Changes to A levels

There will be differences between new A levels offered by Awarding Organisations (AOs) to schools in Northern Ireland. The main differences in these A levels are:

  • Some AOs will offer A levels that are linear, whereas other AOs will offer modular options;
  • Some AOs will offer de-coupled A level qualifications. These are qualifications where students will still be able to take an AS qualification but the marks for this will not count towards the A level grade; and
  • Some AOs will offer A level qualifications where the AS will contribute 40% to the overall A level grade.

The table below details the structure of the A levels that each AO will be offering and when these new qualifications will be introduced.

Awarding Organisation Date  when changes introduced Exam availability AS contribution to overall A level grade
AQA A level subjects introduced for first teaching over three year period 2015 – 2017 Linear – all exams taken at end of course None – stand-alone qualification
CCEA All A level subjects introduced for first teaching 2016, apart from Professional Business Services (first teaching September 2017) and Maths and Further Maths (first teaching September 2018). AS and A2 units will be available in the summer series. Students must complete the necessary units to gain an AS / A level qualification 40%
OCR A level subjects introduced for first teaching over three year period 2015 – 2017 Linear – all exams taken at end of course None – stand-alone qualification
Pearson A level subjects introduced for first teaching over three year period 2015 – 2017 Linear – all exams taken at end of course None – stand-alone qualification
WJEC A level subjects introduced for first teaching over three year period 2015 – 2017 AS and A2 units will be available in the summer series. Students must complete the necessary units to gain an AS / A level qualification 40%
WJEC (Eduqas) A level subjects introduced for first teaching over three year period 2015 – 2017 Linear – all exams taken at end of course None – stand-alone qualification