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Assessing your application

The University of Manchester seeks to recruit students of outstanding achievement and potential from all educational backgrounds.

Good examination results are the main factor in assessing undergraduate applications. However we also use other sources of information to ensure we admit students with the most outstanding potential. These might include:

  • prior and predicted grades;
  • evidence of knowledge and commitment in your personal statement;
  • teacher references;
  • aptitude tests;
  • performance at interview;
  • any exceptional circumstances or personal barriers to learning that you have faced.

We receive many excellent applications each year. Many of our courses receive numerous applications for each available place, so regrettably we can’t offer places to all applicants who attain the minimum entry qualifications.

Where places are limited we offer them to those eligible applicants who best meet our selection criteria and who, in our view, are most likely to benefit from their chosen course and to contribute both to their academic School and the wider University.

For more information on the key principles of our recruitment, admissions and widening participation activities, download our Student Admissions Policy (PDF document, 69 KB).

Admissions framework

Our admissions framework supports our principles of fair and transparent admissions. It outlines the different stages in our selection process and demonstrates how we form a final decision via an overall consideration of each application.

Our admissions framework includes up to five stages:

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4Stage 5
Achieved and predicted qualifications – Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) and Level 3 (A-level or equivalent) Additional requirements, as evidenced by your personal statement and school reference Aptitude and additional measures, eg UKCAT, course-specific test, skills test, portfolio Interview Confirmation

The information we consider in stages 1 and 2 is received via your UCAS application form.

Contextual information is additional information provided to admissions decision-makers alongside your UCAS application form in order to build up a full and rounded view of your achievement and potential. This is considered in stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the admissions framework.

Our academic Schools decide which stages are used in selecting students for each course. Not all academic Schools use all stages of the framework, and for some applicants stages 3 and 4 will not be applicable. You can find this information in our individual course profiles.

Stage 1 – Achieved and predicted qualifications

We consider academic achievement on the basis of the information you provide in your UCAS application. For most of our courses, good examination results are the main factor in securing a place. We adhere to the following key principles to ensure that we consider all applicants equally at this stage: 

  • We welcome applications from students achieving excellence in a wide range of qualifications.
  • Evidence of recent study is generally required for our courses, but we also consider relevant skills learnt through work experience by using the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process.
  • Applicants who have participated in our Manchester Access Programme and our Realising Opportunities Project are entitled to differential consideration at stage 1.

Stage 2 – Additional requirements

You may need to meet further non-academic requirements for admission, such as providing evidence of transferable skills or work experience in a relevant area. Our admissions staff consider your personal statement and a school reference to see whether you meet the stated criteria. This assessment takes place either immediately after stage 1, or at interview.

Please note that mitigating circumstances must be disclosed at the point of application and should be mentioned in your referee report.

Stage 3 – Aptitude and additional measures

You may need to undertake an aptitude test or additional measures as part of our entry requirements for your course. This may include:

  • producing a portfolio of work;
  • undertaking a test, such as the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT);
  • writing an essay.

We will consider your performance against such measures alongside all the other information we have about you.

Stage 4 – Interview

We may invite you to attend an interview as part of the admissions process to your chosen course. In these cases please be aware of the following:

  • Each course has specific criteria for interview, which are explained in the course profile.
  • Interviews allow our Schools to look for aspects of skills, suitability and experience that cannot easily be assessed by other methods.
  • The interview gives you and the University an opportunity to discuss your application and interests further. You can ask questions and ensure that the course is the right one for you.
  • We are likely to further explore information that you provide in your personal statement at interview.

Stage 5 – Confirmation

When exam results are published, we will confirm the places of applicants who meet the terms of their offer.

If you do not meet the terms of your offer, there is no guarantee that you will be offered a place. This will depend on the course and the attainment of other applicants.