Student Recruitment & Admissions
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

How we are approaching the 2022 entry admissions cycle

A view on the 2022 entry cycle, from the University’s Director of Student Recruitment & Admissions, Rebecca Gaukroger

The UCAS application deadline has now passed, and almost all degrees are closed to new applications. Applications across all fee status groups are increased compared to last year, and are up by over 20% compared to the same point in the 2020 entry cycle. Applicants’ achieved and predicted grades are very strong indeed.

Of course, there is a limited number of offers we can make to fill the places we have available, and we are committed to allocating these offers fairly. Because of increased demand, we need to take a more cautious approach to offer-making. Subject by subject, we will only begin to make offers once we are confident of the standard required to gain an offer this year. As we predicted, the University saw a peak of applications immediately prior to the January deadline.

For these reasons, we held the vast majority of applications until after the January deadline passed. It is only once all applications have been received and screened, that we begin to know just how competitive entry to many subject areas will be.

So, while some offers will be made earlier, some decisions won’t be made until April or early May. If an applicant applied by either the October or January deadline, they will receive our decision no later than 19 May 2022. We do understand applicants who may wait for weeks or even months to receive an admissions decision will find this frustrating. We will process applications and offers as quickly as we can, while taking care over each and every one. Offer holders will have time to weigh up their options before they need to reply to their offers via UCAS in June. We are planning to hold both digital and on-campus events to help support their decision-making.

While we don’t know exactly how popular different subject areas and degree programmes will be this year, we do have a sense of which subjects will be the most popular. We publish admissions statistics every year, which give an indication of competition for places.

Admissions Statistics

In the interests of fairness, most conditional offers we make will reflect the predicted grades required to gain an offer this year.

We won’t just consider the qualifications applicants are undertaking this year. Offers will be made on the basis of all of the information in each UCAS application, and we may use information including Nat 5 and GCSE grades, and subject of study to differentiate between strong applicants.

As part of our commitment to widening access, we will make offers based on our minimum entry requirements to eligible applicants. Because these offers are not limited by competition for places, they will be made on a rolling basis throughout the cycle. 

Widening Access Offers

We also recognise that, while everyone has experienced real challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, the educational opportunities and experience of some applicants will have been limited due to very personal circumstances. Our flexible approach to challenging circumstances aims to support such applicants, and recognise their potential.

Policy for consideration of challenging circumstances affecting applicants

I wish the best of luck to all applicants, their families and supporters this year, especially given the many challenges they have faced and overcome to get to this point. This can be a nerve-wracking time, but an exciting one, too.


Rebecca Gaukroger

Director, Student Recruitment & Admissions