The Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate (Bacc) has been redesigned for first teaching from September 2015. The Bacc is a composite qualification that includes a Skills Challenge Certificate; this assesses the skills that young people need for college, university, employment and life. Alongside the Skills Challenge Certificate, learners take a selection of GCSE, AS, and A level and vocational qualifications appropriate to their needs in order to be awarded the Bacc.

Welsh Baccalaureate levels

The Bacc is awarded at three levels:

  • Foundation Welsh Baccalaureate (level 1) for use at Key Stage 4 or post-16
  • National Welsh Baccalaureate (level 2) for use at Key Stage 4 or post-16
  • Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate (level 3) for use at post-16 only

The Bacc assesses essential skills such as literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, planning and organisation, creativity and innovation and personal effectiveness.

Literacy and numeracy are assessed through Essential Skills Wales or appropriate GCSEs at Foundation and National levels, with credit in these areas being carried forward from the National to Advanced level. All other skills are assessed through the Skills Challenge Certificate.

The new Bacc comprises a core, or ‘Skills Challenge Certificate’, alongside Supporting Qualifications. The requirements of both the Skills Challenge Certificate and Supporting Qualifications must be met to achieve the overarching qualification.

Skills Challenge Certificate

Learners need to complete four assessments as part of the Skills Challenge Certificate:

An Individual Project:

This is an independent, research-based assignment on a subject of the learner’s choice. Learners demonstrate the knowledge and skills to produce a written investigation or an artefact/product supported by written research.

Enterprise and Employability Challenge:

This challenge requires learners to demonstrate entrepreneurship to demonstrate the skills often required by employers, which in turn improves employability. Learners will take challenges that are designed locally or nationally. These Challenges may have been designed by the centre, employers or other national organisations.

Global Citizenship Challenge:

This challenge requires learners to demonstrate an understanding of, and appropriate response to, a global issue. Learners will take challenges that are designed locally or nationally.

Community Challenge:

This challenge requires learners to identify, develop and participate in opportunities that will benefit the community. Learners will take challenges that are designed locally or nationally.

Supporting Qualifications In order to acquire the Foundation or National level Bacc qualifications, learners must achieve:

  • GCSE English Language or GCSE Welsh Language (grades A*-G for Foundation, grades A*-C for National);
  • GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy (grades A*-G for Foundation, grades A*-C for National);
  • A minimum of three further GCSEs (grades A*-G, grades A*-C for National). At Key Stage 4, up to two of these may be equivalent qualifications; at post-16, all may be equivalent.

In order to acquire the Advanced level Bacc, learners must achieve:

  • GCSE English Language or GCSE Welsh Language (grades A*-C);
  • GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy (grades A*-C);
  • Two A levels, or equivalent. This requirement must be met through the achievement of no more than three separate qualifications.

Further information about the Welsh Bacc can be found on the WJEC website: 

The transitional timeline for Welsh Bacc (including the Welsh Bacc Foundation and National Post 16) can be seen here

Publications

Tuesday 7 March, 2017
Author: Qualifications Wales

Addenda to Welsh Baccalaureate Design Principles, March 2017 (77.5 KB)

Friday 28 November, 2014
Author: Welsh Government

Welsh Baccalaureate Design Principles (275.3 KB)

This document provides the framework for the development of the specification for the Welsh Baccalaureate at Foundation, National and Advanced levels for first teaching from September 2015. It will be reviewed by Qualifications Wales in due course. For further information please contact us.