Consultation outcome

New A levels: subject content consultation

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

This consultation has concluded

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Detail of outcome

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to


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


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.