This Statement is intended to provide an accessible summary of the University of Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy and procedures, for applicants and their advisors. Where more detailed information is publicly available, this is highlighted below.
The statement is overseen by the Student Recruitment Steering Group.
Warwick’s admissions procedures take account of sectoral best practice including the precepts of the QAA’s Quality Code for Higher Education, Part B: Assuring and Enhancing Academic Quality, Chapter B2: Recruitment, Selection and Admission to Higher Education; and UCAS guidance on good practice in admissions.
1. Admissions statement
The University aims to admit students of the highest calibre, who have the academic potential and the motivation to succeed on its challenging courses. The University encourages applications from applicants from all backgrounds and it evaluates the potential of each applicant individually and on their own merits.
2. Legislative and regulatory requirements
The University aims to provide accurate, clear and transparent information and advice to prospective students concerning its opportunities for postgraduate study and complies with guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority on Student’s rights under Consumer Protection Law. All applicants for postgraduate taught programmes who receive an offer to study with us will receive Material Information relevant to their chosen programme of study, including details of core modules, contact hours and teaching and assessment methods.
The University welcomes applications from all candidates with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background. We are committed to equality of opportunity and our Admissions policy is compliant with relevant equality and diversity legislation.
Warwick complies with the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR). Warwick 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. Warwick’s Enquiry and Applicant Privacy notice covers our use of personal data during the application process.
Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK
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 UK. 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.
3. Academic Criteria for Admission
The University will publish annually the specific admissions criteria for each postgraduate course of study on its Postgraduate Study webpages.
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.
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, professional training or mitigating circumstances affecting their performance in previous qualifications. 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.
Warwick 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 study webpages, although candidates should note that Warwick will make an equivalency determination on a case-by-case basis only after an application has been received.
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. The requirements for courses with non-standard reference requirements will be specified on their entry on the Postgraduate Study webpages.
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, writing samples, work experience and test results, in addition to specific academic results.
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.
4. English Language Proficiency
All postgraduate courses are taught in the medium of English. All applicants must demonstrate their proficiency in the use of English in all four language components (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
The University will publish the minimum English proficiency standard required of entrants to each of its postgraduate courses on its Postgraduate Study webpage. 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.
The University recognises a range of English proficiency tests: details of the tests we accept can be found on our website. 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.
Applicants who have completed a qualification in an approved English-medium higher education institution or the duration of the degree and 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.
Warwick’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.
5. Selection Process
All postgraduate courses are assigned a Course Selector. The Course Selector is responsible for assessing all applications made to their course and for recommending 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 Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service or in the relevant academic department.
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 above, the admission process is competitive and selection will necessarily take into account academic achievement or predicted achievement, the personal statement/research proposal, references performance at interview, writing samples, work experience and test results.
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.
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.
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.
Upon the recommendation of the Course Selector, the application and any supporting materials will be verified and the applicant will be notified of Warwick’s formal decision. This formal decision will be communicated to the applicant by the Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service (other than in the case of applications for taught programmes offered by Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) which will be communicated directly to the applicant by WMG, or for the MBA/DBA programmes in Warwick Business School (WBS) which will be communicated directly to the applicant by WBS). 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, Warwick’s Terms and Conditions of offer, and in the case of postgraduate taught programmes, will include Material Information relevant to the programme of study. Offers of study are not a guarantee of funding. Applicants will be instructed of the procedure for accepting or declining such offers.
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.
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.
6. Deferral Opportunities
Applicants who have received an offer of a place at Warwick may request that the offer be deferred to the intake after the one they were originally offered admission to.
Such requests will be considered by the Course Selector(s), 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.
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 Admissions Service Manager (Postgraduate) whose decision is final.
7. Applicants with a disability and/or specific learning differences
Applicants with a disability and/or a specific learning difference are encouraged to apply to Warwick 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.
Should the Course Selector recommend for an offer an applicant who has declared a disability and/or specific learning difference, Warwick’s Wellbeing Services staff will be informed in order for a parallel process to be initiated. Wellbeing Services staff may 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.
Applicants with a disability and/or specific learning difference to courses which carry, upon successful completion, accredited status in a profession regulated by a Professional and Statutory Regulatory Body should additionally be aware of Warwick’s obligations in respect of Fitness to Practise. Further guidance, and a list of affected courses, may be found in Regulation 34.
8. Information of a non‐academic nature
University regulation 6.3 (3) (b) provides for the consideration of information of a non‐academic nature that may affect an admissions decision. A Committee on the Admission of Students to Courses of Study may consider such information and advise the Vice‐Chancellor accordingly. Relevant information may include the declaration of a criminal conviction, activities outside of the law, fraudulent information or misrepresentation or, in the case of applications made to courses which carry, upon successful completion, accredited status in a profession regulated by a Professional and Statutory Regulatory BodyMedicine, Teaching and Social Work applications, any issue that may represent an issue of fitness to practise. In these latter cases, a Fitness to Practise committee always considers the information first as provided for in Regulation 34. A list of affected courses may be found in Regulation 34.
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.
The University reserves the right to withdraw any offer made on the basis of an application containing fraudulent or misleading information.
9. Applicants requiring a visa in order to study in the UK
Where an applicant requires student entry clearance or leave to remain (a ‘visa’) to study in the UK, they are responsible for obtaining it and complying with its conditions. If an applicant does not have valid immigration permission for study purposes they will not be able to start their course.
Candidates requiring a visa to study in the UK should be aware that an application to study at Warwick is separate to an application for sponsorship for visa purposes; an offer of a place to study is no guarantee of eligibility for a visa, which will be assessed at the point at which candidates request a Confirmation of Studies (CAS) from Warwick.
If an applicant requires a visa to study in the UK, failure to take up an accepted offer of a place, or withdrawal from your course after arrival, will affect your permission to come to or remain in the UK. In order to comply with the UK immigration regulations, Warwick is required to notify the immigration authorities, where relevant, of non-arrival and of any changes to your enrolment status.
When an applicant who requires a visa to study in the UK agrees to the Terms and Conditions of offer, they are additionally confirming that they are not currently, nor have ever previously been, in the United Kingdom without valid immigration permission. If, at a later date, Warwick 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 your application for leave.
UK Visas and Immigration require that all international students that Warwick sponsors for student entry clearance must be deemed to be progressing academically from any previous studies undertaken in the UK. There are also caps on the total amount of time that international students may study in the UK. The University of Warwick will be unable to sponsor applicants for entry clearance if to do so would infringe either requirement.
10. Feedback on unsuccessful applications
Warwick 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 Service or to the relevant academic department.
The Postgraduate Admissions Service 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.
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.
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.
Applicants do not have the right to appeal against the academic judgement made on their application.
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 in the University’s Academic Statistics.
Email our Postgraduate Admissions Team
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 for all courses starting in September/October is 31 July however places are limited in some departments so you should submit your application as soon as possible. Some departments also have earlier deadlines – so you should check the information in the Essential Information for each course.