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Choosing a suitable referee

Acceptable types of references for undergraduate studies

Academic referees

An academic reference is provided by someone who has taught you in a formal academic setting, for example a school or college who has direct knowledge of your academic work.

We will normally require one academic reference, and you will need to have been in education for the past two years.

Professional referees

A professional reference is provided by someone who has either formally employed, or line managed you, and can write about how you have performed in a professional/workplace environment.

References provided by work colleagues or references from voluntary or casual work will be considered as character references (see below).

We will normally require one professional reference, and you will need to have been in work within the last two years.

Character referees

A character reference is provided by someone who knows you well and can write about your personality, ambitions and achievements. A character reference cannot be provided by a family member or partner/ex partner.

Work colleagues and friends are acceptable character references.

We will normally require 2 character references. Character referees should be recent (no more than 2 years old) and from someone who has known you for at least three years.

How to submit your reference

When you complete the online application form, you will be asked to provide details about your referee(s) and an email address which we will use to contact them. The email will include instructions to supply your reference. In the referee section, 'position' refers to their job title, or other summary of the capacity in which you know this referee.

To provide details for one referee only in the online application form, please enter ‘N/A’ or ‘X’ in the mandatory fields of the second referee section to progress to the next page.

Alternatively, we are also able to accept references sent directly from a referee’s personal or professional email address to