Admission to courses

We operate a fair and open admissions process committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination.

Admission to courses

The university considers all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. The university welcomes applications from all prospective students, including care leavers and those who act as carers, and aims to provide appropriate services to students with learning support needs or disabilities. Admissions Policy (Higher Education).

The broad definition of a care leaver (by the Care Leavers Association) is “Any adult who spent time in care as a child (i.e. under the age of 18). You have the opportunity to let us know you are a care leaver on your application form, this allows us to put resources in place to support you. The university aims to make an offer of a place to care-experienced applicants who meets the minimum entry requirements for the course to which they have applied, where this is possible.

Carers Trust Scotland define a carer as ‘anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.’ If you let us know you are a carer, we can provide support to assist you through your application and during your university career with us.

Entry requirements

We publish entry requirements on each individual course web page, indicating the minimum entry qualifications required to succeed on the programme. Please check your chosen course for required grades and further details. These qualifications do not need to have been gained in one exam sitting.

Contextualised admissions

The university operates a ‘Contextualised Admissions’ policy and practice which formalises our existing inclusive approach to admissions. This means that we use disclosed data relating to personal circumstances and background to identify applicants for additional consideration during the admissions process.

Our current contextualised indicators, identified from submitted application forms, are:

  • Experience of being looked after / in care for a period of time
  • Having parents or guardians who have not attended university
  • Participation in outreach activity or access programmes
  • Attendance at schools with lower than average progression to HE (part of the Schools for Higher Education Programme)
  • Living in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20)

This data is used to assess an applicant’s previous attainment and potential to succeed in higher education. This can apply to applicants who do not meet the published entry requirements for the course, or where there is competition for places.

Other access routes

We accept a wide range of equivalent qualifications and offer a range of different entry point into higher education. We are able to offer opportunities to most applicants regardless of their entry qualifications and experience, and consider each applicant in this way.

We recognise that there are a variety of routes through which qualifications may be gained and ways in which readiness for higher education study may be demonstrated. If you are in any doubt about your entry qualifications, or for guidance as to subject choice if you wish to prepare yourself for a particular area of study, contact our information line.

Please see our admissions statement with reference to Curriculum for Excellence.

We also make extensive use of recognition of prior learning (RPL) (both formal credit bearing and experiential) in our admissions processes.