A level reforms 2015: what you need to know

A range of A level subjects

Over the course of the next few years, both the structure and content of A levels will be changing. We’ve put together this page so you can find the information you will need about the A level courses that NEC offers.

If you can’t find the information you need here or would like to discuss your circumstances in more detail, please contact our Course Advice Team who will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Are all subjects changing?

Yes, but not all at the same time. The changes will be spread across 3 years.

When will the new A levels start?

For first enrolment in 2015
The first exam for these subjects will be summer 2017 for the A level and summer 2016 for the AS level:

  • History
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Business
  • Economics


For first enrolment in 2016
The first exam for these subjects will be summer 2018 for the A level and summer 2017 for the AS level:

  • French
  • Religious Studies


For first enrolment in 2017

  • All other subjects


For details on subjects not offered by NEC, please see Ofqual's timeline of changes which you can find by clicking here.

When are the last exams for the current A levels?

For subjects changing in 2015 (Biology, Business Studies, Economics, English Literature, English Language, English Language and Literature, History, Psychology, Sociology), the last exam for the current A levels is summer 2016. It is possible that there may be a resit opportunity in 2017, but this is yet to be confirmed by Ofqual.

When will NEC stop taking enrolments on the current A levels?

NEC will stop taking enrolments between October and December of the year prior to the final exam session, depending on the subject. Full details will be on the subject page on the website from September.

What will the structure of the new A levels be like?

Linear. This means that assessment will take place at the end of the course.

Does this mean that there will be no more AS level?

There will still be an AS level, but it will be a stand-alone course and will not count towards the A level.

What will change within the content of the new A levels?

There will be a lot of changes, some of these will include:

  • All subjects (where relevant) will have an increased level of maths.
  • Practical work will not form part of the overall A level grade for sciences, but will be reported on separately.
  • History will span a longer time period.
  • Flexibility with geography fieldwork.
Will NEC still offer the same subjects at A level and AS level?

There will be some changes. NEC will offer Chemistry and Physics from Autumn 2015, but will no longer offer English Language and Literature. English Language and English Literature will still be available separately.

Where can I get more information?

You can get further information from Ofqual. We will also make sure that this page is kept up-to-date with the latest information. The course pages on the NEC website will also have information about the final exam opportunities for that subject.

If you would like to talk through these changes, or discuss your own requirements, please get in touch with our Course Advice team who will be happy to help you.