This policy is for you if your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate degree has a September 2021 start date.

You must also read the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy, as both policies apply.

If your undergraduate degree has a September 2020 start date, or your taught postgraduate degree has a September 2020 or January 2021 start date, read the relevant 2020-21 policy for your school.

This faculty policy is reviewed annually by the faculty’s committees, and any amendments made after the point of publication will be summarised in the Version Control section.

The Faculty of Social Sciences Admissions Policy applies to courses listed on Coursefinder for the following Schools:

  • School of Education
  • School of Law
  • School of Politics and International Studies
  • School of Sociology and Social Policy

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Please see the Faculty of Social Sciences website for course lists, typical entry requirements, and accepted qualifications. 

Undergraduate requirements 

The Faculty of Social Sciences recognises that some applicants may have studied a more flexible curriculum, where they have been able to progress through their educational development at an appropriate rate according to their ability.  

Where a Level 2 (for example, GCSE) or Level 3 (for example, A Level) qualification has been taken ‘early’ the academic reference should include the reasons for this so that it can be taken into consideration by the admissions team. 

The faculty recognises that the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and International Independent Project Qualification (IPQ) provide the opportunity for applicants to develop important research and academic skills, and may include it as part of an alternative conditional offer. Where applicable this will be detailed on Coursefinder

The Faculty of Social Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English. 

Where academic requirements have not been met application information may be shared with the Faculty of Social Science’s BA Social Science (L301) team, the University’s Lifelong Learning Centre or the International Foundation Year team for consideration for a Year 0 offer. 

Taught postgraduate requirements 

Exceptions to the typical academic requirements may be made when an applicant demonstrates significant relevant experience and their potential for benefiting from the course is clear. 

Documentation and references

Documentation for taught postgraduate applicants

In addition to the documents listed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy, a personal statement must be submitted as part of an application to the Faculty of Social Sciences, outlining your reasons for applying for the course. See the personal statement guidelines below for guidance. 

References for undergraduate applicants 

The reference section of the application is carefully considered by the Faculty of Social Sciences and is an important part of the selection process. For undergraduate referees, further information on writing the reference is available from UCAS.  

References for taught postgraduate applicants 

The Faculty of Social Science does not require references for postgraduate study. 

Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities (undergraduate only)

Eligible Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities candidates will be considered for an alternative offer. Some programmes will require specific grades in some subjects, information can be found on Coursefinder.

Extended degrees with Integrated Foundation Year (undergraduate only)

Where applicants do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to a degree course, progression may be possible through one of the University’s extended degrees with foundation year. Please see the BA Social Science (L301) and Lifelong Learning Centre website for details.

Progressions from BA Social Science (L301) Foundation Degree 

Students that complete level 0 of this programme are considered as internal applicants and do not need to complete a UCAS application. The standard offer can be found on the relevant Coursefinder webpage.  

Advanced entry

Undergraduate entry 

The Faculty of Social Sciences will consider applications from those who are seeking entry to the second year.   

All applications must be made through UCAS, as per the deadlines outlined in the Application routes and deadlines section below. To be eligible the applicant must demonstrate that they meet the following criteria:  

  • Meet first year requirements, as detailed on Coursefinder
  • Have met the learning outcomes of year 1 of the relevant programme 
  • Have achieved a minimum 2:1 or equivalent in the first year of study 

Decision on such applications are made by the Academic Admissions Tutor (or other academic lead).  

Entry onto Level 3 of the Faculty of Social Sciences is not permitted.  

Taught postgraduate entry 

Any decision on credit transfer or entry of students with advanced standing is an academic decision taken within the relevant academic school at the point of admission onto a course. Retrospective applications from students who are part-way through a course will not normally be considered.   

Applications for advanced standing will be accepted by the School of Education only and should be requested via the admissions email: pgeducation@leeds.ac.uk

Other schools within the Faculty of Social Sciences do not accept applications from those who are seeking advanced entry on postgraduate courses. All applications must be made for the full programme of study. 

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Accredited prior learning (APL) is a process undertaken by the University in order to assess and, as appropriate, recognise prior experiential learning or prior certificated learning for academic purposes.  For further information see the Advanced Entry section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy

Application process

Application routes and deadlines

Undergraduate applications 

All full-time undergraduate applications must be made through the online Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) by 15th January 2021. The Faculty of Social Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle. 

Part-time application information can be found in the Part-time study section below. 

Internal transfers for undergraduates

The Faculty of Social Sciences will consider applications from those who wish to transfer internally from other programmes at the University of Leeds. Applicants are expected to meet the standard academic entry requirements and applications should be made within four weeks of the start of the academic year. Students wishing to be considered for second year entry should consult the section above for more information on Advanced Entry. 

Taught postgraduate applications 

All applicants for taught postgraduate courses should apply online. If an application deadline is in place, this will be stated on Coursefinder and the completed application must be submitted by this date.  

Contextual admissions schemes (Undergraduate only)

The University of Leeds offers a number of alternative routes in order to widen access to higher education. 

For further details of our Access to Leeds (A2L) and Realising Opportunities Schemes see the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants 

As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Social Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning Centre. Where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre who will advise the applicant further.  

Part-time study

Undergraduate 

The Faculty of Social Sciences does not offer courses on a part-time basis.  

Postgraduate  

Applications for postgraduate study should be made via the Applicant Portal regardless of the mode of study. 

ACAS, CAS and Tier 4 visas

Applicants for distance learning courses in the Faculty of Social Sciences are not required to attend the University as part of their course, therefore a visa is not required for participation on these courses. For more information see the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy.

Age and safeguarding

The University’s policy is relayed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy.

Criminal convictions

Some courses within the Faculty of Social Sciences (as indicated on Coursefinder) may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults. As a result, applicants to these courses will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Admission may not be possible where satisfactory results are not achieved. The University will send further instructions where such checks are required.  

Applicants wishing to enter the legal profession should check with the relevant regulator for guidance on their policy in relation to criminal convictions. 

Reapplications and former students of the University

The Faculty of Social Sciences will consider applications from those who have previously applied to the institution. 

The Faculty of Social Sciences considers applications from candidates who have previously studied at the institution in line with the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy. Where appropriate, such candidates may be able to apply for Advanced Entry (see relevant section above).  

Resits (undergraduate only)

The Faculty of Social Sciences may consider applications from those who are re-taking examinations prior to entering the University. The School of Law generally expects that applicants have completed three A levels (or equivalent) in one sitting. 

Confirmation

Undergraduate confirmation 

Applicants must typically meet the conditions set by the University by 31 August of the application year unless otherwise stated in the prescribed course or professional body requirements, even if the offer is deferred for entry to the following application year.  

The Faculty of Social Sciences may not be able to confirm a place in the upcoming academic cycle following an improved final grade after a re-mark, however applicants may be asked to reapply.  

Applications from those who have not quite met the required grades may be reviewed and their places may be confirmed if there are places still available on their chosen course. Applicants will usually receive the same level of flexibility regardless of their year of entry, however any decision on confirming those who have not met the requirements of their offer will be at the discretion of the academic school. 

Taught postgraduate confirmation 

Applicants should normally have met all conditions of offer by 31 August in the year of application.  

Deferral requests

Undergraduate deferrals 

The Faculty of Social Sciences will consider applications for deferred entry and encourages such applicants to make use of the personal statement section of the application form to explain their reasons for requesting deferral. 

Applicants who wish to defer following the submission of their application should do so prior to the confirmation of a place.  

Taught postgraduate deferrals 

Applicants who wish to defer an offer of a place to the following academic year should make the request via the Applicant Portal by 1 April 2022, where the course has a September or October start date. 

Applicant assessment

Academic grades normally form only one part of the final decision and the following sections give examples of how applicants may demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and attributes that we consider will enable them to become successful students on our degree courses.

Please note, the application forms of those who are unsuccessful in gaining a place on their chosen course may be passed to admissions teams for other courses in which the applicant may be interested. 

Personal statements

The personal statement of the application form helps us to assess the nature of the applicant’s interest in the academic subject and is an important part of the selection process. It is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their enthusiasm and aptitude for the academic subject. Full details of what we wish to hear about can be found in the Personal Statement Guidelines section below.   

An applicant may be assessed based on the strength of their statement relative to others in their cohort, and/or based on criteria set by the academic school. 

Interviews

Interviews do not normally form part of the Faculty of Social Sciences’ standard admissions process however, in some cases, an applicant may be invited for an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.

All applicants for the BA Social Science course will be required to attend an interview.  

Interviews methods may vary depending on the circumstances and/or geographical location of the applicant. For example, interviews may take place on a one to one basis or via Skype, video conferencing or telephone. 

Where possible the Faculty of Social Sciences will accommodate requests for alternative interview dates, however an alternative cannot be guaranteed.  

Other assessment methods 

Undergraduate assessment methods 

Please note, some applicants to the Faculty of Social Sciences, such as mature students, may be requested to provide a piece of written work and/or undertake a test as part of the admissions process. Further details will be provided to the applicant as required.  

As outlined in the Contextual admissions schemes section above, the Faculty of Social Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning Centre. 

Taught postgraduate assessment methods 

Relevant voluntary or work experience may be taken into account when a taught postgraduate application is assessed.  

Decisions and communications with applicants

Please refer to the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy for information on how decisions will be communicated by the University. 

Unsuccessful applicants who wish to request feedback on the reason for the outcome of their application should do so in line with the Feedback section of the above policy, using the relevant email address from the Useful contacts and resources section below. Generally, where applicants request feedback on why they have not been admitted, feedback will be given.  

Please note that initial feedback is given as standard to all unsuccessful taught postgraduate candidates who apply via the Applicant Portal.  

Appeals and complaints

As per the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy, applicants who have sought feedback and wish to challenge the decision made on their application should contact the Faculty Admissions Manager, whose details can be found in the Useful contacts and resources section below. 

Personal statement guidelines

School specific guidelines for Undergraduate Personal Statements.

The personal statement of the UCAS form helps us to assess the nature of the applicant’s interest in the academic subject and is an important part of the selection process. Accurate spelling and grammar are of paramount importance. It is essential that applicants take this opportunity to demonstrate their enthusiasm and aptitude for the academic subject, in addition to their potential to contribute more widely to the School. This assessment will form part of the basis on which decisions are made. We wish to hear about: 

  • Interest in and commitment to the subject
  • Social and cultural awareness  
  • Responsibility  
  • Non-academic interests and activities   

School of Law 

The following examples are not exhaustive, and are designed as a guide, rather than a formal set of criteria:

  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to the subject. The main focus of your personal statement should be course specific. Applicants should demonstrate that they have strong motivation for choosing the degree applied for and have taken steps to investigate what the degree entails. Applicants should normally be expected to identify what particular aspects of the degree programme are of interest and how it relates to their current academic programme. Applicants might support this through reference to wider reading or understanding of current affairs. In addition, applicants should also aim to be able to report some direct experience and understanding of legal practice or the criminal justice system (for example through work experience or ‘shadowing’ or through attending a court hearing) and what they have learnt from their experience. We are aware of the difficulties that students may experience in obtaining ‘work experience’ and applicants will not be disadvantaged on the basis of a lack of this kind of experience.   
  • Social and cultural awareness. Given the diversity within the University community, it is useful for applicants to have some experience beyond their immediate environment. Many applicants gain this insight through part-time employment, voluntary work, work experience, organised community schemes, and travel. Activities connected to, and independent of, school/college are given equal merit. 
  • Responsibility. All the degree programmes offered by the School of Law require students to demonstrate personal responsibility for their learning and lead to professional careers where individual practitioners carry significant responsibility to their clients, or within their organisation. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they have begun to develop this aspect of their character. Demonstration of responsibility through paid employment, volunteering, within school, and through family, caring or leisure activities is desirable. 
  • Non-academic interests and activities. The School believes that people who have developed interests outside their academic studies and who try to lead a balanced life are more likely to contribute to the University community in its broadest sense. Successful applicants will have found time to pursue non-academic interests whilst still meeting the necessary academic requirements. The nature of those interests is a very personal matter, but successful applicants will describe potentially verifiable evidence of such achievements in, for example, community service, paid employment, performing arts or sports.   

School of Politics and International Studies 

  • Interest in and commitment to the subject  
  • Social and cultural awareness 
  • Responsibility  
  • Non-academic interests and activities   

School of Sociology and Social Policy 

  • Interest in and commitment to the subject  
  • Social and cultural awareness  
  • Any work or voluntary activities relevant to the programme  
  • Responsibility 
  • Non-academic interests and activities   

School of Education 

For BA Childhood Studies 

  • Interest in the academic study of childhood 
  • Social and cultural awareness 
  • Responsibility 
  • Non-academic interests and activities 
  • Intention to pursue a career working with children, young people and their families, for example in the education, health or social care sectors 

For BA Education 

  • Interest in the academic study of education 
  • Intention to pursue a career in the field of education, for example, going on to train as a teacher 
  • Social and cultural awareness 
  • Non-academic interests and activities 

For BSc Psychology with Education 

  • Interest in the application of psychology in education 
  • Broader interest in psychology and its everyday application 
  • Social and cultural awareness 
  • Potential future career aspirations 
  • Non-academic interests and activities 

General guidance for postgraduate personal statements 

Your personal statement should cover:  

  • Why you wish to study this Master programme 
  • Interest in specific subject of the programme 
  • How the programme will lead to career progression 
  • Relevant work / voluntary experience 
  • Non-academic interests and activities 

Useful contacts and resources

For general enquiries and information relating to courses and admission to the University of Leeds, applicants should contact the Admissions Enquiries Team: 

Admissions Enquiries
Telephone: +44 (0) 113 343 2336 
Email: study@leeds.ac.uk
Web: www.leeds.ac.uk/undergraduate or www.leeds.ac.uk/masters

Admissions enquiries specific to the Faculty of Social Sciences should be directed as follows: 

School of Education Admissions Team
Undergraduate email: ugeducation@leeds.ac.uk
Taught postgraduate email: pgeducation@leeds.ac.uk

School of Law Admissions Team
Undergraduate email: uglaw@leeds.ac.uk
Taught postgraduate email: pglaw@leeds.ac.uk 

School of Politics and International Studies Admissions Team
Undergraduate email: ugpolis@leeds.ac.uk
Taught postgraduate email: pgpolis@leeds.ac.uk

School of Sociology and Social Policy Admissions Team
Undergraduate email: ugssp@leeds.ac.uk
Taught postgraduate email: pgssp@leeds.ac.uk

For all Faculty of Social Sciences admissions complaints and appeals please contact the Faculty Admissions Manager Sue Haines.

Email: s.i.haines@education.leeds.ac.uk 

2020-21 admissions policies

Undergraduate degrees with a September 2020 start date:

Taught postgraduate degrees with a September 2020 or January 2021 start date:

Version control

Page published: 28 July 2020
Page last updated: 28 July 2020

Details of any amendments since first published: