Consultation outcome

New A levels: subject content consultation

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Applies to England

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

A level reform: government response

A level content: equality analysis

Detail of outcome

Summary of proposed revisions to A level subject content for teaching from September 2015.

The final GCE AS and A level subject content is also available.

Original consultation


A consultation following recommendations made in Professor Smith’s review of A levels and proposed changes to subject criteria.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

In March 2012, the Secretary of State for Education set out a programme of reform for A levels to help ensure that the qualifications equip students for higher education. In March 2013, the Secretary of State confirmed his intention that new linear A levels should be available for first teaching from 2015. A review of A level subject content was therefore conducted between April and July 2013 by the 4 awarding organisations for A levels in England, working with representatives from a range of higher education institutions. The review was independently chaired by Professor Mark E. Smith, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University.

This consultation seeks views on the outcome of Professor Smith’s review and the subsequent work undertaken by awarding organisations to translate recommendations into changes to the subject criteria content and highlight the criteria content for AS qualifications. The subjects included in this consultation are:

  • art and design
  • biology
  • business
  • chemistry
  • computing
  • economics
  • English language
  • English literature
  • English language and literature
  • geography
  • history
  • physics
  • psychology
  • sociology

The consultation summarises the key content changes proposed for each individual subject as a result of the review and asks whether the revised A level subject content gives students the foundation to progress to undergraduate study.


Published 25 October 2013
Last updated 9 April 2014 + show all updates
  1. 'A level content: equality analysis' document added to page.

  2. Added letter from Michael Gove to Professor Smith

  3. First published.