CCEA Regulation accredits A levels offered by CCEA Awarding Organisation. A levels accredited by the regulators in England (Ofqual) and Wales (Qualifications Wales) are available in Northern Ireland as long as they are in line with educational policy set by DE.
All AS and A levels
All AS and A levels offered in Northern Ireland, England and Wales will use the same grading: A*-E for A levels and A-E for AS levels.
As there is an open qualifications market for A levels in Northern Ireland, students here may take A levels offered by AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson, WJEC and WJEC (Eduqas).
There are common features to all the A levels offered in the 3 countries which are:
- A common grading scale (A*-E for A level and A to E for AS level);
- Broadly similar content requirements in most subjects;
- Broadly similar assessment objectives and weightings; and
- The amount of content in the AS qualifications approximately half that of the A levels.
The A levels offered by CCEA and WJEC have the following features:
- A levels are unitised with AS and A2 units available in the summer series; and
- AS contribute 40% to the overall A level.
The A levels offered by AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC (Eduqas) which are de-coupled, have the following features:
- All qualifications are linear, meaning all exams are taken at the end of the course; and
- AS levels make no contribution to the overall A level grade.
Science A levels
It is DE policy in Northern Ireland that schools must offer A level sciences to their students where marks for the assessment of practical skills contribute to the overall grade. For schools in Northern Ireland, this means they may only offer CCEA or WJEC A level science qualifications.