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Entrance requirements

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In addition to the entrance requirements for each course, there are also General Entrance Requirements for studying at university level.

General Entrance Requirements

The General Entrance Requirements identify the minimum qualifications needed for application to a course at Ulster University.

They set out the range of the most commonly offered acceptable qualifications but do not identify where particular subjects are needed for specific courses, nor do they represent the actual offer standard or ‘asking grades’, which are normally higher than the minimum threshold standard of a pass grade.

This is particularly the case for full-time study where the offer grades are affected by the availability of places on the course and the level of demand.

The summary below refers to honours degrees. In practice, with regard to A levels, no full-time honours degree will accept fewer than three A level subjects unless presented in combination with other Level 3 qualifications deemed acceptable by the University. The Equivalence of Qualifications table lists the most commonly accepted qualifications and equivalent asking grades.

You should refer to the online prospectus for specific entry requirements to individual courses.

Entry requirements for part-time courses vary. Some have identical entry requirements to the full-time version of the same course, whilst others will vary from those of the full-time version.

It is important to refer to the online prospectus and/or to contact the course team before making an application for study.

To be eligible to apply you must;

  1. Provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE English Language grades A-C/ 4-9 or equivalent); and
  2. Provide evidence of passes in five subjects, two of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and three at GCSE level* (grades A-C/4-9);
  3. Provide evidence of passes in four subjects, three of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and one at GCSE level* (grades A- C/4-9); or
  4. Provide evidence of an approved qualification at an equivalent level such as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or Access to Higher Education qualification or equivalent**; or
  5. Provide evidence, for a process of formal accreditation by the University, of learning you have gained through work or other experience.

* GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9) may be used as part of the GCSE requirement.

** Please refer to the Equivalence of Qualifications table for the most common alternative Level 3 qualifications.

Note: Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level subjects, are regarded as 40% of one GCE A level, provided that your profile also contains two GCE A levels or equivalent.

Undergraduate courses

To be eligible to apply for an undergraduate degree or honours degree course, you must;

  • meet the General Entrance Requirements, and
  • meet any additional requirements for your chosen course as outlined in the online prospectus.

Alternative qualifications for undergraduate programmes

Ulster University will consider the following alternative qualifications for entry to an undergraduate degree or honours degree course:

  • two A levels (grades A-E) and three passes at GCSE (grades A-C/4-9) or an Intermediate GNVQ or two Double Award Vocational GCSEs
  • BTEC National qualifications awarded by the Edexcel Foundation
  • Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma
  • Canbridge Technicals
  • OCR National qualifications
  • Highers or Advanced Highers of the Scottish Qualifications Authority
  • European, International or Welsh Baccalaureate
  • Irish Leaving Certificate at higher level with passes in four approved subjects at grade D/H6
  • satisfactory completion of an approved Access programme
  • any foundation degree awarded by Ulster University
  • for entry to Art and Design degree programmes, satisfactory completion of a full-time foundation programme in Art and Design, of not less than one academic year in duration.

No subject may be counted at more than one level except in the case of the A level or Applied A level combined with the Intermediate GNVQ. Qualifications not listed will be considered on merit.

You must also meet the additional requirements for your chosen course as outlined in the online prospectus.

Postgraduate courses

To be eligible to apply for a postgraduate degree course, you must;

  • provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grades A-C or equivalent); and
  • hold an Honours or degree from a UK or Republic of Ireland or from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from another institution which has been recognised by the Senate for this purpose; or
  • hold an equivalent standard in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or Postgraduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and
  • satisfy additional requirements as described in the prospectus entry for your chosen course; or
  • provide evidence of your ability to study at postgraduate level through the accreditation of your experience or learning.

International applicants

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. These are assessed individually for their content and level, and against relevant guidelines such as the British Council and the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (NARIC UK).

You must also satisfy the English language requirements for admission. A number of examinations are accepted including IELTS.

For specific advice on the acceptability and equivalence of international qualifications please go to the international site.

English and mathematics qualifications

Competence in written and spoken English is a General Entrance Requirement for entry to all courses, whereas competence in mathematics is not.

Some courses however will require specific grades for mathematics. You should refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course as outlined in the online prospectus.

The following English and mathematics language qualifications are accepted as evidence of competence.

  English Maths
UK Boards
  • GCSE/GCE O level in English, English Language (grades A-C/4-9)
  • CSE in English, English Language or English Studies grade I
  • CEE grades I, II, III
  • Pass in Use of English examination
  • AS Level English Language (grades A-C)
  • A level in English Literature (but not a GCSE/GCE O level pass)
  • Essential Skill in Communication at level 2 or above
  • GCSE/ GCE O level mathematics (grades A- C/4-9)*
  • CSE in mathematics grade I
  • CEE grades I, II and III
  • AS level mathematics (grades A-C)
  • A level (or O or N level achieved at an A level sitting) in mathematics origin any A level subject with a substantial mathematics component
Scottish Certfificate of Education Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3 in English

Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3 in mathematics

Access courses Any approved Access course See Access Courses (mathematics) below
Edexcel Foundation Any HND or HNC. Note BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diploma awarded by Edexcel will only satisfy the English requirement up to and including 2017 entry Foundation Mathematics Level N
Foundation Degree Any Foundation Degree awarded by Ulster University
International Baccalaureate Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language (grade 4 or above) Higher or Subsidiary level in mathematics (grade 4 or above)
Irish Republic Awards Irish Leaving Certificate at Ordinary level (grade A, B or C) achieved in or after 1977, or 01-04 after 2017. In the Irish Leaving Certificate at Higher level, a grade D, pre 2017 or H6 from 2017 onwards or above is acceptable Irish Leaving Certificate at Ordinary Level (grades A-C) achieved during or after 1977, or 01-04 after 2017.. A grade D, pre 2017 or H6 from 2017 onwards or above is acceptable in Irish Leaving Certificate at Higher level
Open University Relevant level 1/2 courses n/a
Royal Society or Arts Stage III (Advanced) n/a
Institute of Mathematics and its Applications n/a Polymaths Diploma
Important

Level 2 Essential Skills in Application of Number is accepted as an alternative to GCSE mathematics for some courses, however not all courses will accept this qualification.

You should refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course as outlined in the online prospectus.

This list is not exhaustive. Qualifications not listed will be considered on merit.  Contact us for advice about the acceptability of English or mathematics qualifications.

Access courses (mathematics)

We will consider approved Access courses with mathematics modules.  This may also include those Access courses which were previously approved, but which are no longer running.

The following Ulster University approved courses are recognised as incorporating mathematics to the required standard:

  • Belfast Metropolitan College, Access to HE Diploma in Computing, Business and Multimedia
  • North West Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Combined Studies
  • North West Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Science
  • Northern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences
  • South West College, Access to HE Diploma in Computing
  • South West College, Access to HE Diploma in Creative Media Production
  • South West College, Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences
  • South West College, Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Southern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Adult Learning (Combined Studies)
  • Southern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Adult Learning (Community Development)
  • Southern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Adult Learning (Science) (Level 3 maths)
  • Southern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Adult Learning (Social Sciences and Humanities)
  • Southern Regional College, Access to HE Diploma in Adult Learning (Social Sciences and Humanities)

From 2017 Entry:
- any Degree taught in the English language will be taken as satisfying the English language requirement.
- any Foundation Degree will be taken as satisfying the English language requirement.
- any HNC will be taken as satisfying the English language requirement.
- any HND will be taken as satisfying the English language requirement.

From 2018 Entry:

- any BTEC National Award, Certificate or Diploma will NOT be taken as satisfying the English language requirement.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning

Learning you have gained from work or other experience may be used to demonstrate your ability to study your chosen course.

You must provide evidence of some reasonably substantial and significant element of learning for a process of formal assessment and accreditation by the University.

You may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a portfolio of evidence. (Contact the faculty office for your chosen course for more information.)

HPAT Ulster

An entry requirement for some health-related courses is the completion of the Health Professions Admissions Test-Ulster selection test.

AccessNI Checks

An entry requirement for courses involving 'regulated activity' with children or vulnerable adults, is the completing of an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI.

There is a cost for this service.  Get more information:

Medical Screening

An entry requirement for some courses is the successful outcome of medical screening.