Applying for undergraduate study in 2021
Find out how our admissions processes have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
UCAS equal consideration deadline
UCAS have announced that this year’s deadline for ‘equal consideration’ has been extended to 18:00 GMT on 29 January 2021. This is to give students more time to complete their application if they have been affected by the recent disruption in UK schools.
If you apply through UCAS to any of our undergraduate degrees by the new deadline we will guarantee you the same consideration as every applicant who has already applied.
If you have difficulties submitting an application by 29 January due to significant circumstances beyond your control, please email email@example.com for advice in advance of the deadline. We can consider extensions to this deadline on an individual basis but only in exceptional cases.
You will still be able to apply for many of our courses after the UCAS deadline. Due to popularity, some courses will be unavailable after 29 January 2021. Some courses may only have vacancies for applicants from outside the UK after this date.
Details of which courses are available for students who apply after 29 January 2021 will be available through UCAS and on our course pages.
Changes and cancellations of exams
Governments have already announced a number of changes to exam and award arrangements in Summer 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. While the approach taken will be different this year, at Bath we expect that in most cases these changes (including the cancellation of exams) will not harm any application you make to us. Where possible, we will make adjustments to ensure you are not disadvantaged by any changes to your exams.
A levels in England
The UK Government has confirmed that exams for A levels in England have been cancelled. Students will instead receive grades based on some form of alternative assessments and teacher assessments in Summer 2021. The details of these arrangements have yet to be confirmed.
While we had hoped it would be possible for these exams to take place, we included the possibility they would not when making plans for this year. As such, we will be accepting any grades awarded in Summer 2021 as normal, and these changes will not affect how we consider your application.
We are not making any changes to existing offers or our typical requirements because of these changes.
We will update you once any changes to the process and timings of results as those changes are confirmed.
A levels in Wales
The Welsh Government has confirmed that A level exams will be cancelled in Summer 2021. Students will now be awarded grades based on teacher assessments, following the subsequent cancellation of plans for externally-moderated classroom assessments.
We will be accepting any A levels awarded in Summer 2021 as normal, and these changes will not affect how we consider your application. We are also not making any changes to existing offers or our typical requirements as a result of these changes.
We expect this will remain the same should the current arrangements be revised to match those announced for A levels in England. We will update you should any further changes be announced.
A levels in Northern Ireland
The Northern Irish Government has announced that A level exams will be cancelled in Summer 2021. We do not yet know the format or timing of the alternative arrangements for the awarding of grades this year.
As with A levels in England and Wales, we do not expect these changes will affect how we consider your application. We are not making any changes to existing offers or our typical requirements because of these changes.
We will update you once information is available on the alternative arrangements for awarding grades.
Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
The Scottish Government has confirmed Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers exams will be replaced with teacher assessments in Summer 2021. Results are expected to be released as normal.
We will be accepting any Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers awarded in Summer 2021 as normal, and these changes will not affect how we consider your application.
We are not making any changes to existing offers or our typical requirements because of these changes.
International A levels
We understand exams will go ahead for some or all International A levels this year.
If any of the changes announced for A levels in England were also adopted for International A levels, we would not expect this to affect how we consider your application, in the same way, they have not changed our approach for students in England.
We do not expect to make any changes to existing offers or our typical requirements for students studying International A levels.
We will update you once more information is available on the plans for these qualifications.
Exams entered as a private candidate
If you were planning to enter exams as a private candidate (for example, because you are re-sitting qualifications awarded in 2020 separate from your school), you may be particularly concerned about the impact of exam cancellations.
If you are a private candidate, we strongly advise you to keep in regular contact with your exam centre regarding what support they are able to offer you. Last year many private candidates who initially believed they would be unable to receive A level grades based on teacher assessments were ultimately able to do so through arrangements with their centres.
If you hold an offer from us and are unable to be awarded grades through your centre, we will contact you with further advice once more information is known. You do not need to contact us to let us know you are a private candidate at this stage.
GCSEs and National 5s
GCSE and National 5s exams have been cancelled this year. In most cases, it has not been confirmed what alternative arrangements will be put in place for students to receive their grades.
If you are applying for 2021 with a re-sit in a GCSE we will contact you directly if needed to discuss the implications of these changes.
If you are finishing your GCSEs or National 5s this year, you do not need to worry about the impact of these changes on any future application. We will make adjustments to our approach for affected students in future years to ensure you are not disadvantaged.
We will continue to monitor the situation for students studying other qualifications both in the UK and across the world. Where possible, we will make adjustments to ensure you are not disadvantaged by any changes to your exams this year.
Competition for places
We know that applying for university is a big step, and students are often anxious about their chances of securing an offer at their top choices. The popularity of each degree varies from year to year, and in any year it is impossible for us to predict with certainty how many students may choose to apply until all the applications are in.
With suggestions that more students would choose to postpone their studies in 2020, you may be concerned about how this will affect you if you apply this year.
At Bath, we have 550 students holding deferred places to join in 2021 from last year. While this is a higher number than we have seen before (we had 380 in 2020), it represents a small proportion of the 3,600 places we have available each year.
There are other big events, such as Brexit, which may also impact how many students apply this year.
We are not expecting competition for most of our degrees to be significantly different from previous years because of this and want to reassure you that we individually consider each and every application which we receive.
We are not increasing our entry requirements for any degrees due to the pandemic.
There are a few changes to our typical requirements this year for other reasons, including revised English language requirements for some degrees and new typical offers for qualifications with major revisions (such as the French Baccalaureate and Mathematics subjects in the International Baccalaureate).
We will be continuously assessing the impact of the pandemic on study across the world, and where appropriate we may change our typical requirements to ensure they remain fair for all applicants this year. Any changes, for this reason, will be to your advantage – we may remove or lower academic requirements, but we will not add or increase requirements. Changes we have already made in response to Covid-19 this year:
- If you are studying a GCE A level in a science or Geology, we will not require a pass in any separate Science Practical Endorsement. This applies to all degrees.
- As some students may have difficulty accessing them this year, we have removed additional mathematics tests from typical offers for many of our degrees in Mathematics. We have also reduced A level requirements for students who study Further Mathematics so that they do not miss out on a reduced offer through the removal of these tests. Additional mathematics tests will remain a requirement for some students where they are essential to ensuring you are suitably prepared to study one of these degrees. Details are on our relevant course pages.
Personal statements and work experience
You might be concerned about how Covid-19 has affected your opportunities and the impact on your personal statement. The first thing to remember is everyone is in the same position as you, and we will understand that some opportunities may have been more limited for you.
If you are concerned that you are missing relevant experiences you might want to consider alternatives you can do from the comfort of your own home. Short online MOOCs, engaging with online lectures, academically-orientated podcasts or relevant reading are all options to give you insights about your course that you can share in your statement.
We also know work experience opportunities have been more limited. Work experience is not essential for almost all our degrees, and in a normal year, most applicants will not have relevant work or voluntary experience. This is especially true in fields such as engineering, science and social sciences. If you do not have work experience you do not need to worry - focus on the positive experiences you do have for your statement.
You might have individual circumstances arising from the pandemic that you want universities to know about, such as greater disruption in your home or school life. Our advice is to not include too much about these in your personal statement. Our approach to school disruption, and when and how you should let us know is covered in the following section.
Disruption for schools, colleges and examinations
Schools and colleges have moved to remote teaching across most of the UK, and this is expected to continue until at least the middle of February. Regardless of where you live, you will likely have also experienced disruption to your education last year. We know the impact of this disruption will have varied between students (and their schools), but we also recognise the continuing challenges faced by all students across the world.
As in any year, we will also be mindful of these challenges when assessing final results this year should overall performance be lower than normal. We are continually monitoring the situation in other countries for our international applicants.
While we understand that this is a very unsettling time, please be reassured we consider school closures and general disruption automatically as part of our normal consideration. However, we appreciate you may experience individual specific circumstances (related or unrelated to Covid-19) which may affect your ability to perform academically. If you do have mitigating circumstances, we encourage you to read our published guidance and fill in our mitigating circumstances form so we can consider them carefully alongside your application.
Accepting results from 2020
If you achieved your final qualifications last year and meet our typical offer for your chosen degree then we will be able to consider and accept those results as normal. Please be aware that we can only accept results that have been formally awarded by the relevant organisation – we cannot consider other measures (such as predicted grades) instead of final awards.
Resitting qualifications from 2020
We can consider you if you are resitting some or all of your qualifications from 2020 and expect to achieve new grades. We know that the circumstances for any awards in 2020 may not reflect your true ability, and as such, you will not be penalised for any lower results last year.
We will accept the results of any resit exams already taken this school year. We will also accept results awarded in Summer 2021, whether awarded through exams or teacher or classroom assessments. Where you can be awarded grades in a qualification more than once this year (for example, from a Winter re-sit and a Summer teacher assessment), we will accept your highest awarded result.
Guidance on how we will support students planning to re-sit qualifications as a private candidate is included in the ‘Exams entered as a private candidate’ section.
Offer guarantee for students who received offers in 2020
If you received an offer from Bath last year (for 2020 or 2021 entry) and choose to reapply for the same degree, you will already have a guarantee that we will make you a new offer this year. The conditions of this offer will match those you received last year. You do not need to do anything other than reapply through UCAS to claim this offer; we will automatically make sure you receive it.
If you are applying for the first time with results from last year or resits, or if you choose to apply for a different degree having received an offer last year, your application will be considered as normal alongside all other applicants and whether you receive an offer will depend on the strength of your application.