Undergraduate Admissions Statement: Admissions cycle 2013

This statement should be read in conjunction with University’s Admissions Principles and Procedures

  1. Admissions process
  2. Criteria for assessing applicants
  3. Offers
  4. Other

1. Admissions Process

Courses covered

  • F100 BSc Chemistry
  • F103 MSci Chemistry
  • F104 MSci Chemistry with Study in Continental Europe
  • F105 MSci Chemistry with Industrial Experience
  • F107 MSci Chemistry with Study in North America
  • F108 BSc Chemistry with a Preliminary Year of Study
  • F320 BSc Chemical Physics
  • F322 MSci Chemical Physics
  • F323 MSci Chemical Physics with Industrial Experience

Admissions team

A professional undergraduate selection team, working in close cooperation with the admissions tutor, will be responsible for the selection process for the undergraduate programmes in Chemistry.

Outline of assessment methods

All applicants are contacted within 4 weeks of receipt of application, to establish contact and inform the applicant of the process to be followed. All UCAS forms are then considered independently by two members of the admissions team. All applications are considered on an equal basis. Forms are not segregated by the type of educational institution attended.

Departmental Visit Days and other correspondence with applicants

Applicants to whom an offer is expected to be made are invited to attend one of our School visit days; candidates are given the choice of several alternative dates for this visit. The schedule for the School visit day includes an introductory talk covering the various programmes by the Admissions Tutor, lunch in the company of current undergraduates, a tour of the Chemistry, and where appropriate Physics, buildings. At all times, applicants are encouraged to ask questions about any aspect of the degree programmes on offer.

The visit schedule also includes the chance to have an informal 10–15 minute discussion with a member of academic staff. Whilst this discussion does not form a part in the initial selection process, notes made by the member of staff will be used in determining the level of offer that might be made, and in making the case for admission of a “near miss” applicant in the final selection process.

Offers are usually only made to applicants after they have visited as part of our programme of School visit days.

Procedures for specific categories of applicant

Applications from students seeking deferred entry are treated in the same way as for those seeking direct entry.

Applications for our F108 BSc Chemistry with a Preliminary Year of Study programme, and mature students and others offering non-standard qualifications are treated on an individual basis. In some cases, interviews may be used to help establish the level of background knowledge and academic ability of such applicants. Interviews used in the selection process will be conducted by two people who have been trained in fair and effective recruitment techniques and are undertaken in accordance with the University’s policy on equal opportunities.

Decisions on applications from international students are made in the same way as for home and EU students. Offers may, however, be made to applicants living overseas who are unable to visit the School of Chemistry.

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2. Criteria for assessing applicants

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements for standard qualifications (A-level, SQA, IB, Access, BTEC, Welsh Bacc, 14-19 Diploma, GCSEs) can be found in the Undergraduate Prospectus. Other qualifications, including international qualifications, will be considered on their individual merits; further information is available.

Please note - cross school/joint honours courses may have different subject and/or grade requirements that must be met. Prospective applicants are therefore advised to look carefully at the information provided in the online Undergraduate Prospectus, for requirements specific to your intended course of study.

Academic Record Criteria

Selection is made on the basis of academic merit. In assessing applications, consideration is given to academic potential, as measured through predicted grades and the level of any qualifications already achieved. Candidates should, for example, be predicted to achieve, or have achieved grades A or B at A level or equivalent including Chemistry and Mathematics. For Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics are required at A level or equivalent.  We judge on the overall merit of each application: the personal statement is used in judging motivation and commitment, whilst the academic reference, besides indicating predicted grades, also helps in assessing general ability and attitude to work. An excellent academic record and/or potential is a prerequisite for entry.

Please note - cross school/joint honours programmes may have additional/different requirements specific to the particular course of study. Prospective applicants are therefore strongly advised to refer to the Admissions Statements provided by partner Schools for their intended course of study.

Contextual information

We take an holistic approach to all applications, ensuring that the educational and social context in which an applicant applies is taken into consideration, where supported by clear evidence that this may have adversely affected academic achievement. This may include time spent in Local Authority care, information about which is provided in the UCAS application.

We also consider evidence of clear motivation to study. This may include attendance at a University summer school, a targeted Access Scheme (such as Access to Bristol or Realising Opportunities), or participation in other higher education outreach activities.

We do not take the following into consideration when making admissions decisions: the school type attended by an applicant or whether an applicant’s parent has any experience of higher education.

Personal Statement Criteria

In reading and assessing personal statements, we look for evidence of a strong motivation and enthusiasm to study either Chemistry or Chemical Physics. This may be demonstrated in many ways. We are interested to find out which areas of science interest an applicant most and why. We would also like to find out more about other, non-academic, interests and activities. We do not require students to have completed relevant work experience, although we would be delighted to hear about it if they have managed to do so.

Please note - cross school/joint honours programmes may have additional criteria specific to the partner school. Prospective applicants are therefore strongly advised to refer to the Admissions Statements provided by partner Schools for their intended course of study.

Reference Criteria

The academic reference, along with associated predictions of performance in forthcoming qualifications, forms an essential part of the selection process. The reference can provide valuable information about an applicant’s motivation and their ability to work independently. Where a candidate has not yet demonstrated their true academic potential, a reference may provide the evidence on which an offer might still be made, by highlighting any mitigating circumstances or special factors.

Please note - cross school/joint honours programmes may have additional criteria specific to the partner school. Prospective applicants are therefore strongly advised to refer to the Admissions Statements provided by partner Schools for their intended course of study.

Criteria for international applicants

Decisions on applications from international students are made in the same way as for home and EU students. Offers may, however, be made to applicants living overseas who are unable to visit the School of Chemistry. English Language requirements can be found in the UG Prospectus and elsewhere.

Applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK will also be required to gain clearance through the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). Please see the Foreign Office ATAS website for further information.

Applicants are not discriminated against on the grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion, disability or age.

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3. Offers

Typical offers for A-levels and other UK qualifications can be found in the Entry Data in the UG Prospectus. Offers to applicants with non-standard qualifications will be made equivalent to the published A-level offer.

Variations in offer level

The level of offer made may vary over a narrow, typically one A-level-grade, range according to an applicant’s ability to understand concepts and apply their knowledge to solve problems. These skills will be assessed through the applicant’s personal statement and reference, as well as their informal discussion with a member of academic staff at a visit day.

We may make lower offers based on whether an applicant is deemed to have experienced educational disadvantage, as defined in section 7.5 of the University’s Admissions Principles and Procedures.

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4. Other

Our courses are designed to be flexible and share a common first-year structure. This allows transfer between individual Chemistry programmes and between individual Chemical Physics programmes during year 1. For students choosing appropriate first-year units, it may also be possible to transfer between Chemistry, and Chemical Physics programmes.

Applications from students seeking entry directly into year 2 are considered on an individual basis.

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Professor Nick Norman August 2012