1. INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ADMISSIONS POLICY
1.1 Overarching principles
The overarching principles of Aston University’s Admissions Policy are:
- to enable the University to select students for admission to Aston programmes based on motivation, achievement and evidence of potential to succeed
- to act as a framework to deliver a fair, transparent and professional admissions service to all applicants
- to ensure that high potential students from all backgrounds can gain the benefits of an Aston University education (in accordance with the Aston Strategy)
1.2 Fair admissions
Aston University is committed to fair admissions, fair access and widening participation. Our admissions policies and procedures have been developed to reflect the expectations of the UK Quality Code Advice and Guidance: Admissions, Recruitment and Widening Access, the Schwartz principles of fair admissions, UCAS best practice (for undergraduate students) and all relevant legislation that applies to the recruitment, selection and admission of students in England.
The policies and procedures that the University has in place are designed to ensure that individuals receive the best possible applicant experience, regardless of the eventual outcome of their application to us, and that the application process is managed in a transparent, fair and consistent manner.
Purpose The purpose of this policy is to enable our applicants, their parents, teachers/advisors, partner institutions and other supporters to understand how we recruit, select and admit our students. As such this policy is a public facing document. Our Admissions Policy also acts as a framework for staff who are involved in the University’s admissions process to provide consistent advice and transparent decision making on applications.
This statement is Aston’s overarching Admissions Policy and applies to all of Aston’s foundation, undergraduate, exchange, postgraduate taught, postgraduate research programmes and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes including those delivered by distance learning, on a part time basis, at a partner’s premises or as Degree Apprenticeships.
If a student is applying to a programme at a partner institution (for example a foundation programme prior to progressing to Aston) the partner institution’s admissions policies and procedures will apply until the point that an applicant makes a formal application to study at Aston University. If a student is applying to study an Aston programme at a partner, Aston’s admissions policies and procedures will apply.
1.5 Roles and responsibilities
- In order to provide a consistent, fair and high quality service to applicants, the University operates a single, central admissions service for foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes based within Admissions, Recruitment and Outreach (ARO), which works closely with the academic Colleges and Schools. Each academic College has a designated Admissions Manager(s) and Admissions Officer(s)/Co-ordinator(s) based in ARO who act as the main liaison between the admissions team and the Colleges/Schools. Due to the specialist nature of postgraduate research, recruitment to postgraduate research programmes is managed within the Graduate School.
- The Heads of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Admissions are responsible for coordinating the consistent implementation of procedures and ensuring that admissions staff are appropriately trained.
- The Colleges are responsible for approving admissions selection criteria, with final approval being provided by the University’s Admissions Strategy Steering Committee (ASSC.)
- Where an interview or MMI (Multiple Mini Interview) is required, the relevant College/School is responsible for conducting interviews and communicating the outcome to the admissions team.
- The admissions team are responsible for answering e-mail/telephone/face to face enquiries from applicants throughout the admissions process, making decisions on the outcome of an application (apart from where an interview/MMI is required), communicating application and interview/MMI decisions to applicants (either directly or via UCAS) and co-ordinating Applicant Visit Day (AVD) and Interview/MMI arrangements. The organisation of Confirmation and Clearing is overseen by the undergraduate admissions team.
- Pre-application advice and guidance off campus (e.g. at UCAS fairs, at schools/colleges or at international fairs) is normally provided by the Student Recruitment and Outreach Team (SRO) or the International Office.
- Applicants who require a fee status assessment will be referred to the International Students Services Team by the admissions team. Fee status is determined in accordance with the relevant United Kingdom legislation and is consistent with the guidance issued by the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs.
- The Marketing Team are responsible for producing the prospectuses, course booklets and factsheets, as well as updating the website.
- The Enabling Team (formerly the Disability Team) will make recommendations to the relevant College/School about individual support requirements.
- For programmes which are delivered in collaboration with a partner, responsibilities may vary depending on the nature of the programme.
1.6 Responsibility for Admissions Policy
The Admissions Strategy Steering Committee (ASSC) is responsible for approval and review of the University’s admissions policy.
The Heads of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Admissions have delegated responsibility for ensuring that agreed policies and procedures are operationalised appropriately.
This policy is subject to review annually.
1.7 Related regulations, policies and procedures
Aston University’s admissions practices act in accordance with the following general regulations, policies and procedures:
- Aston University Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
- Aston University Data Protection Policy
- Aston University Strategy
- Aston University’s General Regulations for Academic Programmes
- Aston University’s Policy Statement and Guidance on supporting students with a disability
- Aston University Visa Compliance Policies and Procedures
- Aston University’s Access and Participation Plan
- Aston University Advice for Careleavers
In addition the Aston University Admissions Policy should be read in conjunction with the following:
- Applicant Appeals and Complaints Policy
- Aston University Criminal Conviction Statement
- Under 18s Policy
- Aston Medical School Admissions Code of Practice
- Aston Medical School Fitness to Practise Guidelines
- Aston's School of Life and Health Science Fitness to Practise Guidelines
Our Admissions policies and practices fulfil the expectations of:
- UCAS regulations for institutions (for undergraduate programmes)
- UK Quality Code Advice and Guidance: Admissions, Recruitment and Widening Access)
- UKVI regulations where relevant
- Requirements of accrediting professional bodies where relevant
- Relevant legislation that applies to the recruitment, selection and admission of students in England.
The University is committed to providing high quality information, advice and guidance to help potential students with making an informed decision about whether to apply to study at Aston University or to pursue a Higher Education programme more generally. Our Student Recruitment and Outreach team regularly visit schools/colleges across the UK and attend UCAS Fairs to deliver advice and information sessions to applicants and their advisers.
Prior to applying, enquirers and their families are encouraged to visit the campus in Birmingham, either at a formal open day or by arranging an informal tour. Available dates and further details are available on our website at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/opendays. Applicants who are based outside of the UK can meet members of University staff at one of our overseas visits or may wish to seek information and advice from one of our approved agents.
The University’s Marketing Team produce a range of information sources for applicants such as the prospectus, course booklets and factsheets, as well as updating the website.
Enquirers who have individual questions about their suitability for an Aston programme, their application or about any aspect of an Aston programme are welcome to contact the relevant admissions team for advice; contact details for the admissions team can be found on the relevant programme pages on our website. Where appropriate, the admissions team will also be able to refer questions from potential students to the admissions tutor/programme director.
The University will take reasonable steps to ensure that the information provided to enquirers is accurate, accessible and up-to-date.
3.1 How to apply
Applications to all full-time undergraduate degree programmes and to the Foundation Programme must be made via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). International applicants to the Foundation Programme or those applying from an approved partner institution can apply via UCAS or can apply using the University’s online application form or can apply via any other approved method of application as directed by the partner institution.
Applications to all other programmes based at the University, including Foundation Degrees, Degree Apprenticeships, exchange programmes, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes, should be made directly to the University using the online application form.
Applicants applying via Clearing or Adjustment should refer to section 8 of this Policy.
Applicants who wish to transfer from another programme within Aston or from another University should consult section 13 of this Policy.
3.2 When to apply
Undergraduate applicants must submit their applications by the dates stipulated by UCAS. If you are applying through your school/college, please check if any additional internal deadlines apply, and follow your school/college’s advice to ensure that you submit your application on time. If you are intending to apply for an undergraduate programme after the published UCAS deadline, you should check the UCAS website to see if there are vacancies; late applications will only be considered if vacancies are available on the programme you are interested in. Where there are vacancies available, we are happy to consider applications submitted via UCAS after the relevant deadline but prior to the 30th June. Applicants applying to the University after the 30th June will need to apply via Clearing and should refer to section 8 of this policy.
For programmes accepting direct application (via the University’s online application form), we are normally able to accept applications throughout the academic year. We recommend, however, that you apply as early as possible as programmes may close during the admissions cycle if sufficient applications to fill all of the available spaces have been received; in such cases applicants will be advised via the University website that a programme is closed. Some of our programmes may have specific deadlines for application, which will be indicated on the University website or in correspondence from the admissions team, and where this applies applications will not normally be considered after the deadline has passed.
Applicants who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early as possible to ensure that there is sufficient time to issue a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) and secure a visa.
Applicants who wish to transfer from another programme within Aston or from another University should consult section 13 of this policy.
3.3 How to apply for deferred entry
Deferred entry is granted at the discretion of the University. Applicants should indicate that they wish to defer entry on their application form and provide a brief description in the personal statement of the reasons for applying for deferred entry. If an applicant wishes to defer after submitting an application or receiving an offer, they should contact the relevant admissions team for advice. Normally, deferred entry is granted for one year only.
Applicants cannot defer once the enrolment process has been completed; in such circumstances advice should be sought from the relevant College Office/Personal Tutor about whether a leave of absence is possible.
UCAS applicants who receive a deferred offer will be required to meet any academic and non-academic conditions of their offer by the 31st August of the year in which they have made their application, in line with UCAS regulations. If they have not done so, then the offer will be withdrawn and the applicant may reapply in the next year.
Direct applicants who receive a conditional offer but do not meet the conditions by the specified deadline may be allowed to defer their entry to the next year. If deferral is not permitted then the offer will be withdrawn and the applicant may reapply in the next year.
3.4 Incomplete applications
All sections of the application form should be completed in line with the guidance available on the UCAS website or via the University’s direct application form. The University reserves the right to reject applications which are incomplete. Applicants are welcome to seek advice on completing the application form from the admissions team prior to submitting an application.
4.1 How to select applicants for an offer
Each application is considered individually but as a holistic entity, based on information submitted on the application form. Certain programmes may require applicants to attend an Interview/Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) or to take part in a work based assessment; where this applies details can be found on the relevant programme page on our website.
When making offers our criteria typically includes:
- Past performance: e.g. GCSE grades for undergraduate students or degree performance for applicants to postgraduate programmes.
- School/college reference for undergraduate students or university reference for postgraduate students
- Predicted grades (undergraduate students)
- Contextual data (see 4.20)
- Evidence of commitment and motivation via the personal statement
- Relevant experience (if needed)
- Extenuating circumstances
- Interview performance/MMI/work based assessments (if needed)
Each programme page on our website lists typical offers and any subject specific requirements. Applicants holding qualifications which are not specified on our website may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications meet the entry requirements. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor/programme director. The University reserves the right to exercise academic judgment and discretion when assessing prior attainment.
Due to the competitive nature of our MBChB Medicine programme the University operates a ranking system for selecting applicants for interview and subsequently for making an offer. Applicants should consult the Aston Medical School Admissions Code of Practice or the admissions team if further information is required.
4.2 Entry requirements
To qualify for an offer, applicants must meet (or be predicted to meet):
a.) the English Language and/or Mathematics requirements set out in the Aston University General Regulations for Programmes
b.) the standard entry requirements for the specific programme, including any pre-requisite subject requirements (please also see 4.3 below) Requirements for each programme are available on the University website. The criteria and procedures for selection are followed consistently and professionally by all University staff involved in the admissions process. However, academic discretion in considering all other available information underpins the selection process to ensure individual circumstances are taken into account and that it is fair across a range of experiences and expertise.
4.3 Predicted grades (undergraduates)
The University understands that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider undergraduate applicants with predicted grades that fall below the published entry requirements if the application is of a high standard. However, any offer made will not be lower than the published offer stated on our website.
Due to the competitive nature of our MBChB Medicine programme, applicants whose predictions do not meet the published entry criteria are advised to contact the admissions team for advice prior to submitting an application.
Where an applicant is required to attend an interview as part of the selection criteria for the programme, failure to attend the interview will normally result in the application being rejected. The University acknowledges, however, that there may be particular dates when applicants will be unable to attend for an interview and, where an applicant notifies the University of this in advance, the University will make reasonable efforts to provide alternative arrangements wherever possible.
All applicants are required to provide a minimum of one relevant academic reference; some programmes may require additional references and this will be specified on the application form. Undergraduate applicants will normally be required to provide a reference from their school/college and postgraduate applicants will normally be required to provide a reference from their university study. Where an applicant has not been in education for more than five years, a reference from an employer may be used at the University’s discretion.
Exchange students and those on programmes linked with partner organisations/employers are not normally required to provide a reference.
4.6 English language qualifications
In line with the University’s General Regulations, all applicants are required to provide evidence of an approved English Language qualification at the appropriate level as part of the admissions process. Approved English language qualifications for all applicants and the required levels of achievement are specified on the University website.
4.7 Applications to years other than year one for programmes
Please refer to section 13 (‘Transfers’) of this policy. This includes students entering with advanced standing under articulation arrangements with partner institutions.
4.8 Assessment of prior learning
In some cases credit may be given for previous certificated learning (APL) or experiential learning (APEL). Applicants who wish to be considered for APL/APEL should contact the relevant admissions team for advice prior to submitting an application. Applicants may also wish to refer to section 13 (‘Transfers’) of this policy.
When making an offer for admission with credit exemption based on APL or APEL, the authorised member of staff should be sure that the student has already gained the required knowledge and skills for which the exemption is awarded and that their ability to follow the rest of the programme will not be jeopardised.
4.9 Making more than one application in the same admissions cycle
Applicants may apply for more than one programme during the same application cycle (for example a bachelors programme and a Foundation Programme.)
The University is able to consider re-applications in subsequent years for the majority of its programmes; for any programmes where re-applications are not considered this will be specified on the University website. Applicants to the MBChB Medicine programme should consult the Aston Medical School Admissions Code of Practice or the admissions team for further information.
Applicants who have applied previously to the University and been unsuccessful in securing a place should consider any feedback provided before re-applying for the same programme. The University reserves the right to refer to information from previously submitted applications (if still retained in line with the University’s data retention policy) when considering re-applications.
Applicants are also encouraged to read 4.11 below “Applications from former Aston students".
4.11 Applications from former Aston students
Aston graduates are encouraged to apply for postgraduate taught or research programmes. Aston graduates who enrol on a postgraduate taught programme at the University may qualify for a graduate discount against their tuition fee liability; further information can be obtained from the Postgraduate Admissions Team.
Applicants who have previously enrolled on an Aston programme which they have withdrawn from through academic failure will not be considered for re-admission to the same programme. Applicants are expected to declare any previous study at Aston on their application form (see 4.12 ‘Omissions’) and failure to do so may result in the University withdrawing that application or any offer which has been made.
The University reserves the right to refer to information from previous applications/enrolments (if still retained in line with the University’s data retention policy) when considering re-applications from former Aston students.
Applicants are expected to declare all completed qualifications, as well as those with an unsuccessful grade or qualifications where they are still awaiting results; failure to do so may result in the University withdrawing that application or any offer which has been made. For the avoidance of doubt, applicants who have commenced a Higher Education programme at Aston or any other Higher Education programme and have not successfully completed it must declare this on their application form.
The University may take necessary steps to check with applicants and other parties, including universities, colleges and awarding bodies whether the information provided is accurate and complete.
Applicants resitting examinations are welcome to apply for the majority of our programmes. Where a programme does not accept resits or places certain conditions on accepting resits this will be stated on the relevant webpage for the programme.
4.14 Re-marks and appeals
The University is normally able to consider applicants awaiting re-marks and appeals until shortly before enrolment. Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa will need to ensure that there is sufficient time for the University to issue a CAS and for the applicant to apply for a visa.
Undergraduate Firm (CF) and Insurance (CI) applicants
For applicants who are awaiting results from a re-mark or appeal, we will honour any conditional offer already made by Aston University, providing the applicant achieves or exceeds their offer grades following the re-mark/appeal and that the results of a re-mark/appeal are supplied to the University no later than the 31st August. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform the University of the outcome of their appeal/re-mark.
Undergraduate Clearing applicants
Applicants who are applying via Clearing and are awaiting information regarding re-marks and appeals should consult section 8 of this policy (‘Clearing’.)
4.15 Age of qualifications
The University will not normally distinguish based on the age of qualifications, apart from for programmes which require recent study of pre-requisite subjects (e.g. A Level Chemistry or an A Level Language); where this applies it will be stated on the relevant programme page on our website. In some cases (e.g. for Languages) applicants who have qualifications which are more than five years old may be invited for an interview/test as part of the admissions process.
4.16 Consideration of native speaker language qualifications
The University does not distinguish between A Level (or equivalent) language qualifications taken by native and non-native speakers.
4.17 Use of the UCAS tariff
The University does not utilise the UCAS tariff when making offers to undergraduate applicants; all undergraduate offers will be expressed in terms of the specific qualifications and grades required.
4.18 Notarised translations for qualifications not in English
All applicants who have qualifications/transcripts which are not in English may be required to provide notarised translations into English of such documents. Notarised translations may be requested by admissions staff during the admissions process and/or at enrolment.
4.19 Use of UCAS Similarity Detection Service (UCAS applicants only)
All personal statements sent via UCAS are tested for similarity. The University will note any applications which UCAS flag via the Similarity Detection Service and this information may be used as part of a holistic assessment of the application at Confirmation of results.
For our courses in Pharmacy and Optometry applicants who have a similarity detection score of 80% or more will be required to supply a new personal statement. For MBChB Medicine details of our policy on the UCAS Similarity Detection Service can be found in the Aston Medical School Admissions Code of Practice.
4.20 Use of contextual data (undergraduate applicants only)
The University operates a contextual offer scheme (“Aston Ready”) for the majority of its undergraduate programmes; more details of the scheme and details of programmes which are excluded can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/contextual-offer.
The MBChB Medicine programme operates a separate contextual offer scheme; details of this can be found in the Aston Medical School Admissions Code of Practice.
4.21 Extenuating circumstances
What are extenuating circumstances?
In general, extenuating circumstances, will be of a medical or personal nature significantly affecting an applicant at or during a relevant period of time and/or during an assessment/examination period. Such circumstances can normally be corroborated by independent evidence. The University would anticipate that where extenuating circumstances are reported as part of the application process, these circumstances will have caused significant educational disruption or disadvantage for an applicant.
What counts as extenuating circumstances?
Some examples of extenuating circumstances are given below, together with examples of the required supporting documentation. You are advised to discuss any circumstance which affects your ability to study and/or undertake assessments with your current educational institution in the first instance who, as well as offering advice on how they may support you, may be willing to provide a supporting letter for your exceptional circumstances submission if required.
|Illness which prevented you from attending an exam/assessment or occurred after the start of an examination or assessment||Letter/certificate from a health professional/counsellor, hospital appointment letter, a copy of prescription or medicine labelling.|
If your illness is a self-limited, common ailment not requiring medical attention, you should be aware that this will not normally qualify as an extenuating circumstance
|Unforeseen major travel disruption which caused you to be late/miss an exam||Letter from transport company.|
|Legal matters||Letter/documents from court/solicitor|
|Personal/domestic problems which occurred in the period leading up to an examination/assessment deadline||Letter from someone who has direct knowledge of the problems and/or has been involved in supporting you (e.g. pastor/minister/imam/granthi/maha pursh, your School/College, health professional).|
|Bereavement||Death certificates or supporting evidence of from School/College, doctor or counsellor.|
|Jury Service||Official letter from the court requesting your attendance.|
What doesn't count as exceptional circumstances?
Long term issues, such as ongoing health/personal/financial issues, which affect your ability to study or your ability to perform generally, do not count as exceptional circumstances. If you are affected in this way, you should discuss the situation with your current educational institution in the first instance. If you have a disability you may also wish to speak to the University’s Enabling Team.
The following are examples of circumstances which are not likely to be judged to meet the University’s criteria for applicant extenuating circumstances:
- completing and submitting coursework too late and missing deadlines
- late submission due to a printing/binding/copying backlog
- not following submission instructions, leading to incorrect, incomplete or non-submission i.e. uploading an assessment to the wrong link
- losing coursework by not backing up effectively
- work (paid or voluntary) or religious commitments reducing time available for study or coursework
- a minor ailment such as a cold, or a domestic upset
- a long-standing condition, such as susceptibility to hay fever or migraine
- misreading the examination timetable
- over sleeping/alarm clock not going off causing you to be late for or miss an exam or assessment
- holidays or travel, for example for a family wedding
- chronic ill health (unless there has been a sudden and temporary flare-up)
Reporting extenuating circumstances to the university
It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform the University of any extenuating circumstances that may lead, or have led to, academic performance that is not truly indicative of their true potential.
Extenuating circumstances at the point of application
circumstances, they can do this by asking their referee to include any relevant information in the reference on their application form. Supplementary evidence can be provided by the applicant/referee in an e-mail/letter. Any supplementary evidence should be submitted to the relevant Admissions Team within one week of the application being submitted and must include the applicant’s full name, UCAS Personal ID (undergraduate applicants) or Aston applicant ID (if known.)
Relevant cases will be considered as part of the decision-making process and the University reserves the right to request further information from any applicant submitting extenuating circumstances. If deemed necessary, and with the applicant’s permission, the applicant’s academic institution, examination body, doctor or other appropriate third party may be contacted. It should be noted that offers of a place are determined on the basis of academic merit and while extenuating circumstances will be considered as part of a holistic assessment of the application, their submission will not necessarily lead to an offer of a place/interview.
Offer holder extenuating circumstances after the point of offer
Extenuating circumstances should be brought to the attention of the relevant admissions team before examination results are released.
We would expect circumstances affecting assessments/examinations to have been taken up with the relevant examination board in the first instance and we are unable to take account of extenuating circumstances where these have already been reported to the relevant examination board. If it has not been possible to report the circumstances to the relevant examination board, you can inform us in writing of your extenuating circumstances. You should include the following information:
- Provide evidence of the nature of your extenuating circumstances
- Describe which elements of your study (for example particular assessments or subjects) were impacted by your extenuating circumstances
- Explain why it was not possible to report your extenuating circumstances to the relevant examination board
All relevant cases will be considered as part of the decision-making process and the University reserves the right to request further information from any applicant submitting extenuating circumstances. If deemed necessary, and with the applicant’s permission, the applicant’s academic institution, examination body, doctor or other appropriate third party may be contacted. It should be noted that where an applicant narrowly misses their offer, any decisions to still confirm the place are determined on the basis of academic merit. In such circumstances, the University will consider extenuating circumstances as part of holistic assessment of the application but submission will not necessarily lead to a confirmed offer of a place.
4.22 Fitness to practise
As part of the admissions process, students enrolling onto certain programmes within the School of Life and Health Sciences and Aston Medical School at Aston University will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check. All positive checks will be reviewed by the School’s Disclosure and Barring Service Board and certain disclosures may result in restrictions being placed on the student during their studies or ultimately, in the withdrawal of an offer. Further details can be found at:
Aston Medical School: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/aston-medical-school/dbsfitnesstopractise
School of Life and Health Sciences: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/lhs/fitness-to-practice-information/
4.23 Age on entry
Applications will be considered on academic merit.
Applicants who will be under 18 on entry should consult the University’s Policy for Students under the age of 18 Years.
Undergraduate students aged 21 years or over in the year of entry are deemed ‘mature students’. We welcome applications from this group of students who will be given equal consideration.
4.24 Use of unconditional offers
For 2020 entry, the University will not make any pre-results ‘conditional unconditional’ offers or other unconditional offers to applicants who don’t yet have their level 3 qualifications.
Applicants who have already achieved their A levels/BTEC or other Level 3 qualifications in a previous year will be considered for an unconditional offer in line with the University’s published entry criteria.
5. DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS
5.1 Informing applicants of decisions
Applicants will normally receive an acknowledgment of their application either at the point of submitting the application or via e-mail. Applicants will be informed of the University’s decision on their application as expeditiously as possible. For the majority of our programmes, applications will be reviewed and decisions communicated to applicants throughout the application cycle. For our MBChB Medicine programme, however, the University operates a ranking system and therefore no applications will be assessed until after the closing date for medical applications on the 15th October each year.
5.2 Feedback on unsuccessful applications
In the case of unsuccessful applications, feedback is available on request by contacting the admissions team. For applications submitted via UCAS, a reason for the unsuccessful outcome of an application will be transmitted to UCAS and is available to view via UCAS Track.
Due to data protection legislation, the University will normally only provide feedback directly to applicants. If an applicant wishes the University to communicate with a third party such as a teacher, agent or parent/guardian, the applicant should communicate this in writing to the relevant admissions team. Any such requests should be sent from the e-mail address which the applicant originally used on their application form.
Applicants who wish to appeal an admissions decision should consult the Applicant Appeals and Complaints Policy.
5.3 Offer of an alternative programme
For taught programmes, where possible, applicants who have been unsuccessful for their initial choice will be considered for appropriate alternative programmes within the University and informed of any alternative offers at the same time as being notified of the decision on their initial choice. Any alternative offer of a place made will include details on how to respond to the offer and further information on subsequent steps.
6. ACCEPTING OUR OFFER
6.1 Offer letter
All applicants will receive an offer letter from the University. Details of what applicants can expect from their offer letter is outlined here: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/applying/offer-letter/index
6.2 How to accept
Applicants should follow the instructions outlined in their offer letter to accept a place on an Aston programme.
If a deposit is required this will be clearly stated in the offer letter. More information about deposits can be found in the Tuition Fee Charging Policy.
7. MEETING THE CONDITIONS OF OUR OFFER
7.1 Provision of examination results
For undergraduate applicants the University receives a range of examination results directly from UCAS; the list of these results can be found here: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/results-confirmation-and-clearing/sending-exam-results. For all other qualifications and for those applicants who apply directly to the University, examination results should be sent as soon as possible after they are published to the relevant admissions team for consideration.
7.2 Applicants who meet the conditions of our offer
Applicants who have accepted and met all the conditions of an offer will be informed of procedures and requirements for registering as a student of Aston University and for accessing its facilities. The University seeks to make the transition to enrolling as a student helpful, and its induction, orientation and registration arrangements are geared towards providing the best and most informed start for its students.
7.3 Applicants who fail to meet the conditions of our offer
Applicants who accept a conditional offer of a place at Aston University but subsequently fail to meet all of the conditions may still be confirmed onto their initial choice if there are still vacancies available on that programme and if, upon academic reconsideration of the application, it is deemed that the overall qualities and achievements of the applicant is appropriate to the spirit of the offer.
Where reconsideration for the same programme is not possible, an applicant will be considered for any appropriate and available alternative programmes within the University. Any alternative programme offer is made in the belief that it is mutually beneficial to the applicant and the University, but there will be no obligation placed upon the applicant to accept it. Aston University will release any such applicant who expresses a desire to look for an alternative programme elsewhere.
7.4 Meeting non-academic conditions
Some of our offers will include non-academic conditions such as DBS or occupational health requirements; where these apply the applicant must fulfil them prior to an offer being changed to unconditional (UF.)
7.5 Consideration of extenuating circumstances
Applicants should consult the Applicant Extenuating Circumstances Policy outlined in 4.21 above.
7.6 International students
Aston University complies with UKVI regulations governing the recruitment of international students. If a Tier 4 visa is required, international applicants who have accepted an offer of an unconditional place to study at Aston University will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS), which will confirm Aston University as the applicants ‘educational’ sponsor. Before a CAS is issued, international applicants will be required to complete a pre-CAS questionnaire.
To be accepted onto a programme of study international students must satisfy the University’s English language requirements. The level required will depend on the programme applied for. Full details can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/international-students/english-language-requirements. In some cases, applicants will require an ATAS certificate; where this applies applicants will be informed of this in their offer letter.
8. CLEARING AND ADJUSTMENT
8.1 Availability of programmes during Clearing/Adjustment
All Clearing and Adjustment places are subject to availability. Clearing and Adjustment vacancies, and the relevant entry grades, will be advertised via the University website, which should be considered the most up to date vacancy listing.
Applicants who are made an offer during Clearing/Adjustment must accept the offer on UCAS Track by the deadline set out in their offer letter in order to be guaranteed a place.
8.2 Conditional offers
The University will not make conditional offers on pending academic qualifications (e.g. GCSEs) during Clearing or Adjustment. Applicants who do not already have their results, should contact the University again once the outcome of those qualifications are known; the University will reconsider the applicant at that point if spaces are still available on the programme.
8.3 Interviews and MMIs
Where a programme requires an interview, MMI or other assessment as part of the selection criteria during the main application cycle, this will normally equally apply for Clearing/Adjustment applications. For programmes which require an interview/MMI, the applicant will be informed of the arrangements for interviews/MMIs when contacting the University’s Clearing Call Centre. Interviews may take place on the phone (or via other methods such as Skype) or on the University Campus; the interview method is at the discretion of the academic department. MMIs will take place on the University campus.
8.4 Resits and appeals
For applicants who are applying during Clearing/Adjustment, application decisions can only be made on the results currently held. The University will not consider any results which an applicant might expect to achieve following an appeal. Applicants are welcome to contact the University again after the results of their appeal are known for reconsideration at that point if spaces are still available on the degree programme.
Applicants who are awaiting the outcome of a resit or appeal and are already holding Aston as their Firm/Insurance choice should follow the guidance set out in 4.14 of this policy.
8.5 Appeals and Complaints during Clearing/Adjustment
Clearing/Adjustment applicants who wish to make a complaint or to appeal a decision should follow the guidance set out in the Applicant Appeals and Complaints Policy.
9. APPEALS AND COMPLAINTS
9.1 How to make an appeal or a complaint
Applicants who wish to make an appeal or a complaint should consult the Applicant Appeals and Complaints Policy.
10. DATA PROTECTION
10.1 Data protection policies
The University’s data protection policies can be found here: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/data-protection
10.2 Use of UCAS nominated contact
The University does not utilise the UCAS nominated contact. If an applicant wishes the University to communicate with a third party such as a teacher, agent or parent/guardian, the applicant should communicate this in writing to the relevant admissions team. Any such requests should be sent from the e-mail address which the applicant originally used on their application form.
11. SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR APPLICANTS
11.1 Care leavers
Aston University is committed to supporting students who have been in care to ensure that help and support is there when it is needed. Care Leavers will be contacted by the dedicated contact in the Hub who will offer on-going support and guidance and can help care leavers access relevant scholarships and bursaries. Further information about the support Aston provides for Care Leavers can be found at: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/hub/student-advice/careleavers
11.2 Students with disabilities
We welcome applications from students with disabilities. Applications will be considered on academic merit. We recommend that students let us know in advance if they have a disability so that early contact with the Enabling Team can be established. For further details about support available, please contact the Enabling Team.
Further information for applicants who are refugees is available at: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/about/refugees
11.4 Religious beliefs
The University welcomes applications from students of all beliefs (and non-beliefs) and acknowledges that in the observance of their religion there may be certain holy days and religious festivals which will prevent applicants from attending Applicant Visit Days (AVDs), interviews and other activities related to application. In these cases, the University will make all reasonable efforts to provide alternative arrangements.
12.1 Document verification and fraud
All students will be required to present original copies of academic qualifications and an acceptable form of photo ID at enrolment prior to the start of the programme of study. All documentation is verified by University staff. If any information relevant to the application is found to be fraudulent, inconsistent with the application or missing, the application will be deemed void and the offer of a place will be cancelled. In addition to this, for undergraduate applications, UCAS operates a strict monitoring policy and will cancel any applications found to be fraudulent or misleading.
Please refer to the online UCAS application guide, with particular reference to the ‘Declaration’ section. Please also refer to section 4.12 of this policy (‘Omissions.’)
12.2 Temporary enrolment
Applicants who do not have all of the required documents available at the point of enrolment may be temporarily enrolled, at the discretion of the University. Applicants who are temporarily enrolled as students will be given a deadline to present their original documents/ID to the Admissions Team; failure to do so by the deadline date may result in the student being withdrawn from the University.
12.3 Notarised translations for qualifications not in English
All applicants who have qualifications/transcripts which are not in English may be required to provide notarised translations into English of such documents. Notarised translations may be requested by admissions staff during the admissions process and/or at enrolment.
The University’s transfer policy can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/study/student-transfer