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University of Bath

Writing a UCAS reference in support of a student applying to Bath

Guidance for teachers or advisers writing an academic reference in support of a student applying to study at Bath

How we use the academic reference

We consider all aspects of the UCAS application in detail, and reviewing the academic reference is an important part of this holistic process. Each application is read in detail by one of our Admissions Selectors, who each specialise in a set of specific undergraduate courses.

With the exception of our Pharmacy and Social Work degrees, we make admissions decisions for most applicants based on their UCAS application rather than through an interview. The academic reference therefore provides important context to help us assess your student's suitability for degree-level study.

What to include

First paragraph

It is helpful if you can write a short introductory paragraph that may include information such as:

  • a URL to your school or college website
  • general contextual information about your school or college performance in recent years
  • information about staffing, especially if there has been disruption to a relevant subject area
  • details of the typical pattern of qualifications taken by your students e.g. 3 A levels and an EPQ
  • details of any subjects that are not available to your students

Academic information

To help us assess the academic performance of your student please include details of:

  • prior attainment, predictions, and details of any gaps in study
  • reason for chosen subjects or qualifications
  • a summary of performance in each subject
  • notable performance in recent tests/exams
  • how performance is matched against peers
  • comments on any project qualifications
  • aptitude for study at a higher level
  • academic skills and qualities

General information

It is also helpful if you can tell us about:

  • the student's general motivation, attendance, contribution, and attitude
  • any disruption to studies or mitigating circumstances that may have affected performance
  • notable experiences that don’t fit in the personal statement
  • the impact of any disability or learning need
  • any relevant details of the student’s career goals