A level reforms

The Department for Education and the exams regulator Ofqual have confirmed that A levels will be changing from 2015 to 2017. We summarise the main changes here.

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The key changes to A level

•    A levels will be fully linear, with students sitting their exams at the end of the two-year course. From January 2014, there is no longer a January assessment window. This change applies to current A levels as well as the new ones in development.

•    AS levels will be stand-alone qualifications and will no longer contribute to an A level grade. Their purpose will be to encourage curriculum breadth and they will remain broadly at their current standard. The AS level may be designed to be co-taught with the first year of the A level.

A level reforms timeline

AS and A levels are being reformed in phases. See the timelines below for more details.

Phase 1: First teaching in September 2015

We've developed new specifications for the following subjects: Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business, Economics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, History, Psychology.

Phase 2: First teaching in September 2016

We're planning to develop specifications for Drama and Theatre, French, Geography, German, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Spanish.

Phase 3: First teaching in September 2017

We're planning to develop specifications for Chinese, Design and Technology, Government and Politics, Italian, Mathematics, Music Technology and Russian.

There are some AS and A level subjects that we've decided not to redevelop for 2017. For more information, see the relevant A level subject page or A level from 2017.

Current AS and A levels - phase 1 subjects 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

 

May/June 2015

Summer exam series for current phase 1 AS and A levels.

 

May/June 2016

Final summer exam series for current phase 1 AS and A levels.

 

 

 

New AS and A levels - phase 1 subjects

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

September 2014

Specifications for new AS and A levels available.*

September 2015

First teaching of phase 1 subjects.

May/June 2016

First exam series for new AS levels (separate to A level) - phase 1 subjects.

May/June 2017

First exam series for new A levels - phase 1 subjects.

 

 

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

Current AS and A levels - phase 2 subjects

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

 

May/June 2015

Summer exam series for current phase 2 AS and A levels.

May/June 2016

Summer exam series for current phase 2 AS and A levels.

May/June 2017

Final summer exam series for current phase 2 AS and A levels.

 

New AS and A levels - phase 2 subjects

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

 

September 2015

Specifications for new AS and A levels in phase 2 subjects available.*

September 2016

First teaching of phase 2 subjects.

May/June 2017

First exam series for new AS levels (separate to A level) - phase 2 subjects.

May/June 2018

First exam series for new A levels - phase 2 subjects.

 

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

Current AS and A levels - phase 3 subjects

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

 

May/June 2016

Summer exam series for current phase 3 AS and A levels.

May/June 2017

Summer exam series for current phase 3 AS and A levels.

May/June 2018

Final summer exam series for current phase 3 AS and A levels.

 

New AS and A levels - phase 3 subjects

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

 

September 2016

Specifications for new AS and A levels in phase 3 subjects available.*

September 2017

First teaching of phase 3 subjects.

May/June 2018

First exam series for new AS levels (separate to A level) - phase 3 subjects.

May/June 2019

First exam series for new A levels - phase 3 subjects.

 

*Subject to Ofqual accreditation.

Next steps