It is our mission to pursue research, learning, and teaching of international distinction and impact.
All of the University’s activities are directed to achieving the highest international standards in research, learning and teaching, pursued in a rich and varied research-led environment where all staff and students can achieve their full potential to the benefit of the wider community and society as a whole.
Our Admissions policy is intended to explain the University’s admissions process for applicants and their representatives, and to support the work of its admissions staff in achieving the University’s mission.
This policy has been written to ensure compliance with the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The good practice principles identified in the policy apply equally to all categories of applicants who submit applications to study at the University.
Responsibility for oversight of the University’s Admissions policy rests with the University’s Academic Standards and Quality Committee. The policy is subject to annual review by this Committee.
Applicants to Cardiff University can choose to have their correspondence in Welsh or in English. The preferred language can be amended at any point in the process at the applicant’s request.
The University’s admissions process is founded on the following principles:
- accessibility for applicants and their advisors
- consistent application of policy and procedure.
We are committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in all of our practices and activities, including those relating to student recruitment, selection, and admission.
We're committed to the highest standards of ethics and conduct in our administration, organisational policy, and behaviour, and to open, effective, and efficient communication, in compliance with consumer law.
We welcome applications from all appropriately qualified students and are able to consider a wide range of qualifications for entry onto our programmes, including vocational and other equivalent qualifications.
Entrants will typically have to achieve appropriate academic and/or professional qualifications and have a language qualification that meets the entry requirements for their programme of study. Professional experience may also be considered for entry on a case-by-case basis.
Our online course finder will provide you with information on our standard entry requirements for each programme and typical offers for each degree programme. The entry requirements on the course information pages is typically specified in terms of UK qualifications. This is not because they are the only qualifications that we will accept but because they are the qualifications most frequently searched. Where a qualification you are taking is not listed, please do not hesitate to contact the admissions team who will be able to provide you with advice and guidance on whether the qualification you are studying/have studied is suitable for direct entry onto your chosen programme and, where possible, typical entry requirements for that qualification.
Some programmes may consider applicants without formal qualifications but who have professional experience. Please do not hesitate to contact the admissions team who will be able to provide you with further advice and guidance on this.
Applicants with learning from prior qualifications at other higher education institutions may be able to gain credit towards their Cardiff University programme. For further information, please refer to our Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.
For programmes commencing during the main cycle from 1 September to 30 June each year, the University guarantees not to change its entry requirements as published on the programme’s course finder information pages after 1 September in the preceding year (for example, information on our course finder pages will not be adjusted for that September 2021 entry post 1 September 2020 although information may be updated to provide further clarification).
The University offers a number of programmes which are subject to the requirements of professional, statutory, and regulatory bodies, either because of necessary contact with patients, vulnerable adults, or children during placements, the requirements of placement providers or because of eligibility for registration with a professional body upon completion of the programme. These requirements may include fitness to practise assessments, occupational health checks (including vaccinations), Disclosure and Barring Services and/or police checks (criminal records checks), and limitations upon age on entry. These additional non-academic requirements will be included in the programme’s course finder information pages.
The University supports a range of activities and initiatives aimed at widening access and fostering the University’s inclusive culture, as identified in the University’s Widening Access and Retention Strategy.
All applicants are advised to read our criminal convictions policy, procedure and guidance.
We reserve the right not to consider an applicant for entry if they have previously been withdrawn from Cardiff University or any other institution on academic grounds, or, due to submission of fraudulent documentation.
It is the University’s aim to recruit and admit students who have the potential to, and who are most able to benefit from, the University’s learning, teaching, and research environment, regardless of background.
The University has a widening access strategy which addresses the recruitment, retention, and progression of students from a wide variety of groups traditionally under-represented in higher education.
The University operates a Contextual Admissions Model for undergraduate UK applicants to identify those who have experienced barriers to participation in higher education.
Undergraduate full-time applications to the University are submitted via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All other applications will be submitted directly to the University, except where another route is agreed, including Bar Student Application Service (BarSAS) and the LPC Central Applications Board (CAB) for the postgraduate Bar Vocational and Legal Practice programmes. Further information on applying is available on our coursefinder pages.
Applicants who apply by the UCAS equal consideration deadline will receive full and equal consideration. Later applications will be considered on an individual basis if there are still places available on the relevant programme. All applications received by the published and agreed deadlines will receive equal consideration.
UCAS applicants - late applications
For Medicine (MBBCh) and Dentistry (BDS) programmes, we will not be able to accept any applications received after the 15 October deadline.
For all other programmes, we welcome applications received after 15 January where we have places available. Once a programme has filled all available places, we will close the programme on UCAS, so we recommend where possible to apply by 15 January and after this date as soon as possible to avoid the disappointment of your chosen course being full.
Whilst we welcome applications at any stage, we recommend that applicants apply at least 12 weeks prior to the start of their preferred programme. If you require a visa to study it is particularly important that you allow sufficient time for both the application and visa process.
Please note that the University reserves the right to offer a deferred entry place for applicants who apply for a programme which has reached capacity (operating waiting lists as appropriate) and for applicants who apply after the recommended deadline if there is not sufficient time to process all the requirements for an applicant to start their programme by the last date of enrolment.
The University collects a range of data from applicants during the application process, including:
- contact and personal information required in order to administer the application process (including information to determine immigration and fee status)
- information required to inform decision-making about the applicant’s suitability for their chosen programme of study
- equality and diversity monitoring and contextual information to enable the University to monitor the impact of its admissions policies and procedures on particular groups.
The University does not use sensitive personal data to inform its decision-making process. This information will only be used for monitoring purposes and, in cases where an applicant has declared a disability, to allow Student Support and Wellbeing to contact an applicant to assess any support needs the applicant may have.
The University will store documents and data in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule, including the secure removal of records as outlined in the policy.
The University is bound by the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 in terms of safeguarding personal information. We are not able to discuss your application unless you confirm in writing the details of a third party who is authorised to respond on your behalf.
We are committed to a policy of equality of opportunity and aims to provide a safe learning, working, and social environment that is free from discrimination. It aims to ensure that students, staff, visitors, and all others associated with the University are treated with dignity, respect, and equity, regardless of inappropriate distinctions such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion, belief, sex and sexual orientation (as identified under the Equality Act 2010 as ‘protected characteristics’).
If you display behaviour(s) that are in contravention of the University’s Equality and Diversity or our Dignity at Work and Study policies (which all students and staff of the University are required to adhere to) we reserve the right to withdraw your admission/enrolment and to terminate any contract.
It is the responsibility of the named applicant to provide full and accurate information in their application and to ensure that the University is informed of any changes to their contact details or personal circumstances and to respond to any additional requests for information required that are relevant to their application in a timely manner.
At application stage where false or misleading information has been provided, the application will not be considered further and an unsuccessful decision will be processed.
Following an offer of a place, an offer may be withdrawn or changed if information comes to the attention of the University which could have influenced the decision or outcome of an application. This includes the submission of false or misleading information in support of an application.
Where an applicant or, third party acting on behalf of an applicant, has knowingly misled the University by providing false or incorrect information, the University will notify relevant parties. These include UCAS in relation to the undergraduate applications, UK Visas and Immigration where information declared may be used to falsely obtain entry into the UK, and the relevant UK police force in relation to matters of serious fraud and deception.
The University takes seriously its safeguarding duties. Where information is provided to the University in relation (or potentially in relation) to a safeguarding matter, the University will discharge it duties to record and report as appropriate any concerns to applicable parties (only) within the University and with relevant external organisations such as the Police (including the Counter Terrorism Agency) , Children’s Services or Social Services.
It is the role of Professional Services staff to provide expert guidance and support for the University’s admissions process; to undertake and process decisions based upon the pre-determined entry criteria and to communicate these decisions to applicants.
Admissions Tutors are responsible for the timely provision of selection decisions about applications for admission to the University’s programmes which are not managed by Professional Services or which fall outside the published entry criteria.
The role of the Director of Recruitment and Admissions is to take responsibility for the setting of School entry requirements.
All staff involved in Admissions will receive the necessary training and support to ensure that an efficient, professional, and competent service is provided to applicants. Training will address legal and external constraints, including equality and diversity legislation. Consultation with admissions staff will be undertaken to identify emerging training needs and to ensure that the training and support programme continues to meet needs.
Where the University is unable to make you an offer for your original choice of programme, you may receive an offer of admission for an alternative, related programme.
The University will only make an offer of admission for a research degree when it can provide appropriate supervision and/or supervision arrangements in the applicant’s research area. For some research degree programmes, the availability of sufficient research funds may also be a consideration; where this is the case, this will be stated in the relevant School’s admissions criteria.
Selection tests and interviews
Where entry to a programme requires completion of a selection test or attendance at interview, this requirement will be published in coursefinder, along with any specific criteria for selection at interview. Staff involved in these activities will receive training to ensure that they are conducted in compliance with legal requirements and the University’s Equality and Diversity policy.
Applicants who have been invited to attend interview will be invited by Schools to disclose any disability prior to interview. Where a disability is disclosed in good time, Schools will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate an applicant’s requirements at interview.
All applicant interviews will be held in accordance with Cardiff University's Interview Policy.
Cardiff University has a policy of charging a deposit prior to admission to some programmes. Where you are required to pay a deposit this will be stated in your offer. For further information please see our information on deposits.
Significant changes to programmes
In exceptional circumstances, the University may be required to make changes to a programme during the course of an application cycle, meaning the programme will differ from that advertised at the beginning of the application cycle. Details of the type of changes are outlined in our published terms and conditions. In the event of such a change, we will write to any affected applicant(s) promptly to notify them of the change and provide applicant(s) with details of the courses of action available to them.
Applicants may be allowed deferred entry to a programme at the discretion of the relevant School. The maximum period of deferral granted will be no more than 12 months. Applicants wishing to defer admission for a longer period will be required to reapply.
In exceptional circumstances, an applicant wishes to seek an extension to the deferral period, the School must submit a case to the Pro Vice- Chancellor (Student Experience and Academic Standards).
Examination re-sits (undergraduate entry)
Cardiff University welcomes applications from applicants who are determined to succeed and will consider applicants who are re-taking a qualification on a single occasion for the majority of our programmes.
Additional re-takes (i.e. where you have taken a qualification on more than 1 occasion previously) and all re-takes for Medicine and Dentistry programmes may only be considered in exceptional circumstances
Where extenuating or mitigating circumstances are thought to have affected an applicant’s performance in examinations, applicants should refer to the University’s Statement on Mitigating Circumstances.
Determination of fee status
The University does not usually determine fee status for applicants. Following assessment, fee status information will be included in your offer.
The University assesses fee status strictly in accordance with the guidance provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA); further information is available in our section on resolving fee queries.
Fees and study costs
Further information about the University’s procedure for assessing the additional support needs and/or adjustments required to programmes of study for an applicant to who is aged under 18 on the date of admission is available in our Under 18's Policy.
The University may offer a place on alternative programmes where appropriate at initial offer and confirmation stages.
Where an applicant does not meet the entry requirements for their selected programme of study but where an applicant meets the requirement for a related programme of entry the University will write to an applicant to offer the alternative choice. If an applicant accepts the alternative offer this will be processed, and confirmation sent to the applicant accordingly. If the alternative offer is declined an unsuccessful decision will be processed on the original programme choice. This practice will also be applied when we receive your results (confirmation) if the conditions of offer have not been met.
Where an alternative offer is made at the point of receiving results through UCAS, the applicant will have the right to decline this offer and proceed to their insurance choice or into UCAS clearing dependent on their circumstances. Applicants are under no obligation to accept an alternative offer at any point in the process and should consider all options before doing so.
Applicants are required to supply evidence of qualifications certificated or the attainment of other conditions of offer. Where an applicant has been made an unconditional offer of entry, the University will request proof of the qualifications stated.
Where an applicant has failed to achieve the conditions of their offer, the application will be referred to the relevant academic selector(s) for a decision about whether the offer can be confirmed on the basis of the qualifications achieved or attainment of non-academic conditions. This will be determined by the availability of places on the programme. The final confirmation decision will be notified to the applicant by the body to which the application was initially submitted, either UCAS or the University. Please also see our alternative offer procedure.
Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
Once an unconditional offer of a place of study has been accepted, the University will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to applicants who will require a Tier 4 visa. The University’s International Office offers support and guidance to international applicants relocating to Cardiff.
New entrants to Cardiff University will receive a Welcome to Cardiff Leaflet and brief guide to online enrolment approximately three weeks prior to the start of their programme. Before starting their studies with Cardiff University all applicants must register with the University using the online enrolment system. Further information is available on the enrolment web pages.
Unsuccessful applicants can request feedback about their applications. Requests for feedback must be submitted by the applicant to Admissions in writing within 28 days of the decision being made. Data protection legislation means that we are unable to respond to requests for feedback submitted by third parties. To receive feedback, you must provide your application reference number, full name, and the programme applied for in the request.
If an applicant wishes to appeal against a decision, or make a complaint regarding the University’s admissions process or its outcome with an opportunity to seek redress, subject to the scope of the procedure, applicants should refer to the University’s Applicant Complaints and Appeals procedure for Applicants.
Other policies for applicants
Our admissions policy is underpinned by the following related policies:
- Admissions Policy For Undergraduate Dental Programmes
- Admissions Policy for Undergraduate Medicine Programmes
- Application Verification Policy
- Complaints and Appeals Procedure for Applicants
- Contextual admissions
- Criminal convictions policy procedure and guidance
- Data protection
- Deposits for Postgraduate Taught Programmes
- Disability Support Guide
- English language requirements
- Extenuating Circumstances
- Fee status information
- Fitness to Practise (Healthcare)
- Interview Policy
- Recognition of Prior Learning
- Safeguarding Policy
- Standard Period of Relevance for Previous Qualifications Policy
- Terms and Conditions of Offer
- Under 18s Policy