1 St George’s, University of London Student Selection and Admissions Policy
This policy applies to admissions for home, EU and international applicants to all programmes of study leading to an award from St George’s, University of London (thereafter referred to as St George’s).
2. General Principles
St George’s is committed to providing flexible, high quality teaching, professional education and research opportunities to students from a wide variety of backgrounds. In order to admit an applicant, admissions staff must be able to satisfy the University that they have evidence to show that the applicant has every reasonable prospect of succeeding in their chosen programme of study. On this basis, St George’s aims to offer fair opportunity to anyone with the ability to benefit from its programmes and provision. St George’s aims to ensure that its recruitment, selection and admissions processes are transparent and focused towards their intended audiences. All applications are considered on their individual merits and treated in a fair and equal way, utilising a holistic approach, based on all information provided to St George’s through the application process. Undergraduate and postgraduate taught recruitment and admissions activities are carried out by the central Recruitment and Admissions teams at St George’s and by staff in partner organisations. MPhil/PhD and MD (Res) applications are managed between potential supervisors and PG Programme Team and scrutinised by the Research Degrees Committee. The Admissions and PG Programme Teams ensure that policies, procedures and planning in relation to St George’s admissions are operated fairly and consistently, with a view to enhancing St George’s strategic aims and objectives. This policy is consistent with good admissions practice in higher education, as defined in the Quality Assurance Agency’s Code of Practice1 and complies with current legislation affecting the admission of students.
3. Application Process
Applications for admission to an undergraduate programme should normally be made through UCAS. The exceptions are for Postgraduate Taught courses and Medicine students transferring from St George’s Biomedical Science. Once an application is made, electronic applicant data is transferred from UCAS into St George’s student database and can be accessed by Admissions and Admissions Tutors upon receipt. Selection criteria will be specific to each programme of study but all applications will assess:
- academic ability and potential
- motivation and suitability for the chosen programme
- Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) assessment (for relevant programmes) Applicants who have been unsuccessful in application to a programme following an interview 1 See https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/advice-and-guidance.
St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 may not apply through clearing to the same programme in the same academic year. The University will not usually consider an application from a candidate who has already made two applications to the same course. 4. Centralised admissions Admissions at St George’s is centralised and filtering and selection takes place within the team using selection criteria developed with the admission tutors. Where a decision can be made, a recommendation to either (i) accept unconditionally (ii) accept subject to specified conditions being satisfied or (iii) reject will be taken. Non-standard and marginal applications will be sent to the Admissions Tutor for review. This system allows St George’s to concentrate the most appropriate resources on those applications which most require it. St George’s will ensure that the professional admissions office staff are provided with a strong and detailed training programme to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in-line with sector best practice.
5. Contextualised admissions
St George’s currently receives from UCAS a number of pieces of socio-economic and school performance data which may be used as part of the holistic assessment of a student’s future potential to succeed at St George’s regardless of their background. All UK undergraduate applications are checked for under-performing schools using data provided by the Widening Participation team. Admissions Officers and Tutors use the data on under-performing schools to assist them in their assessment of applications and they might be given additional consideration. By considering the context in which an applicant achieved their educational qualifications, rather than against a national average, we are better able to identify potential. In practice this means that students from poorer performing schools who are towards the top of their class are given due consideration in the admissions process. Contextual data can be used to make contextualised offers, whereby applicants from lower-performing schools and colleges might be made a slightly reduced offer. Therefore our UG programmes make variable offers from CCC to A*AA dependent on this contextual data.
6. Entrance Requirements
In order to ensure that applicants are appropriately qualified for their programme of study, and to ensure high standards of fairness and consistency, St George’s maintains a core set of entry requirements published on the St George’s website. St George’s reserves the right to adjust entry criteria on an annual basis. St George’s will attempt wherever possible to avoid altering admissions criteria during the course of the application cycle. St George’s accepts students with a wide range of qualifications from both the UK and across the world. Whilst we will try to ensure that as many qualification equivalencies are listed in the on-line prospectus as possible, students with qualifications which are not listed are always welcome to contact our Admissions Team for clarification over their acceptance. The Admissions Office utilises tools such as UK NARIC and the UCAS Tariff to ensure that our equivalencies are of a consistent and appropriate nature. The acceptance of a particular St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 3 generic qualification does not necessarily mean that this specific qualification can/will be considered for all programmes at St George’s. The entry requirements published are those of the typical offer and can vary on occasion in light of specific elements within an individual application. As all of the programmes at St George’s operate a competitive admissions process, applicants with the predicted grades, equal to, or greater than the typical offer are not guaranteed to be made an offer of a place. Applicants should be aware that the volume and level of competition may vary from programme to programme and from year to year. For most programmes St George’s will accept applications from candidates who have re-taken part or all of a qualification, but they may be asked to achieve higher grades than those specified in the minimum entry requirements. However, applicants should be aware that the programmes at St George’s are demanding and therefore require students to be able to demonstrate the ability to manage a high workload with competing priorities. For Medicine it is required that any retakes are completed within the standard two-year A-level period. Changes in entry criteria are approved by the relevant Course Committee and the Admissions Decision Group.
7. Timing of an application
St George’s has a small number of medical programmes for which the deadline is 15th October, whilst most other undergraduate programmes have a deadline of 15th January, both in-line with UCAS guidelines. All applications received before the respective deadlines will be treated equally, based on their individual merits. St George’s will normally start making offers from November each year. ‘Late’ applications are considered on an individual basis once all ‘on-time’ applications have been fully considered. St George’s occasionally has a few places available through UCAS Extra, normally for programmes which may be been recently established at St George’s. St George’s may also recruit a small number of students in the summer if the proportion of applicants who miss their offer is greater than was anticipated. There may therefore be a number of places available for those wishing to use the UCAS Adjustment process or other similar system. Candidates who firmly accept the offer of a place at St George’s have their places confirmed through UCAS as and when all academic and non-academic conditions of their offer have been met. The A-level results and a selection of other qualifications are received from the qualifications awarding bodies via UCAS. Applicants should ensure that St George’s have received all academic results as soon as possible. Admissions will confirm the places of those applicants that have met all the conditions of their offers. In late August, accepted candidates' electronic records are passed across to other sections of the Registry, the Faculty of Healthcare and Social Care Sciences and Occupational Health as required. St George’s postgraduate courses may not follow the timelines stated in the UCAS guidelines, so applicants are advised to check St George’s website for further details on PG application deadlines. St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 4 Irrespective of the timing of an application all of the conditions of a Conditional Offer must be met by 20th August in the year of application, or within two weeks of the publication of the student’s final exam results, whichever the earlier, unless otherwise stated in the conditions of the offer.
8. Tier 4 sponsorship and CAS Issuing Policy
Once a non EEA applicant has met all conditions of their offer, the International Advising Team will assess their suitability for sponsorship in accordance with St George’s Tier 4 Sponsorship and CAS Issuing Policy. A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will only be issued to those who meet Tier 4 requirements and have a realistic prospect of obtaining a Tier 4 (General) Visa.
9. English Language Proficiency Requirement
The Admissions Team or PG Programme Team will assess the English language ability of all applicants. There are additional English language requirements for student applications from outside the EEA which are guided by UKVI regulations and our Tier 4 Sponsor responsibilities. Non EEA applicants must be able to demonstrate, in accordance with St George’s internal English Language Requirements Policy, that they are sufficiently proficient in the 4 components of the English language (reading, writing, speaking and listening). The complete policy on St George’s English Language proficiency requirements can be viewed on the St George’s website.
St George’s aim is to recruit and select those students most likely to benefit from its provision. The entry criteria and selection methods are specific for each programme and are designed to ensure that students are likely to succeed academically and gain intellectually from the provision available. Aptitude for a particular programme is therefore the primary criteria for selection and an academic decision will always be reached on an application before other factors such as additional needs; criminal convictions and fitness to practise are taken into account. It is important to note that for high demand programmes, the University has a limited number of places available and that it is not always possible to make offers to all the good applicants who apply. In selecting students, admissions staff aim to:
- Reach decisions which are fair and consistent in relation to the published entry criteria, the evidence the applicant presents of their academic and/or professional qualifications and which take into account any specific skills or experiences which are essential or desirable for the programme in question.
- Take into account evidence of an applicant’s potential to succeed on the programme. Where appropriate and relevant, admissions staff may consider contextual factors in relation to an application. These factors may include illness, family circumstances, personal responsibilities, or factors affecting the school or college. Where such factors are to be considered, either before making or when confirming an offer of a place, evidence of the effects of disadvantage should be sought. Generally, it is expected that applicants will have taken appropriate action to ensure that examining bodies have allowed for mitigating circumstances prior to the announcement of any results since the University will not generally be best placed to do this fairly and consistently.
- Apply selection processes which are appropriate to the programme in question.
- Selection may be on the basis of an application form, research proposal, entrance examination plus interview or other selection or assessment tests. Applicants are also expected to show an insight into the programme for which they are applying St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 5 as part of the general entry criteria. Applicants are entitled to know, in advance, the likely format of any entrance examination, interview or other selection or assessment tests required.
- Make offers on a basis which is consistent with the entry criteria, quality of applications received and the number of places available in any given year.
- Ensure that unless adhering strictly to agreed criteria, at least two members of staff who are appropriately qualified and trained consider each application.
- Communicate clearly and in a timely way with candidates concerning the outcome of their application. The University will normally write to those receiving an offer stating any specific conditions which apply and including details of standard institutional terms and conditions. The University will communicate this via UCAS or any other intermediary body. Where no such system exists St George’s will communicate directly with the applicant.
- Any student who will be in contact with children and/or vulnerable adults as part of their programme on a regular and sustained basis will be required to gain an enhanced disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service. 11. Admission to Undergraduate Degree Programmes via non-standard routes Candidates applying with non-standard qualifications are expected to demonstrate the same level of academic potential as those offering standard qualifications. To be considered, the applicant must possess one of the following types of qualification:
- an appropriate academic qualification other than a degree from a recognised university or other institution;
- an intermediate or equivalent examination towards the award of a degree by a recognised university, or institution of similar status, plus passes in an appropriate number of subjects at GCSE level or the equivalent;
- a qualification gained by examination which satisfies the entrance requirements for admission to a recognised university outside the UK. Admissions officers and tutors wishing to recommend an applicant for special consideration should provide full details to the Course Director and the Associate Dean for Admissions, whose decision in such matters is final. St George’s may consider requests to transfer into some programmes outside of the 1st year of study and in exceptional circumstances. These requests are only considered where a student is registered on an existing programme of study on an equivalent level programme.
12. Admission of students who have undertaken previous study at St George’s or elsewhere
Students who have been excluded from a programme on academic grounds may not reapply for entry to that programme but may apply, in competition, for other programmes. Students who have previously withdrawn themselves from a St George’s programme and wish to reapply for the same (or similar) programme cannot re-enrol. They must apply in the usual way and their application will be considered with reference to their reasons for withdrawing from the course. Students who have undertaken previous higher education study and not completed a qualification (or received an exit award) will be expected to disclose this and provide academic (and fitness to practise if relevant) references as part of their application. These references will be considered as part of the admission decision.
13. Child Protection
Students must usually be at least 18 years of age before admission to the University. This requirement may be waived in individual cases with the approval of the Course Director and the Academic Registrar. Students must, however, be at least 18 years of age before they can attend placements, interact with patients or undertake certain other activities. The Assistant Registrar (Admissions) will require written confirmation from the parents (or legal guardian) of any student under 18 of their willingness to allow the student to study at St George’s and will require evidence that an appropriate guardian has been appointed. An assurance will also be required from the Course Director that enhanced tutorial and pastoral support will be offered. Please refer to the Under 18s Policy.
14. Mature candidates
St George’s values and encourages applications from mature candidates. There is no upper age limit for any of our courses. Older applicants should consider the implications of changing profession at a later stage in life, especially for medicine where qualification, foundation and specialist training will take many years to complete. To be admitted, you will need to show evidence of the commitment and contribution you can offer in switching vocation at this stage in your career.
Decisions on the admission of applicants by the authorised St George’s officers are final and there is normally no appeal against such decisions. St George’s will consider an appeal relating to an application for admission only if there is substantive evidence of an irregularity in the procedure under which the application has been processed. First Stage Appeal In the first instance, a concern should be raised locally at the informal level. If a formal appeal is made any appeal concerning an undergraduate application should be addressed to the Assistant Registrar (Admissions) within 10 working days of the admissions decision or other action about which the applicant wishes to appeal. If the appeal is against the Assistant Registrar (Admissions), it will be considered by the Academic Registrar. The Assistant Registrar (Admissions) will investigate the appeal and respond formally to it. If the appeal is not resolved through this investigation, or if the appellant is not satisfied with the response, the appellant may submit the appeal to the Academic Registrar. This is the Second Stage Appeal. The Second Stage Appeal The Second Stage Appeal must be received by the Academic Registrar within 10 days of the date of the formal response from the Assistant Registrar (Admissions).Appeals received after that deadline will not be considered. When a complaint is received, the Academic Registrar (or another officer nominated by the Academic Registrar not previously involved in the case) will decide whether there is substantive evidence sufficient to justify a formal investigation. If the Academic Registrar decides the evidence is not sufficient to justify a formal investigation, he/she will inform the appellant accordingly. If the Academic Registrar decides there are prima facie grounds for a formal investigation, the appeal will be referred to a panel comprising:
- Chief Operating Officer;
- The Nominee of the Academic Registrar;
- A person independent of St George’s to be nominated by the Academic Registrar. The Academic Registrar will inform the appellant of the decision to refer the appeal to the panel. The panel will normally consider the appeal on the basis of the papers relating to the case. The panel may interview the applicant and any other persons involved in the case, and shall be required to ensure equal treatment to the parties concerned, i.e. the applicant and the officer(s) who took the decision on the application or who were involved in the procedure for handling it. Such persons shall receive copies of all the documentation relevant to the appeal. The panel will determine the appeal and decide upon any action to be taken as a result of their determination. Their decision will be conveyed to the Academic Registrar who will communicate it to the appellant and arrange for the implementation of any action resulting from it. The other parties to the appeal will also be informed. The decision of the appeals panel is final as far as St George’s internal procedures are concerned. If an appellant is dissatisfied with the decision of the panel, he or she may have recourse to the courts to request a judicial review. The University will not usually consider further applications from candidates who have been unsuccessful in appealing for admission to the same course. The Academic Registrar will keep a record of appeals which will include details of the age, gender and ethnicity of appellants.
St George’s is conscious of the potential risk of applicants seeking fraudulently to gain admission and/or receive a grant, loan or bursary. The prevention of such fraud is implicit in St George’s procedures governing the following areas of work:
- Selection of candidates for admission.
- Assessment of accepted candidates' fees status.
- Verification of the qualifications of students admitted.
- Enrolment of students.
- Issuing of maintenance allowances to enrolled students and the processing of student loan applications.
- Issuing of certificates of student attendance.
- Monitoring of the attendance of students. Where there is evidence that an applicant for admission to St George’s may have provided false or misleading information on his/her application or papers associated with his/her application, the case will initially be considered by the Assistant Registrar (Admissions) who will seek to determine whether the applicant has been guilty of deliberate misrepresentation. If evidence comes to light after an individual has become a registered student of St George’s that he/she may have provided false or misleading information when making his/her St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 8 application for admission to St George’s, the case will be considered by the Academic Registrar. The applicant will be informed in writing by the Assistant Registrar (Admissions) of the apparent misrepresentation and asked to provide a statement in explanation or mitigation. Failure to provide a statement, or to provide satisfactory evidence to corroborate his/her explanation, will result in the applicant having the application and/or offer of admission to St George’s withdrawn. The decision to withdraw an offer of admission or de-register a student from St George’s as a result of fraud in an application will be made in consultation with the Academic Registrar. The Assistant Registrar (Admissions) will communicate immediately in writing the decision to the applicant. An applicant to St George’s does not have the right of appeal against the decision. If fraud is suspected, St George’s will, as appropriate, liaise with relevant external bodies (including the police, local education authorities, Student Loans Company, UCAS and UKVI). St George’s anti-fraud statements and policies are published on the Institution’s website at http://www.sgul.ac.uk/about-us/governance/policies. St George’s complies with the Bribery Act 2010 by (a) publishing policies on its corporate website; (b) publishing the Principal’s statement on the corporate website; and, (c) regularly offering small group training on St George’s anti-bribery policy and procedure.
17. Plagiarism in Undergraduate Personal Statements
Should the UCAS Similarity Detection Service alert St George’s to possible plagiarism in an application, the Admissions team will review the application in the normal way against the usual criteria for consideration for entry to the programme. If the applicant does not meet the criteria, the application will be rejected in the normal manner and no reference will be made to the similarity detection. If the criteria for further consideration are met, the admissions officer will contact the applicant. The applicant will be invited to state their case and provide any supporting documentation. The case will then be considered by the Admissions Tutor and the Assistant Registrar (Admissions). This assessment must take place before any further stage in the selection process is initiated, including an invitation to interview and/or open day or the issuing of any offer. If it is considered that the case is not sufficiently addressed by the applicant, the application should be rejected and the applicant informed in writing of the reasons for this rejection. If it is considered that the applicant has sufficiently answered the case, the applicant will be informed by the Admissions team that their application has not been prejudiced on the basis of the similarity detection alert.
18. Feedback to Undergraduate Applicants
Feedback on decisions will be provided via UCAS to all unsuccessful applicants who have applied for entry to a full time undergraduate degree programme. The Admissions team/Admissions tutor will be responsible for providing a reason for rejection. The reasons for rejection must relate to the admissions criteria specified. If a standard statement cannot be used for an individual applicant, the admissions tutor must provide a brief statement giving the reason for rejection. St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 9 The Admissions team will transmit feedback statements to UCAS with the rejection. The feedback will take the form of either a standard statement or a bespoke statement. Additional feedback should only be provided in response to a request made in writing by the applicant. Under the data protection legislation, St George’s cannot respond to requests from schools, parents/guardians or advisors for feedback on unsuccessful applications. However, a request for feedback can be provided in response to a request made in writing by a school, parent/guardian or advisor when it is accompanied by a written statement from the applicant giving consent to the discussion of their application with the named third party. A request for additional feedback will not be considered as an appeal against the decision on the application. When such a request is received, this will not prompt a review of the application nor will providing feedback to an applicant imply that an application has been reconsidered. St George’s will not consider any new information or documentation that is submitted as a result of any feedback received. Applicants who wish to be re-considered are required to reapply the following year and to be considered in competition with all other applicants.
19. Criminal Record Checks
Candidates to St George’s are required to declare whether they have any criminal convictions. Whenever a conviction is declared, subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, full details of the offence, conviction and sentence will be sought and an Assessment Panel convened to consider the case. The Assessment Panel will make an assessment prior to the official offer of admission being transmitted to UCAS. They will conduct a risk assessment and consider actions that could practicably be taken to mitigate any identified risks without detriment to the applicant's ability to pursue their chosen programme of study. They will then either: (a) Authorise the admission of the student subject to the academic decision of the relevant admissions tutor and course director. Such authorisation may impose conditions aimed at mitigating any identified risk and those conditions, if any, must be stated in the offer letter. (b) Recommend that the student not be admitted to St George’s, giving reasons. All applicants must declare any criminal conviction that is received after an offer of admission is made and prior to enrolment at St George’s. As is the case for a number of St George’s programmes, where students may potentially come into unsupervised contact with children and/or "vulnerable adults", an enhanced disclosure certificate is sought from the Disclosure and Barring Service, the Government agency established to provide employers and others with information about any criminal convictions that an individual might possess. St George’s reserves the right to withdraw an offer if the DBS reveals any information which has not previously been considered by the Assessment Panel, and/or would cause concern relating to the proposed course of study.
20. Transfer students
Consideration of applications from students studying at another higher education institution who wish to transfer to an undergraduate programme at St George’s are not guaranteed and St George’s Admissions Policy 2019 10 will need to be considered on an individual basis. Requests should be submitted in writing to the Assistant Registrar (Admissions) who will liaise with Course Leads.
21. Applicant responsibilities
It is the responsibility of applicants to provide St George’s with accurate and complete information and to inform us of any changes that occur beyond the initial application. Applications for some programmes may be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check and/or Occupational Health checks. Applicants must inform St George’s if they have previously studied at St George’s or have previously applied unsuccessfully to courses to which they are reapplying. Applicants who attend interview declare themselves to be well enough to be assessed. Any extenuating circumstances that may affect performance at interview should be discussed with Admissions before the interview where a decision will be made regarding rescheduling the interview where possible. Applicants are responsible for all costs associated with obtaining an Enhanced DBS check, and passing an Occupational Health check at the point of holding a conditional firm offer with St George’s. Reimbursements of these costs will not be offered regardless of whether or not the applicant enrols onto the programme. St George’s retains the right to cancel an offer of a place if incorrect or misleading information is provided. It also retains the right to amend or cancel an offer if a genuine error has been made by St George’s. St George’s has a duty to ensure that no member of the public is harmed as a consequence of participating in its professional training. If an offer holder falls below the high standards of behaviour that the public has a right to expect, their offer will be subject to a review through St George’s professionalism and fitness to practise processes. Students will also be expected to comply with regulations and policies required by St George’s which are in line with the recommendations of the General Medical Council and other professional bodies. St George’s reserves the right to exclude an applicant who has behaved in an inappropriate manner (including aggressive behaviour towards St George’s staff or students, or disclosure of admissions processes to others) or who is considered, on justifiable grounds, to be unsuitable for a place on a particular programme according to individual circumstances. Academic Registrar June 2019 2 (https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/guidance/professional-behaviour-and-fitness-topractise)