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Undergraduate Study

After you apply

Assessing your application

In considering your application, we consider:

  • Your achieved academic performance in level 2 and 3 qualifications (GCSEs, A and AS Levels, and their equivalents)
  • Your predicted performance in future examinations
  • Your personal statement
  • Your reference
  • Any additional statement supplied by your school or college regarding any special personal or extenuating circumstances which may impact, or have impacted on your studies.

When we review an application, we consider the context in which you have achieved your academic qualifications. If you meet certain eligibility criteria, we may make an offer which is lower than our typical entry requirements. For further details please visit our contextual offer page.

Please ensure you refer to our general and specific entry requirements information and check the most up-to-date entry requirements in the individual course pages.

All applications are assessed and tiered based on their academic merits.

Applicants with predicted grades are placed in tiers according to their three best predicted A levels or equivalent, from Tier 1 (A*A*A*) down to Tier 8 (BBC).

Applicants with achieved grades are placed in tiers according to their achieved grades, in line with our typical offer. For example, where our typical offer is AAA-AAB, applicants will be tiered from Tier 1 (A*A*A*) to Tier 5 (AAB).

Applicants who have achieved grades below our advertised typical offer are held within a ‘Grades Low’ Tier, and will be considered if we can make further offers once we have considered all other applications.

The majority of courses do not require an interview as part of the selection process. Where an interview is included in the process, this is made clear in the individual entry requirements. The purpose and format of the interview will be communicated to you clearly in advance so you know what to expect and what role this plays in the overall selection process.

The most important aspect of your application will be your achieved or predicted academic results, as this is the best predictor for success on one of our degree programmes. Personal statements may be considered.

Where personal statements are considered more closely, we would want to see:

  • Your reasons for the choice of subjects taken at A level or equivalent and, where appropriate, the relevance of those subjects to your chosen degree course;
  • Why you have applied for a particular course and how this relates to your current and previous studies and experiences. If you have a career goal, it is helpful if you tell us how the course would enable you to fulfill that ambition;
  • Evidence of a willingness and desire to learn at a higher level: we are looking for students who have the potential and the drive to succeed;
  • Details of any work experience, paid or unpaid, and any other positions of responsibility that you’ve had. We’re particularly interested in the skills gained from these experiences and how they relate to your own personal development and how they may help you in your studies and life at university;
  • Information regarding volunteering and other extracurricular activities and what you have gained in terms of experience and skills from these interests;
  • Your plans for how you will spend a gap year (if relevant) and what you will gain from these experiences.

Our offer and decision

For undergraduate full-time applications, we will write to inform you of our decision but the official offer and specific conditions will be communicated to you by UCAS. If you have supplied an email address you will receive these communications electronically via UCAS Track.

If we receive a large number of applications, we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve our typical offer. We may then need to consider additional academic achievements alongside the personal statement in deciding whether we are able to make an offer. 

The University operates a ‘gathered field’ procedure whereby applications received between September and January will be considered but a decision may not be conveyed until the middle of May. Where this procedure is operated, candidates will be informed accordingly.

Whilst the majority of our decisions will be gathered field, we may decide to release a small number of offers early for exceptionally well-qualified candidates who fall within the highest tiers, or those with other special circumstances.

Decisions on applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline will normally be made by the middle of May. On occasion it is not however possible for us to make all decisions by this date and it may take a little longer where we have applications (received by the January UCAS equal consideration deadline) where information is required to make a decision, interviews are taking place, or application numbers have increased.

It is very important that you read carefully the terms of your offer as communicated to you via UCAS to ensure that you know how to go about meeting any academic and non-academic conditions. If you are unsure about anything, please contact our Admissions team for clarification. Remember that the official offer is only that which we communicate to you through UCAS.

Typical offer

Our ‘Typical Offer’, including any grades in specific subjects, is shown in the Entry Requirements section in the individual programme pages. Whilst the majority of offers will normally be made within the publicised typical grade range, the University may of occasions make offers below the publicised typical offer range for reasons of merit. Our offers are normally expressed in terms of GCE A level grades or International Baccalaureate (IB) points.

Conditions

Offers may also be conditional on other, non-academic, conditions such as the receipt of an Enhanced DBS check or Occupational Health clearance which is deemed satisfactory by the University.

Our offer may be Unconditional or Conditional:

  • Unconditional offers are only made to students who have already achieved all the conditions for entry to their chosen course.
  • Conditional offers: Most offers will be based upon the portfolio of qualifications being taken in Year 13 or the last year of secondary education, and will normally be conditional upon achievement in three A Levels or equivalent qualifications, and any subject requirements.

In some instances we require a grade in a specific subject that is lower than the grades in the required grade range. For example, we may be looking for AAA at A-level but only require a B in a specific subject. In these cases, if you are taking four A-levels you could meet the terms of the offer by getting AAA in three A-levels and a B in the specific subject.

Below is an example of this type of offer:

Grades AAA at A-Level in 3 subjects but excluding General Studies. A level Biology at Grade B if not included in your AAA at A-level

If you receive this type of offer you can meet the offer by either of the two options below:

  1. Gaining AAA at A-level in 3 subjects but excluding General Studies including an A in Biology
  2. Gaining AAA at A-level in 3 subjects but excluding General Studies plus a B in Biology

We do not specify unit grades within our conditional offers. However, we may use unit grades when examination results are published to decide whether we are able to confirm a place for those applicants who have not quite achieved the grades required.

Although AS grades taken in Year 12 are not normally part of a conditional offer, in some cases AS level performance is taken into account in determining whether or not an offer is made. Applicants will not be at a disadvantage if AS units have not been certified.

Offer holder visit days

If we make you an offer and you have not had to attend an interview, individual Colleges/departments will invite you to attend an Offer-Holder Visit Day, which will give you the chance to find out more about your course and department and decide whether to accept our offer. Offer-Holder Visit Days take place during the period February and March.

If we are unable to make you an offer for the original programme for which you applied (this could be due to competition for places or because you do not meet the exact entrance requirements) the University reserves the right to make you an offer on an alternative programme or the same programme on a different campus (we offer some programmes at our Exeter campuses; Streatham and St. Lukes, and also at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall – offers for the Penryn Campus will be highlighted by the campus code C).

If you are being considered for an alternative programme you will be contacted in relation to this via email, you have the right to decline this offer at which point your original application will be made unsuccessful. 

If an alternative offer is made and accepted, at confirmation consideration for change of programme back to your original programme choice will only be made if your meet the requirements and there are places available. All request must be put in writing via our online contact form.

You can receive a summary of why your application was deemed unsuccessful via the UCAS online system, in addition you will receive an email confirming the reason you have not received an offer. If you want further information regarding our decision please contact the Admissions team. Find further information on our feedback policy.

The information published on these pages shows:

  • The number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants.
  • The number of offers we have made in relation to those applications.
  • The number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us.
  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • The gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • Their ethnicity
  • Their socio-economic background.

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances.

Download: Ofs Transparency Return.xlsx

What happens next

When you have received decisions from all the universities to which you have applied, you will need to notify UCAS of your decision by the deadline UCAS provided for you on UCAS Track. You will need to select one Firm (ie, first choice) university and, if your Firm choice is a Conditional offer and you have been made other offers, one Insurance choice university. Further information on responding to your offers can be found on the UCAS website.

If you would like to defer your year of entry, or if you have applied for deferred entry but would now like to bring your year of entry forward you will need to email the Admissions team at ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk for Streatham programmes or ugadmissions-cornwall@exeter.ac.uk for Penryn programmes. The Admissions team will advise further on the options open to you, however a change to your start date is not always possible.

If you would like to change the programme you have applied for BEFORE you register onto your programme please contact the Admissions team at ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk for Streatham programmes or ugadmissions-cornwall@exeter.ac.uk for Penryn programmes remembering to include the title of the programme you wish to change to. The Admissions team will check for vacancies and that you meet the requirements of the programme and advise on the options available to you, however a change to your programme is not always possible.

‘Confirmation’ refers to the period in August each year when the University receives examination results for applicants taking GCE A levels, or other qualifications, who have accepted conditional offers. Where results are received earlier in the year an applicant’s place will be confirmed if the conditions of offer have been satisfied.

We receive the results from a number of different qualifications via UCAS, and you can check if the qualifications you are taking are listed here. If your qualifications are not listed please can you send either a scan or photograph of your results to the Admissions team at ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk for Streatham programmes or ugadmissions-cornwall@exeter.ac.uk for Penryn programmes.

All non-academic conditions i.e DBS police Checks, Self-Declarations or Occupational Health forms need to be completed and returned by the 31st July unless you apply in August via clearing.

All conditions included within your offer must be meet by the 31st August. Where confirmation of conditions are received from 1st September onwards we would consider these on a case by case basis, taking into account capacity and our commitment to high standards of student experience.

If you firmly accept our conditional offer but are unable to satisfy the terms exactly, we will reconsider our offer in August in the light of your actual performance and the performance of others seeking entry to the same programme. However, you should be aware that we can make no guarantee that it will be possible to accept you if you do not meet the conditions exactly.

All decisions will be visible in your UCAS Track.

Guidance on appealing your results can be found on the UCAS website.

Amended grades

We are sorry if you are disappointed with the results you have received this year. We guarantee to confirm an applicant’s place where amended grades result in the conditions of their original offer being met as long as results are received no later than 31 August. Where results are received from 1st September onwards we would consider these on a case by case basis, taking into account capacity and our commitment to high standards of student experience. Where we cannot honour a place for 2021 entry we will offer a deferred place up to 19th October when UCAS close the cycle.

Applicants should send confirmation of regrades to ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk as soon as they receive them. 

Considering Appeals and Deferral

Please think very carefully about declining a place at Exeter in the hope of an amended grade as the outcomes are uncertain. Remember that if you defer, we are unlikely to be able to reverse that decision since we will allocate your place to someone else when request is agreed.  If after careful consideration you would like to request to defer your start date to September 2022, please email us.

Upon receipt of your results (or non-academic information required as part of your offer) if you have either accepted your place as firm or insurance choice but you have not met the exact conditions of your offer (please note, that the University does not guarantee to confirm grade equivalencies unless otherwise stated) the University reserves the right to make you an offer on an alternative programme or the same programme on a different campus (we offer some programmes at our Exeter campuses (Streatham and St. Lukes) and also at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall – offers for the Penryn Campus will be highlighted by the campus code C).

If you are made an offer for an alternative programme you will be notified of this via email and/or text message and it will appear in your UCAS Track. When an alternative offer is made you are under no obligation to accept it and should you decline, you will either be released to your insurance choice or into UCAS clearing.

Should you wish to opt-out of the alternative offer service, once you have accepted your place (firm or insurance) please email ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk stating “Alternative Offer Opt-Out” in the subject of your email, quoting your full name, UCAS Personal ID and programme of intended study within 14 days of accepting your offer. Please note that if you opt out of this service but subsequently change your mind, we cannot guarantee to consider you for alternative programmes and you may be required to apply for any vacancies via UCAS Clearing.

The Adjustment period gives you the opportunity to reconsider your options if you have done better than expected.

If you have exceeded your offer with your Firm choice you are eligible for the Adjustment period. UCAS Track will give you the option to register for the Adjustment period and if you choose to do this, you will have five 24 hour periods (including weekends) from the date your Firm offer becomes Unconditional Firm (UF) or A level publication day, whichever is the later, to look around for vacancies. If your offer goes UF less than five days before the 31 August you will only have whatever time is left between then and 31 August.

Whilst you can approach other universities, your place with your current Unconditional Firm (UF) choice will be held for you. UCAS will not advertise Adjustment vacancies; these will only be advertised on universities' own websites.

Clearing is a service available between July and September, but for most people it is used after the exam results are published in August. It can help people without a university or college place to find suitable vacancies on higher education courses.

Clearing involves you contacting universities and institutions directly to see if they are willing to offer you a place. Universities will usually list vacancies on their own websites and in some cases vacancies will be listed on the UCAS website and in the national newspapers. We will list all our vacancies on our Clearing Vacancy webpage. If you are offered a place and want to accept that offer you will then be asked to refer your application to that university via UCAS Track.

Further information about Clearing can be found on the UCAS website or you can email ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk.

You can plan ahead for Clearing with our guidance and top tips and also pre-register to find out advanced information on our Clearing vacancies. Find out more - www.exeter.ac.uk/clearing.

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