UK qualification reform

Qualifications in the UK are currently undergoing significant changes.

This will lead to changes in the school curriculums and, as a result, some of our entry requirements for entry 2017 are being amended.

However, we will work to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged as a result of the changes and we remain committed to admitting students who are most able to benefit from a Cardiff University education, regardless of background.

The information below summarises our approach – if you would like more details, please read our qualification reform statement.

Schools and colleges

All schools and colleges are encouraged to include information in the UCAS application reference explaining the qualification provision available to their students.

From 2017, GCSEs in England will be graded numerically on a scale of 1-9 with 9 being the highest level of achievement. Please refer to the below table for our position in term of equivalents.

Current GCSE grading structureNew GCSE grading structure in England
A*9
A8 and 7
B6
C5 and 4

In Wales, state schools will retain GCSEs with a graded structure (A*-G), but all students will study a new curriculum that will include two GCSEs in Mathematics, English (or Welsh) Language, Double Award Science and the National Welsh Baccalaureate.

Students studying in Wales are also likely to be studying fewer subjects than their English counterparts and are likely to have fewer option subjects. We will ensure no group of students will be disadvantaged, and therefore the GCSE requirements will recognise the different curriculum and grading structures.

We will not require applicants to study additional AS-levels or have Extended Project Qualifications as a condition of offer. Applicants not offering these qualifications will not be disadvantaged in the offer-making process.

However, evidence of additional qualifications can be beneficial at confirmation for applicants who have narrowly missed the grades required in their offer.

Our offers will typically be based on grades achieved from three A-levels.

Practical element in Science A-levels

Science A-levels in England (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) will include a separate result for the practical element of the qualification.

A pass in the practical assessment of the relevant A-level subjects will be required for the following degree programmes:

However, discretion may be applied at confirmation.

The WBQ core will be accepted as equivalent to an A-level for all degree programmes.

For applicants offering graded versions of the core, we will accept:

WBQ grade Equivalent to A-level grade
A*A*
AA
BB
CC

The WBQ core cannot replace a required specified subject or subjects.

We recognise the benefits of the Core Mathematics qualification, particularly in helping students to use and develop mathematical modelling and problem solving skills, which are key not only to University study but to employers.

Whilst Core Mathematics is not a requirement for entry, it may be considered in lieu of a GCSE in Mathematics at grade B or above, but will not be accepted in lieu of an AS or A-Level in Mathematics where this is required.

Please note that, for our Medicine programmes, Core Maths is currently under review and is not guaranteed to be accepted in lieu of the GCSE Mathematics requirement.