Scope

This policy applies to all programmes of study leading to an award from the University of Bath. Admissions processes for applicants wishing to join visiting or exchange schemes are also covered. Further detail is available in the University’s Quality Assurance Code of Practice: Recruitment, Selection and Admission of Students (QA22).

General principles

  • The University of Bath is committed to providing flexible, high-quality and student-centred teaching and professional education, and to offering equality of opportunity to anyone with the ability to benefit.
  • The University seeks to promote its provision as widely as possible amongst suitably qualified candidates in the UK and internationally.
  • In order to admit a candidate, admissions staff must satisfy the University that they have evidence to show that the student has every reasonable prospect of succeeding on his or her chosen programme of study.
  • The University aims to ensure that its recruitment, selection and admissions processes are transparent and focused towards their intended audiences.
  • The University will ensure that operation of admissions processes and application of entry criteria are undertaken in compliance with the Equality Duty (including the duty to promote disability equality set out in the Equality Act).

Roles and responsibilities

Recruitment and admissions activities at Bath are carried out by the central Admissions Office, Graduate Schools, Departments and by staff in partner organisations. The Admissions Office's role is to ensure that policies, procedures and plans in relation to student recruitment and admission are operated fairly and consistently, with a view to enhancing the University’s strategic aims and objectives.

Decisions on whether or not to admit a candidate are taken by the Admissions Office, Graduate Schools, Departments, or staff in partner organisations. Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring that appropriately qualified and experienced staff undertake admissions duties and for ensuring that the Department, School or partner organisation maintains clear and transparent statements of admissions criteria and policies.

The Admissions Office and the Graduate Schools have a vital role to play in checking admissions decisions and verifying the evidence on which they are based. Decisions may be referred back to Departments, Schools or partner organisations where any aspect of a decision is unclear, or appears inconsistent or raises an issue in relation to the University Admissions Regulations or the stated entry requirements for the programme.

Admissions regulations

In order to ensure that candidates for admission are appropriately qualified for their programme of study, and to ensure high standards of fairness and consistency, the University maintains a core set of entry requirements. All admissions staff are required to adhere to these Regulations. The Head of the Admissions Office is responsible for approving exemptions to the University Admissions Regulations, in discussion, as necessary, with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.

Admissions information

It is the aim of the University to welcome a wide range of applicants. The University is committed to providing clear, consistent, easily understandable and accessible information about entry requirements, selection procedures, conditions of offer, expected timescales for responses, fees, finance, and welfare, guidance and support services.

Across the range of admissions information, University staff will:

  • ensure that any potential student with additional needs is aware of the advice, guidance and support which the University can offer and how to access it they choose
  • ensure that any potential student who has disclosed information in relation to a criminal conviction, caution or warning is aware of the advice, guidance and support which the University can offer and understands the part that any non-academic information will play in any admissions decision
  • ensure that applicants are aware of their responsibility to provide full and accurate information as part of the admissions process
  • ensure that information about placements is provided where relevant
  • ensure that information is provided about the Students’ Union where relevant
  • ensure that, in the case of any changes to a programme of study which are made after an offer and before registration, students are informed of the change as soon as possible
  • ensure that procedures for applicants requesting deferral of entry to a later year are readily available. The University will not normally allow an undergraduate applicant to defer entry for more than one year; postgraduate applicants will normally be allowed a maximum of two requests for deferred entry (a maximum of two years’ deferral)

Recruitment information

The University seeks to promote its provision as widely as possible amongst suitably qualified candidates in the UK and internationally. In doing this, staff aim to:

  • provide advice and guidance which is targeted to the particular needs and aspirations of a specific enquirer or audience
  • provide information which is consistent with published literature and is within the limits of that individual’s knowledge and expertise
  • provide detailed information where appropriate on the main learning and teaching methods, assessment procedures, content, structure and organisation of courses, including the extent of any flexibility and choice within the curriculum
  • provide a range of opportunities for prospective students and applicants to visit the University at appropriate points during the recruitment cycle
  • welcome visits by schools, colleges and other education providers subject to available resources
  • respond swiftly to requests for further information about study opportunities and student life at Bath

Selection

The University’s aim is to select those students most likely to benefit from its provision. The entry criteria and selection methods chosen for each programme are designed to ensure that students are likely to succeed academically and gain intellectually from the provision available. Aptitude for a particular programme is therefore the primary criteria for selection and an academic decision will always be reached on an application before other factors such as additional needs or criminal convictions are taken into account.

It is important to note that the University has a limited number of places available and that it is not always possible to make offers to all the good candidates who apply. In selecting students, admissions staff aim to:

  • reach decisions which are fair and consistent in relation to the published entry criteria, the evidence the applicant presents of their academic and/or professional qualifications and which take into account any specific skills or experiences which are essential or desirable for the programme in question
  • take into account evidence of a candidate’s potential to succeed on the programme. Where appropriate and relevant, admissions staff may consider contextual factors in relation to an application. These factors may include illness, family circumstances, personal responsibilities, or instability affecting the school or college. Where such factors are to be considered, either before making or when confirming an offer of a place, evidence of the effects of disadvantage should be sought. Generally, it is expected that applicants will have taken appropriate action to ensure that examining bodies have allowed for mitigating circumstances prior to the announcement of any results since the University will not generally be best placed to do this fairly and consistently
  • apply selection processes which are appropriate to the programme in question. Selection may be on the basis of an application form (with any written work or portfolios required) or on the basis of an application form plus interview. Candidates are entitled to know, in advance, the likely format of any interview offered
  • make offers on a basis which is consistent with the competition and the number of places available in any given year
  • ensure that at least two members of staff who are appropriately qualified and trained, and who work to agreed criteria, consider each application for undergraduate or postgraduate study
  • communicate clearly and in a timely way with candidates concerning the outcome of their application. The University will normally write to those receiving an offer stating any specific conditions which apply and including details of standard institutional terms and conditions. Offers to postgraduate research applicants will indicate the intended topic of research and the supervisory arrangements, but both are subject to confirmation when the candidature is approved. Where applications are unsuccessful, the University will communicate this via UCAS, GTTR or any other intermediary body. Where no such system exists, the department or School to which the candidate has applied is responsible for communicating that the application has been unsuccessful. Departments may choose how to do this

Feedback

Admissions staff must be prepared to provide feedback to applicants on admissions decisions. The Admissions Office, Departments, Graduate Schools and partner organisations are responsible for making information available on how feedback may be obtained and whether this will be provided routinely or on request. Candidates must be aware that feedback can only be provided within the limits of the resources available to support this and that it will not always be possible to provide highly specific or tailored commentaries. Parents, guardians, advisors, schools and colleges are asked to note that feedback will usually only be offered direct to the candidate unless the University received a clear written statement indicating that the applicant is willing for matters to be discussed with another individual. The University will also safeguard confidentiality in other ways when offering feedback.

Staff development and training

The University is committed to providing a fair and accessible admissions system. To achieve this all staff involved in recruitment and selection must be appropriately trained for their roles. The University has agreed a range of measures in relation to staff development and training and these are specified in a University Quality Assurance Statement on Recruitment, Selection and Admissions. More information can be obtained from the Admissions Office.

Complaints

The University aims to ensure that its recruitment and admissions processes are transparent and customer-focused. As part of its work to achieve this, the University has a complaints procedure should you feel that any aspect of the recruitment or admissions process has not been conducted in accordance with this Policy.

Monitoring and review

The University is keen to assure itself that its recruitment and admissions processes work effectively, are informed by feedback from users and are subject to continuous enhancement. The University is also keen to ensure that the outcome of its admissions processes are consistent with the University aims, objectives and responsibilities with regard to equality of opportunity. More information on the University’s commitment to monitoring and review in admissions may be obtained from the Admissions Office on request.

Owner: Mike Nicholson, Director of Admissions & Outreach

Version number: Not specified

Approval date: Not specified

Approved by: Not specified

Date of last review: August 2015