A2.1 Principles of Admission

  • A2.1.1 General considerations

    1. There should be a reasonable expectation that anyone admitted to a programme of study will be able to fulfil the objectives of the programme and achieve the standard required for the award.
    2. At validation the minimum entry requirements will be specified in terms of qualifications or experience (or both) expected to be commonly offered by applicants. It is convenient for common alternatives to be specified at the same time.
    3. In considering individual applicants for admission to a programme of studies, the University will seek evidence of personal, professional and educational experiences that provide indications of ability to meet the demands of the programme. 
    4. The University adheres to the principle of equality of opportunity for applicants of equal potential.
    5. The University reserves the right to take into account a student’s prior registration or enrolment on a course at the University or delivered by a partner when considering a new application for admission.  In particular:
      • Any applicant who has previously been a student at the University and been required to withdraw for academic reasons (including leaving with an exit award) is not eligible to apply for re-admission as a student to any further course at the University or delivered by any of its partners until after a period of at least one academic year has elapsed.
      • Any applicant who has previously been a student at the University and been required to withdraw for disciplinary reasons is not eligible to apply for re-admission as a student under any circumstances unless specifically approved for re-admission by the Academic Registrar.

    A2.1.2 Admission with academic credit

    1. If the University is satisfied that the applicant has fulfilled some of the progression and assessment requirements of the programme by means other than attendance on the planned programme, and should be able, by completing the remaining requirements, to fulfil the objectives of the programme and attain the standard required for the award, that applicant may be admitted to any appropriate point in the programme (but see 4 below).
    2. In exercising discretion in this respect the University will ensure that such admissions accord with its requirements relating to the standards of its awards and with good practice throughout higher education in the United Kingdom. Specifically, the accreditation of prior learning (both certificated and experiential) will be conducted in accordance with the principles, procedures and guidance in the University's guide to its Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme.
    3. Admission with academic credit is subject to the same principles as admission to the beginning of a course. Subject to the requirements of the relevant course regulations, the University has discretion to admit a student with specific credit, which means that the student is considered to have passed certain elements and will, where course regulations permit, be graded. Similarly, a student may be admitted with exemption from certain elements of a programme, which means that the student is not required to take those elements but may, as appropriate, be required to take alternatives.
    4. Course regulations may specify limits for the maximum amount of specific credit which may be awarded consistent with the standard of the award, University policy and any relevant external requirements.
    5. The principles above apply to individual admissions only. Where applicants with a particular qualification are to be admitted regularly with a standard amount of credit, the University will expect the arrangement to be reflected in the course regulations and approved by the appropriate quality assurance procedures of the University. Where any such arrangements involve collaboration with another body, for example an agreement to admit students who have successfully completed a course offered by that body, but not terminating in a qualification generally recognised in the UK, the University requires a memorandum of co-operation to be approved.
    6. The possibilities of multiple entry and exit points should be considered as part of course validation and review and the course regulations formulated accordingly.

    A2.1.3 The Assessment of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

    The assessment of prior experiential learning is subject to these guiding principles:

    1. Responsibility rests with the applicant for making a claim to have acquired knowledge and skills and for supporting the claim with appropriate evidence, although assistance may be given.
    2. The learning derived from experience must be identified in order to be assessed.
    3. The identification of prior learning comes through systematic reflection on experience, the writing of clear statements about what was actually learned and the collection and collation of evidence to support those statements.
    4. Academic assessment is the responsibility of academic staff, who may employ any appropriate procedure to arrive at an academic judgement about the evidence of prior learning submitted.
    5. Where it is proposed to allow entry with specific credit, the methods of assessment must be such that the judgement made can be considered by external examiners and Examination Committees.
    6. The academic function of assisting the applicant to prepare evidence of learning should be separated from that of assessing that learning. A variety of ways of assisting applicants have been suggested and developed:
      1. Personal interview.
      2. Class or group work, which could be a time-tabled course.
      3. Tutorials.
      4. Specially designed manual or study pack.

    The approach chosen will be governed by the nature of the course and the number of prospective applicants for whom APEL is appropriate.

    1. If the applicant's prior learning is more difficult to quantify, it may be necessary for the University to assess this learning, either by requiring the applicant to take the normal progression assessments of the course or by some other appropriate form of assessment. 

    Academic Enhancement & Standards Committee, 27th June 2012
    Academic Board 18th July 2012

    Academic Enhancement & Standards Committee, 30th October 2013 (section 2.1.1)