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Postgraduate Admissions


Institutions should ensure that:

  • the admission process is transparent and consistent
  • each application is processed in a timely manner
  • each application is assessed in line with postgraduate admissions policy
  • each application is judged on academic merit in the context of
    • whether a suitable supervisor is available
    • the number of students already assigned to the supervisor; the QAA requires that the University 'ensure that the quality of supervision is not put at risk as a result of an excessive volume and range of responsibilities assigned to individual supervisors' (see QAA Precept 14)
    • the number of applications expected
    • the resources available either in the institution or that can be arranged elsewhere (e.g. by fieldwork or by access to specialist collections or equipment in other institutions)
  • decisions may either be deferred until a closing date has passed, or applications may be reviewed as they are received, and candidates for major funding competitions may be considered in a separate competition from other candidates; whatever the mode of dealing with applications, this should be made clear in the course literature
  • all candidates are considered without regard to ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, disability, age or factors other than academic matters - see the University's Equal Opportunity policy. Candidates are informed of this policy at the application stage
  • all candidates to whom offers are likely to be made should be interviewed by some means unless otherwise exempted by the Postgraduate Admissions Committee (if not in person, then by video conference or by 'live' email sessions or telephone if there are means of confirming the identity of the respondent)
  • candidates for admission to part-time research degrees must be interviewed and a check-list of topics explored, relating to their ability to attend the University as required and to sustain the necessary level of study, given their particular circumstances. A detailed plan of student attendance over the first five terms must be submitted to the Postgraduate Admissions Office along with the interview report
  • the availability of funding should not be taken into account when considering the academic merits of an application for admission. However, many departments and faculties combine their funding and admission procedures, so decisions to recommend admission to the Postgraduate Admissions Office may be made in conjunction with awarding of studentships. If the Postgraduate Admissions Office offers admission, the taking up of the studentship depends on all other conditions of the offer being met
  • where the applicant will be working in collaboration with others in a manner that gives rise to joint creation of intellectual property, or interdependent intellectual property, and the student will be required to assign intellectual property to the University or place the results in the public domain without restriction, the Head of Department should indicate this on the cover sheet when agreeing to admit the candidate
  • for a candidate who is a member of staff of the institution, the Head of the Institution must be satisfied that it is possible for the candidate to combine the duties of his or her post with postgraduate study
  • any special academic conditions required that are above those normally set by the General Boards Education Committee (e.g. 'first class degree') must be specified on the coversheet
  • any special requirements pertaining to the course (e.g. funding for field trips, starting before 1 October, etc.) must be specified; NB any additional costs students might incur because of compulsory components of the course or bench fees must have been notified to the student at the time the offer was made and cannot be added after the course has begun. All such details must be made clear in the institution's admissions literature and notified to the Postgraduate Admissions Committee all candidates from outside the EEA (including Switzerland) seeking to study for research degrees to certain science and technology subjects must apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance in order to obtain a visa. Faculties concerned need to send the Postgraduate Admissions Office a short description of the topic of research at the point of offer.