Undergraduate study - 2017 entry

How we select

We assess applications against agreed selection criteria for each degree programme.

Photo of students on George Square

Our selection process

Each of our colleges has its own admissions team. This means that while the University has overarching admissions policies and procedures, it is the responsibility of the colleges to decide which applicants will be made an offer of a place.

Applications received by the relevant UCAS deadline will receive full and equal consideration. We aim to inform you of our decision on your application as quickly as possible. Provided you have applied by the October or January deadline, you can expect to receive our decision by the end of March.

Applications received after the relevant deadlines will be considered on an individual basis at the discretion of the University. As demand for many of our programmes is high, we cannot guarantee that late applications will be considered.

At least two professional admissions staff review every application against our agreed criteria. Applicants who have met, or are predicted to meet, our entry minimum entry requirements are entered into the selection process.

What we consider

The University of Edinburgh is committed to admitting the very best students who demonstrate the potential to benefit from, and contribute to, the academic experience we offer. We encourage applications from students from diverse backgrounds and are committed to equality of opportunity in our selection process.

We consider all of the information contained within the UCAS application before making our admissions decision.  This includes consideration of your academic qualifications, the information contained in your personal statement and reference, and any other data and information considered in our approach to contextualised admissions.

Contextualised admissions

We recognise that applicants have differing backgrounds and experiences and that not everyone has an equal opportunity to demonstrate their potential with their school or college qualifications alone.

For this reason we consider certain data and information in our selection process to help us identify applicants whose academic grades to date may not be a true reflection of their potential to succeed at University.

This is known as contextualised admissions as it enables admissions staff to consider achievements in the context of whether an applicant:

  • attends a school in the UK where the level of performance in examinations is below the average
  • is a care leaver
  • has participated in a recognised access programme such as Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS), the School for Higher Education Programme (SHEP), or the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)
  • lives in an area of relative deprivation as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation or ACORN UK postcode data

Even for programmes in high demand, some applicants to whom contextual information applies may therefore receive an offer at the minimum entry requirement.

You can find more information on the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions and how it relates to your application on our Student Recruitment and Admissions website.

Admissions advice

Special consideration of adverse circumstances

The University of Edinburgh is not best placed to fairly and consistently take account of any adverse circumstance affecting an applicant’s performance in pre-entry qualifications. Examples of adverse circumstances include personal or family illness.

We therefore expect applicants to have taken appropriate action to ensure that the relevant examination bodies have allowed for such circumstances prior to the announcement of results, or following an appeal.

Further information on special consideration of adverse circumstances is available from the relevant Qualifications Authority.