Undergraduate Admissions Guide for UK School/College Advisers 2013 entry

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1 Undergraduate Admissions Guide for UK School/College Advisers 2013 entry

2 Introduction The University of Edinburgh is one of the UK s leading research institutions, aiming to provide its student body with an excellent education. As such, it is also one of the most popular and competitive universities in the UK, receiving around 40,000 applications for approximately 4,000 undergraduate places each year. The University is keen to continue to attract high quality applications, and recognises the important role that school and college advisers play in helping applicants to make informed decisions about course choices and university applications. This publication therefore aims to provide UK-based school and college advisers with guidance on the University s admission requirements and policies, to help them prepare their students for higher education. Contents Pre-application advice Page 4 Completing the application Page 8 How we select Page 12 Admissions principles Page 14 Contact details Page

3 Pre-application advice Admissions at the University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh comprises three Colleges: the College of Humanities and Social Science, the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the College of Science and Engineering. Each College has responsibility for admissions selection, processing and decision-making. This means that, whilst the University has a common, over-arching admissions policy, there is some variation between the Colleges in policy and process. The College admissions teams are happy to provide advice about admission to specific degree programmes. Contact details for each College admissions team can be found at the end of this guide. Entry qualifications The University admits applicants from a wide range of backgrounds with a broad range of qualifications. In addition to Highers, A Levels, and other qualifications, all entrants are required to have a qualification in English and either mathematics or a science (if not held at Higher, A Level etc.). In most subject areas within the College of Humanities and Social Science, a language other than English is also required. Minimum entry requirements Published minimum entry requirements specify the grades or score required to be entered into the selection process. The grades or score required for entry vary between degree programmes and are published in our undergraduate prospectus and online at: These minimum requirements reflect the level of knowledge required of applicants to successfully complete their studies at Edinburgh. For many subject areas at the University competition for places is high, and achievement of the minimum entry requirements (or above) will not guarantee an offer of a place (please see Section 3 How we select for more information). One sitting and resits It is essential that applicants are able to demonstrate the ability to cope with the breadth, depth and volume of study that will be expected of them in their first and subsequent years at Edinburgh. Therefore entry qualifications are typically phrased in terms of one sitting. This means that we expect applicants to achieve the required grades in one examination diet. SQA candidates taking the qualifications required for entry across more than one examination diet will be expected to achieve at a higher level than applicants achieving in one examination diet. SQA candidates for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine however, will be expected to take 5 Higher and/or Advanced Higher subjects in one examination diet. A Level applicants will be expected to complete three A2 examinations in one examination diet. It is acceptable for applicants to retake some modules within the two years it normally takes to complete an A Level. Please contact the relevant admissions office for more information. Candidates retaking A Levels or the IB Diploma will not normally be considered for selection. Early presentation for examinations may not always be in the best interest of an applicant, especially if it leads them to achieve lower grades than they might otherwise achieve if examinations were to be taken later. Additional academic qualifications Additional qualifications, such as Critical Thinking, the Extended Project, and the Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project, are not used directly in admissions selection and do not comprise part of the University s formal offer conditions. However, we recognise that such qualifications enable students to develop skills relevant to higher education study and to explore in greater depth subjects they may wish to study at university. As such, we encourage applicants to use their UCAS personal statement to explain the relevance of these outside qualifications to their application and discuss the insights they have gained into the subject(s) to which they are applying. Evidence of recent study In order to demonstrate a readiness for university-level study, we require applicants to have evidence of recent study. This means that applicants must normally have undertaken relevant academic study within two years prior to the intended date of entry. Please contact us if you require clarification on this. 4 5

4 Choice of subjects Approved subjects: Details of the SQA Higher and A Level subjects accepted for general University entry purposes can be found at: undergraduate/approved-subjects A small number of other subjects offered by relatively few applicants (especially in the areas of languages and mathematics) are also counted as approved subjects. If a chosen subject does not appear on the list then applicants should check its acceptability with the relevant College admissions office. Breadth of study: Due to the nature of the Scottish degree, it is important for applicants to demonstrate academic strengths in a broad range of subject areas. Subjects of study in closely related areas, or which contain a high proportion of common material (such as biology and human biology), will not normally be counted separately. Applicants to degree programmes in the College of Science & Engineering which specifically require A Level Maths are encouraged to take A Level Further Maths, where possible, whilst also meeting the other subject- specific requirements for that degree. The relevant College admissions office can provide advice on overlapping subjects if required. SQA Advanced Higher and the Scottish Baccalaureate The University expects students to undertake at least four subjects at Higher level or above. Where applicants have already achieved the breadth and level required for entry to first year we recommend, where possible, that SQA applicants pursue their studies to a more advanced level by taking at least one (and preferably more) subject(s) at Advanced Higher, or by completing the Scottish Baccalaureate. Evidence suggests that students who have undertaken Advanced Higher level study perform better in their degree studies. We equate an Advanced Higher grade with one grade above the corresponding Higher, e.g. Grade B at Advanced Higher would equate to Grade A at Higher. Please note that we do not double count Higher and Advanced Higher in meeting the requirement to study a minimum of four subjects. Advanced Highers in science subjects or the Scottish Science Baccalaureate may allow direct entry to second year of certain programmes within the College of Science & Engineering. A Levels and the English Baccalaureate A* at A Level The A Level A* grade will not be used in the selection process for 2013 entry. A* and A grade predictions will be treated equally. However, the new A* will be used in offer-making for direct entry to the second year of many Science and Engineering degrees. A Level unit grade information The University of Edinburgh does not intend to use A Level unit grade information either in selection or in offer making. However, we may choose to do so in the assessment of borderline applications in certain high demand subject areas where applicants have narrowly missed the conditions of an offer. AS Levels Unless specified in degree programme requirements, AS Levels will not be used in selection. Where A Level predictions seem ambitious in the light of GCSE attainment, AS Level grades achieved may be used as supporting evidence. Number of A Levels Admission is based on 3 A Levels, or 3 A Levels and 1 AS Level, and additional credit is not normally provided for additional A Level subjects. The English Baccalaureate The University of Edinburgh has no plans to include the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in its entry requirements or selection criteria. Whilst the EBacc is likely to provide a good foundation for further study and higher education, there are other GCSE subject combinations that are equally valid for entry to higher education. Mixed qualifications The University will consider applicants applying with a combination of qualifications from different systems, but this may make it more difficult for an applicant to demonstrate that they are academically competitive. Potential applicants with mixed qualifications should contact the relevant College admission office for advice in advance of applying. UCAS Tariff We do not use the UCAS tariff for admission to any of our degrees. Our entry requirements and offers specify grades (e.g. if BBB at A Level or BBBB at Higher is the offer made, an applicant will not be accepted with ABC at A Level or ABBC at Higher). 6 7

5 Completing the application Deadlines All undergraduate applications should be completed via UCAS by the relevant deadlines published on the University website at: undergraduate/applications-admissions/applying/deadlines Late applications will not be considered. All applications received by the relevant UCAS deadline will be given equal consideration. Applying for more than one degree Applicants can apply for as many or as few programmes as they wish, within the limitations of the choices available on the UCAS application. However, restrictions may apply to the number of offers that can be made. A maximum of two offers will be made to students who apply to more than one programme in any one College. Applicants planning to apply to more than one programme in the same College should contact the relevant admissions office to advise them of their preference(s). Deferred entry and gap year There are two ways to apply if an applicant plans to take a gap year: apply for deferred entry in the final year at school or college; make an application for immediate entry during the year out. Applications for deferred entry are considered for almost all of our degree programmes. However competition for places is extremely high and applicants applying during their gap year, with qualifications achieved, will often be in a stronger position than those applying for deferred entry with predicted grades. Applicants to Fine Art or Veterinary Medicine and applicants for full-fee overseas Medicine places who wish to take a gap year will not be considered for deferred entry and should apply during their year out. SQA applicants to Medicine who wish to take a gap year are strongly encouraged to apply after completing S6. When applying for deferred entry or during a gap year, applicants should include in their UCAS personal statement details of how they intend to spend, or have spent, their gap year. In order to provide the best preparation for their studies, applicants holding offers for Mathematics or languages degrees, who are taking a gap year, are strongly recommended to undertake work to maintain their mathematics or language skills during their year out. Entry with Advanced Standing College of Science & Engineering Appropriately-qualified students may apply for entry with Advanced Standing (direct entry to the second year) to a range of degree programmes in the College of Science & Engineering. Offer conditions for second year entry are higher than those for first year entry. Where an offer cannot be made to an applicant applying for second year entry, the applicant will be considered for standard, first year entry. Suitably qualified first year entrants will have a further opportunity to explore the possibility of second year entry when they meet their Personal Tutor on joining the University. For further details, please visit: advanced-entry College of Humanities & Social Science Applicants will be considered for 2nd year entry to the BA degrees in Art and Design if they hold the qualifications required for first year entry and have successfully completed an art foundation programme, HND or equivalent. Second year entry is not available for the MA in Fine Art. Direct entry to second year is not available to applicants with school-level qualifications for other degree programmes in the Colleges of Humanities and Social Science, or Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Students with a disability We welcome applications from students with a disability. Each application is assessed on the same basis as any other. Consideration of support needs is dealt with separately from the academic decision-making process. We encourage any student with a disability, including a specific learning difficulty, to declare this on the UCAS application. All applicants offered a place and who have declared a disability are encouraged to contact the Student Disability Service as early as possible to ensure that we have the necessary time to make adjustments for the start of the academic year. 8 9

6 Personal Statement The personal statement should include evidence of commitment, motivation and readiness for higher education, suitability for the chosen degree programme and a strong interest in the chosen subject area. Applications will also be assessed for particular skills, qualities and attributes which are recognised as being of particular value. Details of these are normally provided on the relevant entry profile on the UCAS website. Applications to a professional or vocational degree programme (such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Education) must demonstrate through the personal statement, a clear understanding of the profession. Applicants can support this with evidence of appropriate work experience, volunteering or work shadowing, although we do recognise that not all students have equal access to such opportunities. Admissions Tests All applicants for medicine at Edinburgh must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), or apply for an exemption code from the UKCAT consortium, in the summer prior to submission of a UCAS application. The University of Edinburgh does not use any other admissions tests in its selection process. Art & Design selection Applicants to art and design programmes will be asked to submit a digital miniportfolio. Those who pass the first stage of selection will be invited to bring a full portfolio to an Applicant Day. Applicants to Veterinary Medicine are required to complete a supplementary work experience form online. For further details please visit: work-experience/form UCAS Reference Admissions Officers refer to the information in the supporting reference when assessing academic and non-academic potential. It is particularly useful if referees can provide information about the school context and curriculum policies, for example early presentation for qualifications, or number of GCSEs students typically take. UCAS provides some very helpful advice for teachers and advisers writing references at: Specific advice for advisers writing references for medical applicants can also be found at: undergraduate/medicine/applying/requirements/non-academic Interviews Interviews do not normally form part of our admissions process. Exceptions to this are degree programmes in Teacher Education, (including Community Education), Music, Nursing, Oral Health Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and graduate or mature entrants to Medicine. For those areas that do interview, not all applicants will be called to interview. The decision to interview is based on the information contained in the UCAS application

7 How we select Admissions Statistics The number of applications we receive exceeds the number of offers we are able to make. Applications received by the specified UCAS equal consideration deadline, and which meet the minimum entry requirements, progress to a selection process in which each application is given full and equal consideration by at least two professional admissions staff. When helping students make their decisions about which university or degree course to apply to, we recognise that it can be very useful to have an indication of the likely level of competition in different areas. We provide information about numbers of applications, offers and acceptances on our website at: Selection criteria Applications are assessed against agreed selection criteria for each degree programme. The most important factor in decision-making is academic achievement above (or predicted above) the specified minimum academic requirement. In addition, the selection process will also include consideration of a range of non-academic factors, including the personal statement and reference. We look at all qualifications listed on the application and, especially where levels of competition are high, we may need to take into account overall performance at Standard Grade, GCSE, certified AS Level etc, when selecting students. Schools who do not routinely certificate AS levels should indicate this on the UCAS reference. Decision timetable Given the strong competition for many of our degree programmes it is important that we treat all applications received by the UCAS deadlines equally. Most applications are held, to be considered alongside other applications received by the relevant deadline, in a gathered field. This is done to ensure fair and equal consideration for all the on time applications received by UCAS. As we do not receive the final on time applications until late January or early February, we hold most applications received earlier in the cycle until then. A small number of offers may be made to exceptional applicants before the deadline. However, there remains no advantage to applying early. We aim to make decisions about on time applications as quickly as possible, but most applicants will not receive a decision until March. Contextual data We recognise that applicants have differing backgrounds and experience and that they do not all have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their potential. We seek to set academic achievement in context through the consideration of a range of factors. These may include whether an applicant: attends a school where a relatively small proportion of students progress to higher education or where the level of performance in examinations is below average; has spent significant time in care; has parents or guardians who have not previously attended university; has participated in a recognised access programme, including Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS) and Pathways to the Professions; has experienced serious disruption to their formal education (for health or family reasons or for reasons associated with disability). See note on special consideration below; lives in an area of deprivation as identified by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Differential offers The Colleges of Humanities & Social Science and Science & Engineering make differential offers. This means that offers are made within a range, for example AAAA-ABBB. An offer made to an applicant who has faced educational disadvantage as identified by the contextual data used in admissions or by participation in one of the University s widening participation projects may be at the lower end of the range compared with offers made to applicants who have not faced such disadvantage. Special consideration The University is not best placed to fairly and consistently take account of any adverse circumstance affecting an applicant s performance in pre-entry qualifications. Therefore in cases where adverse circumstances have impacted on individual grades for individual subjects, we expect applicants to have taken appropriate action to ensure that the relevant examination bodies have allowed for such circumstances prior to the announcement of results, or following an appeal. Unsuccessful applicants The University receives many more applications from well-qualified students than there are places available. If a student s application has not been successful, they may find it helpful to obtain further information from the College admissions offices via: after/your-application 12 13

8 Admissions principles The University of Edinburgh is committed to admitting the very best students, who demonstrate the potential to benefit from, and contribute to, the academic experience we offer. We aim to: Encourage applications from students with excellent academic potential We ask all candidates to demonstrate, via their application, that they have the potential to succeed at the University, including a commitment and motivation relevant to their proposed programme of study. Further the University as an international institution benefiting from and serving its Scottish context Applicants are welcomed from Scotland, the rest of the UK and from around the world to benefit from the unique heritage and thriving innovative environment of Scottish education. Offer equality of opportunity to all applicants We recognise that not all students will have had an equal opportunity to demonstrate their full academic potential. All applications are given careful individual consideration and a holistic decision is made with regard to the individual s academic achievements and potential, taking into account the context and circumstances in which these were achieved. Increase the diversity of the student population We believe that diversity is educationally, as well as socially, desirable in a civilised society, enriching the educational experience for all. We therefore seek to attract a wide range of applicants from different social, cultural and educational backgrounds, including those who come from schools or colleges where relatively few students progress to university, and those who will be members of the first generation of their families to become university students. We seek to encourage applications from students from all backgrounds who are currently under-represented in higher education. Contact details If you would like any further information or advice about applying to the University of Edinburgh please contact us. Student Recruitment and Admissions The University of Edinburgh 33 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS Tel: Fax: Web: College Admissions Offices College of Humanities and Social Science College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Undergraduate Medical Admissions College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Undergraduate Veterinary Medicine Admissions College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, Medical Sciences Admissions College of Science and Engineering Student Disability Service Tel: Textphone: Web: Scholarships and Student Funding Services Tel : Web:

9 The information contained in this guide is correct at the time of going to press in July Any changes to University admission policies or entry requirements will be published via The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336

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