Student Recruitment & Admissions
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

How we are approaching the 2023 entry admissions cycle

A view on the 2023 undergraduate entry cycle, from the Vice Principal for Students, Professor Colm Harmon

Applications this year have remained very high with significantly more qualified applicants than we can make offers to, and both achieved and predicted grades remain strong. 

To give all on-time applications equal consideration, we make only a limited number of offers before the January deadline. 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. Subject by subject, we only begin to make offers once we are confident of the standard required to gain an offer this year.  

So, while many offers are made earlier, some decisions cannot be made until April or early May. If an applicant applied by either the October or January deadline, they receive our decision no later than 18 May 2023. We do understand applicants who have had to wait for weeks or even months to receive an admissions decision find this frustrating and unsettling. We do review and process applications and offers as quickly as we can, taking great care over each one. Offer holders will have time to weigh up their options before they need to reply to their offers via UCAS in June. 

Admissions Statistics

While we don’t know exactly how popular different subject areas and degree programmes will be from year to year until all on time applications are received, 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 reflect the predicted grades required to gain an offer this year.  We consider not just the qualifications applicants are undertaking this year. Offers are made based on all 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. 

Widening access

As part of our commitment to widening access, we may make offers based on our minimum entry requirements to eligible applicants where possible. We have been pleased to see an increase in demand from widening access applicants in recent years. However, in a small number of subjects, the unforeseen scale of that increase in the last two admissions cycles has impacted our ability to make offers to all widening access applicants. For this reason, we are not always able to guarantee widening access offers to all eligible applicants for our high demand degrees. In these cases, we may have to select between eligible applicants for the offers that are available. 

Widening Access Offers

Challenging circumstances affecting applicants

We continue to consider the personal circumstances of applicants whose educational opportunities and experience have been limited. Our flexible approach to challenging circumstances aims to support such applicants on an individual basis, and to recognise their potential. 

Policy for consideration of challenging circumstances affecting applicants

We’re reviewing our approaches to admissions continually and learning from the challenges of the past year to make our processes as fair and transparent as possible to all 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.