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The HKDSE qualification is widely accepted by universities and institutions in the United Kingdom (UK), and over a hundred, i.e over 70% of the universities and institutions in the UK, have published their admission requirements in terms of the HKDSE results for HKDSE holders on the HKEAA’s website. For details, please visit Recognition Search - HKDSE.


Amendments to the UCAS Tariff (Applicable to students entering the UK higher education from September 2023 onwards)

In July 2021, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) of the United Kingdom (UK) carried out a consultation with UK higher education providers regarding the review of the UCAS Tariff.

According to the results of the consultation, many UK higher education providers have their own systems for assessing international qualifications and are already well established in terms of processing applications with international qualifications that sit outside the Tariff. In this light, the UCAS announced that all international qualifications (except for the Irish Leaving Certificate), including the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE), and non-regulated UK qualifications, will be removed from the Tariff Tables in May 2022.

This new arrangement will be applicable to students entering the UK higher education from September 2023 onwards. The UCAS also confirmed that this change will not impact the validity of the HKDSE or its acceptability for progression into higher education in the UK.


The UCAS Tariff

In its endeavor to promote recognition of the qualification of examinations administered by the HKEAA, we have been working closely with renowned international agencies, including the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), to conduct benchmarking studies for the standards of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE).

According to the results of the benchmarking study conducted with the UCAS, Level 3 to level 5** in the HKDSE are deemed comparable to grades E to A* in GCE A level examination. Level 5** in Category A Senior Secondary subjects is awarded the highest possible 56 points. Level 5** in the Compulsory Part and the Extended Part of Mathematics are awarded 28 points each, so candidates taking both parts of Mathematics can achieve tariff points that are on par with other HKDSE Category A subjects.

The UCAS Tariff for HKDSE are detailed below:


HKDSE Category A subjects Level UCAS Tariff
23 Senior Secondary subjects, except Mathematics     5** 56
  5*
52
5
48
4
32
3
16
Mathematics Compulsory Part     5** 28
  5*
26
5
24
4
16
3
8
Mathematics Extended Part (M1/M2)     5** 28
 5*
26
5
24
4
16
3
8