This document summarises the University’s current undergraduate admissions policies and procedures. It is intended to provide an accessible summary for applicants and their advisors. Where more detailed information is publicly available, this is highlighted below.
The statement is the responsibility of the Director of Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions and is overseen by the Vice President.
Admissions procedures take account of sectoral best practice including the precepts of the QAA’s Quality Code for Higher Education, Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality, Chapter B2: -Recruitment, Selection and Admission to Higher Education; and the Good Practice Guides published by Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA).
1. Admissions statement
The University aims to admit students of the highest calibre, who have the academic potential and the motivation to succeed on its challenging courses. The University encourages applications from applicants from all backgrounds and it evaluates the potential of each applicant individually and on their own merits.
2. Legislative and regulatory requirements
2.1 Equal opportunities
The Admissions policy is compliant with relevant equality and diversity legislation. The University is committed to equal opportunities and its admissions policies and procedures have been assessed through an Equality Impact Assessment to ensure that they are fair and consistent.
2.2 Admission of minors
The University does not consider applications from any applicant under the age of 16. All successful applicants are expected to evidence academic maturity in their application. Applicants who are under 18 should be aware that they are applying to study in an adult environment and there may be a small number of limitations for them at the University while they are under 18.
2.3 Data Protection
The University complies with UCAS regulations and the provisions of the Data Protection Act in respect of the use of applicant data.
2.4 Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK
Where an applicant requires student entry clearance or leave to remain (a ‘visa’) to study in the UK, failure to take up an accepted offer of a place, or withdrawal from their course after arrival, is likely to affect their permission to come to or remain in the UK. In order to comply with the UK immigration regulations, the University will notify the immigration authorities, where relevant, of non-arrival and of any changes to a student’s enrolment status.
When an offer holder who requires a Visa to study in the UK completes their application for the University to create a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS), they confirm that they are not currently, nor have ever previously been, in the United Kingdom without valid immigration permission. If, at a later date, the University is informed that they have been in the United Kingdom without such valid permission it may be required to inform the immigration authorities and/or withdraw its 'sponsorship' of the student’s application for leave.
3. Admissions Criteria and Selection
3.1 Academic requirements
Detailed and up‐to‐date information on entry requirements is provided on our entry requirements page.
The University’s typical entry requirements and subject‐specific requirements are published in a hard copy prospectus and on the website and department‐specific information is available on department websites. Course requirements are also published on the UCAS website. Typical academic entry requirements are set by the specific department(s) offering each course and are reviewed and modified by departments in consultation with the Director of Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions. The website always contains the most up‐to‐date information available. Our publicised offer levels represent typical offers, and are not a guarantee either of the offer an individual applicant may receive, or that offers will be made to all applicants whose grades meet the published typical offer.
To fulfil basic University Admissions Requirements, all applicants must possess qualifications equivalent to a pass at Grade C or above, or Grade 4 or above in GCSE English Language, and in Mathematics or a Science. Minimum requirements for some courses exceed this and applicants should refer to course‐specific information on the website for further details.
The University is committed to giving full and fair consideration to all entry qualification information presented by individual applicants and regularly assesses applications from candidates offering a very broad range of qualifications, where these are deemed equivalent to GCE A‐level. Typical offers are expressed in the prospectus and online for a range of these qualifications and applicants are encouraged to contact the University if they wish to discuss their own qualifications.
Core Maths: The University of Warwick welcomes the development of the core maths qualifications, and the additional relevant skills that the qualifications can provide in preparation for a range of our courses. In some cases, departments would be happy to take the qualification in lieu of their GCSE mathematics requirement, but please refer to the individual entry requirements for the course in which you are interested.
3.2 English language requirements
All applicants who do not meet University Admissions Requirements in respect of English language are required to demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive full benefit from their degree course. Many English language qualifications are acceptable to meet this requirement. The level of competence required varies by degree type and the requirements are detailed on the website.
4. Assessment and selection
The University receives many more high quality applications for its courses than there are places available. Assessment of applications is carried out by course selectors (Admissions Tutors) who are normally academics in departments and by professionals in the Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Service, to ensure that decisions are made fairly.
Each application is assessed on its own merits and in competition with others. Selectors will take into account the evidence provided in the application against the criteria for that particular course. This will include consideration of existing academic achievements and the context within which they have been achieved (including any verified exceptional circumstances), predicted grades, the personal statement and the academic reference.
The University’s AWARDS scheme allows applicants to submit additional information explaining their particular circumstances, which may have affected their academic achievements and which the University may consider in its decision making processes.
Where departments invite applicants to interview, further details are provided via the course pages on the website:
In addition to the interviews for these courses, applicants offering a very atypical profile, or those returning to study after a period out of education, may sometimes be offered an interview.
The University aims to finalise decisions as the earliest possible opportunity, but is firmly committed to equal consideration of all applications received by the UCAS deadline of 15th January. The University aims to return decisions to applicants in a timely manner, where an application is received by the 15 January, we aim to have a decision finalised by the 31 March.
Because decisions are made on a highly competitive basis it is not always possible to make offers to all applicants who meet, or even exceed, the typical entry requirements.
4.1 Applicants with a disability, specific learning difference or development condition
Students with a disability, specific learning difference or developmental condition are encouraged to apply to the University and are considered on the same academic grounds as all other candidates. In a parallel process, candidates with specific learning differences, motor, sensory and ‘unseen disabilities’, mental health difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or any disabling illness may be contacted by the University’s Disability Services (Student Support Services) to discuss their requirements prior to entry, in order to ensure that reasonable adjustments can be made. Where it is not considered reasonable to adjust the decision is referred to the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study (see below).
Visits to the campus can be arranged on request and candidates who have particular accommodation and access requirements are especially encouraged to take up this opportunity, although the option is available to all.
4.2 Returners to study
The University welcomes applications from individuals who are returning to study and each applicant will be considered on their individual merits against the entrance criteria for the particular course. Evidence of recent academic study is usually sought.
The University welcomes applications from candidates who wish to take a year off between school and university. Applicants are encouraged to make clear on their UCAS form their reasons for wishing to defer entry and how they intend to utilise the time. Please note that Warwick Medical School will only consider applications for deferred entry in exceptional cases.
4.4 Exemption from part or all of an undergraduate degree, including direct entry to Year 2
The University will only consider candidates for exemption from part of a full‐time undergraduate degree course in very exceptional circumstances. A small number of departments may consider exemption from year one of a three-year course, in exceptional cases, if candidates have achieved qualifications (such as Year 1 of a comparable degree) at the appropriate level elsewhere. Please note that normal admissions requirements (such as A-levels at grades matching our typical requirements) would also usually need to be met. All such applications must be received through UCAS, and requests for exemption, including for direct entry to Year 2, should be made in writing to the Undergraduate Admissions team at the earliest opportunity.
4.5 Information of a non‐academic nature
University regulation 6.3 (3) (b) provides for the consideration of information of a non‐academic nature that may affect an admissions decision. A Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study may consider such information and advise the Vice‐Chancellor accordingly. Relevant information may include the declaration of a criminal conviction, activities outside of the law, fraudulent information or misrepresentation or, in the case of Medicine, Teaching and Social Work applications, any issue that may represent an issue of fitness to practise. In these latter cases, a Fitness to Practise committee always considers the information first.
The University may investigate cases disclosed to it under the UCAS Similarity Detection Service and reserves the right to refer any cases of concern to the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study. The University may contact the applicant for further information before finalising a decision.
The University reserves the right to withdraw any offer made on the basis of an application containing fraudulent or misleading information.
4.6 Contextual data
The University of Warwick is committed to making a high-quality and challenging university education available to those who are capable of benefiting from it, as outlined in the Universities Access Agreement as approved by OFFA (the Office for Fair Access). Our recruitment and application processes are designed to support students with the potential to succeed at the University and we are committed to ensuring that every application is treated fairly and judged on its merits.
The University may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances:
The University participates in the Realising Opportunities programme, a collaboration of 15 leading research intensive universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from groups underrepresented in higher education. Students who have participated in the Realising Opportunities programme will receive an offer one or two grades below the standard university offer (to a minimum of BBB).
From 2017 entry contextual data will be applied to applications, and students from who meet two of the following criteria will be made an offer one or two grades below the standard university offer (to a minimum of BBB).
a) The applicant attended a school where average performance of students achieving 5 A*-C GCSE including English and Mathematics was below the national average
The applicant attended a school/college with below the national average performance at KS5
b) The applicant has spent time in local authority care
c) The applicant attended a school with above the national average entitlement/eligibility to Free School Meals
d) The applicant lives in a low participation neighbourhood (POLAR 3, quintile 1) or an area which has a high level of deprivation (Index of Multiple Deprivation, 0-20%).
Those students in administrative areas of the UK which do not collect this data will be flagged for the IMD data in the first instance and a decision made on a contextual offer based on individual circumstance.
4.7 Non-standard patterns of examination entry and resits
The University normally expects applicants to demonstrate that they can succeed on a demanding course of study within a defined timescale, as exemplified by (but not limited to) the achievement of three A levels (not including General Studies and Critical Thinking) over the course of a maximum of two years of study.
Students who resit individual units to improve their A-level grades within this timeframe will not be penalised. However, students who resit their final Year 13 examinations may be at a disadvantage when considered alongside those who have attained the required grades within the usual timeframe. Some courses will not consider candidates who have taken three years to reach the required level of attainment.
Though all applications will be considered on their individual merits, students who follow a curriculum where the normal number of required examinations are spread over three or more years may be at a disadvantage when considered alongside those who have attained the required grades within the standard timeframe, and some courses will not consider such candidates.
If students take examinations early (relative to the majority of the cohort) allowances will not be made for lower grades achieved.
4.8 Unconditional Offers
Due to the high level of demand for our degrees, and the strength of the applications we receive, the University of Warwick is only able make unconditional offers to applicants who have already met our entry requirements. While it can be reassuring for applicants to know that one of their UCAS choices is willing to give them an unconditional offer, it is important to fully consider the implications of accepting an unconditional offer in these circumstances. Achievement at A-levels is excellent preparation for study at University and these qualifications are considered by graduate employers when shortlisting candidates for graduate schemes. We therefore strongly encourage applicants to base their decision primarily on the course and university that best suits their interests and long term aims, rather than on whether a place at a particular institution would be automatically guaranteed.
5. Support for admissions
The University subscribes to the principles of fair and professional admissions and ensures that opportunities are available for staff in the central undergraduate admissions team to be trained, and kept up to date, on admissions best practice.
Academic course selectors are provided with detailed written guidance on admissions procedures; a dedicated set of on‐line resources; a ‘link’ officer to support and guide their decision making; an annual briefing event; and a checklist to supplement the work of the link officer.
The Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Service is responsible for all interactions with UCAS, including the transmission of admissions decisions. The Office is also responsible for providing statistical information to enable the University and departments to monitor numbers of applications, offers and acceptances within each application cycle.
6. Feedback on unsuccessful applications
The large volume of applications received by the University each year means that feedback to unsuccessful applicants cannot be provided automatically at the point when a decision is made. However, the University will provide feedback to candidates to whom it is not able to make an offer when this is requested in writing. The Admissions team will respond to requests for feedback in a timely manner, although timescales may be longer at busy periods in the cycle. Feedback will normally include generic information to help applicants understand the means by which applicants are selected for the course to which they have applied, but a certain amount of specific information on an individual’s application will be available on request. Unless an applicant has consented to share their data, detailed or personalised feedback will not be provided to a parent, teacher or other supporter. Requests for feedback should be made in writing (either by letter or email) to the Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Complaints from applicants regarding the service they receive during the admissions process will be handled in accordance with the Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Office’s Complaints Procedure. Applicants do not have the right to appeal against the academic judgement made on their application.
Under Statute 20(2) the Senate regulates the admission of persons to courses of study and the monitoring and reporting of admissions is via the Senate committees, including the Steering Committee, and the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (and their sub‐committees). Admissions statistics are published and publicly available in the University’s Academic Statistics.
Document updated: July 2016