College of Science & Engineering

Unsuccessful applications

Information on what to do if your application is unsuccessful.

If your application to study at the College of Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh has been unsuccessful we hope that this information will help you understand the reasons why this decision has been reached. The most common reasons for an unsuccessful decision are listed below. If you feel that none of these reasons apply to you, then please feel free to write to us and we will provide further detailed feedback.

1. You thought you were qualified but have been told that you were unqualified

(i) Many applicants apply without our General College Entry Requirements of a Standard Grade/GCSE or equivalent in English. All applicants must have a qualification in English to enter the University.

Entry Requirements

(ii) You were not predicted to meet our minimum entry requirements and therefore unfortunately we could not offer you a place.

(iii) You did not meet the subject specific entry requirements for the degree programme to which you applied. For many of our programmes it is vital that you demonstrate required pre-requisite knowledge by holding or being predicted to achieve subjects at set levels. Further information can be found in the prospectus.

Degree finder

(iv) We do not accept your current qualifications for entry and therefore we could not consider your application further. For information on the qualifications we currently accept please see:

Approved subjects for university entry

2. You are taking resits

Resitting exams can put your application at a disadvantage due to the number of applications we receive from students who have achieved or are predicted to achieve our required grades at the first attempt.

3. Your qualifications were achieved more than three years ago

If you do not have recent academic qualifications then unfortunately we are unable to consider your application further. This particularly applies to mature applicants who often have no recent study; entrance qualifications must have been achieved within three years before the proposed start date at University.

Information for mature applicants

4. You are a Home/EU applicant and applied after the 15th January deadline

Due to high demand for places it is only in the most exceptional of circumstances will we consider a late application from Home/EU applicants. The deadline date for Home/EU applicants is 15 January.

5. You did not provide an academic reference

It is essential that your UCAS reference is written by someone who knows you in an academic context.

6. You did not disclose all relevant information

Our decisions are based on the information you have provided on your UCAS application plus any supplementary information you have submitted. It is essential that on your UCAS application you provide details of your achieved qualifications and any predictions for all exams that have yet to be taken.

7. Your personal statement did not show motivation to study your chosen degree programme

Due to the high level of competition for our degree programmes it is essential that we see passionate discussion and motivation for the subject for which you have applied.

8. Competition for places on your chosen degree programme was extremely high and offers were made to applicants with grades in excess of the minimum entry requirements

For entry in 2013 we received in excess of 10,000 applications for about 1,350 Home/ EU fee status places and were forced to turn away a great many academically talented applicants who had met or exceeded the minimum entry requirements. Due to competition, the majority of our offers are made to applicants who were predicted to achieve or who have achieved the very best grades. A very high number of our applicants are predicted, or have achieved, AAAA at Higher or AAA at A Level and we are not able to make offers to all AAAA/AAA candidates.

For the level of competition you may be interested in the statistics that show offer chances in recent years.

Admissions statistics

The Recruitment and Admissions Team understand the disappointment of an unsuccessful application. The fact that many unsuccessful applicants could make very good students deserves emphasis. The Recruitment and Admissions Team makes considerable efforts to be transparent and objective and its selection policy is reviewed on a regular basis in order to ensure that it remains relevant and reliable.

Admissions advice for school leavers

If after reading the above you still do not understand why your application has been unsuccessful then please contact us in writing or by email including your name, UCAS number and the degree for which you have applied.

Recruitment and Admissions Team

  • College of Science and Engineering

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Weir Building
Max Born Crescent

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