Introduction to Cambridge Pre-U level Exam 2016

Cambridge Pre-U is an exciting new post-16 qualification. It prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to make a success of their subsequent studies at university.

Teachers tell us they want to be able to prepare students for higher education more effectively with exciting syllabuses that are stimulating to teach. Universities tell us they want students who are equipped to benefit from a higher education experience, which calls for an independent and self-directed style of learning.

This is why we have developed Cambridge Pre-U as a coherent curriculum underpinned by a core set of educational principles. It offers genuinely interesting syllabuses which students can study in any combination to gain the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma, or on an individual subject basis.

Cambridge Pre-U addresses the needs of teachers, students and universities by:

  • Inspiring, challenging and rewarding students and preparing them for university
  • Reporting achievement in a way that helps universities
  • Enabling teachers to regain a passion for their subjects

Linear structure

The linear approach of Cambridge Pre-U (with exams taken at the end of the course) provides for coherence and progression, the chance to reclaim teaching and learning time at the end of the first year, and decide the order, pace and depth of teaching and learning most appropriate for students. Feedback on progress at that point may be provided by optional examinations, marked either by the school or Cambridge.

Cambridge Pre-U syllabuses can be taken separately, and are graded individually. Students may choose to combine them to achieve a full diploma.

There is freedom to choose subject combinations without constraint. To qualify for the Diploma, students study at least three Principal Cambridge Pre-U subjects from a choice of 26. They also complete an Independent Research Report and a Global Perspectives portfolio. Students may take more than three Principal subjects if they wish.

The Cambridge Pre-U Diploma offers opportunities for interdisciplinary study, includes independent research that builds on individual subject specialisms, and is informed by an international perspective.

Cambridge Pre-U is developed in consultation with teachers and people in higher education. Schools have been consulted on Cambridge Pre-U as a whole, as well as on the individual components.

The process began in October 2006, when we sent detailed subject syllabuses to schools and HE for consultation. Feedback was included in revisions to the draft syllabuses.

Cambridge Pre-U syllabuses are submitted to QCA for accreditation in June 2007 for inclusion in the National Qualifications Framework.

Underpinning educational values

Cambridge Pre-U is underpinned by a clear set of educational aims:

  • Encouraging the development of well-informed, open and independent-minded individuals
  • Promoting deep understanding through subject specialisation, with a depth and rigour appropriate to progression to higher education
  • Helping learners to acquire specific skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, team-working, independent learning and effective communication
  • Recognising the wide range of individual talents and interests
  • Promoting an international outlook and cross-cultural awareness

Exciting subject syllabuses

Cambridge Pre-U is built on a foundation of innovative and exciting subject syllabuses, developed from scratch by teams of practising teachers, working in consultation with representatives from subject associations and lecturers in higher education.

All the syllabuses make their subjects rigorous and challenging, but accessible. They are designed not only for the very top end of the ability range, but for all students who aspire to higher education.

Pre-U Subjects

  • Art and Design (Unendorsed)
  • Art and Design: Graphic Communication
  • Art and Design: 3d Design
  • Art and Design: Fine Art
  • Art and Design: Lens Based Imagery
  • Art and Design: Textile Design
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Business and Management
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Greek
  • Classical Heritage
  • Comparative Government & Politics
  • Drama and Theatre
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • French (Short Course)
  • Further Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics-Short Course
  • Geography
  • German
  • German (Short Course)
  • Global Perspectives & Research
  • Global Perspectives (Short Course)
  • History
  • Italian
  • Italian (Short Course)
  • Latin
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Mandarin Chinese (Short Course)
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics (Statistics with Pure Mathematics) -Short Course
  • Music
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Russian
  • Russian (Short Course)
  • Spanish
  • Spanish (Short Course)
  • Sports Science
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