Admissions Policy

Our Aims

Higher education makes a major contribution to creating safe, sustainable and stimulating communities and economies. We therefore want access to Exeter to be as broad as possible. Promoting diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity are key goals for our admissions process. We are looking for academically able, highly motivated, and intellectually curious students, interested in the world around them and in being part of our global community.

Our selection process considers ability to benefit alongside prior academic attainment though we always ensure that candidates have every reasonable prospect of succeeding on their chosen course. We challenge historic patterns of participation and under-representation in higher education though our contextual admissions process. Our international outreach and admissions encourages students from all over the world. For these reasons, the offers we make can vary between candidates but we will never make an offer at a lower level than is consistent with student success: our entry requirements reflect the overall and subject-specific knowledge and skills required to do well.

Stakeholders rightly expect our decisions to be evidence-based, fair, transparent and consistent. Our aim is an admissions service with the individual at its heart delivered through accurate, accessible systems, fair and accessible procedures and expert, approachable staff.

Scope

This Policy sets out our approach, our responsibilities and those of our applicants. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions of Offer, Prospectuses and Study web site. All Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes offered by the University of Exeter are in scope, on any campus, including Degree Apprenticeships and Foundation Years. Credit-bearing online provision is also included. The Policy is also relevant for visiting students (any study level). Applicants interested in our Initial Teacher Education (ITE)BMBS MedicineBSc Medical Imaging or MSci Nursing should review the additional Admissions Policies specific to these programmes and which also address Fitness to Practice issues.

Sector Best Practice

Our Policy is consistent with best practice in higher education admissions, as defined in the UK Quality Code for HE: Admissions, Recruitment and Widening Access the Schwartz Fair Admissions Review and the UUK & Guild HE Fair Admissions Code of Practice. It is also framed with reference to commitments to fair access and student success as set out within the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, Consumer and Markets Authority regulations, equalities legislation and data protection/GDPR requirements.

Responsibility for oversight of and changes to our Admissions Policy rests with the University of Exeter’s Admissions Policy Group. Oversight of the admissions process itself sits with our Recruitment and Admissions Group.

The University welcomes applications from students able to demonstrate the appropriate potential, qualifications and/or experience to succeed. Programmes may have general and subject-specific requirements and general guidance is available on our Study webpages. European and wider international qualifications are welcome. Guidance on equivalencies is available on our International webpages. We also evaluate international qualifications by referring to independently published guides such as UK ENIC. We maintain lists of recognised international HE institutions and some selection decisions may consider where you have studied as well as the qualification and your level of attainment within it. We can consider combinations of different qualification types. Guidance on specific circumstances is available from the Admissions Team.

Undergraduate Study

General Entry Requirements

The University’s General Entry Requirements for undergraduate study are available in our Regulations. Individual disciplines and/or programmes may also require particular levels of attainment at GCSE or equivalent, particularly in English Language and/or Mathematics. The Admissions Team can advise on equivalencies, including international qualifications accepted in place of GCSEs. In order to be fair to everyone, unless we can offer an exemption, a formal award from a recognised awarding body is required. A transcript from a school or college without a formal qualification is not usually acceptable.

Competence in English Language (All)

Teaching and assessment will normally take place in English. It is therefore very important for the success of your studies that you have an appropriate qualification in the English language. Most courses require at least GCSE English at grade 4/C, or an equivalent qualification. Levels may be higher and this may sometimes reflect professional practice requirements. We include this in our Prospectus.

Our website contains further information about our English language requirements and the Admissions Team can advise on variations or exemptions we may be able to offer in individual cases.

Qualification Types

We welcome a wide range of qualifications and combinations of qualifications. Our Prospectus sets out our typical offers in terms of A-Levels, BTEC Extended Diploma or the International Baccalaureate (IB). This is because these are numerically the most frequently offered qualifications. However, we are also delighted to accept many vocational qualifications including, for many programmes, other BTEC qualifications and/or T-Levels. We are very positive about Access qualifications and very familiar with making Access offers to include both overall scores and points required in specific units. We welcome the Extended Project Qualification as excellent preparation for university study. If you take an EPQ, we may be able to make an alternate offer giving you more flexibility in how you meet our requirements. We do the same if you take a Core Maths qualification since we have found that there is a correlation between strong achievement in a post-GCSE mathematics award and success at university. We are also happy to consider applicants who are taking a combination of qualifications such as A-Level, BTEC, Pre-U or IB Higher subject.

Preferred or Required Subjects

We consider a wide range of subjects as appropriate for entry to our programmes. We accept creative subjects such as Art, Drama or Photography. We welcome RS/Religion and Ethics and similar. Physical Education and Sports Level 3 qualifications are also perfectly acceptable. We accept first language A-Levels as one of the three usually required for entry. The only caveat to this is that applicants are advised to check individual programme requirements and ensure that they can meet the relevant subject requirements as these will not normally be waived. We encourage applicants to take a range of subjects offering different skills sets such as essay based and numeracy skills but we will not disadvantage those who take subjects closely related such as Drama and English, Art and Photography.

Flexibility and Returning to Study

We recognise that study pathways can vary for different individuals, especially those returning to study after a break, starting for the first time after a career or family, those wanting to follow an interest in later life or those undertaking an employer-based programme such as a Degree Apprenticeship. If a candidate does not meet our General Entry Requirements and/or programme-specific requirements, we may be able to consider prior learning and/or experiential learning (see below), and will try to take into account additional selection strategies as part of holistic assessment of suitability. These variations may apply for mature students (those aged 21 or over on entry), for those joining through articulation and partnership arrangements as a result of international collaboration or for those learning as part of a work-based programme of study such as a Degree Apprenticeship.

Generally, we do suggest that candidates have undertaken some recognised systematic course of study within the three years prior to the start of a programme. This may be an Access Course, Open University units or some form of workplace Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The Admissions Team can advise on this. Where there is no record of recent previous study, we will consider the extent and level of prior academic and related skills training and the contexts in which the candidate has worked. For example previous academic study to degree level ten years ago, followed by employment in an area where the skills are transferrable to the new area of proposed study may be considered favourably where ten year-old Level 2 or 3 (GCSE or A-Level) awards without relevant employment-based skills may not be acceptable without recent study. Admissions will seek advice from the relevant Admissions Tutor in borderline and complex cases. If the application is unsuccessful, we will provide advice on next steps to prepare for another attempt.

The Selection Process

We receive many thousands of applications a year for a limited number of available places. It is not possible to make offers to all the excellent, even outstanding, students who apply. Unfortunately, being predicted the grades stated in our standard/typical or contextual offer does not guarantee the offer of a place. We release offers in stages across the recruitment cycle, depending on how many we calculate we can make to meet our targets. The number and pace of offer varies by discipline but, in general, the higher the predicted grades in relation to the typical offer, the higher the chance that we will be able to make one.

Sometimes, we may have enough offers or places for those eligible for a contextual offer but not for candidates similarly ranked academically but not eligible as contextual. Whilst A-level or equivalent grades (achieved or predicted) are the main factor in our admissions decision, other criteria may apply and can sometimes determine whether we make or confirm an offer. Further information is in the Application in Contextual section below.

Programmes may have advisory or compulsory non-academic recommendations in terms of work experience. This may be because we need to ensure that there is a sufficient understanding of an area such as NHS values, for health-related courses.

For Degree Apprenticeships, the employer recommendation and/or selection criteria form part of the standard entry requirements. Candidates will be required to meet the academic selection criteria and employment based assessments. Academic entry requirements for Degree Apprenticeships may vary from those for degrees in similar academic disciplines, because of employer selection criteria.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) or Experiential Learning (APEL) and Advanced Standing

We recognise that applicants may have gained credit for previous study and want to gain exemption from part of their degree. Applicants should supply full details as part of their application. The previous learning must be relevant to the programme for which you are applying and can only be accepted if the subject matter ‘maps’ onto the relevant core and/or optional modules. If successful, the credit will count towards your programme of study.

We will not normally allow credit for more than one full year of undergraduate study, meaning that we can, if the APL application is successful, allow direct entry to Year 2 of a course. Direct Entry to Year 3 is not normally allowed unless this is part of an international collaboration or specific articulation route.

Outside the context of partnership arrangements, applicants for Year 2 of undergraduate study are expected to meet the Level 3 (A-Level or equivalent) entry requirements in place at the relevant time, in addition to successful completion of the relevant HE credit. This is so that we are fair to candidates who could not originally gain a place at one of our campuses. This rule applies to those transferring from another University and to those looking to move between University of Exeter campuses.

Experiential learning (which may not have resulted in a formally awarded or credit-bearing qualification) may be taken into account as part of the selection process but will not usually result in any advanced standing (credit towards the degree itself). We will consider the blend of academic and experiential learning in the case of mature student applications and it can, occasionally, be relevant where there are also mitigating circumstances such as ill-health. In all cases, our primary concern is to ensure there is evidence that you can succeed on the course. Our judgement on this is part of our academic selection decision.

To be considered for APL/APEL you will need to send information on your APL to the Admissions Office (along with information on the programme you are interested in studying). You can do this by completing either the APCL application form (for certified learning) or the APEL application form (for experiential learning) and send to the Admissions Team who will liaise with the Academic College to confirm whether any of your prior learning can be accredited to your new programme of study.

Other Criteria, Borderline Cases and Personal Statements

In addition to academic qualifications, when selecting candidates we may also take into account information provided within the Personal Statement and Reference. We may refer to Personal Statements where we have to choose between candidates with the same or similar predicated or achieved grades, and where we have a limited number of remaining offers or places. In these cases, we will consider favourably statements which demonstrate strong motivation for the proposed subject of study, evidence of extension reading or activities relating to it and those whose academic and all-round achievement outperform the context. Extra-curricular achievements will not usually confer any special weight or advantage in the admissions process. Evidence of sustained commitment and resilience such as caring responsibilities or earning money to contribute to the family finances may also count as part of our holistic assessment of motivation and suitability for a place at Exeter.  

Extenuating Circumstances

We understand that an applicant’s studies can be disrupted due to a number of extenuating circumstances, which may include serious health or personal problems. Full details on our extenuating circumstances process can be viewed on our website. If you have experienced or are currently experiencing issues which you believe have impacted on your studies or exams, we ask that you view our process and complete our online Extenuating Circumstance form. 

Changes or Errors in Predicted Grades

For all programmes except BMBS (A100), we will only consider changes to predicted grades where an error has been made when the application was submitted or valid extenuating circumstances are put forward by the referee. Post January equal consideration deadline, and/or once a programme has been closed for entry, we cannot guarantee reconsideration. This is to ensure fairness for all applicants who have applied by the UCAS equal consideration date.

For the BMBS (A100) programme, changes in predicted grades due to an error when the grades were entered will only be considered if received within 14 days of the equal consideration deadline (for example if the equal consideration deadline is 15 October, changes in predicted grades due to error will only be considered if received by 29 October). Where an error in predicted grades comes to light after this date, if it places an applicant in a tier where they would have been invited to interview they will be placed on a reserve list and invited if interview places become available. Please note that this policy applies to errors in predicted grades only – all other reasons for a change in predicted grades will not be considered.

Post-Results Applications, Unconditional Offers and Gap Years

We can consider candidates with achieved results (e.g. post-A-Level) or with predicted grades (e.g. an estimate of IB Diploma points). Achieved results do not provide an advantage over predicted grades. To create scope for those who do not want to take a gap year as well as those who do, or who have done so, we may limit how many offers we make for deferred entry or to those with achieved results.

We do not make ‘conditional unconditional offers’ – a phrase applied to those who have not completed their qualifications but may be given an unconditional offer anyway. The only unconditional offers we make are to those with achieved results meeting our requirements and which do not exceed any numbers caps or management we have in place.

We are happy to consider applicants who intend to take a year out between school/college and university. Applicants applying for deferred entry will be considered in the same way as applicants applying for entry without a gap year. We may not approve late requests for deferred entry during the summer results period and we do not guarantee to accept gap-year candidates who have missed offer conditions. Applicants wishing to change their year of entry after receiving an offer will need to email the Admissions team at ug-ad@exeter.ac.uk.

Retaking Some or All Exams

We are generally happy to consider those who have or are re-taking part or all of a qualification, subject to any caps or numbers management relating to the volume of unconditional offers overall. Where predictions are not available for those applicants who are re-taking part or all of a qualification, we will normally base our assessment on the assumption that they are likely to achieve one grade higher than their original result.

Prior HE Study and Good Standing

The University reserves the right not to consider an applicant for entry if the entrant has previously been withdrawn from the University of Exeter or another HE institution on academic grounds. Each case will be considered on its individual merits, including the length of time elapsed, circumstances of the original failure and current evidence of academic achievement. In these cases, evidence of recent academic and, if relevant, work-based CPD, will strengthen the application. Our concern is to ensure that there is every reasonable chance of your success on the course.

If you are currently or have previously studied for a degree at the University of Exeter or any other institution you will need to share details of modules studied and grades achieved to date. We will ask you to confirm that you are in good standing (academically and in terms of behaviour) with your current or previous institution. It is also helpful if your referee can confirm this. This information will be used to consider your suitability and propensity to succeed at Exeter. Where there is no evidence of this, we may not be in a position to offer you a place to study here. Where information comes to light after any offer but should have been shared under this Policy, we reserve the right to withdraw any offer made or confirmed to you.

Applicants who have previously failed any part of a medical programme at the University of Exeter or any other institution will not be considered for the BMBS Medicine, MSci Nursing or BSc Medical Imaging programmes unless extenuating circumstances have been declared. Any declaration of extenuating circumstance should be referred to the University of Exeter Medical School for initial consideration. A final decision may lie with the Admissions Selection and Advisory Group (ASAG). All students accepted on to the programme will be required to start from the first year.


Postgraduate Study

Regulations, Ordinances and General Entry Requirements

The University’s rules for study and admissions to higher degrees are available in our Regulations. Overarching requirements for admission are set out in Ordinance 1. In general, postgraduate study requires you to be a graduate of the University of Exeter or another university or Institute of Higher Education approved by the Senate. In practice, we welcome applicants with varied experiences and different backgrounds where these provide appropriate preparation for a higher degree. We are committed to ensuring that no student with the potential to succeed is discouraged from applying. We have a process whereby we may determine that someone who is not a graduate qualifies for admission because of experience or other evidence. Please contact the Admissions Office for advice in the first instance. Individual disciplines and/or programmes often require particular achievement at undergraduate module level; detailed transcripts of study will be considered as part of admission, alongside any overall predicted or achieved degree result.

For admission to a research degree such as MPhil/PhD, a strong academic training, high level of attainment in a prior undergraduate degree and, if necessary, Masters will usually be required. It is very important that there is a strong match between you, as a potential research student and a potential supervisor within our academic community. It is a good idea to and sometimes required that you provide evidence of support from a potential supervisor as part of your application. Studentship and scholarship applications are very competitive and we cannot make funding offers to all the strong candidates applying. Collaborative or externally funded studentship competitions are administered according to the published rules and timelines of the relevant consortium or sponsor. This Policy will apply only to the Exeter elements of that process. Internal studentship or scholarship awards may include judgements about the strength or suitability of your research plan as well as your overall academic background. You cannot appeal against the academic judgement involved in these decisions and our decision on funding will be final.

Competence in English Language (All)

Teaching and assessment will normally take place in English. It is therefore very important for the success of your studies that you have an appropriate qualification in the English language. Most courses require at least GCSE English at grade 4/C, or an equivalent qualification. For some programmes a higher level of English will be required, reflecting professional practice requirements. This information is stated in our Prospectus.

We recognise a wide variety of alternative tests for English Language competence and our website contains further information. There may be occasions when we are able to consider non-test-based evidence of English Language capability, especially for research degree admissions. If we can exempt you from a formal test, we will let you know.

Qualification Types

In practice, we welcome applications from a very wide range of universities and higher education institutions around the world. Our postgraduate admissions team is expert at reviewing transcripts, GPAs and module records to determine their suitability. Further information is available at Find Your Country.

Preferred or Required Subjects

At postgraduate level, the most important thing is that you are capable of following and succeeding in a challenging course of higher degree study. Sometimes, an undergraduate degree in the same discipline is essential for this; sometimes, the subject of previous study is less important than the overall level of attainment (e.g. 2:1 equivalent). Details are included in our online web and PG Prospectus information. Please also note any module requirements.

Flexibility and Returning to Study

We recognise that study pathways can vary for different individuals, especially those returning to study after a break, taking on postgraduate study during or after a career or family, those wanting to follow an interest in later life or those undertaking professional development with or for an employer. We have part-time and online postgraduate study to support this and our academic staff are familiar with the needs of students with extensive work and professional experience and/or family commitments. You can undertake a Masters or research degree at any age. We have had students in their late 80s as well as those progressing straight from an undergraduate degree. All are welcome.

For postgraduate study, we have to ensure that you are ready and able to complete a challenging academic programme. We will normally expect you to have an undergraduate qualification. We encourage you to contact the Admissions Team with any queries before submitting an application.

Generally, we do prefer candidates to have undertaken some recognised systematic course of study within the three years prior to the start of a programme. Where there is no record of recent previous study, we will consider the extent and level of prior academic and related skills training and the contexts in which the candidate has worked. For example previous academic study to degree level ten years ago, followed by employment in an area where the skills are transferrable to the new area of proposed study may be considered favourably where a ten year-old degree without relevant employment-based skills are unlikely to be acceptable without recent study. Admissions will seek advice from the relevant Programme Director in borderline and complex cases. If the application is unsuccessful, we will provide advice on next steps to prepare for another attempt.

Additional flexibility will apply where admission is to an online module and where the path to a full degree is through incremental credit.

The Selection Process

We receive thousands of applications a year for a limited number of available places and it is not possible to make offers to all the excellent, even outstanding, students who apply. Where competition is high and we cannot make an offer for your first choice course, we will try to make an offer for a related programme, if available. You are always welcome to apply again in the same year, for a different programme, if your original application is unsuccessful.

Our selection criteria will sometimes include a review of where you have previously studied as well as what courses you have taken. We use published lists of university rankings for some countries to assist us in our decision-making.

Programmes may have advisory and/or compulsory non-academic requirements in terms of work experience. This may be because we need to ensure that there is a sufficient understanding of the practical context in which an academic discipline operates. Details will be included in the Prospectus and these requirements form part of the entry requirements of and selection criteria for the relevant course. We may turn down an application from an academically very well qualified candidate if there is no evidence of relevant work experience or this compares less favourably than that of other candidates.

For Higher Degree Apprenticeships, the employer selection criteria form part of the standard entry requirements for and selection methods of the programme in question. Candidates will be required to meet the academic selection criteria and the employment based assessments. Academic entry requirements for Higher Degree Apprenticeships can differ from those for postgraduate degrees in similar academic disciplines because of employer selection criteria.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) or Experiential Learning (APEL) and Advanced Standing

We recognise that applicants may have gained credit for learning which they wish to use to gain exemption from part of their postgraduate degree. This may be particularly relevant for those with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma but subsequently wishing to attain a Masters award. If the PG Cert or Dip was an exit qualification, following an unsuccessful attempt to gain a Masters, we will not usually be able to grant advanced standing. Where this is not the case, we may be able to grant exemptions. In each instance, applicants should supply full details as part of their application. The previous learning must be relevant to the programme for which you are applying and can only be accepted if the subject matter ‘maps’ onto the relevant core and/or optional modules. If successful, the credit will count towards your programme of study.

Experiential learning (which may not have resulted in a formally awarded or credit-bearing qualification) may be taken into account as part of the selection process but will not usually result in any advanced standing (credit towards the degree itself). Our judgement on this is part of our academic selection decision.

To be considered for APL/APEL you will need to send information on your APL to the Admissions Office (along with information on the programme you are interested in studying). You can do this by completing either the APCL application form (for certified learning) or the APEL application form (for experiential learning) and send to the Admissions Team who will liaise with the Academic College to confirm whether any of your prior learning can be accredited to your new programme of study.

Other Criteria, Borderline Cases and Personal Statements

In addition to academic qualifications, when selecting candidates we may also take into account information provided within the Statement of Purpose and/or your proposed Research Statement. We will consider favourably statements demonstrating strong motivation for the proposed programme of study, a detailed understanding of it and evidence of particular aptitudes, skills or knowledge.

For postgraduate study and for research programmes in particular, academic references can play a significant part in the selection process and it is important that we receive at least one of these. They are especially important for partnership studentships where assessment of applications takes place across multiple institutions.

Prior HE Study and Good Standing

The University reserves the right not to consider an applicant for entry if the entrant has previously been withdrawn from the University of Exeter or another HE institution on academic grounds. Each case will be considered on its individual merits, including the length of time elapsed, circumstances of the original failure and current evidence of academic achievement. In these cases, evidence of recent academic and, if relevant, work-based CPD, will strengthen the application. Our concern is to ensure that there is every reasonable chance of your success on the course.

If you are currently or have previously studied for a degree at the University of Exeter or any other Institution you will need to share details of modules studied and grades achieved to date. You will also be asked to confirm that you are in good standing (academically and in terms of behaviour) with your current or previous institution. It is also helpful if your referee can confirm this. This information will be used to consider your suitability and propensity to succeed at Exeter. Where there is no evidence of this, we may not be in a position to offer you a place to study here. Where information comes to light after any offer but should have been shared under this Policy, we reserve the right to withdraw any offer made or confirmed to you.

We work to ensure a fair and consistent admissions process. We will:

  • Ensure that all programmes clearly state their entry criteria, including academic and non-academic qualifications, along with appropriate experience and skills required for entry
  • Provide easily accessible programme and entry information through our web site and prospectuses
  • Inform applicants about how best to demonstrate their achievements (both academic and experiential) and motivation to study
  • Make sure that we do not change our entry requirements upwards after the 1 September in any given application cycle; though we may do so if this is to lower requirements or widen the subjects deemed acceptable
  • Make offers according to our published grade ranges, including contextual, with reference to the evidence and procedures set out in this Policy and any associated University Regulations
  • Allow candidates time to decide on any offer without pressure within stated deadlines; decision timeframes will vary by level of study and application route (eg. UCAS for UG and direct for PG), time of year (main application stage or summer confirmation) and circumstance (eg. Being part of a competitive studentship scheme, being made a change of programme offer etc.).
  • Include details of any deposit required to secure a place in the offer letter
  • Provide events, activities, staff and student ambassador expertise to help candidates reach an informed decision on any application to or offer from Exeter, ensuring that all those involved in the recruitment and admissions process are appropriately trained for their role
  • Regularly review the effectiveness of our admissions policies and procedures, making adjustments to entry requirements as needed in the interests of student success.

Where programmes include interviews or tests as part of their selection criteria we will make this explicit to candidates, and provide details on how the interviews will be conducted and the criteria used to select successful candidates. Further information is available in our Interview Policy.

The University does not normally require candidates to provide additional written work to supplement an undergraduate application, although in individual cases the University may request this and will explain the reasons for such a request. Postgraduate applications, especially those associated with Research study, may require written work and/or a Research Statement plus dialogue with academic staff as part of the recruitment and selection process.

Arrangements for interviews and submitting additional written work will take into account details of any medical, special or cultural needs and any reasonable adjustments.

Entry to the University is competitive and, for many programmes, the University receives more applications than there are places so not every applicant will receive an offer of a place. Where candidates are unsuccessful, feedback will be available upon request.

We will provide feedback on an individual basis in response to receiving a formal request via the online form. The applicant needs to do this within 10 working days of the decision being communicated. The request must include:

  • UCAS Personal Identification Number or Exeter Reference Number

AND

  • Full Name
  • Date of birth
  • Course name applied for

Feedback will only be given in written format (not over the telephone or in person) within 10 working days of receipt of the request. The Admissions Team will not consider an application that has been re-submitted in the same cycle in light of the feedback provided for the same programme, however we would consider for an alternative programme.

In line with our Data Protection policies we will not be able to provide feedback to anyone other than the applicant unless Admissions have been advised to do so (see Discussing your application with others). The feedback will be sent to the email address the applicant has provided on their application form. Therefore please be sure to inform the Admissions Office of any changes.

If an applicant wishes to appeal against a decision in light of their feedback they will need to refer to the complaints procedures.

If you have applied directly to the University or if you require further information please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Admissions Office
The Innovation Centre
University of Exeter
Rennes Drive
Exeter, UK
EX4 4RN

Phone:

  • UK callers: 0844 6200012 - Calls to this number are charged at 3p per minute from a standard BT line. Calls from a mobile may vary.
  • EU/International callers: +44(0)1392 723044

Web: Enquire online
Fax: +44(0)1392 722479

Late applications: Undergraduate study

Applicants who apply by the UCAS equal consideration date, which for Medicine is the 15 October and for all other programmes the relevant UCAS date in January, will receive full and equal consideration. Later applications will be considered on an individual basis if places are still available on the relevant programme.

Late applications: Postgraduate study

If there are spaces available and you can arrive on time, you can apply for taught programmes up to the start date for the course. For research provision, there is considerable flexibility on start date and it is possible to begin at various stages of the calendar year. The Admissions Office can provide further detail.

In deciding when to submit your application you should take into account factors such as securing accommodation and, if appropriate, applying for funding.

If you require a visa to study it is a particularly important that allow at least 4 weeks for the visa process once you have secured a firm unconditional offer.

For further information on our advisory deadlines for Postgraduate Taught study please view our apply webpage and for Postgraduate Research study please view our How to apply pages.

Undergraduate study

The UCAS application form includes a number of questions which give us details about the context in which applicants have achieved their academic qualifications (see below). The University has a strategy to extend the diversity of its student population and actively seeks to address historic disadvantage and under-representation. In cases where we judge that contextual factors have affected performance and achievement and/or the applicant’s background meets the criteria identified in our widening participation and internationalisation strategies, the University will consider this as part of its holistic assessment of the application. It will then take this into account when deciding whether to make an offer and the level of offer to be made. Motivation, potential to succeed and subject preparation remain important selection criteria in these cases.

In principle, we may make offers to any UK or international candidate from the lowest grade in our published contextual offer range to the top of our typical offer range. We work to ensure that all similarly qualified and eligible candidates are treated on the same basis and ensure that we do not discriminate unlawfully because of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

Where an offer is made or varied on the basis of a particular set of individual circumstances this will follow the process set out in our extenuating circumstances procedure (see above). Otherwise, decisions will be applied to groups of candidates all sharing the same or similar eligibility criteria. Our target numbers, whether for UK and/or international candidates may form part of our consideration as to whether we can make a particular set of offers or find a place on the course.

Within our widening participation framework, the eligibility criteria for a contextual offer are:

  • All applicants from state schools who live in an area with low participation rates in higher education (POLAR 4 LPN Q1/2). Pupils can check eligibility using the postcode checker available on the Office for Students website
  • All applicants who live in areas of deprivation (IMD Quintile 1 or 2) and from a state school. You can check eligibility using the postcode checker. The postcode check with provide you with an IMD decile score, IMD Decile 1&2 = IMD Quintile 1, IMD Decile 3&4 = IMD Quintile 2, IMD Decile 5 or above = IMD Quintile 3 or above.
  • Applicants we define as either a Care Leaver, a young person who has been looked after by the local authority for more than 13 weeks since they were 14, including some time at age 16 or 17, or Care Experienced any student who has been or is currently in care or from a looked after background at any stage of their life
  • Applicants engaged on specific progression programmes run or managed by the University of Exeter
  • Applicants seeking asylum, have limited leave to remain (excluding under the EU settlement Scheme), are under ‘humanitarian protection’ or have refugee status

Postgraduate study

We are very keen to widen participation to postgraduate study and consider applications holistically to inform our decision-making. In cases where there is clear evidence that contextual factors have affected performance and achievement, and where the applicant is able to demonstrate motivation and potential to achieve, the University will consider this as part of its holistic assessment of the application. Equalities and diversity indicators may also be considered in terms of access to specifically geared scholarship or studentship schemes.

We encourage all applicants to complete the declaration of disability and indicate any special requirements (in particular to your health) on the application form if appropriate. This will not affect your chances of being offered a place but will help us plan for your support.

We would usually expect reasonable adjustments to have been made to assessments to allow us to consider academic achievement against the same criteria used for applicants not declaring a disability.

However, if an applicant or referee feels that reasonable adjustments made during assessments were not sufficient to allow fair consideration of an applicant declaring a disability, this should be made clear as part of the application with supporting evidence provided if appropriate. We will then consider this information when making a decision on the application.

Information about the support that the University provides for students declaring a disability is available from our AccessAbility team.

It is the responsibility of applicants to:

  • provide full and accurate information in an application to the University;
  • disclose to the University any circumstances or relevant unspent convictions which would:
    • prevent you from participating or completing your chosen programme of study;
    • or restrict you from engaging in University life;
  • notify the University of any changes or corrections to the original application;
  • Pay any required deposit or fee by the relevant deadline or request an extension and do this in accordance with the relevant financial rules and national legislation.

By accepting an offer of admission, the applicant agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of the University. If the University becomes aware that an applicant, prior to registering as a student, has failed to abide by these rules and regulations or any terms and conditions of offer, an offer to study may be withdrawn.

In the light of additional information which was not available at the time of selection, an offer may be amended or, in exceptional circumstances, withdrawn. The University also reserves the right to correct errors where they have been made in the communication of decisions and offers.

We similarly reserve the right not to consider an applicant where there is evidence of previous use of fraudulent documentation as an applicant or student, or of plagiarism or any other behaviour contrary to the Regulations, Disciplinary and other Procedures for Students.

The University reserves the right to exclude a candidate who is considered on justifiable grounds to be unsuitable for a place on a particular programme according to individual circumstances.

The University is committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a working, learning and social environment that is free from unfair discrimination, bullying or harassment. It aims to ensure that staff, students, visitors and all others associated with the University are treated with dignity, respect, and equity, regardless of inappropriate distinctions, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation (as identified under the Equality Act 2010 as 'protected characteristics').

The University reserves the right to reject or withdraw an offer based on an applicant’s behaviour. Applicants are expected to display behaviour/s that are in line with the University’s Equality and Diversity and Dignity and Respect policies (which all students and staff of the University are required to adhere to). Applicants are also expected to read university correspondence carefully, endeavour to understand the information included and take on board any instructions or feedback given constructively. Persistently pressurising, vexatious or frivolous correspondence may result in a decision on our part to stop communication. We will advise if we feel this is necessary, explain our decision and ensure that we have addressed all key questions of substance before we withdraw from correspondence. Use of an agent does not exempt the applicant themselves from understanding these requirements and all terms and conditions of offer. Applicants should take care to appoint only reputable and authorised agents. The International Student Recruitment Team can confirm our authorised representatives.

Behaviour of concern pre-dating the application will be considered, if relevant, as part of our Policy on the Admission of Students with Criminal Convictions and/or our Fitness to Practice Policy. We welcome applications from those with convictions and are proud to be part of the Unlock Pledge. Our assessment of these cases will be risk-based and we encourage you to seek guidance, if appropriate and relevant, before submitting a formal application. Behaviour pre-dating the application and not resulting in a formal conviction, caution, warning etc will not normally be taken into account although the principles relating to leaving other educational institutions in good standing do apply (see above).

Once an application has been made, we expect candidates and their supporters to abide by the principles of dignity and respect that apply within our community. We will not tolerate undue pressure, rudeness, abusive or aggressive behaviour to our staff and may terminate calls or contact where we judge that this is in the interests of our duty of care to our colleagues. We reserve the right not to make or to terminate or withdraw an offer to any applicant behaving in these ways. We train all our staff in relation to bribery and undue influence and ask that applicants and their supporters do no approach staff in this way.

The contacts and behaviours covered here can include, but are not limited to, behaviour during a visit to the University (such as attending an interview or general visit to the university and University organised offsite events for applicants), behaviour in correspondence with the University or behaviour on social media.

It is important to recognise that the use of social media can pose risks which impact on the wellbeing of others and the reputation of the University. Therefore we expect applicants to apply the same standards of conduct online as they are expected to apply offline. Candidates are advised to respect the confidentiality of others when making online posts and statements, including both staff, current students and other candidates. It is advisable not to make statements that cannot be evidenced or justified if necessary. Applicants are asked not to use social media to record or film formal elements of the assessment process such as interviews as this could give unfair advantage to other candidates or could breach confidentiality or privacy.

The offer-making process

Where an applicant has applied through UCAS the University will communicate our decision through the official channels of UCAS and a detailed offer email will be sent by Admissions.

Where an applicant has applied directly to the University, a decision will be communicated to the applicant by email from Admissions and will be visible on the ‘The Gateway’ for those applying for postgraduate study.

Where a candidate has applied for one programme and is not successful, an alternative programme may be offered on any of our campuses, if appropriate.

An offer, whether conditional or unconditional, will be made in good faith taking into account information as supplied by the applicant and/or referee at the time of the application. In some circumstances, an offer may be conditional upon non-academic requirements, e.g. Police checks which are deemed satisfactory. However, we do not make unconditional offers to those who have not met our academic standards unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Accepting an offer for Postgraduate study

If you have an offer for a full-time taught postgraduate programme you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. You should pay your deposit by the deadline even if you have not yet met all the conditions of your offer. If you chose not to pay your deposit by the deadline our offer will be withdrawn.

If you have an offer for a part-time or research degree, you should indicate your acceptance via The Gateway. Alternatively you can contact us to confirm acceptance. Remember to include your full name, Exeter reference number and programme title in your reply.

Confirmation of results: undergraduate study

‘Confirmation’ refers to the period in August each year when the University receives examination results for applicants who have accepted Conditional offers. Applicants who achieve the grades required by their Conditional offer have their place confirmed. Applications from candidates who have not met the required grades exactly are reviewed and their places may be confirmed if space is available, although no guarantee is made that this will be possible.

All conditions of offers must be met in full by 12 noon on the 31 August to guarantee a place for entry in the year of application. If conditions are met after this point we may be able to confirm a deferred place.

The Confirmation procedure includes receiving and processing electronic data from UCAS which, in turn, receives and processes electronic results data from the examination boards. The University reserves the right to amend the offer in light of an electronic error.

Alternative offers

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 which are Streatham and St Luke’s and also at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall). Please note, that offers for the Penryn Campus will be highlighted by the campus code C on UCAS Track.

If you are made an offer for an alternative programme at confirmation (when your results are received), you will be notified of this via email and/or text message and it will appear and be highlighted 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 contact us online stating “Alternative Offer Opt-Out” in the subject of your email quoting your full name, UCAS Personal ID and programme of intended study with 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.

Meeting your conditions: Postgraduate study

Applicants who meet the requirements of their conditional offer, and provide the required documentation to demonstrate this, will have their place confirmed. Applications from candidates who have not met the requirements, are reviewed and their places may be confirmed if space is available: no guarantee is made that this will be possible. For programmes that have the standard entry date in September all conditions of offers must be met in full by the 31 August to guarantee a place for entry in the year of application. For all other start dates, the conditions of offer must be met a minimum of 1 month before the official start date of the programme. If conditions are met after this point we may need to make an offer of a deferred place.

Applicants who are studying a progression programme with INTOUniversity of Exeter may have adjusted deadlines if their INTO programme finishes after 31 August.

The University of Exeter is required by UK Visas and Immigration to check that all international students have the right to study and also to keep a copy of your passport and visa. All international students are required to present these documents prior to registration.

Obtaining a Student Visa to study at the University

Checks during Admissions Process

Before issuing an offer of a place, the University will check to ensure that international applicants satisfy the requirements of UKVI’s Student Visa guidance. This includes assessing academic progression and ensuring that the offer of a place will not lead the applicant to be in breach of the Student Visa study cap.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

A CAS is a unique reference number which is assigned and used by UKVI. Applicants are required to input their CAS number on their visa application to link it to details about them and their programme which the University has uploaded to UKVI’s online portal.

The University generates the CAS once your offer is unconditional and has been firmly accepted. For full-time postgraduate taught programmes a deposit or evidence of official sponsorship or a professional career development loan will also be required.

Visa applications can be submitted in the 6 months prior to your planned start date. The University therefore starts to contact applicants starting programmes in September about their CAS in April. CAS are valid for 6 months from the date that they are issued.

You can find information on how to apply for your Student visa on our website.

ATAS Clearance

A number of our programmes fall within a list of subjects which require Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance. If you require ATAS, it is important that you allow sufficient time for your application to be decided before applying for your Tier 4 visa. The university will not issue your CAS until we have received a copy of your ATAS certificate.

The University will keep admissions documentation for all students who enrol/register at the University for the duration of their studies and for six years after.

Unless specifically requested, we ask that you do not send original documents in advance of your arrival at the University as we cannot guarantee the safe return via the postal system.

As part of the admissions process, if you are not successful in gaining a place at the University we will keep your documentation for a minimum of six months. Within 6-12 months of receiving an unsuccessful decision all documentation in relation to your application will be confidentially destroyed/deleted.

If you are offered a place at the University and decline, withdraw or fail to enrol, all your documentation will be held for a minimum of six months. Subsequently, all documentation will be confidentially destroyed/deleted within 12 months of an applicant declining, withdrawing or in the event of non-enrolment.

Further information regarding data rights can be found on our data protection webpages.

In certain circumstances the University may need to share your data with a third party external organisation in order to reach a decision on, or progress your application. In such circumstances we are committed to protecting your data in accordance with all relevant data protection legislation.

Our Applicants Privacy Policy provides full information about how and why we process, use and, where necessary, share the personal data you provide to us as an applicant, and how we protect it.

The University is committed to providing a fair and accessible admissions system. To achieve this all staff involved in recruitment and selection must be appropriately trained for their roles.

Related policies 

The Admissions Policy is underpinned by a number of other policy statements offering specific guidance on aspects of the process or for specific kinds of applicant:

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to make variations to programme contents, entry requirements and methods of delivery, and to discontinue, merge or combine programmes, both before and after a student’s admission to the University, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University.

In the event that, prior to the student commencing the first term of study, the University discontinues the programme, the student may either:

  1. withdraw from the University without any liability for fees, or
  2. transfer to such other programme (if any) as may be offered by the University, for which the student is qualified subject to Dean’s approval.

If in these circumstances the student wishes to withdraw from the University and to enrol in a course at a different University, the University shall use its reasonable endeavours to assist the student.

Ratified by the Admissions Policy Group, September 2022