B. Structures and Processes

B1. Admissions Policy

The University’s Admissions Policy is reviewed on an annual basis by the Recruitment and Admissions Committee. The Policy, as approved by Senate, is as follows:

“Our Admissions Policy is to encourage the enrolment of students who have the potential to acquire a broad range of complex and new skills; to master an extensive body of advanced knowledge and, above all, to undergo a period of rigorous intellectual development culminating in the award of a University qualification.

The University welcomes applications and enquiries from people regardless of age, ethnic or national origins, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, marital status, family responsibility, physical or sensory disability, and political or religious beliefs and activities unless those activities are unlawful or contrary to the policies of the University.

When considering a candidate’s suitability for admission, the people delegated with the task of recommending students for admission will pay due regard, as appropriate, to previous academic performance; prior experiential learning; availability (or lack) of suitable learning opportunities and resources; current programmes of study; assessments by referees, educational psychologists or medical practitioners; records of achievements; evidence of commitment and motivation; quality of written work; performance at interview or under examination conditions. The selectors shall also take into account the candidate’s ability to contribute to the cultural, sporting or social life at the University and the community.

We recognise that although they may well satisfy some or all of its criteria for selection, certain candidates may have to be denied admission because of the intensity of competition for a limited number of places.”


B2. General Principles of Admission

  • that the University’s Admissions Policy be adhered to;
  • that the review and implementation of this policy be overseen by the Recruitment and Admissions Committee, chaired by the Dean of Student Admissions;
  • that the Registrar be legally responsible for the admission of students;
  • the Vice Chancellor will delegate overall authority for admissions-related matters to a Pro-Vice-Chancellor or other senior staff member who will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of the admissions process and that the University meets its admissions targets;
  • that College/School admissions targets will be agreed by Heads of College/School in conjunction with the Planning and Strategic Projects Unit in January each year;;
  • that the Head of College/School should appoint Admissions Tutors, ensure that they understand and support the University’s Admissions Policy and the skills and qualities which are appropriate for relevant programmes, and are given sufficient time, training and resources to carry out their responsibilities effectively;
  • that the Head of Admissions should appoint a professional admissions team who will be responsible for implementing the selection process for individual programmes on behalf of Colleges/Schools;
  • that it is the responsibility of Admissions tutors and College MRID staff to liaise with the admissions team to agree on selection criteria, to advise on appropriate selection decisions and to recommend any changes to selection policy and procedure in light of experience;
  • that formal offers of admissions and statements confirming that a student has been admitted may only be made by or via the relevant Admissions Officer (as delegated by the Registrar) or by appropriate staff at overseas recruitment events following consultation with the Admissions Office;
  • that the Head of Admissions, or her representative, be administratively responsible for all aspects of the formal admission of applicants, including all liaison with external bodies & agencies concerned with the admission of students.

B3. Recruitment and Admissions Committee

The primary purpose of the Recruitment and Admissions Committee is to oversee admission to the University and to develop policies for the University relating to the recruitment and admission of new students. The Recruitment and Admissions Committee reports to Senate.

The main responsibilities of the Committee include:

  • To develop strategies for the recruitment of students;
  • To oversee admission to the University;
  • To review the admissions policy and principles of admission on an annual basis to ensure that they enable the University to achieve its aims;
  • To monitor the admission of students to ensure that the policy and principles of admissions are properly implemented;
  • To ensure that Admissions Tutors are trained;
  • To encourage consistency in admissions decision-making, and to ensure that this takes into account relevant student-related equal opportunities policies, e.g. disability, race equality;
  • To review and develop admissions policies and procedures relating to widening participation in conjunction with SAILS;
  • To advise the Planning and Strategic Projects Unit on setting University targets for the admission of new students and specific targets for each School/College within the University.

The Committee includes representatives from each School/College, from relevant Professional Services and from the Academic Standards and Quality Committee, Academic Regulations and Cases Board and Programme Management Board; plus student representatives.

B4. Widening Access

Like many other institutions, we are working to increase participation and widen access in higher education by students with no previous family experience of university education and from disadvantaged groups. Each application is still considered on its merits to ensure fairness and consistency.

a. South West Wales Reaching Wider Summer University

Successful completion of the Summer University may lead to a reduced offer to applicants. NB Candidates who have completed a similar compact or summer school with another university should send full details to the Admissions Office to assess whether they would be eligible for the same points reduction.

b. Care Leavers

Swansea University is committed to providing support for children in care and those leaving care who want to go on to higher education. The support package for students who have been in care for more than 3 months and are in receipt of a Care Leavers’ “Pathway Plan” includes financial assistance to attend open days or interviews; priority access to the Financial Contingency Fund, providing a grant of up to £1000 per annum and may lead to a reduced offer, see c below. More details can be found here: 

c. use of “contextual” data in admissions

If you are a UK applicant applying for a first degree and attend(ed) a state maintained school or college, the University may use contextual information alongside your application in order to build up a full and rounded view of your achievement and potential. This is simply additional information considered by admissions decision-makers alongside your UCAS form. No decisions will be made on the basis of this information alone and you must meet our standard academic criteria to be considered for entry.

The following pieces of contextual information are used where available. They are drawn from your application form and used alongside publicly available datasets to provide the following information:

If you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Domiciled at a Communities First (CF) postcode or in a HEFCE Polar 2/3 Low Participation Neighbourhood (LPN).
  • Looked after or in care for more than three months and in receipt of a Care Leavers’ “Pathway Plan” or evidence from a social worker or ‘leaving care team’.

Or two or more of the following:

  • Attendance at a state maintained school or college where the performance at Key Stage 5 (A levels and equivalents) falls below the national UK average across multiple years.
  • From a family with no parental experience of higher education.
  • Taken part in ‘Reaching Wider Partnership’ engagement (except the SWW Reaching Wider Summer school above).

This further consideration may result in an offer at the lower end of the offer range; however, this may not apply for certain professional programmes such as Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. In these cases, your application would be highlighted for further consideration by Admissions staff, which can include, among other things:

  • Further examination of the personal statement.
  • Making interviewers aware of your background.
  • Additional consideration of your application once your exam results are known.