Guidance

Get the facts: AS and A level reform

Updated 31 March 2017

1. Introduction

New AS and A levels will be taught in schools in England from September 2015. The first results for the new AS levels will be in 2016, and for the A levels in 2017. Further subjects will be introduced over the following two years.

2. What new AS and A levels will look like

The main features of the new qualifications are:

  1. Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.

  2. AS and A levels will be assessed at the end of the course. AS assessments will typically take place after 1 year’s study and A levels after 2. The courses will no longer be divided into modules and there will be no exams in January.

  3. AS and A levels will be decoupled – this means that AS results will no longer count towards an A level, in the way they do now.

  4. AS levels can be designed by exam boards to be taught alongside the first year of A levels.

  5. The content for the new A levels has been reviewed and updated. Universities played a greater role in this for the new qualifications than they did previously.

3. Timetable

New AS and A level to be taught from: First AS results will be issued in: First A level results will be issued in: Subjects
September 2015 Summer 2016 Summer 2017 art and design
biology
business
chemistry
computer science
economics
English language
English language and literature
English literature
history
physics
psychology
sociology
September 2016 Summer 2017 Summer 2018 ancient languages (classical Greek, Latin)
dance
drama and theatre
geography
modern foreign languages (French, German, Spanish)
music
physical education
religious studies
September 2017 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 accounting
ancient history
classical civilisation
design and technology
electronics
environmental science
film studies
further mathematics
geology
government and politics
history of art (A level only) 1
law
mathematics
media studies
modern foreign languages (Chinese, Italian, Russian)
music technology
philosophy
statistics
September 2017 Summer 2018 Summer 2019 ancient languages (biblical Hebrew A level only) 1
modern foreign languages (Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Greek, Japanese, modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish, Urdu)
  1. No qualifications have been or are currently being developed at AS level in this subject 2