When looking at university courses you might have noticed that some universities ask for a specific number of UCAS Points instead of letter grades. One third of UK universities use UCAS points as entry requirements, read on to find out how you can calculate yours and how they can work to your advantage.
UCAS Grades are calculated by assigning your letter grades a numerical value and taking into account the weight of your course. You can easily calculate your UCAS Points by inputting your predicted grades into the UK University Search UCAS Points Calculator.
If a university asks for a specific number of UCAS Points instead of letter grades it provides you with greater flexibility over the grade combination you need to get. For example, A*AD and ABB are both worth 128 UCAS Points. However, universities may also ask for a specific grade in a specific subject, for example, lots of science courses require an A or B in science and maths subjects.
Entry requirements vary from university to university and from course to course. Not all universities allow Critical Thinking or General Studies to contribute towards your UCAS Points, so check the entry requirements carefully.
While your GCSEs do not count towards your UCAS point total, often universities will use them as an indication of your academic ability, and might ask for specific grades. For example, the University of Leeds’ BSC Economics degree includes the entry requirement of a A/7 grade in Maths GCSE and English Language grade B/6.
If you do not meet the entry requirements of the courses you’re looking at it’s worth looking into access to university schemes and contextual offers offered by universities you’re interested in. Access schemes are a way of widening access to university for people from unrepresented backgrounds. If you meet the university’s specific requirements you can be eligible for special consideration by admissions tutors and often receive a lower required grades offer. Find out more here.