UCAS Points: What are they and how do you calculate them?

The UCAS tariff is a points system that measures achievement across a range of qualifications.

UCAS points translate your qualifications and grades into a numerical value. Many qualifications (but not all) have a UCAS Tariff value, which will vary dependent on the qualification size, and the grade you achieved. 

Not all qualifications are included in the Tariff, so don’t worry if you can’t find your qualification in the UCAS points calculator.

It's also worth noting that UCAS Tariff points only apply to Level 3/SCQF Level 6 qualifications, not Level 2 qualifications such as GCSEs.

In addition to this, universities and colleges set their own entry requirements and do not have to accept a qualification just because it is included in the UCAS Tariff tables.

The points system means higher education institutions can differentiate between applicants for the same subject, with different types and numbers of qualifications.

How are UCAS Points used?

Universities and colleges can also use the Tariff to set minimum entry requirements for their courses.

For example, to study Biological Sciences at Oxford Brookes University, you typically need a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points to secure a place on the course. This is equivalent to BB  in A level grades and two AS levels at grade C.

You will sometimes be asked to hold a certain number of points in a particular subject.

For example, if you are applying for a Mathematics degree, you may be asked to hold at least 80 points in that subject, i.e. a grade C minimum.

While the number of Tariff points you gain is important to a certain extent, the institutions you have applied to will also be taking into account other aspects of your application, such as your personal statement and your references.

Therefore, don’t worry if your qualifications do not carry Tariff points – there is still a good chance you will be accepted on to your chosen course.

Not all universities and colleges use the UCAS Tariff when making offers to prospective students, but if you’re concerned about whether you will be accepted, it’s best to get in touch with the university or college directly for more details on their entry requirements.

What qualifications are covered by the UCAS Tariff?

You can find a full list of the qualifications covered by the UCAS Tariff at the UCAS website.

New qualifications are always being added to the UCAS Tariff, so keep checking the UCAS for updates if you are studying a course that isn’t on there yet.

How do I calculate how many UCAS points I have?

To see how many points qualifications are worth, take a look at the UCAS Tariff Points Calculator on the UCAS website.

Not all qualifications are on the Tariff, so don’t worry if you can’t find your qualification, as a university, college, or conservatoire may still accept it.

Further information

For more tips and advice on the UCAS Tariff and applying to university, please see: