How to Calculate UCAS Points for Nigerian Students

If you are a Nigerian student and have applied to study at a UK university, that’s a significant step in your academic journey.

UCAS points are one of the significant factors for admission to study in the UK.

Most universities in the UK use UCAS points to determine the eligibility of candidates for various courses.

If you are wondering what UCAS points are or you want to know how to calculate UCAS points, then you should keep reading this article.

This post will show you what UCAS points are and how to calculate them, among other relevant information.

Let me know in the comment if you have any questions or need further clarifications. I would love to hear from you.

What are UCAS Points?

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Some universities use the combination of grades to determine the admission eligibility of candidates.

Other schools use points to enable candidates to meet the threshold with any variety of grades.

These points are called UCAS points or UCAS Tariff points and are used to measure the relative value of all post – 16 qualifications.

It is a way for higher institutions in the UK to compare various application qualifications by converting grades into numerical points.

Many UK universities use this to determine admission offers based on the total number of points earned by each candidate.

Thus, candidates need to know how much their qualifications are worth, which determines whether or not they would be offered admission.

Note that the more marks you score, the more UCAS points you would receive.

What Qualifications can be Converted to UCAS points?

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There are various qualifications that the UCAS permits to be converted to tariff points.

They are grouped into the following:

  • UK benchmark qualifications include International Baccalaureate (IB), BTECs, A and AS Levels, QCF, AS and AS VCE, and Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma, among others.
  • Other UK qualifications include Advanced Extension Award, AAT Accounting Qualifications, ABC Diploma, etc.
  • International qualifications include Irish Leaving Certificate (Ireland), Global Assessment Certificate (Australia), Advanced Placement Exams (US and International), etc. 

Bear in mind that the UCAS usually updates these qualifications to encourage diversity, fairness, and inclusion.

How do UCAS Points Work?

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Although several universities mainly use a UCAS points calculator to calculate UCAS points, you can also do so yourself.

To calculate your UCAS points, you need to know your course size band value, and grade band point.

All qualifications recognized in the UK have a specific size band value ranging from 1-4, depending on the learning hours.

Also, a grade band point is given, and this could range from 3-14.

Hence, to calculate your UCAS points, you must multiply your grade band point by your course size band value. The value you get is the number of UCAS points you have.

How do I Check my UCAS Points with my Qualification as a Nigerian Student?

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The UK recognizes several qualifications, and your qualifications determine how many UCAS points you get.

The current qualifications and corresponding points according to UCAS  which may apply to Nigerians are given below:

UCAS Points for A Level

If you have A Level qualification, this table shows how your grades are converted to UCAS points.

Remember that you cannot combine an AS score and A2 score for a single subject.

Hence, your final grade must be calculated at the A2 level.

AS LevelUCAS Points
A LevelUCAS Points

UCAS Points for International Baccalaureate


UCAS Points for BTEC (Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma)


Other qualifications which may not apply to Nigerian students include:

UCAS Points for Scottish Highers

For Scottish Highers qualification, this table shows how your grades are converted to UCAS points.

Bear in mind that you cannot combine the Higher score and Advanced Higher Score for a single subject.

Hence, your final grade must be at the Advanced level.

Scottish HighersUCAS Points
Scottish Advanced HighersUCAS Points

Please note that not all qualifications are on the UCAS Tariff, especially as it applies to Nigerians.

However, some universities still accept qualifications that do not receive UCAS points.

You should check the entry requirements of your desired course or contact the support school.

How many UCAS Points do I Need?

The number of UCAS points you get depends on the university and your chosen course.

You can find out how many points you need on the university’s website or look at how many points some successful applicants had for your course.

However, it would help if you worked hard to get the best grades and increase your chances of admission into the university.

How do you Increase UCAS Tariff Points?

It can be disheartening when you don’t get up to the required tariff points, especially when your university sets high tariff points as the benchmark for admission.

It could result in a gap year, or you go through a clearing process.

To prevent this, the following tips can help you increase your UCAS points:

  • Extra A-levels and AS levels can help you boost your UCAS tariff points.
  • Obtaining a Level 3 diploma, certificate, or award can grant you a 24-point increase.
  • A free-standing mathematics qualification can give you 20 points if you score an A.
  • Doing the Cambridge ESOL examination can grant you up to 42 points.


There are lots of steps that contribute to your selection process when seeking admission to a UK university.

Several universities use the UCAS points system to determine the eligibility of candidates based on their qualifications.

If you have any qualifications for the UCAS, following this article’s guidelines can help you calculate your points and boost them if needed.

If you lack the qualifications, you should contact your school for appropriate guidance and support.

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2 thoughts on “How to Calculate UCAS Points for Nigerian Students”

    • Hello Oke,

      WAEC is not among the results in the tariff. I recommend you talk to your school about your qualification.


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