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How we assess your application

Curious to know how we decide to offer you a place? Find out what matters to us when we read your application

We believe there's more to you than your qualifications. When you apply to us, we consider a range of factors we believe show your excellence and potential.

We take all of the information you give us in your application into account – not just your grades.

Things we consider include:

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

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

Your personal statement, references, extra-curricular activities, work experience and non-academic qualifications are all taken into account. If relevant, we also look at interview performance, portfolio, admissions tests and extenuating circumstances. Enthusiasm and commitment always matter.

Mature students (over the age of 21)

More than a quarter of our students are 'mature', which means aged 21 and over at the beginning of their course.

If you're a mature student, we understand you might have different academic qualifications as students who have just left school or college. We accept various qualifications on our courses and can take other factors into account such as your work experience.

Students under the age of 18

People of all ages are welcome to apply to us. If you’re under 18, we consider your application in the same way we do for older applicants.

You'll just need to understand you’ll be studying in an adult environment. Also, some courses aren't appropriate for under 18s. Contact us to find out which courses you can apply for if you're under 18.

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.