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Ucas Tariff: what you need to know about Ucas points

Here are some things you might want to know about the Ucas Tariff points system, which universities use to communicate their entry requirements…

The Ucas Tariff may sound like a bit of a head-scratcher, but in practice it's just a way for unis to be able to work out what your qualifications are worth in one easy figure.

Not all unis or courses use the Ucas Tariff to analyse your results – but for those who do, here's the lowdown.

What is the Ucas Tariff?

Courteney Sheppard, senior customer experience manager at Ucas, explains that "Ucas Tariff points are a way of translating grades from a number of qualifications into a numerical value (the points required for entry on to a course)."

"Some universities use Tariff points for entry requirements, whereas others will be more specific about the specific qualification and grades they are asking for. If you do need to meet a certain number of Tariff points then check the Ucas Tariff point calculator to make sure you’ve got the right number of points."

As an example, A-level grades receive the following Ucas points:

A-level Ucas points
A* 56
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16

How do I know how many Ucas points I have?

Each qualification (eg A-level, Scottish Higher etc) is allocated a size band value from 1-4, based on the number of learning hours. Each qualification is also allocated a grade band point from 3-14.

To work out the number of Ucas points your qualifications is worth, just multiply the two together: size x grade = tariff points

Or, if that sounds too complicated, you can cut out the mental arithmetic and use one of our infographics below.

Calculate your Ucas Tariff points

A-levels and Highers

Btec Nationals


International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma itself does not attract Ucas points but the components which make it up do. To achieve the IB Diploma, you have to pass each component and achieve a total IB point score of 24 or more.

Welsh Baccalaureate

How come not all universities use Tariff entry requirements?

Not all universities use Ucas Tariff requirements; those that don't use it just list grades instead. It doesn't make any difference, and one way isn’t easier or harder than the other  it's just a different calculation.

Remember, as well as using the universities' website, you can always check a course's entry requirements here on The Uni Guide; once you’ve searched for a course, you can read exactly what grades or Ucas points that university is asking for.

What next?

If you're thinking about uni, get researching now with the Ucas Tariff in mind. Our course search allows you to search for courses based on your predicted grades or the number of Ucas points you're likely to achieve.

Once you have a shortlist of possible courses, visit our sister site The Student Room's forums for the specific universities you're interested in to see what current students are saying about their experiences. 

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