Taught Admissions Policy 2021-22

This policy applies to applications to begin study at the University of Leeds in the academic year 2021-22.

If you are studying in the academic year 2020-21, read our Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2020 or Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2020.

The purpose of this document is to set out for all interested parties the position of the University of Leeds on key matters relating to recruitment and admission to our undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses. Where there are variations for the two cohorts this will be clearly explained in the relevant section.

Admissions aims and principles

University values and aims

The University of Leeds is a research-intensive institution, which creates, advances and disseminates knowledge. Our aim is to develop outstanding graduates and scholars who can make a major impact upon global society. 

The University is shaped by the values of academic excellence, community, professionalism, integrity and inclusiveness. The setting of admissions requirements plays a key role in maintaining academic excellence and inclusivity throughout the process of admission. Our policies and practice are driven by the belief that the life of the University is enriched by having a body of students which reflects the community at large and includes students from all parts of the UK and overseas.

The University of Leeds is committed to providing a professional admissions service through implementation of clear and transparent policies and procedures. The University aims to provide fair and equitable access to all prospective students who have the potential to benefit from and contribute to academic life at the University. In order to do so, the University recognises that it may need to demonstrate a flexible approach and, where appropriate, make adjustments for individual applicants. This includes, but is not limited to, the widening access interventions outlined in the University’s Access and Participation Plan.

Transparency and consistency

The University is committed to providing accurate and clear communication of information that will support students to make an informed decision about their course. The University requires academic schools to publish guideline entry requirements for all courses in all relevant communications. All offer letters must also include full details of any conditions an applicant must meet in order to be confirmed onto a course. Additionally, the University requires academic schools to publish local level admissions policies, which support this main University policy and provide applicants with more detailed information about course-specific selection criteria and processes.

In order to ensure consistency and fairness, the general principles and procedures set out in this policy are followed by all academic schools. Admissions processes will vary to some extent across subject areas and these variations, such as those for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, are detailed in faculty/school admissions policies.

QAA, equality law and equality unit

The University’s admissions policies are consistent with the Quality Assurance Agency’s Code on Admissions, Recruitment and Widening Access and comply with current equality laws affecting the admission of students. The admissions process is covered by the University’s Policy on Equality and Inclusion, which is available from the University's Equality and Inclusion Unit.

Governance and responsibilities 

Policy review and monitoring

This policy is reviewed annually by the University’s Recruitment Committee (most recently in February 2020) and, where appropriate, policies and procedures for the admission of students to taught courses may be revised in line with changes to the internal and external admissions environment. For example, the University continually develops its widening access strategy and processes in line with Office for Students (OfS) guidance and the University’s value of inclusiveness.

The admissions policy and practice of academic schools is reviewed annually by faculty committees on the basis of guidance provided by Recruitment Committee. 

Any amendments made to admissions policies after the point of publication will be summarised in the Version Control section at the bottom of the page.

University roles and responsibilities

Taught Admissions policies at the University of Leeds are overseen by the University Recruitment Committee. Read the Committee’s terms of reference.

Admissions decisions at the University of Leeds are ultimately made by academic schools and/or faculties in order to admit candidates who have the potential to succeed on course. The Student Education Service (SES), provided by professional services staff, is responsible for managing the admissions procedures in line with the University’s admissions policies, providing support, training and advice to its staff, enquirers and applicants. 

All members of academic and professional services staff with responsibility for the admissions process are given appropriate guidance in order to fulfil their roles competently and in line with this policy. Structured guidance is given in light of any national or institutional changes to admissions policy or procedures and ongoing counsel is provided to all admissions staff in the Student Education Service.

Admissions tutors work collaboratively with admissions colleagues in the SES and with marketing colleagues in delivering the academic elements of the recruitment strategy and faculty/school’s offer making strategy. This is facilitated, in part, through faculty recruitment committees, where responsibility for the review and implementation of faculty/school admissions policies are ultimately held.

Applicant and student responsibilities 

The University operates a policy of Dignity and Mutual Respect, which all staff, students and third parties, including prospective students, are expected to abide by. The University reserves the right to withdraw an application if behaviours are deemed to have contravened this policy. This policy can be found within the Equality and Inclusion Unit’s webpages

By submitting an application to the University of Leeds, including submissions made via UCAS, applicants are confirming that the information given is true, complete and accurate. Applicants should not omit any requested or relevant information, make any misrepresentation (for example, through plagiarism) or give false or misleading information or documents at any point of the application process including after an offer is made. Should this occur the University reserves the right to dismiss a current or future application, withdraw an offer of a place and/or revoke registration. 

The University may subscribe to a system that processes personal statements received in support of an application in order to identify statements that show similarity. For example, for applications made via UCAS this service is provided by UCAS via their Similarity Detection Service, which checks all UCAS personal statements for similarity. Where potentially plagiarised material is identified by these systems the University will review the case and make a decision as to whether the applicant is permitted to submit a new personal statement in support of their application. In cases where this opportunity is not granted (or is not taken up by the applicant), the University reserves the right to reject or withdraw the application.

Entry requirements 

Admissions considerations

The University is committed to developing a diverse student community - facilitated in part through separate number plans for UK, EU and international cohorts - and our admissions processes are implemented in line with University policy and strategy. Academic and non-academic entrance requirements are reviewed annually in line with the University’s aim to provide fair and equitable access to all prospective students who have the potential to benefit from and contribute to a quality education on their chosen course, regardless of background. 

All applicants are required to meet certain minimum academic and non-academic standards for entry, however the University recognises that how these requirements are met may vary by individual applicant. Academic schools exercise flexibility where appropriate in response to contextual factors and when assessing the overall profile of an applicant. Applicants who do not meet the criteria as listed in the relevant admissions policy or Course Search page but who may meet the requirements via other qualifications and/or experience are encouraged to contact the school’s admissions team. This allows the applicant’s individual set of qualifications, and the context in which these were attained, to be considered.

The University also offers a range of extended degrees (both full and part-time) which are designed for those who do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry on to a degree course, but who have the potential to succeed. Additional entry criteria apply to these courses and more detail can be found in the Extended Degrees with Integrated Foundation Year (Undergraduate only) section below.

Academic requirements

The University considers a wide range of qualifications for entry, and new and amended qualifications from across the world are assessed for acceptability through a formal process undertaken by the University’s qualifications groups, and with ultimate ratification by the University’s Recruitment Committee.

Typical requirements can be found on the relevant page of Course Search. Flexibility on the typical requirements may be applied at the discretion of the school when it is felt that a candidate demonstrates their potential for benefitting from the course. This may be demonstrated in a number of ways through different qualifications and combinations; however applicants are expected to have demonstrated the ability to study at a progressive and concentrated level. Applicants who would like to discuss their profile in relation to the entry requirements are encouraged to contact the relevant school admissions team via the contact details on Course Search.

Read more about the University’s approach to accepted UK qualifications and accepted international qualifications.

English language requirements

Teaching, assessment and student support will take place in English, unless otherwise stated. Schools must be confident that candidates have the proficiency in English language necessary to succeed on their chosen course and that, where relevant, they meet the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) minimum requirements to obtain a Student visa.

The University requires that all applicants to courses at degree-level and above meet our minimum requirements for English, however many courses will have requirements which are higher than this minimum in order to ensure candidates are appropriately prepared for their chosen course. Acceptable English qualifications and the University’s minimum requirements (including validity periods) for these can be found on our Accepted Qualifications webpage. Applicants can view course-specific English requirements on the relevant page of Course Search or, for our International Foundation Year, on our International Foundation Year page.

Applicants who do not meet the relevant English requirements at the point of application may be made an offer which is conditional on successful completion of one of the approved tests. Alternatively, where a postgraduate applicant does not meet the English language requirements for the academic course, but does meet the requirements for the University of Leeds pre-sessional English language summer courses, they may be eligible for a combined offer for the pre-sessional and Taught Postgraduate course. For more detail, please see the Language Centre Admissions Policy.

Revisions of offers for English

Where an applicant has already satisfied the English language requirements but subsequently provides further evidence that falls below the University’s or the UKVI’s requirements, the offer must be revised.

  • An unconditional offer, made on the understanding that English language proficiency was met, will be changed to conditional upon evidence that the currently achieved level is lower than the UKVI minimum of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2. For example, an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test with an overall score of 6.5 taken in 2019 would be overridden by an IELTS test with an overall score of 5.0 taken in 2020, making the offer conditional on English.
  • Where an applicant would be exempt from providing additional English language evidence from an older qualification but provides a more recent qualification that shows a level which is below CEFR B2, any offer made will be conditional on meeting the English language requirements for the course. For example, an Indian XII or a Bachelor degree from Nigeria taken in 2011 would be overridden by an IELTS test with an overall score of 5.0 taken in 2017.
  • Where more recent evidence is provided which does not meet the English entry requirements for the course, but exceeds the UKVI minimum of CEFR Level B2, it is at the discretion of the academic school whether an English condition should be made.

Non-academic requirements

Some courses will require additional checks to be undertaken in order for a candidate to gain admittance. These will be detailed in the relevant school’s admissions policy, however some of the most common checks are highlighted below.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Fitness to Practice

In order to comply with the requirements of relevant professional bodies, applicants to certain vocational or professional courses may be required to pass checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), and/or to demonstrate medical fitness to train prior to being admitted. Applicants will be advised if these or any other conditions apply when they are made an offer of a place.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Applicants who require immigration permission to be in the UK may require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate in order to undertake postgraduate study in certain subject areas. This includes integrated Masters courses, which incorporate undergraduate and postgraduate study. Those who require ATAS clearance must obtain the ATAS certificate before applying for the Student visa. Read more about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) on the University website.

Documentation and references


The following documents must be submitted with a taught postgraduate application to the University, and may be requested in support of an undergraduate application. Original or certified copies of the documents submitted with an application must be produced at the point of registration. International applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK should be aware that the Home Office may request to see original copies of academic documents at the point of entry to the UK.

  • Higher education and professional qualifications (for taught postgraduate applications only). If an applicant has already completed professional qualifications or previous degrees, a copy of the final degree certificate should be submitted with the application. Transcripts of an applicant’s academic record, which provide full details of the degree class and grades obtained in each unit/module, are also required. Applicants who are awaiting assessment results should provide an interim transcript where possible. Where applicants are yet to complete their qualification, transcripts of each completed academic year, including information on the modules being undertaken, will be required alongside the application. If these documents are not in English they should be accompanied by a formal certified translation into English, provided by the awarding institution, by University of Leeds accredited agent and office, or by an official translator. This should be signed and dated, including their credentials, company details and confirmation that the translation is accurate.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement and Student visa. Applicants who require a Student visa and have previously studied in the UK will need to provide documentary evidence detailing any previous periods of study on a Tier 4 (General) visa or Student Visa in order for the University to be able to carry out checks to ensure compliance with the UKVI’s immigration rules for students. Applicants are encouraged to include documents such as previous CAS, copies of passport pages containing visas or copies of Biometric Residence Permits with their application. Any information that is not included in the application will be requested when the application is considered, or we may need to ask the permission of the applicant to check their UK immigration history directly with the UKVI. 
  • English qualifications. Proof of English language proficiency is required as part of the application to the University. Please see the English Language Requirements section above for details of acceptable English language qualifications. Copies of the results of any acceptable, formal English tests, which evidence that an applicant has met the requirements for their chosen course should be submitted with the application. Without this evidence, any offer made will be conditional on meeting the minimum English requirements. Any offer made that is conditional on an English requirement will be subject to provision of documentary evidence that the required standard has been met.


The acceptance of references is at the discretion of the relevant academic school and any questions relating to the format of references or nominating appropriate referees should be directed to the admissions team for the specific course of interest. Contact details can be found on Course Search.

  • References for undergraduate applicants. Applications should include a reference from the candidate’s current (or most recent) educational provider unless otherwise agreed by the relevant academic school prior to submission of the application. 
  • References for taught postgraduate applicants. Academic schools may request references from academic or professional referees as an element of the selection process and these will be requested directly from the referees by the University, using the details provided. Where requested, candidates must provide full, clear and accurate contact details of two referees at the point of application. Please note, professional referees are only appropriate for applicants who have been out of education for more than five years or are applying with evidence of work experience.

Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities (undergraduate only)

In support of the University’s commitment to widening access and identifying all applicants who have the potential to succeed at the University of Leeds, the University accepts a range of alternative routes to entry, including Access to Leeds (A2L) and Realising Opportunities (RO). Applicants must meet two or more of the Access to Leeds (A2L) criteria in order to be eligible to apply for the Access to Leeds scheme. Additional eligibility criteria are detailed on each scheme's website.

Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities students are eligible for consideration for an alternative offer if they meet the minimum literacy requirements and, for courses which require particular subject skills, have met the relevant requirements as laid out in the relevant section of the school admissions policy. Level 2 (GCSE or acceptable equivalent) subject requirements for the relevant course may be flexible for A2L applicants. Please see the Access to Leeds webpages for more information.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria for an offer but are Access to Leeds eligible will be considered for an offer that is “Access to Leeds only”. Such applicants are required to meet the same conditions as stated above, but will not receive an alternative to the A2L offer. 

Extended degrees with integrated foundation year (undergraduate only)

These courses enable students to prepare for degree study and gain the necessary academic background in a supportive environment. Students who successfully complete the foundation stage progress to year one of an appropriate degree course, except for the Business Studies with Foundation Year, which progresses onto year two. Financial support is available and more information can be found by contacting the Lifelong Learning Centre. Email the Lifelong Learning Centre at lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk

The University’s extended degrees aim to widen participation in higher education, except for BSc Studies in Science. Applicants to these full-time courses must live permanently in the UK and meet at least one of the eligibility criteria, which can be found on the course pages. For more information, email the Lifelong Learning Centre at lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk.

Applicants for extended degrees who have left compulsory education within the last three years, or taken three Level 3 qualifications in the last three years, must, at entry, meet the course’s minimum requirements at both Level 2 (for example, GCSE) and Level 3 (for example, A Levels).

Candidates who have not taken three A Levels (or equivalent) within the last three years and/or who do not meet the minimum GCSE requirements may be asked to demonstrate evidence of their capabilities through the University’s own entry processes. These may include a combination of interviews, group work, presentations, portfolios or other written work as relevant for the course to which they are applying. It may also include tests in English and/or maths/numeracy set by the Lifelong Learning Centre, which are designed to indicate whether a candidate has the capacity to achieve the entry requirements in these subjects for their chosen course by the time they progress to level 1 of the degree.

Advanced entry

Accreditation of 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. This recognition may give the learning a credit value and allow it to be counted towards the completion of a course of study. Credit Transfer is the process by which the University accepts credit arising from prior certificated learning, either awarded by itself or another institution, as contributing to an award of the University. 

Any decision on credit transfer or entry of students with advanced standing is an academic decision taken within the relevant school at the point of admission onto a course of study. Retrospective applications from students part-way through a course will not normally be considered. Applicants are advised to check the relevant faculty/school admissions policy which can be found on Course Search for further information. Further details of the University’s policy can be found on our APL webpage.

Where an articulation agreement is in place between an external educational provider and the University of Leeds, the agreement will clarify the credit transfer possible, and this credit will be attached to the relevant candidates’ student records if they are admitted to the University.

Advanced entry and accreditation of prior learning may impact on the funding students can receive. For more information, email the Funding team at funding@leeds.ac.uk.

Application process 

Application routes and deadlines

The University is committed to developing a socially and culturally diverse student community and therefore encourages applications from all backgrounds, and utilises contextual data within the decision-making process, as detailed in the Admissions Considerations section above and the Contextual Admissions Schemes section below. Applicants should ensure their application is full and complete, and that information is provided in the relevant section of the application form. This allows admissions staff to gain an understanding of the applicant’s full profile and make a holistic decision on the application.

International students are advised to consider any relevant scholarship deadlines and the time needed for visa processes to be completed to ensure that they apply in sufficient time for their application to be considered before these deadlines. 

Applications must be submitted as described on the relevant Course Search page, which for the majority of undergraduate courses (including full-time extended degrees) will be via UCAS, and for taught postgraduate courses will be through the University portal.

Where collaboration agreements exist, or an arrangement is in place with an employer for an apprenticeship course, applications may be made via other means (for example, by direct application to the University) and with differing deadlines, however the principles in this policy and the relevant school admissions policy still apply unless otherwise stated.

Undergraduate applications

All applications for full-time undergraduate degree courses starting in September, made via UCAS, should be received by the deadlines of:

  • 15 October 2020 for Medicine and Dentistry 
  • 29 January 2021 for all other courses (normally 15 January but extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

Applications are considered equally against the stated selection criteria and in the context of the number of available places. If places are still available some academic schools may consider applications after 15th January. Applicants are advised to check the relevant faculty/school admissions policy and seek the school’s advice before making a late application. 

Applicants to the International Foundation Year must choose which undergraduate degree courses they wish to join prior to submitting an application directly to the University. Please see the International Foundation Year webpages for further information and to apply online for the International Foundation Year.

Those applying for our part-time undergraduate courses or foundation year (BA Interdisciplinary Studies) do so via direct entry. Candidates should email the Lifelong Learning Centre at lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk for an application pack.

Taught postgraduate applications

Some courses operate staged admissions deadlines throughout the academic year (please see the Gathered Field section below for more information), or may have an early application deadline. Places are limited and, where necessary (for example, due to unprecedented demand), the University reserves the right to amend application deadlines. Full details of closing dates (including any amendments made to original deadlines) will be stated on Course Search. Applicants are advised to check relevant deadlines prior to submitting an application.

If an applicant intends to apply for funding, an application should be submitted for a place at least two months before any specific scholarship deadline.

Contextual admission schemes (undergraduate only)

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

Candidates are encouraged to consider whether they meet the Access to Leeds (A2L) criteria and, if so, to follow the instructions on this page in order to apply for A2L. A2L applicants, and those already participating in the Realising Opportunities scheme, receive special consideration from admissions tutors and those who receive an offer are given an alternative offer alongside their standard offer. The alternative offer will be conditional upon successfully completing the Access to Leeds module and academic requirements will differ from the standard, as described on the A2L webpages. Please note, any specific subjects required for a course will still be included in any offer made and may not receive a reduction.

Applicants who are made an offer which includes successful completion of Access to Leeds will be required to make the University of Leeds their firm choice in order to remain eligible for A2L. Those receiving a ‘standard offer’ in addition to the Access to Leeds offer will remain eligible for the ‘standard offer’ (only) if the applicant chooses the University of Leeds as their insurance choice.

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

The University’s Alternative Entry Scheme, run by the Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) in conjunction with teaching schools, allows applicants who do not have the relevant formal qualifications to draw on their life and work experience to demonstrate their potential for success. To be eligible for the scheme, an applicant must meet both of the following criteria:

  • Be applying for a course that specifies in the school/faculty admissions policy that prospective students may use the Alternative Entry Scheme 
  • Have been out of compulsory education at school or college for three or more years.

The scheme involves satisfactory completion of assignments that are designed to enable candidates to demonstrate their skills and understanding in relation to their chosen discipline. The scheme also includes tests in English and maths for those who do not meet the relevant requirements.

Candidates who are eligible for the Alternative Entry Scheme are typically referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre by the admissions staff of the course to which they are applying. 

The scheme does not apply to candidates who have returned to education and taken three A-levels (or equivalent) within the last three years. In such cases, the application is judged against the standard entry requirements of the course (including the possibility of an alternative offer if the candidate meets eligibility criteria for Access to Leeds). The scheme may, however, be used for those who have taken fewer than three A-levels in the last three years, and can also apply to those who meet A-level requirements but who lack the minimum requirements for English and/or maths.

Part-time study

The same principles of admission apply to part-time entry, however this section of the policy identifies key areas where alternative processes and procedures are required for part-time applications. 

Undergraduate part-time applications

Management of the admissions process for part-time students rests with the Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC). All academic decisions are made by Admissions Tutors/academic staff. The roles of Admissions Tutors and administrators are as outlined in the University Roles and Responsibilities section above. The LLC will communicate directly with applicants to part-time undergraduate courses. 

Applications for most part-time courses should be made direct to the University by completing an application form available from the Lifelong Learning Centre. Applicants who are uncertain about the qualifications acceptable for part-time undergraduate courses should contact the Lifelong Learning Centre. Applications for part-time undergraduate study can be accepted throughout the admissions cycle and, in some cases, even as late as the summer. Applicants are strongly advised to check admissions deadlines with the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Applicants will typically be invited for a short interview; they will be informed of the outcome of this, and of any further conditions for entry, as soon as possible following the interview. 

Taught postgraduate part-time applications

Applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis should refer to Course Search to check on part-time options prior to making an application. 

Fee status and financial support

Applicants may be subject to a fee assessment in order to determine the tuition fees they will be required to pay, and all students are expected to have made arrangements to meet the tuition fee payment requirements before accepting their offer. For information about tuition fee payment options please visit our tuition fees payment schedule webpage

The University strives to broaden access to scholarships and other financial support in an effort to minimise the impact of any financial barriers to study. We offer comprehensive financial support to help with the costs of studying at both undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels at Leeds. There may also be scholarships or bursaries available through the academic school, details of which can be found on the schools’ webpages. Further support is available via the Sanctuary Scholarship for forced migrants who are unable to access mainstream funding. Support from the University does not have to be repaid.

Eligible UK students, whether full-time or part-time, are able to apply for a repayable government loan. A postgraduate loan can help with course fees and living costs while studying, and an undergraduate loan will cover the full amount of tuition fees, which will be paid directly to the University by the Student Loans Company. Eligible undergraduates can also apply for a maintenance loan to help towards living costs, and this is paid directly to students at the start of each term. Information on how to apply and the eligibility criteria is outlined on the government website at the links above. 

Please see the University webpage for the most up to date information for EU students.

Some courses may charge a non-refundable application fee. Where an application fee applies, the fee requirement will be displayed on the relevant Course Search page. Applications to courses with an application fee will not be considered until the University has confirmed payment of the required fee. 

CAS, ATAS and Student visas 

Student visa sponsorship

As noted in the Documentation and References section above, the University requires additional information from candidates who require sponsorship and have studied in the UK under a Tier 4 visa or Student visa previously. This information will be used to ascertain whether a candidate can be sponsored and, as these checks may be undertaken only after an offer is made, candidates should be aware that an offer of a place does not constitute confirmation of sponsorship. Please note, where the UKVI allows exceptions to its policy, the University reserves the right to make its own assessment on whether these are applied.

Applicants who require sponsorship to study in the UK should note that the University does not sponsor candidates for part-time courses as standard practice. 

Tuition fee deposits

The University reserves the right to charge a tuition fee deposit. All self-financing students applying for postgraduate taught courses at the University of Leeds are required to pay a tuition fee deposit if they require a Student visa to study in the UK. The tuition fee deposit is paid after an individual has accepted their unconditional offer but before the University issues a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which students need in order to apply for a visa. All necessary data for CAS issuance (for example, passport details) must also be supplied. 

For more details about how to pay a deposit and the circumstances in which it may be refunded, please see our fees guidance webpage.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Applicants who require immigration permission to be in the UK may require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate in order to undertake postgraduate study in certain subject areas. Please see the Non-Academic Requirements section above for further detail.

Age and safeguarding

The University recognises that someone’s age (if under 18) or safeguarding position may need to be taken into account. For certain courses there may be restrictions in place for module choice or admission for those under 18; please see the school policies for further information as well as our Safeguarding Policy and our Information for Under 18 Applicants.

Parental/Guardian consent forms must be submitted before a place can be confirmed.

UKVI guidance states that students on a Student visa must be 16 or over. Accordingly, the University cannot assign a CAS for anyone under 16 and those requiring a Student visa must be aged 16 or over in order to be considered for sponsorship. 

Criminal convictions

The University may ask applicants to declare a relevant unspent criminal conviction as part of the process of accepting an offer which is made. For the majority of courses, the University does not require this at application stage or until an offer is made. It is only required when an applicant wishes to accept an offer. Information about why this information is requested, and the process for disclosing a relevant unspent criminal conviction is on our Declaring criminal convictions webpage and in the University’s policy statement on students with criminal records.

Where indicated in the prospectus or on the University’s website, for specific courses it is necessary to declare a criminal conviction at the application stage. This is in order to perform certain checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service and to undertake fitness to practice assessments as required by Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Bodies. The University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process where this is the case.


The University welcomes applications from disabled people. The University is committed to the social model of disability and in line with the definition under the Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental impairment which is long-term (lasting 12 months or more) and which has a substantial impact on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The definition of disability includes long-term medical conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and MS (in each case from the point of diagnosis) and may include epilepsy, diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME amongst others.

The University will make reasonable adjustments, with the aim of ensuring that disabled applicants have full and equal access to our admissions procedures and courses. Information about disability is not used when considering academic eligibility for the chosen course. It is reviewed in order to identify the potential study-related support requirements, and the eligibility for disability-related support funding, so that the University can ensure the applicant is supported effectively on the course.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to declare their disability status on their application so that reasonable adjustments and/or other support requirements can be made/considered. The University will always aim to make appropriate adjustments for disabled applicants. However, applicants who choose not to declare their disability should be aware that, without the knowledge it may be more difficult, or in rare cases impossible, for the University to provide support and/or make the reasonable adjustments. Disabled applicants are also advised to email the University’s Disability Services team at disability@leeds.ac.uk once an application has been submitted, to discuss any support requirements they may have in relation to the course for which they have applied. 

If any candidate feels that their disability has meant that they faced exceptional circumstances which should be taken into account by the University when considering their application, they should refer to the Applicant and Student Support section below, specifically the section Applicants Who Have Faced Exceptional Circumstances. 

Applicant and student support

The following section gives an overview of some key areas of support available to applicants and/or students of the University, however more general guidance on support can be found on our Wellbeing and Support webpages.  

Applicants with a health-related issue

This section deals with health-related issues or additional support needs, which are not classed as a disability and are distinct from disability-related issues. Applicants with a health-related issue should contact the relevant academic school as soon as possible if their health is likely to impact on their ability to engage with the admissions process. Offers made to some courses in the schools of Dentistry and Medicine are conditional upon a satisfactory occupational health assessment to be undertaken before the commencement of studies. Applicants will be advised if these or any other conditions apply when they are made an offer of a place. 

If any candidate feels that their prior ill health has meant that they faced exceptional circumstances which should be taken into account by the University when considering their application, they should refer to the section below. 

Applicants who have faced exceptional circumstances

If any candidate feels that any disability, ill-health, or other personal circumstance (for example, bereavement, or other difficult home or family circumstances) may have affected their education, or grades received in examinations, then the candidate would be expected to have notified the relevant exam board or awarding body of those circumstances. Whilst an applicant is welcome to notify (via a verified statement) the relevant admissions office of the circumstances, the University will assume that the relevant board/body has taken these mitigating circumstances into account when awarding the final results, and it will be these final results that will be used when making a decision. If a candidate feels that this has not been the case, and can provide evidence to support this, please contact the school admissions team to discuss further.

Care leavers – those who are currently in care or have experience of being in care – can access a range of support from the UniversityFor further information for care leavers, email Lisa Firth or Hannah Falvey at careleavers@leeds.ac.uk.

Estranged applicants - those who have no communication or functioning relationship with their biological parents - can access a range of support from the University and from the StandAlone service. For further information for estranged applicants, email Lisa Firth or Hannah Falvey at estrangedstudents@leeds.ac.uk.

Applicants who are pregnant or have young children

In line with the University policy on support for students who are pregnant or have young children, applicants who are pregnant are advised to inform the relevant school admissions team at an early stage. This is so that consideration can be given to appropriate support being available from the start of their course.

Guidance for trans applicants

Applicants who do not wish to disclose their trans status to the faculty/school admissions team but require their status to be changed should email the University Admissions team at study@leeds.ac.uk and the team will be able to support the applicant through the process. The University will be required to carry out identity checks as part of the registration process, and/or taught admissions staff may be required to advise the relevant Faculty Admissions Manager of a status change in order to facilitate removal of any previous documentation, however these will be undertaken confidentially and with sensitivity. Full guidance to support trans staff and students can be found on Equality and Inclusion Unit website.

Mature and part-time applicants (Undergraduate only)

The University welcomes applications from mature students (defined as those who are over the age of 21 at the time of starting their course) for both full- and part-time study and the Lifelong Learning Centre offers a great deal of support, including impartial and confidential educational and careers guidance.

Both mature and part-time candidates receive support with admissions, transition into university, and throughout their period of study. This specialist support from the LLC complements the full range of services offered through faculties, University services and the Student Union.

Reapplications and former students of the University

Applicants who wish to reapply should refer to the relevant faculty/school admissions policy prior to making an application. Any decision on the eligibility of applicants who have previously held an offer of a place but failed to achieve the academic conditions at first attempt will be an academic judgement. Such candidates should be aware that no guarantee can be given that another offer will be made, and that the conditions of any future offer may differ to those of the original. Please note previous applicants to Access to Leeds are welcome to reapply to the scheme in subsequent cycles.

Candidates who have been withdrawn from their earlier studies due to academic failure (this includes foundation year students who have not achieved the necessary grades to be permitted to progress  onto their chosen progression route) may apply for re-entry to the University, but not to the same or a closely related course – that is, where over half of the compulsory modules are identical. Candidates who previously left the University due to non-academic reasons, for example, ill health, financial reasons, will not be subject to this condition. When assessing applications from former students all relevant factors will be considered, including previous study, and applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants who have been permanently excluded (expelled) from the University (for disciplinary reasons and/or under the Referred Student Procedure and/or for reasons of misconduct or fitness to train in a professionally-regulated discipline) are not permitted to reapply, and will be advised as such at the time of exclusion. Those who do reapply will be deemed to have contravened the responsibilities of an applicant to avoid misrepresentation (as outlined in the Applicant and Student Responsibilities section above) and will be rejected or have any outstanding offer(s) revoked. Former students who are unclear on whether they are permitted to reapply should contact Student Cases for further information.

Applicants who require a Student visa and have previously studied at the University under Tier 4 or Student visa sponsorship will be subject to academic progression checks to ensure UKVI compliance. Please see the Documentation and References section above for further information.

Resits (undergraduate only)

The eligibility of students who are undertaking a further attempt at an entry qualification is an academic decision taken by the relevant academic school. Applicants in this situation are advised to check the relevant faculty/school admissions policy.


Undergraduate confirmation

Candidates who meet the conditions of their accepted offer by any relevant deadlines will have their place confirmed. Undergraduate offer-holders who make the University of Leeds their insurance choice will be made unconditional but will not be placed with Leeds unless their firm choice institution rejects them.

Applications from those students 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. Contextual data (as referenced in the Contextual Admissions section below) will be considered when allocating any remaining places. Applicants whose results will not be sent to the University via UCAS are encouraged to send evidence of their results to the relevant school admissions office as soon as possible, regardless of whether they feel they have met the conditions of their offer. 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.

Some courses may not be able to confirm a place in the upcoming academic cycle following an improved final grade after a re-mark, though applicants may be offered a deferred place or be asked to reapply. Please see the relevant faculty/school policy for full details.

Where a deferred applicant does not meet the conditions of their offer they may not have their place confirmed. Please see the relevant faculty/school policy for details. 

University teaching periods can be found on the University’s Almanac, however students may be expected to arrive prior to this date in order to undertake key induction activity. The University reserves the right to refuse admission to those offer holders who arrive after the required start date. Should there be any possibility of a delay to arrival, offer holders should seek advice from the appropriate school admissions office before travelling. 

Taught postgraduate confirmation

Applicants must meet all conditions set by the University in sufficient time to allow completion of other steps in the process, and to ensure arrival by the relevant start date. Candidates should contact the school for further information. Please note, any course-specific deadlines will be detailed in the relevant school admissions policy.

The course start date is indicated clearly in the offer letter alongside the period of study and applicants must ensure that they are able to attend their course from this date. The University reserves the right to refuse admission to those offer holders who arrive after this date. Should there be any possibility of a delay to arrival, offer holders should seek advice from the appropriate school admissions office before travelling. 

Deferral requests

The University considers a deferred applicant as an offer-holder who wishes to change their year of entry to the following academic year, or an applicant who applies for the following academic year from the outset. Applicants seeking deferred entry must engage in the full admissions process (including any required attendance at interviews) during the cycle in which they applied.

Undergraduate applicants who wish to defer following the submission of their application may be required to do so prior to the confirmation of a place. Please check the relevant faculty/school policy for details. English language qualifications must be valid at the revised start date.

Taught postgraduate applicants who wish to defer an offer of a place to the following academic year should contact the relevant academic school by 1 April 2022. This deadline applies for courses commencing in September or October only. For courses with start dates outside of this period please refer to the relevant school policy for the appropriate deadline. Only applicants with an unconditional offer or who have an offer conditional solely on English language are able to defer. Deferral of a place to study is at the discretion of the academic school and is strictly limited to a maximum of one academic year following the year of initial application. Except where a validity period is applicable for an English language qualification, any offer made will not be subject to change.

Applicants who request deferral for more than one academic year will be required to reapply. Such candidates should be aware that no guarantee can be given that another offer will be made, and that the conditions of any future offer may differ to those of the original. 

Course amendments and withdrawals

Important up-to-date course information, including content and outline module information, and teaching and assessment methods, can be found on Course Search. The circumstances in which changes may be made to the course will also be highlighted here. The University reviews its courses on a regular basis and, in the unlikely event that there are any significant changes made following receipt of applications, the relevant applicants will be notified.

Appeals and complaints

The University will consider all applications fairly and effectively in line with the procedures outlined in this document. Unsuccessful applicants may wish to request feedback to understand the reason for the outcome of their application and the process for this can be found in the Decisions and Communications with Applicants section below, under the Feedback heading.

If, following receipt of feedback, applicants wish to challenge a decision to reject their application they should email the Faculty Admissions Manager for the academic school to which they applied detailing the nature of their complaint. The complaint must typically be made within 14 days of the decision and contact details can be found in the relevant faculty admissions policy.

On receipt of a complaint, the Faculty Admissions Manager (or nominee not involved in the admissions process) will review the decision to reject the applicant. Following this review the Faculty Admissions Manager (or nominee) will email the applicant giving grounds for their decision, normally within 14 days.

Applicants who have complained to the Faculty Admissions Manager and remain dissatisfied may submit a complaint via email to the University’s Complaints Officer, David Wardle, at d.wardle@adm.leeds.ac.uk within 14 days of the Faculty Admissions Manager’s response. This Officer (or their nominee) will not review academic or professional judgements that have been made but will review matters relating to process. The Officer or nominee will aim to provide a response – a reasoned judgement – within 14 days of receiving a complaint. This judgement will represent the University’s final decision on the matter. The Officer will report the outcomes of any reviews they conduct to the Recruitment Committee.

Applicant assessment 

Applications are assessed by admissions staff on the basis of information provided on the application form. All applicants are given fair and equal opportunity to demonstrate relevant skills and provide supporting information where required. In some cases, the selection process may include other steps (for example, an interview) in addition to the information provided on the application form. The criteria for assessment may vary across different courses and full details are provided in the relevant faculty/school admissions policy, which can be found on Course Search.

Please note, achievement or predicted achievement within the required qualifications does not guarantee an offer of a place. The selection criteria must treat all students fairly and not discriminate unlawfully because of their age; disability; sex; gender reassignment; pregnancy or maternity status; race; religion or belief; or sexual orientation

Contextual admissions

As discussed in the Admissions Considerations section above, the University is committed to developing a diverse student community of candidates who demonstrate through a variety of possible means their potential to perform strongly on their chosen course. In order to determine a candidate’s potential, a range of contextual information may be considered when the University assesses an application, such as educational and socio-economic background. For UK undergraduate candidates, this includes Low Participation Neighbourhood data, as noted on our Alternative Admissions page. This consideration is in addition to the alternative routes to entry offered by the University and does not require applicants to undertake any further application process or provide any additional information.


Interviewing of applicants varies across the University; some courses interview all suitable applicants and other courses may interview an applicant if it will help inform whether an offer should be made.

Where an interview forms part of the selection process this gives candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and aptitude for the course. Applicants invited to interview may obtain further information about the interview process from the relevant school admissions team and policy. Interviews are sometimes used as an opportunity to find out more about an applicant’s qualifications, motivation and preparations for studying a University course, and to ensure that the applicant understands the nature and demands of that course.

Interviews may be incorporated into Applicant Visit Days, which provide an opportunity to visit the school, view facilities, meet members of academic and professional services staff, and speak to current students. 

Some applicants (for example, disabled applicants, applicants who are pregnant, etc.) will require adjustments at interview (for example, a sign-language interpreter or an adjustment to an audition process) to provide them with full and equal access to the process. Academic schools are responsible for making reasonable adjustments where possible. The University’s Disability Services team should be consulted for further advice or information regarding disability related adjustments. Email the University’s Disability Services team at disability@leeds.ac.uk. The Equality and Inclusion Unit should be consulted for advice on other adjustments. Email the University’s Equality and Inclusion Unit at equality@leeds.ac.uk

Gathered field

Where the number of high-quality applicants exceeds the number of places available, a gathered field may be implemented for the purposes of assessing applications and ensuring cohort diversity. Applications will be assessed on their strength relative to others in the given field, ensuring that the most able candidates receive an offer. Where used, the gathered field process will be detailed in the faculty/school admissions policy.

Other assessment methods

For some courses, other assessment methods may be used such as tests, auditions, or portfolios. Where applicable this will be detailed in school admissions policies.

The assessment of applications to apprenticeship courses may involve employer assessment and the selection process may vary from the standard described here, however detail of any variation is provided in the relevant school admissions policy.

Decisions and communications with applicants

Communications during the application process

Candidates will receive acknowledgement of receipt of an application from the University and, where applicable, from UCAS. Schools may also contact the applicant where further information is required in order to process the application, therefore applicants must ensure they notify the University of any contact detail changes. For applications made via the Applicant Portal, communications are usually exchanged via this platform.  


Admissions staff will formulate offers based on the profile presented and holistic consideration of the individual. Any offer made will be communicated via the offer letter and, where applicable, through UCAS or the Applicant Portal. Information on how to accept an offer can be found in the offer letter.

A conditional offer means that the University will offer a place to the applicant providing certain conditions are met. Each offer is specific to an applicant’s individual qualifications and circumstances. Usually conditions are based on the completion of outstanding qualifications or meeting English language requirements, and may state specific grades and/or subjects/modules required. Other conditions may include criminal record and health checks which, if not met prior to registration, proof that these checks will be fulfilled during semester 1 can be used to confirm a place. This can be an appointment card or evidence of when forms were submitted. If these checks are failed during semester 1, registration could be withdrawn or the course of study may be changed. 

Details of deadlines to meet offer conditions can be found in the Confirmation section above.

An unconditional offer means that an applicant has met the academic and non-academic entry requirements and has been accepted onto their chosen course at the University of Leeds. As described above, a student may be permitted to complete non-academic requirements (such as DBS or health checks) after registration at the discretion of the academic school. Proof that these requirements will be met can be used to make an unconditional offer.

Unsuccessful application

Applicants will receive an unsuccessful response (usually via UCAS or the Applicant Portal) if the University has decided not to offer them a place on the course. Applicants can be unsuccessful for many reasons, and many of the courses at the University receive far more applications than the number of places available.


Unsuccessful applicants may want feedback on the reason for this outcome, however, as applications are often rejected due to the applicant not meeting published entry requirements, applicants are requested to check Course Search requirements in the first instance. Initial feedback is provided to all unsuccessful candidates who apply via the Applicant Portal. Undergraduate applicants, and others making applications outside of the Portal, need to make any request for feedback via email to the relevant Admissions Team (see relevant faculty/school policy for details). This request must be from the email address listed on their application form. Please note, the School of Medicine and Dentistry provides feedback to all applicants and does not respond to direct requests. Please see the relevant faculty/school policy for further information.

Withdrawn application

An application may be withdrawn either by the applicant, or by the University. If the University withdraws an application the reason will usually be communicated either directly to the applicant or via UCAS Track. The University reserves the right to withdraw an offer up to the point at which it has been accepted by an applicant. In cases where candidates are required to attend an interview as part of the application process, applications may be withdrawn if a candidate fails to attend without making contact with the University, or if an applicant is unable to attend and an alternative date cannot reasonably be found. An offer may also be withdrawn at any point if it is found that an applicant has failed to comply with the applicant responsibilities outlined in the Applicant and Student Responsibilities section above.

The above does not prejudice the University’s right to rely upon published disclaimers relating to delivery of courses and services.

Applicant data 

The personal data of applicants is processed for the purposes of considering their admission in accordance with the University’s Code of Practice on Data Protection. If applicants have any concerns with regard to the processing of their personal data or they wish to make a request regarding their individual rights in line with data protection legislation they should email the University’s Data Protection Officer, Alice Temple, at a.c.temple@leeds.ac.uk.

Useful contacts and resources

Admissions and courses

Access to Leeds

Data protection

Disability Services

Equality and Inclusion Unit

International Foundation Year

Lifelong Learning Centre

Version control

Page published: 29 June 2020

Page last updated: 9 April 2021

Details of any amendments since first published: 

  • The UCAS deadline was amended from 15 January 2021 to 29 January 2021 in the Application routes and deadlines section to reflect an extension granted by UCAS due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Name of Equality Policy Unit changed to Equality and Inclusion Unit