New students can enrol at any point within the 3 weeks before their course start date. Although some students have a live record in the database prior to this, we discourage them from enrolling too early. This is because once a student has enrolled, they have entered into a legally binding contract with the University. If they subsequently discover they can't begin their course for any reason, it is much harder to reverse out of that contract than it would be if they hadn't enrolled in the first place. If we don't complete the process properly, there is a danger that the student may be included in returns to HESA and/or HEFCE, which complicates the reconciliation of our funding arrangements. Reducing the enrolment window to only a fortnight prior to students' start date greatly reduces this risk.
Students returning for subsequent years of study can re-enrol from early August in the new Academic Year; this earlier date helps to reduce load on the servers.