College of Science & Engineering

Admissions Tests for the College of Science and Engineering

As one of the world’s leading universities, the University of Edinburgh has a long tradition of welcoming international students who can demonstrate the high academic standards we naturally demand of all students seeking a place on one of our undergraduate degree programmes. We realise that this could result in the exclusion of highly talented students from certain countries whose school leaving qualifications we do not formally recognise as a basis for entry to our programmes. We have therefore created internal admissions tests as a way of assessing the academic potential of applicants in this position.


Why do I have to take the Admissions Tests?

As we do not formally recognise the school leaving qualification gained in your country of origin, we have created the admissions tests as a way of assessing if your academic abilities are suitable for entry to your chosen degree programme and to ensure that you will be able to cope with the level of study you will experience in your first year. 


What Admissions Tests do I need to take?

We expect students to achieve their secondary school qualifications at the required level, and the following pass marks in the admissions tests:


Degree Programme Admissions Test(s) Pass Mark
Biological Sciences Biology & Chemistry Chemistry at 70% and Biology at 60%
Chemistry Chemistry & Mathematics Maths at 80% and Chemistry at 60%
Engineering Mathematics & Physics Maths at 80% and Physics at 60%
Chemical Engineering Chemistry & Mathematics Maths at 80% and Chemistry at 60%
Civil Engineering Mathematics & one of Biology, Chemistry or Physics Maths at 80% and Biology or Chemistry or Physics at 60%
Electronics & Computer Science Mathematics & Physics Maths at 80% and Physics at 60%
Mathematics Mathematics  80%
Informatics Mathematics  80%
Physics Mathematics & Physics Maths at 80% and Physics at 60%
Geophysics Mathematics & Physics Maths at 80% and Physics at 60%
All other GeoSciences programmes Two of Mathematics/Physics/Chemistry/Biology Two of these at 60%
MA Geography Not available through this route  


How do I access the Admissions Tests?

If you are eligible, we will email details of how to access and complete your online admissions tests as soon as possible after receiving your application. The tests will be in each of the core academic disciplines required for your intended degree programme.

You can complete the admissions tests at a time and place that suits you best without having to travel to a test centre. Our admissions tests are set at a level suitable for first year entry, and we are not expecting you to get full marks.


What to expect

The admissions tests are designed in order to test your skills in the core academic areas of your intended degree programme. You can view sample content at the links below.


How to apply

We welcome applications from International students from September of each year.  You will need to apply for entry to the College of Science and Engineering through UCAS in exactly the same way as any other UK, EU or International candidate.  You can get helpful advice and guidance from UCAS by going to

It is important to remember that candidates from the EU or other countries providing qualifications already recognised by the University are not eligible to take the admissions tests.



Q: How should I prepare for the test?

A: Please choose a time when you will not be disturbed as you can take the test only once, and you must do it in one sitting.  When taking these tests you must not use any outside help (such as other people, textbooks, notes, internet, etc). This is a test of your ability. Please view the sample content before attempting the test.

Q: Do I need any equipment with me when I take the test?

A: We recommend ensuring that you have a pen, paper and calculator ready when you sit the test.

Q: How long do I have to complete the tests?

A: You should take these tests online, at any time in the 30 days following receipt of the email containing your login details to the testing systems.

Q: How many questions are in the test?

Biology Test: 25

Chemistry Test: 30

Maths Test: 20

Physics Test: 20

Q: How much time to you get to complete the test?

Biology Test: 120 minutes

Chemistry Test: 120 minutes

Maths Test: 90 minutes

Physics Test: 120 minutes

Q: What if I don’t know all of the answers?

A: We are aware that some of the questions may be on topics that you have not covered at school. Please do not worry about this – just do the best that you can on the questions that you have covered.

Q: What do I do if I have technical issues during the tests?

A: If you have technical/internet problems while you are taking the test, please close all browser windows:  reopen and try to log in again. If this does not restore your session, please email detailing your username and issue and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Q: Where do I find out how I have scored in the tests?

Following completion of both tests, we will email you with the results of your tests and the outcome of your application.


Please let us know if you require any specific support to be put in place in order to enable you to undertake the test(s). Any adjustments and support will need to be agreed in order to ensure that the academic integrity of the test is not compromised.