Taught Admissions Policy 2023-24

This policy applies to applications to begin study at the University of Leeds in the academic year 2023-24.

If you are studying in the academic year 2022-23, read our Taught Admissions Policy 2022-23.

The following school-level admissions policies are also in place to support this University policy. Applicants to the following schools should refer to both policies: 

The purpose of this document is to set out the position of the University of Leeds relating to recruitment and admission to our undergraduate, taught postgraduate and English language courses. Where there are variations for the cohorts, this will be 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 collaboration, compassion, inclusivity and integrity. The setting of admission requirements plays a key role in maintaining inclusivity throughout the process of admission. Our policies and practice are driven by the belief that 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 which operates with integrity, through 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. 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 information to support applicants to make an informed decision about their course. The University requires academic schools to publish guideline entry requirements for all courses. All offer letters must also include full details of any conditions an applicant must meet to be accepted on to a course.  

For consistency and fairness, the general principles and procedures in this policy apply to all academic schools. Some schools also publish additional admissions policies or admissions guidance, which support this main University policy and provide more detail about course-specific selection criteria and processes. Where school-level policy or additional admissions guidance exists, it is linked to from Coursefinder; or, for Incoming Study Abroad (ISA), see the ISA applying webpage, or for the Leeds International Summer School (LISS), see the LISS applying webpage.

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), equality law and Equality and Inclusion Unit

The University’s admissions policies are consistent with the QAA’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 Equality and Inclusion Framework 2020-25.

Governance and responsibilities 

Policy review and monitoring

This policy is reviewed annually by the University’s Recruitment and Portfolio Steering Group (most recently in February 2022) and 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 inclusivity.

Any amendments made to this policy 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 and Portfolio Steering Group.

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

Admissions staff work with academic staff and colleagues in Marketing, Educational Engagement and the International Office in delivering the University’s recruitment strategy.

Admissions tutors work collaboratively with admissions and marketing colleagues in delivering the academic elements of the recruitment strategy and the faculty/school offer-making strategy.

This work includes reviewing and implementing school admissions policies/guidance through faculty recruitment committees or groups. 

All members of academic and professional services staff with responsibility for the admissions process are given appropriate training and guidance on national or institutional changes to admissions policy or procedures.

Applicant and student responsibilities 

The University operates a Policy on Dignity and Mutual Respect (PDF), 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.

By submitting an application to the University of Leeds, including via UCAS, applicants are confirming that the information given is true, complete and accurate. At any point during the application process, including after an offer is made, applicants should not: 

  • leave out any requested or relevant information 
  • make any misrepresentation (for example, through plagiarism) 
  • give false or misleading information or documents  

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. If the University has concerns over any information and/or documentation provided, additional information may be requested and/or additional checks may be undertaken. 

The University may subscribe to a system that processes personal statements in order to identify statements that show similarity. For example, applications made via UCAS are checked by the UCAS Similarity Detection Service.  

Where potentially plagiarised material is identified by these systems, the University will review the case and decide whether to permit the applicant to submit a new personal statement in support of their application. If 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 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 individual applicants may meet these requirements in different ways. Academic schools may use flexibility in response to contextual factors and when assessing the overall profile of an applicant. Applicants who do not meet the criteria listed on the relevant Coursefinder 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 full- and part-time extended degrees 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 of this page.

The University appreciates the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many applicants and we continue to look to reduce the barriers applicants face, in order to be fair and consistent. For further details, see our Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders.

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 by the University’s qualifications groups with final agreement by the University’s Recruitment and Portfolio Steering Group.

Typical requirements can be found on the relevant page of Coursefinder. 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 Coursefinder.

Where academic requirements have not been met for entry to an undergraduate course, the University Admissions team may pass application information on to the Lifelong Learning Centre or International Pathways Centre for consideration for a foundation year offer, which if they complete it successfully, allows students to progress to an undergraduate course. 

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

English language requirements

The University considers a wide range of qualifications for entry, and new and amended qualifications from across the world are assessed for acceptability by the University’s qualifications groups with final agreement by the University’s Recruitment and Portfolio Steering Group.

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 meet our minimum requirements for English; however, many courses will have higher requirements to ensure candidates are prepared for their chosen course. Acceptable English qualifications and the University’s minimum requirements (including validity periods) for these can be found on our entry requirements page. Applicants can view course-specific English requirements on the relevant page of Coursefinder.

When considering whether the English language requirement has been met, admissions teams base the decision on the most recent qualification obtained. 

Applicants who do not meet the relevant English requirements at the point of application may be made a conditional offer which requires them to pass an approved test. 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 details, please see the Language Centre website.

Revisions of offers for English

Where an applicant has already met the English language requirements but later provides more recent evidence that falls below the University’s or the UKVI’s requirements (if applicable), the offer must be revised.

  • An unconditional offer, made on the understanding that English language proficiency was met, will be changed to conditional if evidence shows 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 2022 would be overridden by an IELTS test with an overall score of 5.0 taken in 2023, 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 2013 would be overridden by an IELTS test with an overall score of 5.0 taken in 2023.
  • 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 on Coursefinder, however some of the most common checks are as follows:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health checks

To comply with the requirements of relevant professional bodies, applicants to certain vocational or professional courses may be required to pass checks by the DBS and/or to pass occupational health checks before being admitted. Applicants will be advised if these or 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 ATAS certificate 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 ATAS on the University website.

Documentation and references

Documentation

The following documents must be submitted with a taught postgraduate application to the University, and may be requested in support of an undergraduate application. 

  • Higher education and professional qualifications (for taught postgraduate applications only). If an applicant has already completed a previous degree, they should submit a copy of the degree certificate showing the degree class and transcripts showing the grades obtained in each unit/module. Where applicants are yet to complete their qualification, they should submit transcripts of each completed academic year, including information on the modules being undertaken. If these documents are not in English, they should be accompanied by a formal certified translation into English, provided by the awarding institution, by a University of Leeds accredited agent or office, or by an official translator. This should be signed and dated and include the translator’s credentials and company details and confirmation that the translation is accurate. Evidence of any professional qualifications should also be submitted with the application.
  • Previous Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement, Biometric Residence Permit and Student visa. Applicants who require a Student visa and who have previously studied in the UK will need to provide evidence detailing any previous periods of study on a Student visa or Tier 4 (General) student visa  This is to allow the University to check 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 and 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, if the applicant does not provide this information, we may need to ask their permission to check their UK immigration history directly with the UKVI.  
  • English qualifications. Proof of English language proficiency is required as part of the admissions process for all applicants. Please see the English language requirements section of this page for details of acceptable English language qualifications. Copies of the results of any acceptable, formal English tests should be submitted if already obtained. Without this evidence, any offer made will be conditional on providing evidence that the minimum English requirements have been met. 

The University may ask the applicant to provide original or certified copies of the documents submitted with their application 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. 

References

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

  • 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 before the application is submitted. The reference section of the application is carefully considered by the University and is an important part of the selection process.
  • References for taught postgraduate applicants. Academic schools may require references from academic or professional referees and these will be requested directly from the referees by the University, using the contact details provided. Where requested, candidates must provide full, clear and accurate contact details of two referees at the point of application. If the academic school requires a reference in order to make a decision, they will contact the referee directly when assessing the application. For some courses, references are not part of the decision-making process, in which case applicants will not be asked to provide referee details when applying. Please note that referees should typically be academic. It is only appropriate to provide professional referees if the applicant has been out of education for more than five years or is 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, the University provides contextual admissions routes through the Access to Leeds (A2L) and Realising Opportunities (RO) schemes. Both schemes offer an alternative offer to eligible candidates, typically equivalent to two A-level grades below the standard offer, and a pre-entry academic support module. Eligibility criteria for the schemes can be found on their websites (see previous links). The A2L and RO schemes are not open to those applying to foundation route qualifications. 

A2L and RO 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 on Coursefinder. Level 2 (GCSE or acceptable equivalent) subject requirements for the relevant course may be flexible for A2L applicants.

Applicants from Low Participation Neighbourhoods (undergraduate only)

Applicants who live in a neighbourhood where there is low participation in higher education, known as Low Participation Neighbourhoods (LPNs), are automatically eligible for an offer one A-level grade below their standard offer or equivalent, where possible. Applicants can find more information on our alternative admissions page

Applicants from LPNs are strongly encouraged to also check their eligibility to apply to the Access to Leeds scheme. Where eligible, they will receive a two A-level grade (or equivalent) alternative offer and access to a pre-entry academic preparation module. 

Extended degrees with integrated foundation year (undergraduate only)

These courses enable UK 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. 

With the exception of BSc Studies in Science with Foundation Year, which is a science conversion course for high achieving students, the University’s extended degrees aim to widen participation in higher education. Applicants must live permanently in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria, which can be found on the course pages. For more information, contact the Lifelong Learning Centre: 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 one of the degree.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

APL is a process undertaken by the University to assess and, as appropriate, recognise prior experiential or 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. In some cases, for undergraduate courses, this may lead to advanced entry. Applicants are advised to check the relevant school admissions policy or guidance for further information about advanced entry. 

Credit transfer, which is a form of APL, is the process by which the University accepts credit arising from prior certificated learning, awarded either by itself or by another institution, as contributing to an award of the University.  The relevant school will normally only make the academic decision about whether to grant APL when the applicant applies, not at a later date such as part-way through the course. Further details of the University’s policy can be found on our APL page.

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, contact Funding at funding@leeds.ac.uk

Application process 

Application routes and deadlines

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

Applications must be submitted through the route stated on the relevant Coursefinder page. For the majority of undergraduate courses (including full-time extended degrees), this will be via UCAS, and for taught postgraduate courses and Language Centre pre-sessional English this will be through the University portal. Applicants to the Leeds International Summer School and Incoming Study Abroad programme apply directly to the University. Applicants should refer to the Leeds International Summer School and Incoming Study Abroad pages for further information and how to apply online.

Where collaboration agreements exist, or an arrangement is in place with an employer for an apprenticeship course, applications may be made via other routes (for example, directly to the University) and with differing deadlines. However, the principles in this policy and any school-level admissions policy or guidance still apply unless otherwise stated. 

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

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 2022 for most Medicine and Dentistry courses
  • 25 January 2023 for all other courses

Applications are considered equally against the selection criteria and in the context of the number of available places. If places are still available, some academic schools may consider applications after 25 January. Applicants should seek the school’s advice before making a late application. 

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

Those applying for our part-time undergraduate courses or foundation year do so via direct entry. Candidates should contact the Lifelong Learning Centre (lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk) for an application pack. More information about part-time study is outlined in the Part-time study section of this page.

Taught postgraduate applications

Courses may have an application deadline, which will be stated on Coursefinder. Some courses operate staged admissions deadlines throughout the academic year (see the Gathered field section for more information).  

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 Coursefinder, where applicable. Applicants are advised to check relevant deadlines before submitting an application.

If an applicant intends to apply for funding, they are advised to submit their application for a place at least two months before any specific scholarship deadline.

Contextual admissions schemes (undergraduate only)

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

Access to Leeds (A2L)

Candidates are encouraged to consider whether they meet the Access to Leeds criteria and, if so, to follow the instructions on the A2L pages to apply for the scheme. A2L applicants receive special consideration from admissions tutors and those who receive an offer are given an alternative offer, typically reduced by two A-level grades or equivalent, alongside their standard offer. The alternative offer will be conditional upon successfully completing the Access to Leeds module. Please note that 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 they choose the University of Leeds as their insurance choice.

Realising Opportunities (RO)

Candidates already participating in the Realising Opportunities scheme receive the same special consideration and alternative offer as A2L candidates (see A2L section).

RO candidates retain their alternative offer if they make Leeds their insurance choice.

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

The University’s Alternative Entry Scheme, run by the Lifelong Learning Centre 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 on Coursefinder or in the school admissions policy or admissions guidance that prospective students may use the Alternative Entry Scheme 
  • Have been out of compulsory education at school or college for three or more years.

Candidates will need to successfully complete assignments 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. 

Admissions staff for the applicant’s intended course will usually refer the applicant to the Lifelong Learning Centre if they are eligible for the Alternative Entry Scheme. 

The scheme is not open 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 by those who have taken fewer than three A-levels in the last three years and 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

The Lifelong Learning Centre manages the admissions process for part-time students. All academic decisions are made by admissions tutors/academic staff. The roles of admissions tutors and admissions staff are as outlined in the University roles and responsibilities section of this page.  

Applications for most part-time courses should be made directly to the University using 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 at lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk. Applications for part-time undergraduate study can be made 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 Coursefinder to check whether their intended course is available part-time before making an application. Applications must be submitted through the applicant portal following the guidance in the Application routes and deadlines section of this page. 

Fee status and payment

Fee status is determined using the details provided on the application form. If an applicant disagrees with the fee status assigned, they can appeal. For more information, visit our fee assessment page.

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 page

As a UK education institution, the University of Leeds is legally required to comply with all sanctions regimes imposed by UK law. This means that we cannot accept funds directly or indirectly from a UK financial sanctions target. Our banks may also require that we do not accept funds, directly or indirectly, from financial sanctions targets designated as such under other sanctions regimes, including those imposed by the EU and US. 

As part of the controls implemented to ensure that no relevant financial sanctions regimes are breached, and to ensure our bank will accept payments, for certain students we must collect payment details, including the source of any funds, in advance of payment being received. This allows us to confirm that no sanctions regimes will be breached by our acceptance of a payment.  

If we require advance payment details and source of funds checks, we will notify applicants after they apply.   

An offer of study does not guarantee that we can accept payment. 

Financial support

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. For details of financial support we offer, please see our undergraduate funding and taught postgraduate funding pages. There may also be scholarships or bursaries available through the academic school, details of which are on the schools’ websites. 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 is paid directly to students to help towards the cost of tuition fees and living expenses. An undergraduate loan will cover the full amount of tuition fees, and is 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 are outlined on the government website (see previous links). 

Student visas

Student visa sponsorship

International students require a Student visa to study in the UK, unless they hold alternative acceptable UK immigration permission. Applicants who require a Student visa should note that the University does not sponsor candidates for part-time courses as standard practice. 

As noted in the Documentation and references section of this page, the University requires additional information from candidates who require sponsorship and who have previously studied in the UK under a Student visa or Tier 4 visa. This information will be used to ascertain whether a candidate can be sponsored for further study on a Student visa. As we perform these checks after an offer is made, candidates should be aware that an offer of a place does not mean that their sponsorship is confirmed. Please note that, where the UKVI allows exceptions to its policy, the University reserves the right to make its own assessment on whether these are applied. 

CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) and tuition fee deposits

The University reserves the right to charge a tuition fee deposit.

In order to apply for a Student visa, applicants require a CAS from the University. To receive a CAS, applicants must have accepted an unconditional offer (which must be a firm choice for undergraduate applicants) and provided all required information (e.g. passport details). In addition, taught postgraduate applicants must either pay a tuition fee deposit or provide evidence that they are fully funded by a University-recognised sponsor. Those studying a pre-sessional course at the University of Leeds Language Centre before starting their academic course may be required to pay the deposit or provide sponsorship evidence before the pre-sessional.

For more details about deposits, sponsorship evidence and the circumstances in which a deposit may be refunded, please see our tuition fee deposits page.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Applicants who require immigration permission to be in the UK may require an ATAS certificate in order to undertake postgraduate study in certain subject areas. Please see the Non-academic requirements section of this page 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 our Safeguarding Policy (PDF) and our Information for Under 18 Applicants (PDF).

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. For the majority of courses, the applicant is only required to do this when they wish to accept an offer. Information about why this information is requested and the process is on our declaring criminal convictions page and in the University’s policy statement on students with criminal records (PDF).

For specific courses, the applicant must 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 occupational health checks 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. 

Disability

The University encourages and welcomes applications from disabled people. The University is committed to the social model of disability and in line with the Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental impairment which is long-term (lasting or expected to last 12 months or more), and which has a substantial adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Although some conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and MS (from the point of diagnosis) are expressly deemed to be disabilities for the purposes of the Equality Act, the definition of disability may also include epilepsy, diabetes, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, amongst others.

The University aims to be as inclusive as possible through its application process, learning and teaching. We aim to take an anticipatory approach to reduce the need for applicants and students to request individual support. However, the University does also make individual reasonable adjustments to make sure that disabled applicants have full and equal access to our admissions procedures and courses. 

Applicants are encouraged to disclose their disability on the application form so that reasonable adjustments and/or other support requirements can be made/considered. Information about disability is not used when considering academic eligibility for the chosen course. Instead it is reviewed in order to identify potential study-related support requirements,possible reasonable adjustments and/or the eligibility for disability-related support funding, so that the University can ensure the applicant is supported effectively on the course. 

Applicants are not required to disclose their disability if they do not wish to. However, applicants who choose not to declare their disability should be aware that without this information it may be more difficult, or in rare cases impossible, for the University to provide appropriate support and/or make reasonable adjustments. Disabled applicants are also advised to contact the University’s Disability Services team (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 of this page, 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. General guidance on support can be found on our wellbeing and support page.  

Applicants in need of health-related support

This section deals with non-disability-related health matters and additional support needs. 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 Faculty of Medicine and Health are conditional upon a satisfactory occupational health assessment, to be undertaken before the start 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 Applicants who have faced exceptional circumstances section.  

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 University. For further information, see our care leavers and estranged students page or contact 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, see our care leavers and estranged students page or contact 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

The University will be required to carry out identity checks as part of the admissions and registration process. Taught admissions staff may also be required to advise the relevant Faculty Admissions Manager of a change of details in order to verify any previous documentation; however, this will be undertaken confidentially and with sensitivity. Full guidance to support trans students can be found on the Equality and Inclusion Unit website.

Applicants who do not wish to disclose their trans identity to the faculty/school admissions team but require their details to be updated should contact the University Admissions Enquiries team on study@leeds.ac.uk.

Mature and part-time applicants (undergraduate only)

The University encourages and 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-time 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 can receive support with admissions, with the transition into university, and throughout their period of study. This specialist support from the Lifelong Learning Centre complements the full range of services offered through faculties, University services and the Student Union.

Reapplications and former students of the University

We will typically consider re-applications to the University. Those who have previously been made an offer are not guaranteed to receive an offer when they reapply.

Any decision on the eligibility of applicants who have previously held an offer of a place but failed to achieve the academic conditions at the first attempt will be made by the relevant school. 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 that 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 to their chosen progression route) may apply for re-entry to the University. However, they cannot apply 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 or 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 of this at the time of exclusion. If an applicant reapplies, this will contravene their responsibilities to avoid misrepresentation (as outlined in the Applicant and student responsibilities section of this page) and they will be rejected or have any outstanding offer(s) revoked. Former students who are unclear on whether they are permitted to reapply should contact studentcases@leeds.ac.uk for further information. 

Applicants who require a Student visa and have previously studied at the University under a Student visa or Tier 4 visa will be subject to academic progression checks to ensure UKVI compliance. If an applicant has been withdrawn due to academic failure they cannot be considered for re-entry to the University if they would require a further visa, as this would not meet UKVI academic progression requirements. Please see the Documentation and references section of this page for further information. 

Where relevant, school admissions policies or guidance include additional information about reapplications and former students. 

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 school. Applicants in this situation should check the relevant school admissions policy or admissions guidance.

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. 

Undergraduate deferral requests

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 before the confirmation of a place. English language qualifications must be valid at the revised start date. 

Undergraduate 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. 

Undergraduate courses operating a gathered field approach (see Gathered field section further down the page) do not accept applications for deferred entry. They also do not typically accept requests to defer after an offer has been made. Applicants who wish to be considered for entry in the following academic year will need to apply/re-apply once that application cycle opens. Where applications for deferred entry are not accepted, this will be stated on Coursefinder. 

Taught postgraduate deferral requests

Taught postgraduate offer-holders cannot usually defer entry; they will need to re-apply if they wish to be considered for entry in the following academic year. 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. 

It is not possible for taught postgraduate applicants to apply for deferred entry from the outset. 

Course amendments and withdrawals

Course information, including content and outline module information, and teaching and assessment methods, can be found on Coursefinder. The circumstances in which changes may be made to the course will also be highlighted there. 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.

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 school admissions policy or admissions guidance or on Coursefinder. Academic grades normally form only one part of the final decision. Refer to Coursefinder to understand 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.

Some applicants 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.

Please note that achievement or predicted achievement within the required qualifications does not guarantee an offer of a place. Selection criteria will treat all students fairly and not discriminate unlawfully because of their age; disability; sex; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership; pregnancy or maternity; race; religion or belief; or sexual orientation.

Use of contextual data

In order to determine a candidate’s potential to perform strongly on their chosen course, 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 (LPN) data as discussed in the Applicants from Low Participation Neighbourhoods (undergraduate only) section of this page. 

Applicants from an LPN are not required to undertake any further application process or provide any additional information; however, they are advised to check their eligibility for the Access to Leeds scheme, through which they could receive a larger grade reduction in their offer and access to a pre-entry academic support module.

As explained in the Admissions considerations and Application routes and deadlines sections of this page, both Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities use contextual data as eligibility criteria.

Personal statement

Where required, the personal statement of the application form helps 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. Where applications show similar academic achievements, we may use the statement in order to differentiate between applicants. 

Interviews

Interviewing of applicants varies across the University; some courses interview all suitable applicants and others 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 and gives the University the opportunity to ensure that the applicant understands the nature and demands of that course. Applicants invited to interview can obtain further information about the interview process from the relevant school admissions team and policy or admissions guidance or Coursefinder.  

Interview 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, via video conferencing, by telephone or as part of applicant visit events. 

Some applicants (for example, disabled applicants, applicants who are pregnant etc.) may require adjustments at interview (for example, a sign-language interpreter or an adjustment to an interview process) to provide them with full and equal access to the process. Academic schools are responsible for making reasonable adjustments. 

The University’s Disability Services team should be consulted for further advice or information regarding disability-related adjustments (disability@leeds.ac.uk) and the Equality and Inclusion Unit for advice on other adjustments (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. Applications will be assessed on their strength relative to others, ensuring that the candidates with the most potential receive an offer. The school admissions policy/guidance or Coursefinder will detail if the gathered field process is used for a course. 

For taught postgraduate courses, academic schools may operate a staged admissions process involving a series of gathered fields with all applications received by the deadline for each stage assessed competitively against one another. Information will be provided on Coursefinder if this process is in place. 

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 or admissions guidance pages or on Coursefinder.

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 or admissions guidance page or on Coursefinder.

Decisions and communications with applicants

Communications during the application process

Candidates will receive confirmation from the University and, where applicable, UCAS, that their application has been received. Schools may also contact the applicant if further information is required to process the application, therefore applicants must notify the University of any contact detail changes.    

Offers

Any offer made will be communicated via an offer letter and, where applicable, through UCAS or the applicant portal. Information on how to accept the 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. Applicants under the age of 18 at the start of their studies may have additional conditions attached to their offer that relate to safeguarding. Please see the Age and safeguarding section for more information. 

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

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. 

A combined offer may be made for a pre-sessional English language course and a taught postgraduate course, whereby the pre-sessional is used to meet the English language requirements of the postgraduate offer. If the applicant declines or fails to attend the pre-sessional, the English language condition will be reinstated in the postgraduate offer.

Unsuccessful application

Applicants will receive an unsuccessful application 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.

Feedback

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 Coursefinder 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 or who have not received initial feedback, need to make any request for feedback via email to the relevant admissions team (see Coursefinder for contact details). This request must be from the email address listed on their application form. Please note that the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry provide individualised feedback to all unsuccessful undergraduate applicants and do not respond to direct requests. 

Withdrawn application or offer

An application may be withdrawn by either the applicant or the University. If the University withdraws an application, the reason will usually be communicated either directly to the applicant or via UCAS. 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.  

The University reserves the right to withdraw an offer at any point before the applicant has accepted it. 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 of this page, or if a change to UKVI policy means that the University is no longer able to sponsor an international applicant for a visa. 

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

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 of this page, under the Feedback heading.

If, following receipt of feedback, applicants wish to challenge a decision to reject their application, they should email the Head of School for the academic school to which they applied, detailing the nature of their complaint. The complaint must be made within 14 days of the decision and contact details can be found on the University’s faculty contacts page.

When a complaint is received, the Head of School (or nominee not involved in the admissions process) will review the decision to reject the applicant. Following this review, the Head of School (or nominee) will email the applicant giving the reasons for their decision, normally within 14 days.

Applicants who have complained to the Head of School and remain dissatisfied may submit their complaint to the University’s Complaints Officer by emailing studentcomplaints@leeds.ac.uk within 14 days of the Head of School’s response. The 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 and Portfolio Steering Group. 

Confirmation

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 and meet the conditions of their offer 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 Use of contextual data section of this page) may 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 or school-level admissions policy/guidance, even if the offer is for deferred entry to the following application year. 

Some courses may not be able to confirm a place in the upcoming academic cycle if an applicant who did not meet the offer condition with their initial results receives an improved final grade after a re-mark or appeal. In such cases, the applicant may be offered a deferred place or be asked to reapply.  

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. University teaching periods can be found in the University’s Almanac; however, students may be expected to arrive before 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 support 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 that any course-specific deadlines will be detailed in the relevant school admissions policy/guidance or on Coursefinder.

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. University teaching periods can be found in 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 support office before travelling.

Applicant data 

The personal data of applicants is processed for the purposes of considering their admission in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Code of Practice. 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 contact Alice Temple, the University’s Data Protection Officer, at a.c.temple@leeds.ac.uk.

The University will not enter into discussion relating to the outcome of individual applications with anyone other than the applicant themselves, unless the applicant provides written permission for the University to discuss this with another person (e.g. a parent or agent), or has provided the name of a nominated person on the application form. This policy is in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of May 2018.

Useful contacts and resources

Admissions and courses

Access to Leeds

Data protection

Disability Services

Equality and Inclusion Unit

Incoming study abroad

International Pathways Centre

Language Centre

Leeds International Summer School

Lifelong Learning Centre

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Page published: 20 June 2022

Page last updated: 20 June 2022

Details of any amendments since first published: