A third of UK universities list UCAS points as their entry requirements rather than letter grades, but what are they?
To put it simply UCAS Points are just your letter grade converted into numerical value. The calculation takes into account the grade achieved and the weight of the course.
You can calculate your UCAS Points by inputting your A-Level/BTEC/IB/Scottish Higher predicted grades into our calculator.
A key benefit of a university asking for UCAS Points instead of letter grades is it provides you with greater flexibility over the grade combination you need to get. For example, ABB and A*BC have the same number of UCAS Points (128 points). However, you need to check if the university asks for a specific grade in a specific subject. Lots of science courses require As or Bs in science and maths subjects.
Entry requirements vary from university to university. Some universities will not allow subjects such as Critical Thinking or General Studies to count towards the UCAS Points. You can find out the average number of UCAS points students achieved at different universities here.
It’s likely that universities will look at your GCSE grades for indication of your academic ability as AS Levels no longer count towards your final grade. While your GCSEs do not count towards your UCAS point total some universities will ask for specific ones. For example, the University of Leeds asks for a B/5 grade in Maths GCSE and a B/5 grade in English language for their BA Business and Management degree.
If you do not meet the entry requirements of the courses you’re looking at it’s worth looking into the university’s access schemes and contextual offers. Access schemes are a way of widening access to university for people from different backgrounds. If you meet the requirements you’ll be eligible for special consideration by admissions tutors and often lower required grades. Find out more here.
By Clarissa Ducie