University of Westminster Admissions Policy

Approved: June 2020

Review: June 2022

1. Overview

1.1 The University of Westminster is committed to supporting diversity and ensuring equality of opportunity for all applicants, in keeping with the Equality Act, 2010.

1.2 The Admissions Policy sets out the University’s principles and processes used to select and admit new students to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses; in-keeping with the wider commitment to diversity and internationalism as detailed in the University’s Purpose, Mission and Values.

1.3 The Admissions Policy is reviewed annually by the Director of Global Recruitment and Admissions and Senior Compliance and Development Manager, and approved by the University’s Academic Council.

2. Admissions Principles

2.1 The University will admit students to its courses in line with the following principles:

a) That selection and admissions processes should be transparent, implemented fairly, courteously and consistently.

b) That there is a reasonable expectation that the applicant will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standard required for the award.

c) That all timely completed applications will be treated equally and where courses have reached capacity, qualified applicants may be offered an alternative course or be invited to defer to the next intake.

d) That through course admissions the opportunities for progression, personal and professional development and lifelong learning are provided for all candidates who meet the relevant entry criteria.

e)That the University will seek at all times to ensure equality of opportunity for all applicants and students as part of our commitment to creating a stimulating and supportive learning and working environment based on mutual respect and trust.

3. Published Information and Admissions Management

3.1 Applicants can expect up to date, accurate course details to be available in all published information when making a decision to apply for a place to study at the University.

3.2 Deadlines for submission of applications for courses which are not included in the UCAS scheme (i.e. post-graduate and part-time undergraduate) are published each year to facilitate pre-entry support and induction for candidates; although applications will be considered at any time up to the start of the course while places remain available.

3.3 Any member of staff who may be deemed to have an interest in the candidacy of an applicant or group of applicants, whether personal or professional, shall have no involvement in the recruitment, admissions, enrolment, and assessment processes in that case.

3.4 The University’s Executive Board is responsible for setting numbers of students to be admitted across the University in accordance with the University’s mission, strategic plan and annual planning cycle.

4. Admissions Requirements

4.1 Each course and its named awards will have a specified set of admissions requirements, consistent with the University’s admissions principles (see paragraph 2), the Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes and Academic Regulations, and have regard to the legitimate interest of prospective students.

4.2 Applications are primarily considered against the published entry criteria for the course (or their international equivalent) to which an applicant has applied.

4.3 Staff responsible for admissions may also consider a range of criteria to assess an application, including: prior experience, abilities, aptitudes and skills.

4.4 Where additional criteria are considered in fulfilment of the admissions requirements, admissions staff will refer to the Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) and/or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) processes, both for admission to a course and/or for exemption from certain modules of a course.

4.5 Post entry, students may transfer from one course to another provided a place is available and they meet the admissions criteria for the course in question. RCPL/RPEL will be considered for those seeking exemption from certain modules of a course.

5. Admissions Requirements for International Students

5.1 Any applicant who requires a visa in order to reside and study in the UK must declare this requirement and provide a copy of the visa on request.

5.2 Applicants seeking Tier 4 sponsorship are required to pay £4,000 of the first year’s tuition fees as part of the application process.

5.3 Applicants seeking Tier 4 sponsorship are required to declare any criminal convictions as part of their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) application.

5.4 All International Applicants are required to demonstrate their English Language ability in accordance with the published entrance requirements.

5.5 International qualifications deemed to be the equivalent of those issued in the United Kingdom for the purposes of course admission, will be considered in fulfilment of the validated admissions criteria.

6. Applicants with Specific Learning Difficulties, Disabilities and Long-term Health Conditions

6.1 The University of Westminster welcomes all disabled applicants, those with Specific Learning Difficulties (such as Dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD) and those with long-standing medical conditions.

6.2 There is no requirement to disclose learning difficulties, disabilities, or long-term health conditions as part of an application. However, applicants are invited to inform the University of their individual requirements at the application stage to allow adequate time for reasonable adjustments to be made, and the required support in place at the point of commencing studies.

7. Applicants with Criminal Convictions (non-tier 4)

7.1 Disclosing a criminal conviction is not a requirement when applying to study at the University, and applicants will only ever be assessed on their academic suitability.

7.2 The exception are applicants who require tier 4 sponsorship to study in the UK, as this information is a mandatory part of the CAS application process (see paragraph 5).

7.3 Applicants with convictions currently on licence, are expected to notify the University of any licence conditions which may prevent full engagement. Where possible, the University will make reasonable adjustments to facilitate inclusion.

8. Applicants Under the Age of 18

8.1 All applications are considered on their individual merits. Accordingly, the University may admit students who will not be 18 by 1st December in their first year of studies.

8.2 For students under the age of 18, the University does not take on the usual rights, responsibilities and authority that parents have in relation to a child, and it will not act in loco parentis.

9. Collaborative Partners

9.1 Consideration of applications and decisions relating to places on collaborative courses in the UK and overseas, may be delegated to nominated postholder(s) in partner institutions in respect of collaborative courses which lead to academic awards of the University of Westminster, in accordance with the approved Memorandum of Collaboration.

10. Unsuccessful Applications

10.1 In cases where an applicant, including those whose secondary or tertiary education was completed outside the UK, is not offered a place on the course for which they have applied, the member of staff who rejects the application should record the reasons for their decision to provide applicant feedback on request, and to facilitate annual audit and analysis of marketing and admissions data.

10.2 Unsuccessful applicants will receive notification of the admissions decision via email. Full feedback of the decision can be requested from the course administrator, contact details for which are found in all correspondence.

10.3 Students who have been excluded on academic grounds may not normally be admitted to a related course or pathway.

10.4 If the University or any of its agents has reason to believe that an individual or any person acting on their behalf has provided false information, omitted relevant information, made any misrepresentation and/or provided forged or counterfeit documents, an investigation will be conducted and the application in question may be cancelled and any relating offer of a place on a course or funding award may be rescinded.

11. Admissions Complaint

11.1 Any applicant unsatisfied with their application experience is able to submit a formal complaint.

11.2 All complaints must be submitted in accordance with the grounds and procedure as shown in Appendix A.

12. Data Protection

12.1 All personal data is managed in accordance with the University’s published Privacy Policy.

12.2 All information about applicants and candidates offered places should be treated as personal and sensitive data, and stored in secure record systems to ensure that confidentiality can be maintained.

12.3 The collection of data relating to applications, offers on courses, acceptances, enrolments and progression will be collected to facilitate analysis and ensure the data integrity of statutory reports, including monitoring reports which relate to the University’s Access Agreement.

Appendix A – Admissions Complaint Procedure

1. Overview

1.1 A formal Admissions Complaint is a request for review of the application process, it is not a request for a review of an application decision made against entry requirements.

2. Grounds for Complaint

2.1 Complaints may only be submitted on grounds of:

a) procedural irregularity;

b) evidence of any action or decision which is not consistent with the University’s Admissions Policy.

3. Procedure

3.1 A complaint must be made on an individual basis by the applicant. Complaints made by a third party will not normally be considered.

3.2 Applicants should normally raise the matter within 10 working days of the action causing concern.

3.3 Complaints should be sent to , including your full name, course applied for, and details of your complaint. Upon receipt, the complaint will be acknowledged and forwarded to the appropriate manager for action.

3.4 The University will aim to respond to complaints within 5 working days although it may take up to 15 days.

3.5 If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the prospective student through the above means, the complainant may then request a review by the Director of Global Recruitment and Admissions.

3.6 The Director or nominee shall investigate the complaint fully with relevant staff and/or a third party if it is deemed necessary, and reply in writing within 30 working days.

Appendix B – Associated Guides