Admissions Policy

The purpose of our Admissions Policy is to describe the aims, principles and processes followed by the University to select and admit new students to undergraduate, postgraduate, and foundation art and design programmes.

ϲʹ University Admissions Policy

This document describes the aims, principles and processes followed by the University to select and admit new students to undergraduate, postgraduate, and foundation art and design programmes. It should be read in conjunction with the University’s Terms and Conditions of Study:

1. Principles and aims

ϲʹ University’s Admissions Policy and associated recruitment and admissions procedures should be seen in the context of supporting the institution’s goals and ambitions as set out in the University’s strategy, Creating Better Futures. Together.

The principal aim of the Policy is to ensure recruitment and admission practices are fair, explicit, and implemented consistently to support equality of opportunity.

The University encourages applications from academically able and motivated students of all ages, and from all backgrounds. As such, this document has been informed by the University’s commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion, and , as well as relevant good practice guidance (This includes the UUK Fair admissions code of practice and Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) UK Quality Code for Higher Education).

Furthermore, the University is committed to the delivery of an efficient and professional admissions service to all applicants.

2. Terms and Conditions

This Policy sits alongside, and should be read in conjunction with, the Terms and Conditions of Study which form the contract between applicants, students and the University.

3. Responsibility, monitoring and review

On behalf of Senate, the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee has responsibility for the monitoring and review of recruitment and admissions policies in place for taught programmes. Matters relating to the recruitment and admissions practices/policies for research programmes will be monitored and reviewed by the Doctoral College Sub-Committee on behalf of the Research and Innovation Committee and Senate.

The policy is reviewed annually to ensure that it complies fully with any changes in legislation, aspires to best practice in the sector, and continues to support the vision and values of the University.

4. Roles and responsibilities

In order to provide a high quality and effective recruitment, selection and admission process in accordance with this policy, ϲʹ University fosters a collaborative working approach between its academic Schools and the Admissions Office and Doctoral College, along with other Professional Services in the University.

Academic Schools are responsible for determining entry criteria and the processes for evaluation of applications for each of their courses (in close liaison with the Admissions Office/Doctoral College); assessing applications, conducting interviews, making offers, hosting visit days; and providing detailed and up-to-date course information for enquirers and applicants. Deans of School delegate the responsibility for admissions matters to a principal Admissions Tutor or Programme Director (who may be supported by other staff within the School). Where courses are offered in partnership with other organisations, those organisations may be involved in determining entry criteria and processes for evaluating applications, but the arrangements are expected to comply with this policy.

The Admissions Office/Doctoral College have responsibility for managing the admissions process and procedures; providing advice and support to academic Schools, enquirers, and applicants; assessing applications and making offers for most programmes on behalf of academic Schools; processing decisions on applications; assessing tuition fee status; delivering training and developing and managing effective systems and management information for recruitment and admissions.

Overall accountability for the taught admissions process rests with the Head of Future Students & Marketing Operations. The Senior Assistant Registrar in the Doctoral College Office has overall responsibility for the research student admissions process.

To achieve our commitment to providing a fair and accessible admissions service, appropriate training is provided to all staff involved in recruitment and selection.

5. Course/programme information

We are committed to providing clear, comprehensive, and accurate information on our courses and entry requirements which is accessible to all enquirers and applicants. Detailed information is published on our website to enable prospective students to make informed choices and decisions.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of UK and international qualifications that offer effective preparation for study. Further information about both general and course specific entry requirements can be found on our prospectus pages.

In addition to academic entry requirements, the University requires all students to demonstrate they are prepared for a programme of study delivered in the English language. Please refer to our pages on acceptable English language qualifications.

6. Assessment and selection

A. General

When making admissions decisions the University considers an applicant’s academic ability and potential to succeed on the chosen course. This may be evidenced by a range of factors, including:

  • achieved or predicted academic/professional qualifications and grades
  • qualifications in the use of the English language
  • own statements of interest in the course and for research degrees, research proposal
  • potential to perform well as evidenced by references (usually academic, but also professional where relevant to the proposed course)
  • relevant work or other professional experience
  • where appropriate or required, an interview or a portfolio or sample of the applicants’ work
  • contextual information (see Section B below)

B. Contextual information (for undergraduate programmes)

To support our mission to provide a high-quality educational experience for students from all backgrounds, the University makes use of contextual information in the undergraduate admission process to help identify applicants with the greatest potential to succeed in higher education and so that particular groups of applicants are not disadvantaged during the application process. For further information see the link below.

Contextual admissions page →

C. Elite athletes

The University recognises that students who excel in non-academic areas such as sport can make a specific additional contribution to the University. We may, therefore, for exceptional applicants with elite sporting backgrounds, take into account non-academic excellence in our offer-making process based on some of the following:

  • the achievements of the applicant academically and in sport
  • the applicant’s potential for future success both academically and in sport
  • the applicant’s personal statement and reference on their application
  • the applicant’s capacity for balancing academic and sporting requirements
  • the University’s capacity to assist the applicant, once admitted, in meeting both academic and sporting demands
  • additional information (including the views of the appropriate National Governing Body, if approached by the University) and/or performance at interview.

7. Applying

A. How and when to apply

Undergraduate applications must be submitted via . The University will observe the UCAS procedures and deadlines with regard to undergraduate applications.

Applications for Postgraduate Taught (PGT), Postgraduate Research (PGR), Art and Design Foundation Studies and Pre-sessional Programmes should be submitted via our online application portal

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) applications should be submitted through the . 

Incoming visiting/study exchange students (including those coming from international or European Erasmus+ partners) should make an application direct to the University using the appropriate application form.

Applicants should be aware that there is competition for places on popular courses. As a result, we may close courses to new applications during the admissions cycle if we believe courses to be full. For undergraduate courses any closure to new applications will always be after the main UCAS scheme deadline at the end of January for entry in the following academic year.

For Postgraduate Taught courses with a start date in October, the last date on which we guarantee to consider applications is 6 September. For courses with a start date in January, the corresponding date is 6 December. However, some high-demand courses may stop considering applications at an earlier date if sufficient offers have been made.

B. Interviews

For the majority of taught programmes, the University does not require applicants to be interviewed as part of its recruitment process. However, in some cases applicants will be interviewed if it is felt that this is the best method of identifying potential for study, and/or where there is a relevant legal/regulatory requirement or guideline (e.g. Postgraduate Certificate in Education, PGCE). Applicants for research degree programmes will be interviewed and these may be conducted in person or online/by telephone.

Where programmes include interviews as part of their selection procedures for all candidates we will make this explicit to applicants.

C. Offer

Any offer of entry will be outlined in a formal offer communication from the University together with the University’s Terms and Conditions of Study (and additionally for undergraduate applicants on UCAS).

Occasionally, the University may decide that it is unable to offer admission to the original course to which an applicant has applied but is able to make an offer for an alternative course. In this situation the University will contact the applicant to confirm that the offer has been made for the alternative course.

D. Replying to an offer

The University offer communication will provide details of how to accept our offer. When doing so, an applicant agrees to abide by the University’s Terms and Conditions of Study.

If an applicant fulfils the conditions of their offer, or if the University exercises its discretion to accept an applicant on the basis of satisfactory academic performance, their place at the University will be confirmed.

E. Unsuccessful applicants and feedback

The University experiences high volumes of applications resulting in competition for places. Regrettably, this means that we are sometimes unable to make offers to, or accept, a number of well qualified applicants.

If an application is unsuccessful, we will inform the applicant via UCAS or the relevant Application Portal and will provide the primary reason for the decision. The University will make further feedback available, upon request, to unsuccessful applicants.

If an applicant is subsequently dissatisfied with the feedback received, they may wish to request a formal review of the decision or make a complaint (see Section 13).

F. Applicants with a disability or long-term health condition

The University welcomes applications from candidates with a physical or mental disability or long-term health condition or specific learning difference. Such applicants will be considered against the same criteria as all other candidates following the process outlined in Section 6 of this policy.

Applicants are encouraged to declare this information in their application and are reminded to do so at both application and offer stage.

If an offer is made, the Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity team will contact an applicant to discuss support needs and plan for any reasonable adjustments the applicant is likely to require. In the unlikely event that, despite reasonable adjustments, an applicant is unable to access their chosen course, the University undertakes to offer the applicant support in submitting an alternative application.

The University has a Fitness to Study policy for registered students which will apply should issues arise with your ability to engage with your course as a result of your health or disability, despite reasonable adjustments being in place.

The University also has a responsibility to ensure that individuals on the PGCE programme have the necessary health and physical capacity to teach and are therefore asked to complete a Fitness to Teach Questionnaire prior to commencing the programme.

We provide further information about support with a disability, long term health condition or specific learning difference at the University.

G. Extenuating circumstances

It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform the University of any extenuating circumstances that may lead, or have led to, academic performance that is not truly indicative of their true potential. Extenuating circumstances should be brought to the attention of the relevant admissions team before examination results are released. We would usually expect circumstances affecting assessment to have been taken up with the relevant examination body in the first instance. However, all relevant cases will be considered as part of the decision-making process and the University reserves the right to request further information from any applicant submitting extenuating circumstances. If deemed necessary, and with the applicant’s permission, the applicant’s academic institution, examination body, doctor or other appropriate third party may be contacted.

H. Criminal convictions

Having a criminal conviction will not normally prevent an individual from studying at ϲʹ. However, as part of our duty of care to the University community, we ask prospective students to disclose information about certain criminal convictions. This is to enable the University to assess and appropriately manage the risk linked to admission. 

The University has a specific policy and procedure for criminal convictions process.

I. Age on entry

Occasionally the University admits students who are under the age of 18 years at the start of their course. Where this is the case, the University will require the applicant’s parent/guardian to sign the University’s Consent Form as confirmation that they have read and understood the nature of the obligations which the University owes to its students under the age of 18, and the extent of the services and facilities available to them. No student under the age of 18 will be registered by the University until the Consent Form has been signed.

For international applicants, the University must comply with regulations set by the UK Visas and Immigration. As such, parents or guardians must ensure suitable care arrangements are in place for a child under the age of 18 who will study in the UK and be sponsored by the University under its Student Route licence (see Section 8 below). The University will not issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) until the University’s Consent Form has been signed.

J. Deferred applications

The University welcomes deferred applications for the majority of subject areas and will also consider requests from students to defer their application or offer of a place for one year after an application has been submitted. The University normally allows students applying for taught programmes to defer their application twice before asking the student to re-apply. Applicants for research degree programmes may defer their start date only after discussion with the academic school. In some circumstances deferral may not be possible and where funding has been made available it may not be possible to defer an award.

Applicants holding a deferred place for an undergraduate course must meet all academic conditions of their offer during the current application cycle.

If an applicant applies for deferred entry and then wishes to bring their entry forward to the current academic cycle such requests should also be put in writing (by email) and a decision will be made dependent on places still being available on the given course. 

K. Previous education

Students should give details of all previous education immediately below the proposed course of study on their application, including any previous study in higher education, even if this was not successfully completed. This requirement also applies to applicants who have previously studied at ϲʹ University. Applicants should give the reason for any unsuccessful outcomes (e.g. academic failure, decision to withdraw, required to leave for disciplinary reasons, financial problems etc.).

Each application will be considered on its merits and future potential to succeed will be taken into account. Failure to disclose all relevant information may lead to action under Section 7 paragraph L.

L. Fraud, omission and plagiarism

The University reserves the right to withdraw any offer made on the basis of an application which has been found to be obtained fraudulently, contain false information, omission(s) or to be plagiarised.

At undergraduate level, applications are reviewed by the UCAS similarity detection service and processed in line with the University’s UCAS similarity detection procedure

Please see the .

8. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK

A. Entry clearance

Students wishing to enter the UK must comply with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Points-based Immigration System. Further information is available at the link below.

The University is committed to meeting its requirements as a sponsor of students, and should an applicant be found not to be in a position to meet all UK visa requirements for the anticipated full duration of their programme of study, the University reserves the right to refuse to sponsor the applicant under the Student Route.

In the event of changes to immigration legislation, or if information becomes available that might impact our ability to sponsor a student, the University reserves the right to refuse to sponsor an applicant and/or amend or withdraw any sponsorship already made.

As part of the University’s UKVI Student Visa Sponsor Licence, the University is required to view and maintain copies of the passport and visa (valid for study at ϲʹ University) for all international students. We may also check original qualification documents (including certified translations if these are not in English) on the basis of which admission was granted to the University. The University undertakes these checks as part of the registration process upon arrival.

Our Terms and Conditions of Study set out the requirement that applicants who have accepted our offers and current students agree to co-operate with the University in fulfilment of its responsibilities as a Student Route sponsor.

The University also provides additional information and support which is available at the link below.

Additional information and support for international students →

B. Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Applicants applying for certain science, engineering or technology programmes may need to apply for an ATAS certificate before applying for a Visa, Entry Clearance or Extension of Stay. Further information about ATAS certificates is available through the gov.uk link below.

For more detailed information about how to apply for an ATAS Certificate please see our ATAS page linked below.

ϲʹ University's ATAS pages →

9. Amendments to courses/programmes

Whilst we try to ensure that all of our courses run as advertised it is sometimes necessary for us to make significant changes to the structure of our programmes or to discontinue a course entirely.

More detailed information about changes to courses and the potential reasons for this can be found in our Terms and Conditions of Study.

10. Financial information

A. Tuition fees and finance

Where a third party is providing financial support, the University requires applicants to provide written evidence of this.

Reference to the relevant course tuition fee (including placement year fee where applicable) can be found in an applicant’s offer communication. The Student Handbook provides detailed information on tuition fees and financial support.

Tuition fees charged in the future may change as a result of Government policy.

B. Tuition fee status

Tuition fee status is determined by the University in accordance with the and guidance is provided by the .

For further information about how the University assesses tuition fee status see:

11. Applicant data

The data submitted as part of each application is used to assess the suitability of an applicant for study at the University. Anonymised data is also used by the University for statistical and reporting purposes. Application data forms part of the student record for applicants who are admitted to the University.

For Postgraduate Research students, the recruitment process may involve an external party, for example an industrial sponsor. Where the collaborator is based either in the UK, the EU, or in a country covered by UK data protection adequacy regulations, the collaborator is bound by the same or equivalent legal standards.  Where a collaborator is based outside these countries, they will be bound by standard contractual clauses set up between ϲʹ University and the collaborator to safeguard the data subject’s (the applicant’s) privacy.

The University complies with the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 in its use of applicant data and further information are in the Student Privacy Notice.

12. Applicant Behaviour

University staff expect to be able to conduct the admissions process in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance, free from harassment, abuse, discrimination or otherwise unacceptable behaviour from applicants. Applicants, prospective students, and their supporters are expected to be respectful towards other applicants, students and University staff and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in all forms of communication, including social media.

If a member of the University community experiences behaviour from an applicant, prospective student or supporter which is not in line with these expectations, the University reserves the right to take action, which may include the withdrawal of an offer and/or cancellation of an application for accommodation.

13. Appeals and complaints

The University is committed to upholding the principles of fairness and transparency within its admissions process. However, we acknowledge that occasionally applicants may have reason to question or express an opinion about the University’s decision, or the way in which their application has been handled.

As such, the University operates an appeals and complaints procedure which encourages informal resolution and does not disadvantage applicants.

14. Further information

For further information about applying to ϲʹ University, please visit our website:

To contact the relevant Admissions Office, please use the appropriate details below:

Undergraduate Admissions

Postgraduate Taught Admissions

Postgraduate Research

Doctoral College Office

Art and Design Foundation Studies

School of Design and Creative Arts

PGCE

Teacher Education

Date approved: 24 February 2016
Latest revision: 25 October 2023

Revisions

04 March 2019: 

Change to Section 7 Paragraph H relating to revised Criminal Conviction Policy and Procedure.

11 October 2017:

References to offer ‘letter’ changed to offer ‘communication’ in Paragraphs 7C, 7D and 10A. Reference to Student Fitness to Study Policy added to Paragraph 7F on Applicants with a disability or long-term health condition. Update to policy of issuing CAS to under 18 applicants added to Paragraph 7I on Age on Entry. Further clarification on outcome of failure to disclose previous education added to Paragraph 7K on Previous education.

2 December 2021: 

Responsibility for reviewing admissions policies assigned to the Learning and Teaching Committee only in Paragraph 3.  Name of Research Student Office changed to Doctoral College Office in Paragraph 3 and 4.  Addition of Programme Leader as alternative to Admissions Tutor in Paragraph 4.  Replacement of the word ‘data’ with ‘information’ in Paragraph 6.  Update to admissions process for Teacher Training applications in Paragraph 7.  Amendment to closing date for undergraduate applications in Paragraph 7.  Addition of Application Portal as application route for Pre-sessional Programmes in Paragraph 7.  Addition of information about postgraduate taught application closing dates in Paragraph 7 A. Change of title of Counselling and Disability Office to Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity team and update of webpage link in Paragraph 7 F.  Change from ‘Tier 4’ to ‘Student Route’ in respect of the sponsorship of international students in Paragraph 7 I and 8 A.  Update of information for undergraduate students who defer their offer in Paragraph 7 J.  Update of links to webpages with ATAS information in Paragraph 8 B.  Update of link to web page re tuition fee status in Paragraph 10 B.  Addition of information for postgraduate research applicants on how data may be shared with third-parties in Paragraph 11.  Update of GDPR and Data Protection law and links to webpage in Paragraph 11.  Addition of information re the University’s expectations of applicant behaviour in Paragraph 12.  Update of contact details for PGCE Teacher Training in Paragraph 14.

25 October 2023: 

References to the University strategy, associated policies and good practice guidance updated in Paragraph 1. Change of committee name from Research Committee to Research and Innovation Committee in Paragraph 3. Update of job titles to Programme Director, Head of Future Students & Marketing Operations and Senior Assistant Registrar in Paragraph 4. Deletion of reference to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Prospectuses in Paragraphs 5 and 9. Updates to weblinks in Paragraphs 7 F, 8 A, 8 B, 10 A, 10 B, and 13. Detail about the Fitness to Teach Questionnaire completed by PGCE applicants added to Paragraph 7 F. Clarification regarding the situations when the University reserves the right to withdraw an offer in Paragraph 7 L. Update of contact details for Undergraduate Admissions, Art and Foundation Studies, and PGCE in Paragraph 14.