Information for prospective students who have applied to study at the University of Edinburgh.
The University will be open and ready to teach at the start of the new academic year.
We know it is critical that your education is all that you expected it to be and that it is provided in a safe and welcoming environment. We are delighted you want to come to Edinburgh and we want to give you everything you wanted from us, despite the challenges.
We intend to be ready to teach despite any travel restrictions, wherever our students are in the world. As we adapt to this Covid-19 pandemic we are shaping our delivery to ensure that all students - whether here in Edinburgh with us, or elsewhere in the world and joining us a little later in the academic year when circumstances allow - will be fully part of our community.
We will provide more detail on this by the end of May. This may mean we change the format or order of our teaching, but be reassured that our Edinburgh graduate qualities will be as excellent as ever. Changes will vary by degree and individual Schools will contact offer-holders over the coming weeks to confirm how these changes will apply.
Updated 22 May: LanguageCert International ESOL
We have approved the LanguageCert International ESOL online English test for entry to the University of Edinburgh in 2020.
This is an online English language qualification that you can take at home no matter where you live.
There are two tests:
These can be taken at the same time, or separately. You must take both tests to meet our entry requirements.
You will need to send us your LanguageCert International ESOL e-certificate and your full scores, so that we can verify your grades.
For more information, and to find out the levels you will require to meet our entry requirements, please see our website:
TOEFL iBT Home Edition
We have approved the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition online test for entry to the University of Edinburgh. This test is available in many countries around the world, and can be taken online from your home.
Entry requirements based on the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test are exactly the same as the entry requirements for the standard TOEFL iBT test which are listed in your offer.
For more information and to book a test, please go online: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
Updated 22 May: additions to our list of approved universities
We are continuing to assess universities in non-majority English speaking countries that teach and assess in English to determine whether degrees from these universities can be used to meet our English language requirements.
We have recently added a number of institutions in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to our list of approved universities.
If your previous degree was awarded from one of our approved universities within 3.5 years of the start date for your chosen degree at Edinburgh, this can be used to meet our English language entry requirements.
To see if your university is included on our list of approved universities, see our website:
If your university has recently been added to the list, you should contact the correct college or school admissions office for your degree. Contact details for your degree can be found on your chosen degree's page in our degree finder:
Postgraduate degree finder
Pre-sessional English courses
We have extended the deadline to apply for our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes programme to 15 May 2020. This course will be delivered online, and has increased capacity. For further information, please see the Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes section on this page.
If you apply for our Pre-sessional English programme but are not successful in gaining a place, we will also accept students with other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses from UK universities for 2020 entry. We will confirm this against our application records.
A full list of accredited universities is provided on the BALEAP website: Accredited universities. Please note that we cannot provide any information or advice about pre-sessional English courses run by other universities.
Students from mainland China and Iran
Duolingo Test of English
Given the exceptional circumstances associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have agreed that we will consider acceptance of the Duolingo English Test (DET) as a demonstration of English language competency in specific circumstances.
We will accept DET for entry to our pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes programme from students from mainland China or Iran.
For information about the Pre-sessional programme, and DET entry requirements, please see our website:
We will only consider acceptance of DET for a degree programme when no accepted English language test is available to the applicant and/or when the applicant does not hold an unconditional offer for a BALEAP-accredited UK pre-sessional English language programme.
Currently, this is likely to apply only to applicants from mainland China and Iran.
DET will not be considered for applicants who already have a place on the University of Edinburgh Pre-sessional programme.
For more information on DET, and for entry requirements, please see our website:
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the way we live and work worldwide. Here in Edinburgh, our admissions staff are observing the UK-wide lockdown and working remotely. We realise that you may be concerned about any impact this will have on your application to study with us, and we would like to give you some reassurance.
Our admissions staff have access to all our systems and are continuing to process applications as normal. Any academic staff involved in making admissions decisions are also able to participate remotely.
However, this new way of working will take a little time to settle down and it does mean you may see a delay in decision making on your application. Please bear with us as we make these adjustments. We will make decisions as quickly as we can, and we will communicate these with you as normal.
We have made your offer to study with us at the University of Edinburgh because we believe you demonstrate the potential to be successful in your studies with us, and to contribute to our university community.
If you have a conditional offer and are worried about meeting your conditions as a result of school or university closures or cancelled exams, there is further information on this page.
At the moment, schools, colleges and universities across the world are facing closures– and we understand that this is causing great concern for students planning to begin their degrees this year. You may also be worried about how you will meet the conditions of your offer. We have further information about the cancellation of exams and assessments on this page.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to take advantage of any relevant online study opportunities available to you, to ensure you are fully prepared for your future studies.
We are aware that many universities are closed and you may be worried about whether you will be able to complete your current degree in time to meet the conditions of your offer. We know many universities have moved teaching online and are arranging alternative assessments.
We will send you updated information on the evidence we need of your final grades, and the deadline for providing this, as soon as possible. We will be as flexible as possible, while making sure you have time to get your visa if you require one.
We understand that many of our applicants have either had exams cancelled, or may not know if they will be able to take their exams as planned.
Many qualifications, including most UK qualifications, will now be awarded on the basis of work you have already completed in school or college, tests already taken, and teacher or lecturer assessments.
We are confident that the arrangements which have been announced are robust and that the grades awarded will be a good reflection of your ability and potential. We will accept the grades awarded as normal this year. Our requirements will not change as a result of the different assessment methods involved.
You can find more information from the following awarding bodies:
Cancelled or postponed exams
Some exams or tests have been postponed until later in the year, or may even have been cancelled completely.
Where it is no longer possible for you to meet the conditions of your offer using the qualifications you had planned to take, please let us know. We will work with you to see if you have alternative evidence that we can use to decide if you have met your conditions.
US SAT tests
All SAT tests have been cancelled until late August.
If you have a conditional offer where we have asked for SATs, we will contact you directly to suggest alternative evidence, such as your high school transcript, that we can consider in place of these tests.
Further information about arrangements for US tests this summer has been provided by the College Board.
We are also aware that English language test centres are closed in many countries. You may be concerned about being unable to take your English language test, or unable to use your school qualifications, to meet the English language conditions of your offer.
It is important for the success of your studies in Edinburgh that you can demonstrate good English language skills. If you come from outside the EU and you need a visa to study here, the UK government may also set an English language requirement as a condition of your visa. While we hope test centres will reopen soon in your country, we will continue to review other options and will keep you informed if we make any changes to accepted English language tests.
Please see our Updates to accepted English language tests section on this page for further information.
If your school or university is closed, you may not be able to provide all of the documents we have asked for, such as transcripts or references, at this time. If this is a problem for you, please contact your admissions team who will be able to review your deadlines.
Contact information is provided on the relevant page of the online degree finder.
We can usually defer some offers for most of our degrees, but we expect the number of deferrals we can allow will be limited. If you would like to defer your application until 2021 entry, then please contact your admissions team:
We will consider deferrals on a case by case basis. Undergraduate deferral decisions will be made from mid-May.
We will be in touch with postgraduate applicants in June with an update on deferrals.
We are aware that visa centres have been closed for several weeks now in some countries. Students who had been due to start a degree in March, April or May and who have been unable to apply for their visa should contact the Student Immigration Service to discuss their options.
We hope that visa centres will reopen before other students will need to apply for visas, but will keep the situation under review.
UKVI has released important information (hyperlink: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/immigration/covid-19-important-information-about-your-visa) about visas for those affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
If you have accepted an offer to study with us and you are required to pay a deposit, you are expected to pay this by the deadline you have been given. If this causes difficulties you should contact your admissions team. Contact information is provided on the relevant page of the online degree finder.
If you are unable to take up your place as a result of factors related to Covid-19, your deposit will be refundable.
Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors.
Recognising the rapidly evolving impact of Covid-19, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel on-campus offer holder events. Your College admissions team will be in touch with details of online content you can view to get to know Edinburgh, the University and information on specific subject areas and programmes.
We have also decided to cancel the Undergraduate Open Day scheduled for 15 June this year.
The two undergraduate Open Days scheduled for 26 September and 10 October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead, and this webpage will be updated with the latest guidance. We are also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.
The University of Edinburgh Pre-Sessional English for Academic Purposes programme is available to students who have a conditional offer for a postgraduate degree.
We are aware that delays to processing visas and/or obtaining English language qualifications across the world may have an impact on applications for the Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes.
We are committed to providing the 7- and 10-week Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes programme and can confirm that we will be offering the programme online this year. The programme, course content and learning outcomes will remain exactly as advertised on our website, but the delivery of the programme will change from in-person to online.
If you have a confirmed place on the programme, you do not need to re-apply. Your place remains confirmed for the online pre-sessional programme and English Language Education will be in contact regarding further details. If you have not yet applied for the programme, you wish to apply now, please visit the English Language Education website.
We would encourage all potential Visiting and Exchange students to apply as they would normally. We are putting into place longer deadlines for the submission of university transcripts and English language certificates, as well as working on ways to be flexible should we need to be when deadlines become nearer.
If you are a visiting research student, please read our PGR FAQs if you are due to start a placement on or before September 2020.
Accommodation applications are open as normal. Accommodation offers aren’t made until you have been given an unconditional offer for your University course, and accommodation contracts are not sent before the beginning of May. For more information on the University’s accommodation guarantee and properties, please visit the student accomodation webpage.
We anticipate being able to support International students who will be staying in University accommodation if there is a requirement of 14 days quarantine on entry into the UK. We are currently looking at how we can facilitate this and will update these FAQs as soon as more information is available.
If you can’t travel to Edinburgh in September, but are still a matriculated student and expect to come to campus at some stage in the future, we will either (depending on the availability of bedrooms):
- hold your room for you until you can arrive; or
- release you from your lease asking you to re-contact us when you know you can you travel and we will do our best to find new accommodation for you at this point.
If you do not become a matriculated University of Edinburgh student in September then you will not be held to your accommodation lease.