Like International Baccalaureate, the Cambridge Pre-U is a relatively new UK two-year diploma alternative to A-levels route to higher education for student aged 16–19. It is a popular qualification among independent schools and is also offered by some state schools in the UK. Click the link for an overview of UK routes to higher education.
However, unlike modular A-levels and International Baccalaureate with compulsory principal subjects, the Cambridge Pre-U gives students a free choice of 3 “Principal Subjects” out of 27, plus an “Independent Research Project” and a “Global Perspectives” portfolio. Each subject is the equivalent of an individual A-level, and can be taken on its own leading to a Pre-U Certificate, or take together to achieve the full Diploma.
Cambridge Pre-U grades each principal subject on a three-band (Distinction- Merit-Pass) and nine-grade (D1/D2/D3-M1/M2/M3-P1/P2/P3) scale. The full Pre-U Diploma is graded on the aggregate of the three Principal Subjects, the Independent Research Project, and the Global Perspectives portfolio.
It is designed to develop student’s independent thinking and learning skills, and prepares students with the skills and knowledge required for their subsequent studies at university. It has gained recognition for university entrance around the world as meeting the general entry requirements.
Non-European students can only study Cambridge Pre-U diploma at an UK fee-paying independent school. A Tier 4 (Child) Visa if under age 16 or a Tier 4 (General) student visa is required. Click the link to read more about UK independent schools, and to compare the performance of top UK independent schools.