ADMISSIONS POLICY Updated: February 2015

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1 ADMISSIONS POLICY Updated: February

2 CONTENTS Context, Scope and Pre-Entry Page 3 Fair Admissions Page 4 How to Apply Pages 5 and 6 Applying via UCAS for undergraduate courses Appling via UCAS for Teacher Training Applying Directly to the University International students Disabled students Care Leavers Criminal Convictions Under 18s Admissions Process Page 7 Entry Criteria Decision Making Interviews Feedback Appeals and Complaints Admission Policy Review General Entry Requirements Pages 8-10 Undergraduate UCAS Teacher Training Postgraduate Special Admissions Contact Page 10 2

3 Context Scope Staffordshire University has one single institution wide Admissions Policy covering initial enquiries and applications through to enrolment across all courses, modes and levels of study. The University offers a small number of courses developed in partnership with external organisations and admissions to these awards may be restricted to employees of the organisation. Pre-entry Staffordshire University will provide potential applicants with as much information as possible to enable them to make informed choices and appropriate applications. We will provide high quality information and advice on all aspects of recruitment, selection and admissions including our entry requirements and course information. The University encourages potential applicants and applicants to visit the university and we offer a number of opportunities including Open Days, Postgraduate Fairs and the Staffordshire UCAS HE Convention. 3

4 Fair Admissions Staffordshire University values its rich diversity of students and we act fairly towards applicants for admission and exercise equal treatment without unlawful discrimination, in line with the recommendations by the Fair Admissions to Higher Education Review (Schwartz, 2004) 1, the Quality Assurance Agency s Quality Code of Practice B (2013) 2 and University policies such as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. Staffordshire University is committed to providing transparent recruitment and admissions activities ensuring all applications are considered and evaluated on an individual basis. We welcome students with a variety of qualifications, skills and experience who have the potential and ability to succeed recognising that this is not always demonstrated through the achievement of formal qualifications. Staffordshire University recognise and embrace the requirement of professionalism in every respect of its commitment to a fair admissions system and has a positive approach to its staff development and the role of SPA (Supporting Professional in Admissions). Staff receive regular training regarding University and sector developments ensuring that those involved in admissions are highly competent in undertaking their roles and responsibilities. The University is committed to fair access and admissions encouraging and welcoming applications from all social and educational backgrounds. We admit students who have the ability and potential to meet our entry requirements and achieve and benefit from their experience at university. We work in collaboration with a number of partners to encourage higher education participation enabling us to provide a wide range of courses, modes and progression routes for applicants. 1 Admissions to Higher Education Steering Group (2004) Fair Admissions to higher education: recommendations for good practice 2 The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education UK Quality Code for Higher Education Code Chapter B2: Recruitment, selection and admission to higher education (2013) 4

5 How to Apply Staffordshire University offers a wide range of courses, levels and delivery modes. The process for applying for a place to study at Staffordshire University varies depending on your course and level of study. The How to Apply pages on our website provide a set-by-step guide to the application process. Staffordshire University welcomes applications for deferred entry and will also consider requests to defer after an application has been received. Requests should be made to Applying via UCAS for undergraduate courses If you are applying via UCAS to Staffordshire University you will need to insert our Institution code S72 and the relevant course codes (e.g. P500) all our course codes are listed in our prospectus, on the relevant course page on our website, or on the UCAS website itself. To find out more about the UCAS application process, visit the UCAS website or UCAS Applying via UCAS Teacher Training We offer full and part time teaching courses. Full time courses are via UCAS Teacher Training for more information go to UCAS TT. Part time applications are made via our course pages. Applying directly to the University For all courses not covered by UCAS (listed below); applications should be made directly to the University. Links are available from each course page, for more information please visit our apply pages here. Part time Distance Learning Work Based learning Postgraduate Doctoral levels Applying for courses with our Partners Staffordshire University works closely with a range of UK partner colleges. Partnerships have also been developed with private organisations such as the National Design Academy and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (CWT) and charitable organisations such as the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission and Oasis College. This focus on partnerships provides the opportunity to provide a wide range of courses, from HNCs to Teacher training at locations ranging from Leeds to London and progression to Staffordshire University. Full details of the courses we offer and how to apply can be found here. 5

6 International students International applicants (outside the European Union) can complete our online application form. If you receive an offer of a place on a full-time undergraduate course you must register an application with UCAS. More information can be found on our dedicated International applicant support pages. Equality and Diversity In line with the Equality Act 2010, Staffordshire University is proud to promote equality of access to education, training and development. The University is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and is part of the Athena SWAN Charter. Full information of our Equality Diversity and Inclusion policy can be found on page 6 of the policy document found here. Disabled students No applicant judged to be academically suitable will be refused admission on grounds of disability without compelling reasons. However it is important that you tell us on your application form of any impairment so that, wherever possible, we can ensure that we provide the facilities and support you need. Please apply as early as possible. For an information leaflet or informal discussion, please contact the Student Enabling Centre. Care Leavers The University welcomes applications from students who are leaving care and will work with relevant agencies to ensure a smooth transition from care to university life. Full information of the support we can provide, can be found here. Criminal Convictions We promote equality of opportunity for all, which includes those who may possess a criminal conviction. When considering applicants with relevant criminal convictions, Staffordshire University applies the legislation relating to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Applicants to some professional courses require mandatory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and it is essential that DBS clearance is given prior to enrolment. Applicants will be kept up to date at all stages of the application process with regard to their status. Under 18 Applicants under the age of 18 may be admitted to study an award at the university. The university will then have a responsibility to safeguard that student s welfare. Further information can be found in the university s guidance for parents of applicants who will be under the age of 18 can be found here, and in the Child Protection Policy here. 6

7 Mature students Staffordshire University welcomes mature applicants of all ages and backgrounds. We recognise that some mature students may not have qualifications which fit into our standard entry criteria and each application will be assessed holistically, taking into account any relevant experience and skills. Our onsite nurseries cater for children from birth to 5 years of age, more information can be found here. Advice and guidance for financial assistance while you are studying can be found here. Admissions Process Entry Criteria Faculties are responsible for setting entry criteria annually. Staffordshire University s entry criteria is then published on the University s web pages, in printed materials and on external websites such as UCAS and is shared with all relevant staff. Decision Making The University admits applicants it believes have the potential to succeed and formal qualifications will be assessed alongside a student s personal statement, reference and at an interview, where appropriate. Decisions will be made and communicated to applicants as quickly as possible. However, where courses attract large number of applications or further information is required to make an assessment, there may inevitably be a delay but every effort is made to keep this to a minimum. Where the University is unable to make an offer for an applicant s original choice of course, the University may offer an alternative course for the applicant to consider. Interviews Where interviews are an essential part of assessment of applications, full details of the process will be sent prior to the interview. Feedback Staffordshire University recognises that it is important that unsuccessful applicants have the opportunity to receive feedback on their application. UCAS and applicants who apply directly to the University will automatically receive feedback regarding unsuccessful applications decisions either via UCAS Track or an from the University. Applicants wishing to obtain feedback on decisions made in respect of their application should contact Appeals and Complaints Staffordshire University recognises that on occasion an applicant may wish to appeal against a decision or to make a complaint for a specific concern related to a procedural irregularity in the admissions procedures. If an applicant considers that they may have cause for an appeal or complaint, they are requested to write in the first instance to the Head of Admissions. 7

8 Admissions Policy Review Staffordshire University regularly reviews pre-entry and admissions practices, policies and strategies in light of the changing education environment and needs of our customers. The University will review this Admissions Policy annually. General Entry Requirements Undergraduate Staffordshire University considers all applications on an individual basis and welcomes applications from people with a wide variety of qualifications, skills and experience. The University admits students on the basis that they are able to demonstrate their potential to succeed recognising that this is not always through the achievement of formal qualifications. The University welcomes breadth of study and applicants need to demonstrate a depth of understanding that will provide the foundations for study at a higher level. However, for application to some of our awards, an in-depth knowledge of particular subject areas is required. These are outlined in the course requirements. We recognise the relevance of additional learning and experience (such as key skills and CoPE) to a university degree and encourage applicants to develop these learning and experience opportunities and to highlight them in their application. Where English is not an applicant s first language, applicants must demonstrate sufficient command of the English Language, both verbal and written to undertake study at higher level either by having undertaken the majority of their prior education in English or have a formal recognised English Language qualification at an approved level. More details are shown here. Applicants are normally expected to achieve one of the following qualifications in order to meet the minimum entry requirements but are advised to consult individual award requirements for the level at which these qualifications should be attained. An interview, portfolio or test may also be a condition of admission. Undergraduate Degrees (including fast track awards) Two subjects at GCE A Level or AVCE (or one of each) One GCE A Level Double Award or AVCE Double award Combined One GCE A Level and a Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma One BTEC National Diploma Access to HE Diploma (60 Credits) specific credit criteria listed against course criteria Three SQA Highers and Two Advanced Highers Irish Leaving Certificate Higher grades An award of the European Baccalaureate Diploma, with at least 60% overall; English at 60% 8

9 An award of the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 24 points; English at four points A pass in an Advanced Apprenticeship Achievement of an OCR National Diploma or Extended Diploma A successfully completed NVQ at level 3 or above A pass in a University validated Foundation course A pass in a University Foundation year Equivalent International qualifications HND and foundation level awards For entry onto one of our foundation or HND courses you ll usually need to have obtained one of the following: One subject at Advanced GCE/VCE A BTEC award A Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma BTEC National 90 credit Diploma CACHE Level 3 Top up awards A pass in a Foundation Degree A pass in a Higher National Diploma For more detailed information on our entry requirements for undergraduate courses, call us on or visit UCAS Teacher Training Entry requirements for our PGCE Teacher Training courses are 2:2 honours degree (UK) or above. GCSEs are also required, for more information please go to the course webpages. Postgraduate Entry requirement for postgraduate taught courses is usually at least a 2:2 honours degree (UK) or an appropriate equivalent qualification (including those gained overseas). 9

10 Special Admissions Applicants not in possession of formal academic qualifications listed above may be considered for entry onto an award. This is based on prior learning, acquired through academic study or through life experiences, which is not formally assessed. Learning can have taken place at work, home or through leisure activities and if it is measurable and relevant to the award then it will be considered. Applications are considered on an individual basis and are welcomed from people with a wide variety of qualifications, skills and experience. Staffordshire University admits students on the basis that they are able to demonstrate their potential to succeed and meet learning outcomes and recognises that this is not always demonstrated through the achievement of formal qualifications. An Admissions Tutor may wish to make a special case for an applicant who does not possess the minimum entry requirement for an award. This case is based on a holistic assessment of the applicant s skills, aptitude and abilities. Evidence may be provided for example through experience such as work-based learning or by the means of a written assignment or portfolio. Ultimately, it must be established that the applicant has the potential to benefit and succeed in the award of their choice. When compiling a case for special admissions the following issues may be considered: An evaluation of the experience and qualifications gained and how the necessary subject knowledge and skills is provided; An explanation of the assessment method used and its relevance; The barriers that the applicant may have had to overcome in order to achieve at their current level; The reference provided. All decisions relating to special admissions will be documented stating the reasons for acceptance or rejection. Approval for admitting students through special admissions must be sought from the Academic Reviewer and/or Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions, who will consider the points listed above when making the final judgement. Applicants who do possess the relevant life experience and who do not meet the general entry requirements are not normally eligible for special admissions unless the Admissions Tutor can provide a convincing case for consideration and that the special admission is in accordance with the Staffordshire University s Diversity Policy. Some awards may require additional achievements or have specific requirements as a condition of admission. 10

11 Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme (RPLS) The University acknowledges the value of prior learning that is both certificated and experiential and associated with knowledge and skills acquisition which has taken place in the workplace or other learning situations. It is committed to recognising that learning takes place outside the traditional educational establishments. The Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme (RPLS) enables an individual student to incorporate previous relevant learning experience into a programme of study, and acknowledges their expertise. For more information please see our RPLS policy here. Contact: For information about our courses, entry routes and all admissions queries, please contact the Enquiries Team telephone +44(0)

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