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 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