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Admissions criteria - Earth and Ocean Sciences

This information applies to all undergraduate Earth and Ocean Sciences degree programmes.

The aims and objectives of our admissions policy are:

  • To maintain our undergraduate intake, while improving the quality of incoming students, as measured by exam results or other appropriate measures
  • To attract talented and highly-motivated candidates of all ages
  • To encourage larger numbers of well-qualified applicants for our degree schemes
  • To improve the conversion rate of applicants to firm acceptances.

We welcome applications from all potential students and treat each application on its own merits. You should be able to demonstrate an intellectual ability to effectively engage with your chosen programme of study at degree level. This intellectual ability will normally be solely assessed by predicted or actual qualifications and/or exam results (both academic and vocational).

However, where you are unable to demonstrate the requisite potential through actual or predicted grades, assessment of suitability for entry to one of our courses will be based on the information in your UCAS form - mainly your personal statement and references. Such applicants are usually invited for interview, where your interest in, and aptitude for, your chosen course will be assessed (see "Selection Interviews").

A level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate

Find out more about our A level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements.

When making offers to applicants the School regards the following subjects as sciences:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Maths
  • Geology
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • ICT
  • Environmental Science.

General Studies, Critical Thinking and Key Skills are excluded from all offers.

Other qualifications

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome, as are those who may have combinations of qualifications or other relevant work/life experience. If you would like to know the entry requirements for a specific qualification not listed here, please contact our admissions team on either admissions@cardiff.ac.uk or +44(0)29 2087 9999.

Applicants employed in industry

If you are employed in industry and, with the sponsorship of your employers, are seeking admission to full-time or sandwich schemes of study, you must apply through UCAS in the normal way, though you or your employer may wish to contact the University directly in the first instance.

Applications should be made via Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All applications received at UCAS by the main cycle closing date, usually 15 January, will receive equal consideration. We do not guarantee that we will consider late applications. Offers will be made to all those applicants who have achieved, or are likely to achieve (on the basis of predicted grades and teachers’ comments) the academic requirements outlined below. Those applications predicted to obtain less than 300 Tariff Points in AGCEs, or less than 32 IB points, are deemed unlikely to reach the academic standards required for entry to the School and, in the absence of mitigating circumstances, will not be accepted by the School.

Applicants who are unable to demonstrate the requisite potential through actual or predicted grades may be assessed for suitability as outlined in "Selection Interviews".

Applicants who have applied for a MESci degree who are predicted to achieve 300TP in their AGCEs (32 IB points) will instead be made a conditional offer place on the equivalent BSc degree scheme. Subsequent transfer to the MESci degree scheme is possible under the following circumstances:

  • Better performance than predicted in AGCE/IB
  • Attainment of a module average of greater than 60% in either years 1 or 2 of the BSc degree.

Non-standard and international qualifications will be treated in an equivalent manner.

The School will use UK NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) to assess the comparability of international qualifications, with those from the UK, and will make offers of a comparable standard to those outlined in this document for standard UK qualifications.

Although staff will be guided in their decision making by these criteria, it is important to remember that selection involves complex professional judgements and that selection takes place in a highly competitive environment.

Offers will be made via the UCAS system and all main cycle home applicants should have received a decision by 31 March.

All applicants to the School will be invited to a UCAS Visit Day to discuss your application with staff and to see the School and its facilities.

If you are unable to demonstrate the requisite potential through actual or predicted grades, are assessed on their suitability for entry to one of our courses from the information contained in their UCAS form, mainly your personal statement and references. Such applicants are usually invited for interview, where your interest in, and aptitude for, your chosen course will be assessed.

In exceptional cases, where applicants (due to distance or disability or family or work commitments) are unable to visit Cardiff for an interview, the interview may be conducted over the phone.

The interview will be conducted by School’s Director of Admissions, or one of our Admissions Officers, and will focus on evidence of potential for academic achievement, which may include:

  • Interest in, and enthusiasm for, the subject as well as understanding of the subject
  • Motivation for wanting to study the subject
  • Reasoning and problem solving ability
  • Evidence of literacy as well as of ability to describe / analyse information
  • Insight into the demands of the course
  • Transferable skills and attributes.

All suitable applicants who are eligible for additional consideration and are predicted a minimum of grades BCC, will be guaranteed a typical offer on the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences' undergraduate courses. View the University policy on use of contextual data.

Applications from re-sit applicants are welcome and no special conditions, other than the criteria outlined in this document, are attached to any offers made to such applicants.

We welcome applications for deferred entry: the admissions criteria in force at time of application will apply to deferred entry applications.

Transfers with credit from another Higher Education institution

Direct entry to year two of study is possible if subject-relevant, academically equivalent year 1 modules have been passed at another university.

Transfer with credit from another programme at Cardiff University

We are aware that your interests may change during your university career.

Two types of transfer are possible:

  • Transfer between degree subjects is possible up to the start of year two
  • Transfer into and out of the MESci schemes is anticipated and planned for.

Progress to Years 2 and 3 of the MESci programme is dependent on obtaining 60% average in your Year 1 or 2 assessments.

Transfer from BSc schemes to MESci schemes is only possible at end of Year 1 or end Year 2. It requires either the attainment of a 60% year average or the probability that such a level will be reached at end Year 2.

Transfer out of MESci to the 3-year BSc schemes can take place at end of Year 1 or Year 2. Students unable to continue into year 4 for non-academic reasons will be qualified for a BSc award.