11. Postgraduate Admissions
Information is provided in relation to postgraduate selection, including procedures for processing applications. Guidance is also provided on matriculation and English language requirements.
A Postgraduate Selector must be a member of the academic staff at AU. Administrative staff can co-ordinate the selection procedure within their respective faculty/department.
11.2 Equality of Consideration
Aberystwyth University, in conformity with the general intention of its Charter, confirms its commitment to a comprehensive policy of equal consideration for all applicants to the University. No applicant for a place whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level should receive less favourable treatment on grounds such as sex, age, ethnic origin, disability, religion, marital/parental status, or any comparable grounds.
11.3 Postgraduate Admissions Office
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: 01970 622023
Fax: 01970 622921
Postgraduate Admissions handles applications for postgraduate and distance learning study (including undergraduate distance learning courses), professional law courses and the admission of PGCE students.
The office is open from 08:30-13:00 Monday-Friday, 14:00-17:00 Monday-Thursday and 14:00-16:00 on Friday.
We only deal with postgraduate applicants; we do not deal with matters relating to students who are already registered.
Please email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enquiries relating to course content, reading lists etc. will be forwarded to the relevant academic department, who are best placed to respond. Deparmental Research Leads or potential supervisors will respond to more specific enquiries relating to research projects and proposals.
11.5 The Application Process
APPLICATION PROCESS (MA, PhD,..etc. excl. PGCE)
Further information about the application process can be found at www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/
The majority of applicants should apply for their postgraduate course (excluding PGCE) via our online portal. Supporting documents (eg transcripts, CV, personal statement, reference(s), research proposals) can be uploaded using this system.
Paper application forms are currently used for the following courses:
• BSc Information & Library Studies by distance learning
• MSc Sustainable & Efficient Food Production
• Short Courses in Information & Library Studies
• Legal Practice Course and Graduate Diploma in Law – On-line applications processed via the Central Application Board (Law Society) if courses are available
Copies of applications form are available on request from the Postgraduate Admissions Office or can be accessed via www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/ If applying by paper, applicants should submit their completed postgraduate application form and supporting documents by email or by post.
Members of AU Staff may apply electronically or by paper. They must submit their Fee Exemption Form, authorised by their Head of Department, at the point of application. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
APPLICATION PROCESS (PGCE)
Applicants apply online via the UCAS Teacher Training website (www.ucas.com/postgraduate/teacher-training/ucas-teacher-training-apply-and-track). UCAS charge an application fee for this.
PG Taught Applicants – 1 reference required
Applicants for PGT courses must submit at least one reference. In most cases this will be an academic reference but in some cases it will be a work based reference (e.g. for Masters courses with iMLA or for experienced non-graduates).
Offers may be made for PGT courses prior to the receipt of a reference. In this case, receipt of a satisfactory reference will be a condition of the offer. Applicants will not be admitted without a satisfactory reference. N.B. Excludes PGCE, LPC and GDL.
PG Research Applicants – 2 references required
All applicants for PGR programmes must submit two academic references to support their application.
PGCE applicants who have graduated within the last 5 years must submit an academic reference which to comments on their degree performance. This is an integral part of their application via UCAS. A second referee may also be named.
Decisions are recorded on the relevant Decision Form. For straightforward PGT applications these should be made within a 2 weeks of receiving the application form, barring any University Closed dates and Bank Holidays. For straightforward PGR applications these should be made by the within 4 weeks of the Department receiving the application form, barring any University Closed dates, Bank Holidays or when a pool of eligible candidates are required for a project studentship or a studentship competition. Fees status, UKVI issues, previous criminal convictions, missing documents or research proposal, …etc., can delay the process.
All intending postgraduate students, including members of staff, are required to apply to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. This should be done at least four weeks in advance of the intended start date although a minority leave this to the last minute, even during Registration Week.
As there is a cut-off date three weeks prior to the intake for the issuing of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for non-EEA nationals who require Tier 4 visas, they should have applied by July for the late-September entry. Applying at least 2 months in advance is advisable for any non-EEA student unless they are seeking a PGR course in a subject that is subject to ATAS, where applying 4 months in advance of the start date is advisable.
Departments should ensure that there are back-up selectors in place for PGT and especially PGR applications.
PGCE applicants should have applied by early July, although some courses are closed to new applicants earlier in the year. Decisions must be made on the UCAS web-link system within 40 working days. Applicants must attend an interview before an offer can be made.
Full-time and part-time students
All applications must be sent direct to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. The process for dealing with applications is as follows:
1. Postgraduate application form, reference, personal statement, and other materials, received either directly from applicant or on-line by Postgraduate Admissions. PGR applicants (with the exception of Mathematics & Physics) must also submit a 1,000 to 1,500 word research proposal.
2. Application forms are date stamped and an automated e-mail is sent to the applicant to inform them that their application has been received and is being considered.
3. A file is created for the applicant and their details are entered onto the Postgraduate Admissions Database on AStRA PG Admissions. This is created automatically for on-line applications.
4. Staff at PG Admissions assess the applicants fees status, eligibility for matriculation, ability to meet specified academic and English language entry requirements, comparability of non-UK qualifications and UKVI compliance issues.
5. i PGT
a) Departmental Decisions
One copy of the application form, plus references and attachments together with a decision form are sent to the relevant departmental selector in a brown re-usable envelope. A note is made on the Decision Form regarding the applicant’s matriculation status, English language ability, possible funding, and any other relevant information that Postgraduate Admissions.
b) Centralised Decisions
Decisions are made centrally by PG Admissions staff where the applicant clearly meets the entry requirements. A matrix for criteria to accept or reject applicants centrally has been agreed with relevant selectors for specified PGT courses.
One copy of the application form, research proposal plus references and attachments together with a decision form are sent to the relevant departmental selector in a brown re-usable envelope. A note is made on the Decision Form regarding the applicant’s matriculation status, English language ability, possible funding, and any other relevant information that Postgraduate Admissions. All applications are sent to selectors as soon as at least one reference has been received, although they do not have to make a decision on the basis of just one reference.
Where one or more references are missing, Postgraduate Admissions Office sends an automated e-mail to the applicant reminding them that their application will not be considered until both references have been received. An application without references is considered incomplete and remains in the Postgraduate Admissions Office. In practice, however, Postgraduate Admissions will forward applications to departmental selectors upon the receipt of one letter of reference so that departments will be empowered to accept an applicant who clearly meets our entrance requirements.
Postgraduate Admissions does not distinguish between a letter of reference and a testimonial in terms of considering an application complete and forwarding it to selectors. Unless a central decision has been made, Postgraduate Admissions does not open confidential references that are marked as such. Therefore, selectors will know the difference between a confidential reference and a testimonial because testimonials will not be in sealed envelopes. Most applicants e-mail scanned references, showing an official letterhead and signature, to our office. Some referees send their references separately, sometimes as text within an e-mail. We would only accept these if the e-mail can be verified from that university’s official website.
Important: Postgraduate Admissions should be contacted immediately if departmental selectors suspect any tampering with a letter of reference or transcripts or are sceptical of their authenticity.
POINTS TO NOTE:
i. PGR applications should be screened within 5 working days (i.e. research proposal and academic background).
ii. Potential supervisors should be identified and contact made within 2 weeks. Circulating the research proposal electronically is recommended.
iii. Interview with applicant held face-to-face or via Skype to discuss proposal and explore funding opportunities (within 4 weeks of receipt of application unless a gathered field is required for scholarship competitions)
iv. Departments must ensure that the Selector, Administrator or Secretary maintains a log of who has been sent a PGR application for review and its return date.
6. Selectors decide on the basis of the information available whether to accept or reject the applicant. No applicant PGR should be offered a place without at least one supporting reference and being interviewed. No applicant will be admitted without having received a satisfactory reference in support of the application. Selectors may set conditions relating to academic matters, e.g. upper second class honours. Selectors should make their decisions within 2 weeks of receipt of the application for PGT applications and within 4 weeks for PGR applications.
Important: PGR only - At least two members of departmental staff must be involved in the decision making process for applicants for research places. These should be the main departmental selector and the prospective research supervisor or the Head of Department. These personnel must have attended relevant training courses.
7. Selectors decide on academic grounds whether to accept an applicant. English language is assessed in Postgraduate Admissions and the Offer Decision Form will indicate if the applicant has the required proficiency. If the 'unsatisfactory' box is checked, there is no need for selectors to stipulate an English language condition: it will be done automatically. Nevertheless, Selectors are entitled to impose a condition if they have any valid concerns.
8. Departments must interview research applicants. Where face-to-face interviews are not possible, departments should consider Skype interviews. Please note that bone fide applicants for postgraduate study may claim all or part of the travel expenses incurred for interview at AU. Forms exist for PG Interview Travel Expenses Claims are available from the Postgraduate Admissions Office. Interviews are not only an essential part of the decision process but an important conversion opportunity.
9. Postgraduate Admissions should be notified if an applicant has special requirements and is academically acceptable, but the department is concerned that it will not be able to accommodate their individual needs. Disability Officers at Student Support will be alerted automatically once an application where a disability or special need is entered on AStRA PG Admissions. They will then contact the applicant to discuss their needs in order to make reasonable adjustment to provide the services that a disabled person requires. See Appendix .
10. Decisions taken by departments must be made on academic grounds only. If an applicant has a criminal conviction, the PVC (Student Experience & International) will make a risk assessment based on available facts and then decide whether or not it is possible to proceed with the admissions process. Such decisions will be taken in light of our duty of care to registered students of AU and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. For applicants for PGCE courses, our duty of care extends to schoolchildren within our partnership schools.
11. For PGR only. The Decision Form incorporates two additional responses for your departmental reply that are relevant only to research applicants. (See Appendix I). The name of a proposed supervisor should be given at this stage or if this is not possible you may state from which research group a supervisor will be chosen. You should also confirm whether the facilities and resources for the proposed research project are sufficient. Bench Fees (up to £7.5K per annum) are only applicable to specific research areas within IBERS. Exemption from probation period must be made prior to admissions but ideally at the decision stage. This cannot be reverted once registered.
12. Once a decision has been reached selectors should send one copy of the Decision Form, stating clearly the decision and any academic conditions, to Postgraduate Admissions. The second copy of the Decision Form, the application form, the references should, etc., should be kept in the department for future reference. An electronic Decision Form has been trialled on AStRA PG Admissions and will become active once two parallel projects have been completed.
13. The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies visa nationals in specified science subject areas. Please see www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/after-you-apply/ . Currently, we only have PGR courses that are ATAS sensitive. Before an offer can be issued, we will require the relevant HESA JACS code (note that these differ from AU Study Scheme Codes – www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/before-you-apply/jacs-au-courses/) together with a 6 to 7 sentence mini-abstract for the applicants proposed research. The applicant will require this information in order to apply for ATAS clearance and obtain a certificate prior to applying for a visa. This process can take several weeks so it is essential to supply this information as soon as a decision has been made and submitted with the completed Decision Form. PG Admissions usually e-mail the named supervisor for this information if it has not been received with the Decision Form. Securing ATAS clearance will be a condition of the offer.
14. Applicants wishing to transfer credits for taught modules onto AU taught Masters schemes must submit the standard application form and specify how many credits they wish to be considered for transfer. They must submit a transcript for the relevant studies together with the syllabus for them (either as pdf or provide the URL). Credit transfer should be resolved at the decision stage but certainly before Registration. The Credit Transfer Form should be returned to the Postgraduate Admissions Office together with the Decision Form. See Appendix II.
15. If a departmental studentship is to be offered, the Departmental Studentship Pro-forma should also be completed and returned with the Decision Form. See Appendix III.
16. All applicants who are offered a place are sent an offer pack (either by post or e-mail) which includes the formal offer letter and for Aberystwyth campus based programmes, a copy of the Information for Postgraduates Applicants (now available in UK/EU (Welsh or English) and International versions). PGCE applicants are offered a place via UCAS web-link and subsequently receive an offer letter.
17. The School of Education and Lifelong Learning administer the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for new PGCE students in the summer prior to the start of the course.
Points to Note for PGR Applications:
(a) If you are sent an application that is not relevant to your department, please return it to us with any suggestions you may have as to a more appropriate department. This happens more often with research candidates for Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences and Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, but can happen in other areas too. Please do not forward it on to another department yourself as it makes it difficult for us to keep track of the application.
(b) Often applications will be sent to you with just one supporting reference. The second reference will be forwarded to you when it is received by the Postgraduate Admissions Office. If, however, any reference is sent direct to you, please ensure that you inform us so that this may be logged accordingly.
c) Where a research proposal details a project that cannot be appropriately supervised within your department, please consult with the Director of Postgraduate Studies within your Faculty regarding possible alternatives. If the project is not feasible within your Faculty, please forward the Decision Form to the PG Admissions Office with your comments and suggestions. Please liaise with the applicant prior to this as they may be willing to amend their research proposal in-line with supervisory expertise at AU.
11.8 Regulations for the degree of PhD, MPhil and taught Modular Masters
The main elements of the rules and regulations pertaining to Methods of Candidature, Registration and Time-Limits, and Codes of Practice are now available at the following URLs:
Full-time Research in an External Place of Employment (PhD or MPhil)
Careful consideration of the feasibility of the project, adequacy of research facilities and of supervisory arrangements are required before offers are made to applicants for this particular candidature. It must be ensured that adequate contact between the (prospective) student and the supervisor will be maintained throughout the period of study as the student will not be resident in Aberystwyth. This is further complicated by the need to ensure the full co-operation of the student’s employer and the student’s conditions of employment do not alter during the period of study.
Application for Full-time External research must be submitted via PG Admissions and shall include a written statement from the applicant's employer stating that the applicant will be working on full-time research on a particular topic.
The candidature cannot be offered unless the employer shall agree with the Head of Department concerned that the research work shall be undertaken under the direct supervision and control of a supervisor nominated by the Head of the Department with specific duties relating to the candidature. Such control shall include the right of the supervisor to have access to the candidate and his work at all times in the place of his appointment. The Head of the Graduate School must also be satisfied with the local supervisory arrangements at the candidate’s place of work.
Contact between the candidate and the supervisor must be maintained throughout the period of research. A brief report, written by the candidate and endorsed by the supervisor, must be submitted to the Head of the Department at AU three times a year, at the end of each term.
Any candidate who changes his employment or whose conditions of employment alter during his scheme of study must notify the Head of Department at AU concerned immediately. In all such cases the University will determine, in the light of these circumstances, whether, and if so under what conditions, the candidate's registration for the degree can continue.
The control of the topic of research and of all conditions governing the candidature shall at all times remain with the Head of the Department at AU and shall be subject to the approval of the Faculty concerned.
The same factors relate equally to Full-time External MPhil candidates.
Points to Note:
1. If the above requirements cannot be met, then student should not be admitted.
2. Regular contact between the candidate and the supervisor is stipulated throughout the period of research and termly reports from the candidate, endorsed by the supervisor, submitted to the Head of Department. Faculties should monitor compliance with it as part of their monitoring of postgraduate candidatures.
3. The supervision of external candidates, whether part-time or full-time 'industrial', presents particular challenges for students and supervisors. Therefore arrangements for adequate supervision, however defined, are a pre-requisite for a successful candidature. Therefore it is recommended:
a. that departments must provide such students with a clear statement of the supervisory arrangements, including frequency of face-to-face contact, which would apply to them;
b. that, in order to protect themselves as individuals and the University generally, supervisors must keep a formal record of their supervisory contacts with their students. These records must be placed on departmental files and form part of the annual review of students' progress.
c. the same should apply to full-time students who spend part of their period of research away from AU (e.g. fieldwork or extended library visits).
11.9 The Applicant’s Decision
The applicant may return their Decision Form or e-mail to say that they have received a preferential offer from another institution or wish to withdraw for some other reason. Postgraduate Admissions copies all such withdrawals to the appropriate selector and the applicant is entered as withdrawn on our database. They will be contacted to complete the relevant Decliner’s Survey.
The applicant may return their Decision Form to request a deferral for up to two calendar years. In these cases an e-mail is sent to the selector asking if this deferral is to be granted. Postgraduate Admissions would then contact to the applicant to say whether the deferral was possible. If a deferral has been granted the applicant is requested to contact Postgraduate Admissions in the January of the year of entry to reactivate their application. An applicant may request deferral of the start date of his/her place up to a maximum of two calendar years, in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act (see Appendix IV).
The applicant’s Decision Form is copied to the departmental selector. At this stage, acceptance of a place is not confirmation that the applicant will actually register. They are only asked to indicate whether they accept the terms of the offer, agree to us processing their data and that they wish to take up the place. They may yet withdraw or defer at a later stage. Many applicants accept places on courses at several universities but finance is the greatest hurdle in most cases. Applicants are sent up to 3 automated reminder e-mails at 3-week intervals regarding their decision.
Applicants are still required to meet all the conditions in the offer letters. UK and other EU students must sign a Financial Declaration regarding the payment of their tuition fees. Unless they have provided evidence of funding covering relevant tuition fees or exempted for any other reason (see notes), non-EEA students who are visa nationals must pay a £2,000 non-refundable tuition fee deposit (unless exempted – see Appendix VI).
Distance Learning applicants are not required to provide evidence that they can meet the costs of the course because most distance learning students are in employment and are able to pay per module. Instead, they must pay a non-refundable Registration Fee (currently £300). In many cases though, these students are sponsored by their employers.
As soon as an applicant has fulfilled all the conditions in their offer letter (usually between June and September) they are regarded as "fully complete" and likely to register. At this point they are entered as fully complete on AStRA PG Admissions, allocated a Student Reference Number and are able to liaise with the Accommodation Office over a place in a hall of residence. It is at this point only that overseas applicants will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) in order to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. Before a CAS can be issued, the PG Admissions Office will check for evidence that the student has sufficient funds in their own account for the requisite 28-day period as required by the UKVI not only for themselves but also any dependents that they intend to bring with them to the UK.
All postgraduate students, except those who are already graduates of Aberystwyth University are required to matriculate before they may be admitted for postgraduate study. In order to matriculate applicants must:
(a) Have an undergraduate degree from an institution recognised by the AU (a note will be made on the decision form that is sent up with the application form if an applicant does not hold qualifications recognised by the AU). Applicants will be provisionally matriculated on the basis of a scanned copy of a final degree transcript or degree certificate. A sample of 10% of each cohort is selected randomly to provide their original documents at the point of registration (or Study School for Distance Learners). Either original or certified copies of degree certificates or transcripts will be required as proof of graduate status prior to completion of the admissions process and subsequent registration.
(b) For Masters courses (but not PhD and PGCE programmes) non-graduates who have at least 24 months of relevant professional experience can matriculate on the basis of this experience. This is to be verified at the decision stage of the application process by checking the application materials, particularly the references.
The main resource for evaluating non-UK qualifications is the UK NARIC. Both the qualification level and recognition of the HEI are checked. Grade comparisons are derived from NARIC information in conjunction with information used by other HEIs. These comparisons are provided for all EU countries and a significant number of non-EU countries:
See also the Regulations for Approval of Qualifications and/or Relevant Experience for Admission to Higher Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates of Aberystwyth University [MProf] for further information.
If a candidate does not meet either of these conditions, but a department considers them to be suitable for postgraduate study, a "Special Case" has to be made to the PVC (Student Experience & International) and reported to the AU Quality & Assurance Committee. This 'Case' is submitted by the Postgraduate Admissions Office. This usually only applies to those with non-UK qualifications but there have been exceptions to this. If you have any queries about matriculation please do not hesitate to contact either Rhys Ll. Williams (PG Admissions Manager).
Please note that applicants who may be able to matriculate may not necessarily be able to meet the specific entry requirements for the relevant course, e.g. 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent for research places, 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent for taught Masters, sufficient and relevant work experience for Masters with DIS. In such cases the applicant should consult either the Postgraduate Admissions Office or the relevant Department. The Department may look at a case in further detail where there might be extenuating circumstances, additional information, marks in the most relevant modules or if there if there is an improving trend in the applicant’s marks.
Full-time and part-time students can register on-line for courses at but on Campus in Aberystwyth. Where this is not possible, relevant staff in the Academic Registry will send a paper registration form. All new students (except part-time and distance learning students) must be present at Registration Week at the beginning of term. If a student cannot register within a specified period they should contact the Academic Registry [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Any non-EEA Tier 4 students must register within a specified tie period or are otherwise reported to UKVI by the Compliance Office. All queries relating to this process should be directed to relevant colleagues within the Academic Registry[pgsstaff].
Separate arrangements exist for students to register at the AU Mauritius Branch Campus.
Please note that all students are required to re-register at the beginning of each session.
11.12 Tuition Fees
Fees for all postgraduate and distance learning courses are agreed by the university's Executive, following the recommendations of the Aberystwyth University Fees and Scholarships Committee. Please see www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/funding-fees/all-fees/ for a list of all tuition fees.
Decisions on an individual applicant's fees status (whether they are classified as being in the home or overseas category) are made by Admissions staff within the Academic Registry. UKCISA guidelines are used to interpret the relevant regulations and legislation relating to such decisions.
11.13 Payment of Fees
All full-time and part-time students have the option to pay their tuition fees in three online instalments. Further information about the payment of tuition fees can be found at www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-finance/
International students are required to pay a £2,000 deposit for PGT and PGR courses in order to confirm their place on the course.
Distance learning students are required to pay a registration fee (currently £350) at the time they accept their place on the course. They may then pay the course fees per year or for iMLA per module.
The Postgraduate Admissions Office are involved with applications to major funding bodies, e.g. A.H.R.C., Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme, etc. and also administer the AberDoc PhD Scholarship Competition. Staff the Postgraduate Admissions Office will be able to create records on the RCUK’s JeS system. The office will also administer the Aber-grad Scholarship (loyalty discount) and the International Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships (IPES).
Information on sources of funding is provided in the Postgraduate Prospectus and on AU websites, primarily www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/funding-fees/ and on our Funding & Scholarship Calculator www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/funding-fees/calculator/
AberDoc PhD Scholarships
Arrangements for the AberDoc Scholarships Competition for the 2016 competition are as follows:
Applications will be invited from anyone intending to study for a PhD full-time at AU. Applicants should have or expect to obtain at least upper second class honours in their first degree (and for non-UK candidates/graduates, IELTS 7.0 or equivalent). The closing date for applications is 1st March 2016 (but 29th January for IGHPP and Theatre, Film & TV Studies). Applicants will be required to submit electronically copies of the standard application form with academic references and the research proposal. Those who will be interviewed must also submit a supplementary AberDoc Form electronically to address specific points for assessment by the Panel. In future this will be combined with the application form.
All applications to the competition will be forwarded to the appropriate selector and departments will be required to provide a priority list of applicants within three weeks of the closing date. This list should be submitted electronically to the Postgraduate Admissions Office.
The AberDoc Scholarships Panel will use the priority lists submitted to decide on an allocation of the studentships. The Postgraduate Admissions Office will then write to applicants to inform them of the outcome of their application.
Successful candidates will be awarded funding for up to 3 years which will cover UK/EU tuition fees and provide a maintenance allowance (circa £14K). The best 3 overseas candidates who have secured an AberDoc Scholarship will also be in receipt of a President’s Scholarship to cover their remaining tuition fees.
Many departments make awards from their own funds to incoming postgraduate students. In some cases awards match the AberDoc Scholarship or Research Council awards, in other cases the award covers part or all of the tuition fees. In order that students are provided with clear information about what they receive, the Selector should complete a copy of the ‘Departmental Studentship Pro-forma’ (see Appendix 3). The Postgraduate Admissions Office can then include the relevant details of the funding to be offered in the applicant’s offer pack. This information is vital in that it is also required to ensure that invoices for fees are not issued inappropriately and that maintenance cheques are available for the students when they register. The exact level of any award must be communicated clearly to the applicant, specifying the amount that will be paid towards tuition fees and where applicable the level of the stipend to be paid to the student. Copies of such letters must be copied to the Postgraduate Admissions Office.
11.15 English Language Requirements
International and EU applicants will need to show evidence of a sufficient knowledge of English. This must be proved before you begin your course. If you have not achieved the required level before sending us your application, your formal offer for postgraduate study will include a condition stating that you need to achieve this level before the start of your course. If you do not reach the required level of proficiency, it will not be possible to admit you onto the course.
N.B. All non-EEA students: All students applying to Aberystwyth University must demonstrate that they are competent in the use of the English language and satisfy the University’s requirements as below. The following qualifications are accepted by the University and are considered to satisfy a minimum of CEFR B2 level (or IELTS 5.5) in each component (speaking, writing, listening and reading). This is the minimum level acceptable for degree level study in order to secure a visa to enter the UK via Tier 4 (www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/overview ).
Applicants who have been awarded a degree (i.e. Bachelors or Masters) from a UK University, do not need to take an English proficiency test.
* English language qualifications are valid for a limited period of time. Qualifications obtained over two years ago will be treated as having expired unless it can be demonstrated that the applicant has predominantly used English in higher education studies or employment since a qualification was obtained.
The Decision Forms sent to departmental selectors with new applications will indicate whether or not the applicant's existing English language qualifications and / or experience satisfy the agreed English language entry requirement for that programme. For successful applicants:
1. If the applicant's qualifications and / or experience are satisfactory, any offer letter sent by Postgraduate Admissions will not specify an English language condition, unless the department concerned wished to impose one (in which case, the returned Decision Form should cite exactly what is required).
2. If the student's qualification and / or experience are not satisfactory, any offer letter sent by Postgraduate Admissions will specify that, alongside any other conditions that may be imposed, the student must meet this condition
3. If a department wishes to accept an applicant who has narrowly missed the standards indicated above, then a condition may be included in the Acceptance Letter that they attend in-sessional courses at the International English Centre during their studies. For applicants who are visa nationals, this must be in accordance with UKVI’s regulations. The IEC also run pre-sessional courses during the summer.
11.16 Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Personal information about applicants should not be divulged to any third party. References are a complicated issue, however, where both the applicant (data subject) and the referee (data provider) must be considered. Under the Data Protection Act and in certain circumstances, the Freedom of Information Act, individuals, both within and outside of the University, have a right to access to their own personal data as held by AU. Applicants will therefore be able to access their files. Reasons for not offering a place, if provided on the Decision Form, may be communicated to the applicant. If not, the applicant may be referred to the relevant department regarding the decision on his/her application. All requests must be responded to within 20 days. For further advice please contact your departmental Data Protection Champion or the Data Protection Manager (ext. 8592); email@example.com.
If an applicant has a complaint about any aspect of our admissions service, the applicant concerned should raise the issue with the Academic Registry
Firstly, by contacting:
Director of Academic Registry
The Director of the Academic Registry will contact the applicant normally within 5 working days of receiving the complaint.
If, after contacting the Director of the Academic Registry, the applicant is still not satisfied, then he/she should contact the relevant Pro Vice Chancellor:
Pro Vice Chancellor (Student Experience & International)
The Pro Vice Chancellor will try to deal with the complaint within 5 working days. However, if this is not possible, we will contact the applicant to explain what the difficulties are and when we can give them a full reply.
Please note that decisions made on academic grounds are final and there are no grounds for appeal.