Examinations that count towards the acquisition of a “General Certificate of Education” can also be part of secondary school leaving certificates from countries in which the school system is based on the British school system due to historical reasons. For these countries, other conditions may apply for university admission in Germany. Thus, the assessment proposals for the respective country must always be checked. More information can be found in the (in German) of the Central Office for Foreign Education.

Certificates from recognised institutions that administer examinations in Great Britain (“awarding bodies”) must always be submitted to the accreditation authorities for review. The certificates from the respective schools are not sufficient. The awarding bodies currently include the following: AQA, OCR, Pearson (formerly known as Edexcel), WJEC and accordingly WJEC Eduqas, CCEA, Cambridge Assessment International Education (formerly known as Cambridge International Examinations), Oxford AQA

2. Recognition of the GCE in Germany – regulations valid up to and including the date of admission for the winter semester 2023/24

In order for the GCE to be recognised, the following conditions apply:

a) Basic requirements

Regardless of the degree programme that is chosen, three basic conditions exist:

  • In order for the GCE to be recognised, you must provide evidence of four examination subjects that are independent of one another and have general education (non-vocational) content.
  • These subjects must include a) a language and b) mathematics or one of the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, or physics).
  • A minimum of three of the four examination subjects must have been passed on the level of GCE AL. The level GCE AS is sufficient for the fourth examination subject.

b) Subject-specific requirements for individual study areas

Based on the desired course of study, the following additional prerequisites must be fulfilled:

  • If you intend to study humanities, law, social sciences, economics, or art, you must a) show evidence of a subject in the GCE AL that corresponds to the chosen field of study, and b) have a GCE AL in mathematics for a course of study involving economics and social sciences.
  • If you intend to study a subject related to natural science, you must demonstrate a total of two GCE AL examinations in the subjects of mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • For technical studies and mathematics, a GCE AL in mathematics and a GCE AL in biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science are required.
  • If your desired course of study is in the field of medicine (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy), you must have completed three of the following GCE AL subjects: mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics.

c) Additional requirements

Additional requirements that do not replace the requirements according to 2.b:

  • Two subjects on the level of GCE AS can be included in the assessment in place of one GCE AL.
  • Evidence of GCE AS/AL examination subjects that are vocational in nature can only be accepted in individual cases. The “GCE Applied A Level” introduced in the United Kingdom in 2005/2006 will not qualify an applicant for university access in Germany under any circumstances.
  • Proof of an applicant’s “key skills” will not be taken into account for university access in Germany.
  • A language examination in English that has not been taken as part of the GCE AL/AS examinations cannot be substituted for a subject in GCE AL/AS.
  • Provided that the awarding bodies or examination centres document the preliminary results of the examinations as "Statement of Results" or “Candidate Statement of Provisional Results”, these results can be used as the basis for the decision of a . Nonetheless, as an applicant, you are required to submit the official certificates by the beginning of the second semester of your studies.
  • During the course of your application process, it is assumed that you have completed a total of twelve consecutive years of schooling. If you do not meet this requirement, the United Kingdom evaluation proposals specify more detailed conditions for equivalency, which can be found in the (in German) of the Central Office for Foreign Education.

d) For other British secondary school certificates the following applies:

International Advanced Level

Regarding university entrance in Germany, International Advanced Level/International Advanced Subsidiary Level, which are offered by some British international schools, are considered equivalent to GCE AL/GCE AS.

Cambridge Pre-U

The Cambridge Pre-U is a British secondary school diploma that is accepted as a university entrance qualification in the United Kingdom. For applicants with a Cambridge Pre-U qualification to be accepted into a university programme in Germany, the above-mentioned basic requirements (see “Recognition of the GCE in Germany” – “Basic Requirements”) and the subject-specific requirements (see “Recognition of the GCE in Germany” – “Subject-Specific Requirements for Individual Areas of Study”) remain unchanged for individual study areas. A Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject is considered to be equivalent to a GCE AL, and a Cambridge Pre-U Short Course is considered to be equivalent to a GCE AS. The Cambridge Pre-U-subject Global Perspectives and Independent Research can replace a GCE AS if a Cambridge Pre-U Diploma is demonstrated and the basic requirements (see “Recognition of the GCE in Germany” – “Basic Requirements”) and the subject-specific requirements (see “Recognition of the GCE in Germany” – “Subject-Specific Requirements for Individual Areas of Study”) have already been fulfilled by the other subjects.

(International) General Certificate of Secondary Education and GCE Ordinary Level

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), the International GCSE, and the GCE Ordinary Level (GCE O Level) certificates, which are conferred in the United Kingdom and at British international schools, will be regarded as a school leaving certificate from a German “Hauptschule” (a school that offers Lower Secondary Education) or as a “Mittlere Reife” (an intermediate school-leaving certificate that is usually awarded after ten years of schooling in Germany) and will NOT be taken into consideration for university entrance in Germany.

3. Recognition of the GCE in Germany - regulations valid from the date of admission for the summer semester 2022

For the recognition of the GCE, the following requirements have been defined:

a) Basic conditions

Independent of the course of study that will be chosen, the following basic requirements exist:

  • For the GCE to be recognised, you must provide evidence of 3 general, independent subjects at A Level with a minimum grade of C.
  • Of these, 2 subjects must be chosen as follows: a language, history, geography, social studies / politics, economics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science according to "" (subject 1 and subject 2, possibly subject 3)
  • The third subject is a further general education subject, independent of the two subjects chosen above. This can come from “” or “”.

b) Subject-specific conditions

The following additional requirements must be met in relation to the subject to be chosen:

Art oriented studies No subject-specific requirements
Humanities and law studies 1 A Level from: language, history, geography, social studies / politics, economics
Social science and economics studies 1 A Level from: language, history, geography, social studies / politics, economics; 1 A Level from: mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science
Natural science studies 2 A Level from: mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science
    
Mathematics and technical studies 1 A Level in mathematics;
1 A Level from: biology, chemistry, physics, computer science
Medical studies including pharmacy 1 A Level from: mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science
Studies that cannot be assigned to these subject areas The admitting university decides on subject-specific requirements.

c) Additional requirements

  • Preliminary result notifications (“Candidate Statement of Provisional Results” and comparable names) from recognised examination bodies can be taken into account. The certificates from the examination bodies must be submitted to the responsible office at the beginning of the 2nd semester or at the latest 1 year after the examination date.
  • Individual A Level subjects with vocational content can be considered as a 3rd subject according to "" (Subject 3). In this case, the selection of courses is limited to the subject of the A Level vocational subject.
  • As a rule, at least 12 years of school attendance are required for the assessment.


d) For other British secondary school certificates the following applies: 

International Advanced Level

International Advanced Levels which some British “international schools” offer, are taken into account for university admission in the same way as GCE AL or GCE AS.

Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level)

GCE AS and International AS Level will no longer be considered for university admission according to the changed evaluation proposals.

Cambridge Pre-U

The "Cambridge Pre-U" is a UK school-leaving certificate that is accepted in Great Britain as allowing access to higher education institutions. For applicants with “Cambridge Pre-U” qualifications to study at German universities, the above-mentioned basic requirements as well as the subject-specific requirements for recognition of the GCE in Germany apply.

The “Cambridge Pre-U” must be proven by certificates from the “Cambridge Assessment International Education” (formerly: Cambridge International Examinations); a “Cambridge Pre-U Principle Subject” with a minimum grade of M3 corresponds to a “General Certificate of Education - Advanced” Level “(A Level) with a minimum grade of C.

(International) General Certificate of Secondary Education und GCE Ordinary Level

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), International GCSE and GCE Ordinary Level (GCE O Level), which were obtained in the United Kingdom or at British international schools, are considered equivalent to a German lower or middle school leaving certificate and CANNOT be taken into consideration for access to higher education institutions in Germany.