Entry requirements

Although the majority of our applicants will have A levels, we welcome and value a wide range of alternative qualifications.

If you have a qualification which isn’t listed here, please make an enquiry.

Entry requirements in the prospectus or course pages may not always apply and individual offers may vary.
Entry requirements

On this page:


A level

Applicants to degree programmes will usually be expected to have studied three subjects at A level.

All conditional offers will ordinarily be made on the basis of three full A levels (some subjects are not included – please see our course pages) and students will only be required to have achieved a pass in the fourth subject, if taken. The grade achieved in the fourth subject may have significance when an applicant has narrowly failed to achieve the specified grades at A level.

English Baccalaureate

Applicants are not required to take the English Baccalaureate in order to be considered for courses at Nottingham.

Some courses require specific subjects at GCSE at a specific grade and other courses require a certain number of GCSEs at A grade. We advise students to check our entry requirements carefully before applying. All GCSE requirements are outlined in our course pages and UCAS listings.

Subject requirements

Compulsory subject requirements for admission to specific degree programmes are specified in our course pages and UCAS listings.

Contextual admissions policy

We make contextual offers to students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement at school or college. Find out more and check if you may be eligible.


Alternative qualifications

Our admission process recognises that applicants have a wealth of different experiences and may have followed various educational pathways. While our publicity materials generally express entry requirements in terms of A levels, most of our schools and faculties accept a much broader range of qualifications. The following list is not exhaustive and the University treats applicants with other qualifications on an individual basis.

The entry requirements for alternative qualifications can be quite specific – for example, you may need to take certain modules and achieve a specified grade in those modules. It is important to find out any such requirements in time for you to make the right choices at school or college. If you have already chosen all your modules, then you need to check carefully whether these match our entry requirements. If in doubt, please contact us.

If your qualifications don't match your first choice of course at the University of Nottingham, a related course here may be open to you. The best place to start is the UCAS course listings, where there is detailed information about what we require from alternative qualifications for each course. 

If you can't see what you are looking for or require further information, please view the UCAS course listings for specific courses or make an enquiry to discuss your qualification.

For qualifications from outside the UK, please see our information about entry requirements by country.

Qualifications considered

Access to HE Diplomas

Most courses welcome applicants studying the Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject. Some schools will ask for additional study (usually an A level) and some do not accept Access courses where no suitable preparatory course exists. 

Check our Access HE Diploma qualification requirements.

Advanced Diploma The University will consider applicants offering the new Diploma qualifications at Advanced level if they have studied the appropriate subject-specific content.
Advanced Extension Awards The University welcomes the added depth provided by the Advanced Extension Awards but will not specify achievement as part of the offer.
A levels (GCE) Offers will normally be made on the basis of three A level grades, excluding general studies. Specific grades in particular subjects may also be required.Offers will not be made on the basis of individual unit grades.
BTEC Nationals

The University will consider applicants offering the Extended Diploma or the Diploma combined with other qualifications. Offers are conditional on the overall grade achieved (eg DDM). Specific grades in particular units may also be required.

Check our BTEC qualification requirements.

BTEC Higher National Certificate/Diploma

Offers are conditional on passing the qualification. Specific grades in units will also be required. Applicants studying the Higher National Diploma may be considered for second-year entry to some courses.

Check our BTEC qualification requirements.

Core Maths

While we welcome the additional breadth of study that Core Maths can bring to an application, we do not accept the Core Maths qualification in place of A-level Mathematics in our entry requirements. However, we will consider it to meet mathematics requirements in place of GCSE’s.

Extended Project The University welcomes the added challenge provided by the Extended Project but will not normally specify achievement as part of the offer.
Foundation programmes The University offers and accepts a number of different foundation programmes. For more information, please see our foundation programmes web pages. 
International applicants Find out about entry requirements specific to your country on our course-specific information pages.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Offers will be made conditional on overall points and/or individual higher level grades/subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate Offers will be made on the basis of specific grades in five or six subjects studied.
Key Skills The University welcomes Key Skills, but will not specify achievement in them as part of the offer. We recognise that key skills can be covered in other ways, such as extracurricular activities, and applicants are encouraged to highlight achievements in these areas in their application.
Scottish Advanced Highers The University accepts students studying Scottish Advanced Highers, in conjunction with Scottish Highers results.
Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate Many courses accept the Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
Other qualifications The University recognises a wide range of other qualifications. Please refer to course specific entry requirements on UCAS, or make an enquiry for further information.

English language requirements

English language equivalencies

If English isn't your first language, you will need to meet the relevant English language requirements. IELTS requirements are detailed on our course pages, though we also accept a variety of alternative qualifications.

If you are an international student, you should also check our information about applying from specific countries.

If you need extra support to meet the English language requirements for your academic course, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE). If you pass at the required level, you can progress directly to your academic programme without retaking IELTS.


Alternative entry pathways

The University of Nottingham and partner institutions run a number of foundation years giving entry to specified courses at the University. Please see our list of foundation courses for details.

Additional entry requirements

Admissions staff at the University of Nottingham assess many applications using only the information available on the UCAS form. Some courses use additional methods of assessment for all or some applicants.

This may be for a range of reasons, including to:

  • assess your suitability for the profession linked to the course (for example, nursing or veterinary medicine)
  • clarify the material covered by your qualifications or as part of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning
  • assess your achievements, motivation and potential
  • distinguish between otherwise similar applicants

Additional assessment may include interviews or tests. Some courses may ask for examples of written work. Where courses use additional assessment, admissions staff will send you information explaining the nature of the assessment, what admissions staff will be looking for and how you can prepare.

Mature applicants

The University of Nottingham welcomes mature students with a broad range of experience and qualifications. In considering applications from mature students, we take into account a range of vocational qualifications and occupational and life experiences, as well as more traditional qualifications. For more information, see mature students or alternative qualifications.

What we are looking for

Consideration will be given as to whether you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the programme of study and achieve the standards required. A range of factors additional to, and in some cases instead of, formal examination results is considered in the selection process.

These can include:

  • the personal statement and reference
  • additional evidence of achievement, motivation and potential as gathered through interview or assessment of written materials
  • other factors as appropriate to the discipline, such as employment or volunteer work in relevant fields and sustained critical engagement with relevant issues

The role of the school reference

The potential variety in the range and breadth of qualifications presented by applicants, referred to above, makes a school reference a key aspect in informing our admissions staff of students' abilities and the context in which they have studied.

University of Nottingham asks staff writing references to confirm in the reference any factors, if known, that might have affected the applicant’s achievement. These factors can relate to the student’s personal circumstances and background or to the educational context. Please see our policy for details.

If a school does not offer the breadth of provision which enables students to follow more than three subjects at A level then this should be stated in the reference. This will allow all students to be treated fairly.

If you are an international student, you should also check our information about applying from specific countries.

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