Joanne Preston smiling

How we make our decision

Discover how we assess postgraduate applications, and why we're always interested in more than just your grades

We know there's much more to you than your qualifications, and there's more than one route into postgraduate study. When you apply to join us, we assess your application on all the information you give us, not just your academic achievements.

Your personal statement, references and professional experience (if applicable) will all be used by our admissions team when they make their decision. We're not just looking for outstanding candidates on paper – we're interested in the person behind the application too.

We’re committed to treating everyone who applies to us fairly in accordance with our Admissions Policy (PDF).

Here are some of the criteria that matter when you apply to join one of our postgraduate degree courses:

  • past and predicted academic achievements and qualifications
  • your personal statement (if relevant)
  • your references
  • extra-curricular activity such as work-experience, cultural and social life, and non-academic qualifications
  • interview performance (if relevant)
  • portfolio quality (if relevant)
  • admissions test or exam performance (if relevant)
  • extenuating circumstances (if relevant)
  • your enthusiasm, commitment and potential

Criminal convictions

When you apply to us, we'll ask you to declare if you have any relevant criminal convictions. A 'relevant' conviction is defined as one involving any kind of violence. These include:

  • offences concerning the intention to harm or resulting in actual bodily harm
  • the unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking
  • offences involving firearms
  • arson
  • offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003 or the Terrorism Act 2006

'Spent' convictions are no longer 'relevant' unless you're applying for a teaching, health or social work course or a course involving work with children or vulnerable adults. A conviction becomes 'spent' if you don't re-offend during your rehabilitation period (as defined by The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974).

Assessing applicants with relevant criminal convictions

If you've declared a relevant criminal conviction in your application, we'll contact you to confirm you've declared it correctly. Please don't give us details of the offences when you contact us.

Once we have your confirmation, a panel of our senior staff will consider your application confidentially.