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Admissions criteria - Social Sciences

This information applies to all undergraduate degree programmes in the School of Social Sciences, including selection for joint honours programmes.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds who demonstrate a commitment to their chosen subject(s) of study. In particular we are keen to encourage applicants who have undertaken some form of education in subjects allied to the social sciences. Largely for the purposes of transparency in selecting candidates we often require applicants to have undertaken some educational qualification (see below) within the last two years.

With an international reputation for cutting-edge ideas and a strong commitment to theoretically-informed research with a clear policy focus, we encourage applicants who share our appetite for advancing our understanding of a diverse and fast-changing social world.

When assessing personal statements and references we favour applicants who show an informed understanding of the subject they wish to study, who demonstrate a maturity of outlook and wider awareness of social issues, and whose referees indicate they have strong academic potential.

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements can be found in Course Finder.

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 or +44 (0)29 2087 9999.

All applications for a place on any of the degree programmes taught in the School of Social Sciences must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application service. Applications can be made either in the English or the Welsh language. We recognise that if you are a Welsh speaker, you may feel more comfortable speaking to a Welsh speaking personal tutor. Provided there are Welsh speaking members of staff available, every effort will be made to allocate a Welsh speaker to you at any point of the application process.

Applicants undertaking three A-levels will in most cases be automatically made a standard offer, regardless of predicted grades (see below for standard entry requirements). All other applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis by  admissions tutors and where possible an offer will be made using equivalent minimum entry requirements (see below). There are two admissions tutors in the School, and though each is responsible for applications to different degree programmes, they work closely with each other and often discuss applicants before arriving at a decision.

Our admissions tutors normally make decisions on applications within a week of receiving them, though the processing of this decision may take another two or three weeks. Applications from overseas students, and from students taking unfamiliar qualifications, may take longer to assess. Applications which contain contradictory or incomplete information may also take longer to process, especially if further information is required before a decision can be made. If applicants do not reply to requests for further information, their application will eventually be rejected.

After the 15 January application deadline, depending on the volume of applications received, the admissions tutors may choose to scrutinise personal statements and references before deciding whether or not to make offers to applicants. After A-level results are published in August, admissions tutors may still be able to offer places to a small number of applicants who narrowly missed their conditional offers. In such circumstances admissions tutors will again examine personal statements and references to find the most suitable applicants for any remaining places.

When you have been made an offer you will be invited to attend one of the four School Open days which run from January to April each year. On these Open days you will be taken on a guided tour of the School and university campus, and you will meet students and staff in an informal setting. If you take advantage of this opportunity you will be in a much better position to decide if the School of Social Sciences is the place for you.

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

We do not routinely interview applicants for its undergraduate programmes but where applicants have or are undertaking non-standard qualifications an interview may be required.

All suitable applicants who are eligible for additional consideration will be guaranteed a typical offer on the School of Social Sciences' undergraduate courses. View the University policy on use of contextual data.

Applications from candidates who are resitting their entry qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

We do not usually object to requests for deferral. You must ask for a deferral via Cardiff University Registry and let UCAS know.

Transfers with credit from another Higher Education institution

We will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. It is not usual practice to accept students into years other than Year one, though exceptions may be made. All applicants for transfers must apply via UCAS. You do not need to contact us first, but it may be worth discussing your options with an admissions tutor to help make the right decision.

Transfer with credit from another programme at Cardiff University

Provided you have obtained/are sitting the required entry qualifications for the new scheme, you can simply send an email to Registry to request the change. The relevant admissions tutor will then make a decision.