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Our Admissions Policy

Our Admissions Policy is based on the core principles of fairness, transparency, consistency and operating a professional admissions process.

Our aim is to operate a fair and transparent admissions process to select the most able and motivated applicants who can best benefit from a Durham University education. Every application is important to us and we welcome applications from all students irrespective of background.
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The bustling ground floor corridor of the Palatine Centre

Admissions Policy - Course and Programme Regulations

Multiple factors are taken into account by our admissions selectors to identify the most able candidates. These factors include (1) A-Level (or equivalent) grades; (2) GCSE (or equivalent) grades; (3) the personal statement; (4) the reference; (5) the development of study skills; (6) motivation for the degree programme applied for; (7) independence of thought and working; (8) skills derived from non-academic extra-curricular activities such as engagement in sport, the arts or voluntary and community work; and (9) contextual consideration of merit and potential. 

Durham University is a hugely popular choice for prospective students and as a result, we receive considerably more high-quality applications than the places we have available. In some subjects Durham is now as competitive as Oxbridge for entry and in many subjects three As is the minimum entry qualification. If students do not apply they will not gain entry, so even though it is competitive the most able students from all schools are strongly encouraged to apply and compete for entry. 

Admissions complaints 

Durham University aims to provide a high standard and quality of service for applicants and to deliver an admissions process that is consistent, fair, and professional, but recognises that occasionally things may go wrong. As part of its commitment to enhancing the applicant experience, this procedure has been established to deal with complaints from applicants in a fair and transparent manner. The University recognises that complaints may provide useful feedback from applicants and, where appropriate, will be used to improve the admissions process. 

These procedures explain how applicants to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes may make a complaint, both informal and formal. Applicants who have a complaint to make should raise it as soon as possible, as matters that are dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively. Only when the informal procedures have been exhausted and the applicant remains dissatisfied should a formal complaint be made. 

Please note: 

  • Formal complaints can only be made once an application has been submitted to the University. 
  • Complaints about the Durham University International Study Centre should not be made using this process and should instead be made to Study Group 

Fair Access and Widening Participation

At Durham we welcome students from all backgrounds. We focus on encouraging everyone who has the merit and potential to succeed to take a look at what Durham has to offer. We are committed to providing the very best education, built on the principles of innovative teaching, a research-led curriculum and a vibrant wider student experience. It’s this combination which we believe helps you to thrive personally, intellectually and professionally and provides you with the skills you need to go out and make a difference in the world. We want to ensure that, regardless of background, every applicant who has the ability and desire to study with us is given this opportunity.


Get In Touch

If you have any questions about our Admissions Policies, please can in touch.

Recruitment and Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1000

The Palatine Centre
Durham University
Stockton Road