For students undertaking the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, offers will continue to be based on 2 A Levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

  • For applicants in England who are studying Science A Levels, we encourage completion of the practical element of the A Level.

Vocational qualifications

  • Following a review in 2015, Qualifications Wales are re-developing vocational qualifications delivered in Wales in order to improve the overall quality and streamline the number of qualifications available. The Health and Social Care and Childcare sector will see an introduction of new courses developed by City & Guilds and WJEC from September 2019 teaching onwards. Students who have already started a Health and Social Care or Childcare qualification before 2019 will still be able to complete their current course.

  • Reviews are currently underway on the qualifications offered within the Building Services and Construction sector and new courses are likely to be introduced for the first time in 2021 and 2022.

Pearson BTEC

  •  From 2016 onwards, Pearson are redeveloping the BTEC qualification and this will result in a change in BTEC qualification titles and assessment. The BTEC will become more rigorous and will involve written examinations and external assessments. At present, schools and colleges are able to deliver the old QCF or new RQF qualification. We will give equal consideration to both the old and new qualification.  

T Level qualifications

  • T Levels are a new qualification, introduced in England in 2020. They are designed to prepare students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. T Levels are equivalent to 3 A levels,  take two years to complete and are allocated UCAS points.

  • We will consider T Levels for entry onto our programmes, but as they are vocational qualifications that focus on skills, further Level 3 qualifications may be required dependant on the chosen programme.