Everything You Need to Know About UCAS Points in 2024

So, you’ve decided on a university or college course (maybe even an apprenticeship!) but aren’t sure how to earn the UCAS points needed to get in. Today, we’ll answer your questions and get you on your way to achieving your goals. Join us as we work through what UCAS Tariff Points are, how they’re calculated, how many points your qualifications are worth, and what you may have to do to get into your higher education option of choice.


  1. What is UCAS?
  2. What are UCAS Tariff Points?
  3. How do UCAS Points Work?
  4. Different Qualifications and UCAS Points
  5. Other Ways to Gain UCAS Points
  6. Can I Earn UCAS Points at Home?
  7. How to Calculate UCAS Points

What is UCAS?

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is an independent charity that serves as the UK’s admissions service for higher education. They assist young and adult learners in selecting higher education by offering information, advice, and assistance to inspire and promote educational progression to university, college, or degree apprenticeships.

Every year, they help 1.5 million students consider higher education, jobs, and apprenticeships, and they process almost 3 million applications from roughly 700,000 individuals each year for undergraduate courses at over 380 colleges and universities across the country.

What are UCAS Tariff Points?

UCAS points are a number that represents your qualifications and grades. Some qualifications (but not all of them) have a UCAS tariff value, which varies depending on the size of the qualification and the grade you received. Higher education (HE) course providers use these points to determine if you meet their entry requirements.

Your qualifications and the grades you have, whether you chose to study A-levels, BTECs, International or Welsh Baccalaureates, are converted into a numerical value under the UCAS points system.

How do UCAS Points Work?

UCAS Tariff Points might be difficult to understand for those who are unfamiliar with them. In a nutshell, they let institutions quickly and easily quantify the value of your qualifications. The higher the grade you achieve, the higher the number of UCAS points you’ll have.

You may receive offers from universities and programmes depending on your point total. Usually, students are given predicted grades to use to apply to universities or colleges. These students will receive firm or conditional offers from their chosen institutions and, depending on their final results, will secure a place. However, students who already know their final qualification grades will be able to apply directly.

Different Qualifications and UCAS Points

There are a variety of qualifications that result in the student receiving UCAS points. AS levels, A-levels, Scottish Higher and Advanced Higher, Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, and BTEC courses all result in UCAS points. You can find out your qualification’s equivalent in UCAS tariff points below.

AS Level

A: 20 UCAS points | B: 16 UCAS points | C: 12 UCAS points | D: 10 UCAS points | E: 6 UCAS points

A Level

A*: 56 UCAS points  | A: 48 UCAS points | B: 40 UCAS points | C: 32 UCAS points | D: 24 UCAS points | E: 16 UCAS points

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate

A*: 56 UCAS points | A: 48 UCAS points  | B: 40 UCAS points | C: 32 UCAS points | D: 24 UCAS points | E: 16 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate

7: 56 UCAS points | 6: 48 UCAS points | 5: 32 UCAS points| 4: 24 UCAS points | 3: 12 UCAS points | 2: 0  UCAS points | 1: 0 UCAS points

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

D*D*: 112 UCAS points | D*D: 104 UCAS points | DD: 96 UCAS points | DM: 80 UCAS points | MM: 64 UCAS points | MP: 48 UCAS points | PP: 32 UCAS points

Other Ways to Gain UCAS Points

Some students want to know how to get more UCAS points on top of their qualifications, while others are looking for alternative routes into higher education. The good news is that the above qualifications aren’t the only way to achieve points. Other methods include:

  • Studying for a Level 3 Diploma, Certificate, or Award: If you’re looking to gain some UCAS points and find that A-levels and other access to HE qualifications aren’t for you, studying for a Level 3 qualification is an excellent option. These courses are often practical and result in learners qualifying to work in various industries. Some examples of level 3 qualifications are the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Health and Social Care (up to 28 UCAS points) and the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education (up to 28 UCAS points).
  • Free-standing Mathematics Qualification: A free-standing mathematics qualification is another option if you aren’t planning on studying math at A-level but would still like to demonstrate your skills. Usually these courses are roughly the length of one A-level module, and their difficulty is between a GCSE and an AS level in math. An A grade will get you 20 points towards your UCAS application.
  • Playing a musical instrument: If you’re musically inclined, you can actually use your skills to achieve UCAS points! The exams you do in music will give you extra UCAS points from grade 6 upwards. There is a wide range of possible points, from 5 for a pass at grade 6 to 75 for a distinction at grade 8.
  • ASDAN Community Volunteering:  Volunteering is an excellent way to gain some experience for your CV as a student, as well as develop new skills and help people in your community. On top of that, it can also help you secure a university spot, as you can earn UCAS points for it too. ASDAN is an educational charity that runs a number of community-based classes that you can use to earn extra UCAS points. Their Certificate of Personal Effectiveness, for example, takes roughly 150 hours and will give you 16 UCAS points to play with.

Can I Earn UCAS Points at Home?

Yes! You can earn your UCAS points in a few different ways by taking classes from home. Maybe you’re even here on the Association of Learning site, having a look for yourself now.

We offer a rich variety of courses that will give you entry to higher education. There really is something for everyone, from our selection of A-levels, NCFE CACHE courses, and RQFs. The only thing that separates our courses from traditional school is that you can study and finish your course on your own time and at your own pace, using the most up-to-date learning platform with professional tutor support all the way through.

How to Calculate UCAS Points

UCAS has made it as easy as possible for you to figure out how many points you have with their Tariff Calculator. Simply input your qualifications and let the calculator do the rest. It may be helpful for you to have the qualification numbers for your courses, as some titles vary.

To find out how you can access higher education from home on your terms, check out our website.

Hear about our student’s experiences with us on our blog.

Browse our course catalogue.

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