New International Advanced Levels for first teaching in September 2015

Thu Apr 09 09:55:00 UTC 2015

This important update includes information about our new International Advanced Levels (IALs) for first teaching in September 2015.

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Final specifications and SAMs now available for new IALs in Accounting and Law

Brand new specifications and SAMs are now available for IALs in Accounting and Law, for first teaching in September 2015:

These updated qualifications contain content that reflects the latest thinking in each of these subject areas. Free online Getting Ready to Teach training events to support the effective delivery of these new qualifications will be available from May.

Update on new IALs in English Language, English Literature, History and Psychology

We announced last year that we're developing four brand new IALs for first teaching in September 2015, based on your priorities and requirements, in the following subjects:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Psychology
  • History

To help you make an informed choice about offering these new IAL subjects at your school from September 2015 onwards, here are some specific details about the key points of differentiation between the new IALs and Edexcel 2015 GCE A levels in each subject area.  

  • We've modified the linguistic approach so it's more suitable for an international audience.
  • Learners will study how other languages have influenced the development of English.
  • New topics with an international focus will include ‘Contemporary Global English’ and ‘Language and Technology’.
  • We've modified the literary approach of this qualification for an international audience.
  • The choice of texts and topics includes those with a global context as well as texts selected from the English canon.
  • Texts with a wide international appeal include The Kite Runner and White Tiger.
  • We've adapted the approach for an international audience.
  • The number of options in each section has been reduced, with a total of four historical periods per unit.
  • The most popular historical periods and themes have been retained from the Edexcel 2015 GCE A level History specification, though there will be a greater emphasis on more internationally significant periods and themes.  
  • Studies within the specification have been changed to suit an international context (not UK-centric).
  • Clinical psychology will now be covered in Unit 4 and there will be no key questions or issues and debates section in Topics 1-8.
  • There will be 3 studies for each topic area: one classic and one contemporary, with another from a choice of 2 contemporary studies.  

Draft specifications for these subjects will be available on our website from May 2015. To receive the very latest news about these qualifications, please subscribe to our mailing list by emailing internationalqualifications@pearson.com.

First assessment and awarding

To help you with your planning, first assessment of the new IALs in English Language, English Literature, History and Psychology for first teaching in September 2015 will be as follows:

AS units 1 and 2 will be available for first assessment in June 2016. The first award of the AS qualification will be in June 2016. 

Unit 3 will be available for first assessment in January 2017 and unit 4 will be available for first assessment in June 2017. The first award of the IAL qualification will be in June 2017.

The schedule of unit availability for these new qualifications is as follows: 

Unit Title First assessment Second assessment Third assessment
1 Language: Context and Identity June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
2 Language in Transition June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
3 Crafting Language (Writing)   January 2017 June 2017
4 Investigating Language     June 2017
Unit Title First assessment Second assessment Third assessment
1 Poetry and prose June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
2 Drama: Pre- and Post-1900 June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
3 Prose and Poetry: Post-1900   January 2017 June 2017
4 Shakespeare and pre-1900 texts     June 2017
Unit Title First assessment Second assessment Third assessment
1 Depth Study with interpretations June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
2 Breadth Period Study with Sources June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
3 Thematic Study with Sources   January 2017 June 2017
4 International Interpretations     June 2017
Unit Title First assessment Second assessment Third assessment
1 Social and Cognitive  Psychology June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
2 Biological Psychology, Learning Theories and Development  June 2016 January 2017 June 2017
3 Applications of Psychology   January 2017 June 2017
4 Clinical Psychology and Psychological Skills     June 2017

Update on optional practical tests for IALs in Chemistry and Physics

We previously told you about our intention to introduce optional practical tests in IAL Chemistry and Physics qualifications for first teaching in September 2015. However, as a direct result of further customer consultation and feedback, we've decided to extend our research to develop a more holistic approach to integrating practical work into these qualifications. As a result, IAL Chemistry and Physics will continue as they are and will not include optional practical tests while we conduct this research. 

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