Assessing your master's application

We look for students of outstanding achievement and potential from all educational backgrounds.

How we assess your application

Good degree results from recognised institutions are a big factor in assessing postgraduate taught applications, as well as:

  • prior and predicted grades;
  • evidence of knowledge and commitment in your application;
  • academic references;
  • professional experience;
  • performance at interview.

We receive lots of excellent applications each year and some of our courses receive more applications than available places so unfortunately, we can’t offer places to all applicants who achieve the minimum entry qualifications.

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

For more information, download our Student Recruitment, Selection and Admissions Policy (PDF document, 326 KB).

Master's admissions framework

Our admissions framework comprises four stages and 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.

Stage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4
Achieved and predicted qualifications – the required degree classification as outlined in the course entry requirements or overseas equivalent. All applicants will need to meet our English language requirements. Additional requirements, as evidenced by your references and supporting information. Aptitude test and selection process. Confirmation, offer and acceptance.

Course information

Our academic Schools decide which stages are used in selecting students for each course which you can find on our individual master’s study course profiles along with entry requirements, course structure, teaching and learning, coursework and assessment, fees and funding, professional accreditation and employability outcomes.

Stage 1 – achieved and predicted qualifications

We consider academic achievement on the basis of your application. We follow key principles to ensure all applicants are considered equally, such as:

  • Welcoming applications from excellent students from a wide range of academic institutions.
  • Evidence of recent study is generally needed for our courses, but we also consider relevant skills learnt through work experience or professional accreditation.
  • Welcoming students from all over the world and inviting applications from students whose previous education was not in the UK.

Applications from international students will be assessed against the standard entry criteria. We have experience in considering a wide range of international qualifications, and our International Office provides advice and guidance for applicants who wish to discuss their qualifications.

For your application to be successful you'll need to meet our general entry requirements and the requirements of your chosen course. This will include providing evidence of English language proficiency.

Stage 2 – additional requirements

You may need to meet further non-academic requirements, such as providing evidence of transferable skills or professional experience in a relevant area.

Our admissions staff consider all the information submitted in your application, including your academic references. If we require any additional documents, we'll request these via email and you can upload them through our self-service system. 

We may also draw on previous applications to the University as part of the assessment process. This assessment takes place either immediately after stage 1 or during an interview.

Mitigating circumstances need to be disclosed at the point of application or as soon as they happen in order to be considered.

Stage 3 – aptitude test and selection process

You may need to undertake an aptitude test or additional measures as part of our entry requirements for your course. If so, it will be listed under 'application and selection' on the course profile and may include:

  • producing a portfolio of work;
  • undertaking a test, such as the Graduate Management Admission Test or the Graduate Record Examination;
  • writing an essay.

If you're invited to interview, please remember:

  • each course has specific criteria for an interview which are explained in the course profile;
  • interviews allow our Schools to look for skills, suitability and experience that cannot easily be assessed by other methods.

Stage 4 – confirmation, offer and acceptance

When we receive the final degree results and academic requirements we will let successful applicants know.

If you are offered a place, you will receive an offer letter detailing the terms and conditions including details of any individual requirements that are still needed. Offer letters will be sent out via email, you will then need to accept your conditional or unconditional offer. View student terms and conditions for more information.

Additional information

  • Reapplications and registration – if your application was not successful last year you can apply again. However, you should demonstrate how your application has changed. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications and registrations when assessing your suitability for your course.
  • Disability support – find practical support and advice from the Disability Advisory and Support Service at