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Postgraduate Admissions Statement

A. Preamble

  1. This Statement summarises the University’s postgraduate admissions policy. It is intended to provide an accessible summary for applicants and their advisors.
  2. This Statement is governed by the Board of Graduate Studies (which adopted the Statement at its meeting held on 10th October 2012).
  3. This Statement takes note of best practice within the Higher Education sector, and the Quality Assurance Agency’s UK Code for Higher Education (Chapter B2: Admissions).

B. Statement

  1. The University aims to admit students of the highest calibre, who have the academic potential and motivation to succeed on its challenging courses.
  2. The University will provide accurate information and advice to prospective students concerning its opportunities for postgraduate study.
  3. The University welcomes applications from all candidates with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background. The University is committed to equality of opportunity, as stated in our Equal Opportunities Policy. The University aims to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, political beliefs, religious beliefs or practices, disability, marital status, family circumstances, sexual orientation, spent criminal convictions, age or any other inappropriate ground.
  4. The University complies with the provisions of the United Kingdom Data Protection Act, 1998. The University will not disclose to a third party any details regarding an individual’s application without the applicant’s permission to do so. This policy of non-disclosure will include family members of the applicant.

C. Academic Criteria for Admission

  1. The University will publish annually the specific admissions criteria for each postgraduate course of study on its Postgraduate Study webpages.
  2. The University minimum academic standard for taught postgraduate courses is a lower second class honours degree (or equivalent). For research programmes it is an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). Where course-specific entry requirements are higher than the University minimum standard, the course-specific requirement must be achieved.
  3. Applicants who do not possess an academic qualification which meets or exceeds the standard required for their chosen course of study may, in some disciplines, still be considered for admission on the basis of substantial, relevant work experience or professional training. The admission of such candidates is subject to the approval of the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the appropriate Course Selector.
  4. The University is committed to giving full and fair consideration to all academic qualification information presented by individual applicants. Admissions criteria are normally expressed in terms relating to the Higher Education system within the UK. The University publishes broad equivalency guidance for applicants with qualifications from outside of the UK on its International Office’s webpage, although candidates should note that the University will make an equivalency determination on a case-by-case basis only after an application has been received.
  5. The University will normally require applicants to provide the contact details of one academic referee for postgraduate taught courses and two academic referees for postgraduate research courses, who will be invited to write in support of their application. Applicants returning to study after a break of five or more years may be able to provide a professional or employment reference in lieu of one or both academic reference.
  6. The University receives many more applications than it has places available and the admissions process is competitive. Achievement, or predicted achievement, of qualifications relevant to entry does not itself guarantee an offer of admission. Course Selectors may take into account any, or all of, applicants’ personal statements, research proposals, references, performance at interview, and test results, in addition to specific academic results.
  7. The University will consider applications for exemption from one or more module of a taught postgraduate course as set out in its policy and procedure governing the accreditation of prior certified or experiential learning.

D. English Language Proficiency

  1. All postgraduate courses are taught in the medium of English. Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate their proficiency in the use of English in all four language components (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
  2. The University will publish the minimum English proficiency standard required of entrants to each of its postgraduate courses on its Postgraduate Study webpages. It should be noted that this web page indicates the minimum requirements and that the selection process is competitive. Offers may be made requiring a standard higher than this minimum.
  3. The University recognises five English proficiency tests: IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson (Academic), Cambridge Advanced (CAE), and Cambridge Proficiency (CPE). Applicants will be expected to reach at least the stated minimum in advance of enrolling at the University. The University will verify test results for all candidates using the test provider’s online verification service. The University reserves the right to draw to the test provider’s attention any anomalous results in order for that provider to conduct its own investigation.
  4. Applicants who have been educated in an approved English-medium higher education institution for at least one year within the two years preceding the start of the course for which entry is sought, may not be required to provide an English proficiency test result.
  5. The University’s Centre for Applied Linguistics provides a range of English language courses which may support those applicants whose English proficiency is close to the required standard. Further information on this provision may be found on the Centre for Applied Linguistics’ website.

E. Selection Process

  1. All postgraduate courses are assigned a Course Selector. The Course Selector is responsible for assessing all applications made to his/her course and for recommending to the University the decision to be made on that application. Courses which attract large volumes of applications may have more than one individual nominated as the Course Selector. Course Selectors are either academic members of staff or professional Admissions Officers located in the Student Admissions and Recruitment Office or in the relevant academic department.
  2. Course Selectors will assess each application on its own merits and in competition with other applications. Course Selectors will take into account all relevant evidence provided on the application form and the published entry criteria for that course. As noted in paragraph C6, the admission process is competitive and selection will necessarily take into account academic achievement or predicted achievement, the personal statement/research proposal and references.
  3. Course Selectors may request examples of candidates’ written work, and may choose to interview candidates, in order further to assess their motivation and suitability for the course. In the case of applications to degrees by research, an interview may also be used to discuss in detail the applicant’s suitability for their proposed project.
  4. In the case of applications to degrees by research, a Course Selector will only make an offer to a candidate where an appropriate supervisor can be identified, at the point of admission, for the full period of the candidate’s enrolment with the University, taking account of study leave and any other temporary absences of members of staff.
  5. Course Selectors may make an offer to a candidate for a course other than the one to which the candidate applied if the Course Selector believes the applicant to be better suited to that course, or in situations where the applicant has already covered some or all of the content of the course they originally applied to.
  6. Upon the recommendation of the Course Selector, the University will verify the application and any supporting materials and will notify the applicant of its formal decision. This formal decision will be communicated to the applicant by the Student Admissions and Recruitment Office (other than in the case of applications for taught programmes offered by WMG which will be communicated directly to the applicant by WMG). In the case of candidates being made an offer, this offer will include any conditions which need to be met in advance of the course starting, the start and expected end dates of the course, and whether the offer is being made on the basis of full- or part-time attendance. Such offers are not a guarantee of funding. Applicants will be instructed of the procedure for accepting or declining such offers. Applicants accepting their offer will have the full offer Terms and Conditions brought to their notice in advance of being asked to make this decision.
  7. The University aims to make decisions on complete applications for taught courses in four to six weeks, and for research courses in six to eight weeks. These timescales should be treated as a guideline only since the University is committed to giving applicants equal consideration and believes it is important that it makes the correct decision.
  8. Admission decisions are regulated by the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies, acting on the Board’s behalf. The second schedule of the Statutes of the University allows for the Vice-Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Senate, to refuse to admit any person to the University without assigning a reason.

F. Deferral Opportunities

  1. Applicants who have received an offer of a place at the University may request that the offer be deferred to the intake after the one they were originally offered admission to.
  2. Such requests will only be considered by certain Course Selectors, and applicants should not presume that an offer of admission for one intake guarantees an offer for a future intake. The decision of the Course Selector is final.
  3. Requests to defer admission a second time will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances and where the applicant can demonstrate a compelling need to defer. Such requests will be considered by the Senior Assistant Registrar (Postgraduate Admissions) whose decision is final.

G. Applicants with a disability and/or specific learning differences

  1. Applicants with a disability and/or a specific learning difference are encouraged to apply to the University and are considered on the same academic grounds as all other candidates. Information regarding a disability and/or specific learning difference provided on the application form is not available to the Course Selector.
  2. Should the Course Selector recommend for an offer an applicant who has declared a disability and/or specific learning difference, the University’s Student Support Services staff will be informed in order for a parallel process to be initiated. The Student Support Services staff will contact the applicant in order to discuss their requirements in advance of the course starting, and to consider what, if any, appropriate and reasonable adjustments might be required.
  3. Applicants with a disability and/or specific learning difference to the MBChB, PGCE, and MA Social Work courses should additionally be aware of the University’s obligations in respect of Fitness to Practise. Further guidance may be found in Regulation 34.

H. The consideration of criminal convictions and information of a non-academic nature

  1. The University’s Regulations provide for the consideration of criminal convictions and other information of a non-academic nature which may affect an admission decision. Further guidance may be found in Regulation 6.
  2. Criminal convictions and other information of a non-academic nature will not form a part of the initial consideration of an application.
  3. Should the Course Selector recommend for an offer an applicant who has declared a relevant criminal conviction that is not spent, any other activities outside of the law, fraudulent information, or misrepresentation, the application will be considered by the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study before the offer is made. The Committee will then advise the Vice-Chancellor accordingly.
  4. Should information of the nature set out in G3, above, arise after an offer has been made, the case will be referred to the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study. The Committee will advise the Vice-Chancellor as to whether the offer should be withdrawn, or not.
  5. In the cases of applications made to the PGCE programme (including its Teach First and Schools Direct variants), the MBChB course, and the MA Social Work course, any matter that may represent an issue of fitness to practise will be referred to the relevant committee as provided for in Regulation 34.
  6. The University may investigate cases disclosed to it under the UCAS Similarity Detection Service and reserves the right to refer any cases of concern to the Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study. The University may contact the applicant for further information before finalising a decision.
  7. The University reserves the right to withdraw any offer made on the basis of an application containing fraudulent or misleading information, or which omits information likely to have affected the admission decision.

I. Applicants requiring a visa in order to study in the UK

  1. Where an applicant requires student entry clearance or leave to remain (a ‘visa’) to study in the UK, failure to take up an accepted offer of a place, or withdrawal from their course after arrival, is likely to affect their permission to come to, or remain in, the United Kingdom. In order to comply with the UK immigration regulations, the University will notify the immigration authorities, where relevant, of non-arrival and of any changes to a student’s enrolment status.
  2. When an applicant who requires a visa to study in the UK agrees to the Terms and Conditions of their offer, they confirm that they are not currently, nor have ever previously been, in the United Kingdom without valid immigration permission. If, at a later date, the University is informed that they have been in the United Kingdom without such valid permission it may be required to inform the immigration authorities and/or withdraw its 'sponsorship' of the student’s application for leave.

J. Requesting feedback on an unsuccessful application

  1. The University will provide feedback to candidates to whom it is not able to make an offer when this is requested by the candidate in writing either to the Postgraduate Admissions team or to the relevant academic department.
  2. The Postgraduate Admissions team or academic department will respond to requests for feedback in a timely manner, although timescales may be longer at pressurised points in the admissions cycle. In cases where the request is received by the Postgraduate Admissions team, it may be necessary for the team to consult with the Course Selector before answering such a request.
  3. Feedback will normally include generic information to help applicants understand the means by which applicants are selected for the course to which they have applied, but a certain amount of specific information on an individual’s application may be available on request.
  4. Feedback will not be provided to any third party including, but not limited to, a parent, agent or other supporter.

K. Complaints

  1. Complaints from applicants regarding the service they receive during the admissions process will be handled in accordance with the Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service's Complaints Procedure.
  2. Applicants do not have the right to appeal against the academic judgement made on their application.

L. Monitoring

  1. Under Statute 20(2) the Senate regulates the admission of persons to courses of study and the monitoring and reporting of admissions is via Senate committees, including the Steering Committee and the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (and its sub‐committees). An annual report is also presented to the Equality and Diversity Committee, a joint committee of the Senate and Council. Detailed admissions information is published and publicly available in the University’s Academic Statistics.


Email our Postgraduate Admissions Team

Call us on +44 (0) 24 7652 4585
Fax us on +44 (0) 24 7652 4649

Write to us at:

Postgraduate Admissions
University House
University of Warwick

Application deadlines

If you’re a UK or EU resident, there are no application deadlines for postgraduate taught courses. But places are limited, so you should submit your application as early as possible.

If you’re from outside the EU, you may need to get a student visa. To make sure you have time to do this, the application deadline is 31 July for courses that start in September.

Some departments have earlier deadlines – so you should check the information in the Essential Information for each course.