14-19 qualifications

Statement on the 14-19 Diploma

Advanced Diplomas are part of the National Qualifications Framework, and the University will view the general standard of preparation as being equivalent to existing level 3 qualifications such as A-levels. We will therefore consider applications from students offering this qualification for most programmes, depending on the individual programme subject requirements, and will formulate offers on an equivalent basis with existing level 3 qualifications. Individual admissions tutors will, however, wish to satisfy themselves that Diploma applicants have developed study skills and subject knowledge appropriate to the programme applied for. Please refer to the entry requirements for each of our programmes in the prospectus, for more information on the specific Diploma subjects and grades needed, whether any specific A-level subjects are required in the Additional and Specialist Learning part of the Diploma, and whether additional AS-levels or A-levels are required.

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Statement on A* grades

It is now possible to achieve an A* grade in A-levels, the Diploma and the Extended Project. As always, at Bristol we recognise that a standard of performance that is exceptionally high, in the context of the circumstances of its attainment, may indicate outstanding ability, motivation and potential to succeed, and take this into account when assessing candidates.

Therefore, some admissions tutors may use the A* grade as part of a holistic selection process, in order to help distinguish between otherwise equally qualified applicants. If they will be using the A* grade in this way, admissions tutors will clearly explain this in their Admissions Statements. It is also likely that A* grades will be taken into account at Confirmation, to assist with decisions on applicants who have just missed the terms of their offers.

In addition, some admissions tutors may frame offers incorporating A* grades, depending on the context of the application as a whole, the particular subject and the intensity of competition for available places. If this is the case, then this information will be published in the relevant Prospectus entry.

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Statement on the AQA Baccalaureate

The University of Bristol welcomes applications from students offering the AQA Baccalaureate qualification. The enrichment element provides a valuable opportunity for students to increase their non-academic achievement and extra-curricular interests in ways that may contribute, either by having direct relevance to their chosen degree programme, or more widely to the general life of the University.

It is expected that offers to successful applicants will either be made on the basis of specified achievement in the three A-levels, or as an alternative offer which involves success in the Extended Project (e.g. either AAA at A-level or AAB at A-level plus Extended Project).

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Statement on the BTEC qualification

The University of Bristol considers applications from students offering a BTEC Level 3 qualification provided it is in a relevant subject to the chosen course. Distinctions may be requested in particular units, and some admissions tutors may ask for an additional A-level to satisfy subject requirements.

The requirements for specific courses are currently being reviewed and will be updated in the online prospectus.

A-level requirementBTEC Nationals (QCF) Extended Diploma^ from 2011BTEC Nationals (NQF) Diploma^ until 2011

^Specialist QCF qualifications are not generally accepted.

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Statement on Cambridge Pre-U

The University accepts the Cambridge Pre-U as satisfying general entry requirements, and formulates offers on an equivalent basis with existing level 3 qualifications. Cambridge Pre-U subjects need to be principal subjects. For guidance, our equivalences with A-level and AS grades (as based on the UCAS tariff recommendations), are listed below:

Cambridge Pre-U Principal subjectA-level/AS Level Grade
D1 N/A
D2 A*
D3 A
M1 B
M2 B
M3 C
P1 D
P2 D
P3 E

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Statement on the English Baccalaureate

The University of Bristol does not intend to use the English Baccalaureate as an entry requirement. Level 2 qualifications may be considered by admissions tutors as part of their assessment of each applicant's academic aptitude, and we would generally expect a wide range of GCSEs or other level 2 qualifications at good grades. Where there are specific subject or grade requirements, these will be clearly stated in the relevant prospectus entry.

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Statement on Extended Project

The University is supportive of the requirement for Diploma students to undertake an Extended Project as part of their Diploma programme. The University recognises that some A-level students may also choose to offer the Extended Project. In such cases some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (e.g. either AAA at A-level or AAB at A-level plus Extended Project).

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Statement on the Flexible Curriculum

The University normally expects applicants to have completed at least three full A-levels (or equivalent qualifications) in one sitting.  If this has not been the case, either because an applicant has followed an accelerated curriculum or due to some other reason, then it would be advisable for this to be clearly explained in the applicant's reference so that it can be given individual consideration by the admissions tutor.

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Statement on Unit Grades

Some admissions tutors may take unit grade information into account when making selection decisions. However, as usual, admissions tutors will make decisions within the context of the whole application, and will not disadvantage applicants who are unable to provide unit grade information. If unit grades are to be taken into account, this will be clearly specified in the relevant Admissions Statement.

It is possible that some departments may also wish to specify unit grade achievement in the terms of offers. If so, this information will be published in the relevant prospectus entry and in the Admissions Statement. In addition, in some marginal cases unit grade information will continue to be used to inform decisions about applicants who have missed the terms of their offers at Confirmation.