A2.2 Admission to Programmes of Study at First Degree Level

  • A2.2.1 Programmes at first degree level

    1. The standards of awards at first degree level in section A1.2 are defined with reference to minimum entry requirements expressed in terms of GCSE and A level passes or their equivalent. It should be noted that a course may be designed to be longer than the standard length, starting from lower entry qualifications, or shorter, based on a higher level of attainment of entry. Individual applicants may be admitted on the basis of a wide range of qualifications, experience or both, provided the principle of admission at A2.1 above is met. Some examples are given below, but the list is not intended to be exhaustive.
    2. The minimum level of attainment required for entry to the start of programmes of the minimum length leading to awards at first degree level is equivalent to passes in two subjects at Advanced level supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE. (A pass in GCSE means grade C or above, this is equivalent to a pass at grade C or above in GCE O-level or a pass at grade 1 in CSE).
    3. In some fields of study it will be necessary for entrants to have reached the equivalent of A level in at least one specific subject, in others the emphasis will be on the general intellectual skills developed by previous study. In both cases, a variety of forms of preparation can provide evidence of an applicant's potential to succeed in a course of higher education.

    A2.2.2 Alternative qualifications and experience

    1. GCE and related qualifications
      1. Prospective entrants may offer other acceptable patterns of GCE A-level/O-level/GCSE/CSE grade 1 passes for example four subjects which three are at Advanced level.
      2. The normal level entry holders Scottish Certificate Education is five higher or passes in all with others Ordinary grade or Standard grade.
      3. Two Advanced Supplementary (A) passes are equivalent to an A-level pass; four AS passes may be offered in lieu of two A level passes. Applicants should not be required to offer more than five different subjects in all at A level, A\S and GCSE.
    2. Vocational and professional qualifications

      A variety of vocational or professional qualifications may be acceptable for entry purposes. These include:

      1. Awards of the Business and Technician Education Council (BTEC) (formerly BEC and TEC), whose National Certificate/Diploma is generally regarded as equivalent to A level for entry purposes.
      2. Awards of the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC) (formerly SCOTBEC and SCOTEC), which is operating a new modular Scottish National Certificate scheme.
      3. Awards of the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ), whose Advanced GNVQ (level 3) is generally regarded as equivalent to A level for entry purposes.
    3. Other qualifications

      Some applicants may have successfully completed other courses which demonstrate equivalent attainments and abilities, for example:

      1. Open University courses Foundation Credits.
      2. Access courses approved by an Authorised Validating Agency and specially designed to encourage adults to return to study and to provide a preparation for courses in higher education.
      3. A full-time foundation course in Art and Design of not less than one year's duration normally together with the equivalent of five GCSE or GCE O-level passes or four GCSE or GCE O-level passes including one at A level.
    4. International and overseas qualifications
      1. The International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate are acceptable as group qualifications satisfying general entrance requirements.
      2. Irish and other overseas qualifications may be offered.

      In addition, applicants holding overseas qualifications will be required to satisfy the University's requirements as to English Language proficiency.

    5. Other learning and experience

      Profiles or Records of Achievement may or may not be associated with formal qualifications, for example the TVEI experience, vocational or professional experience, assessed prior or experiential learning. The University regards these as useful guides to the suitability of an applicant for admission.