Skip to main content

Information for Unsuccessful Applicants

Thank you so much for applying to study with us, unfortunately we weren’t able to make you an offer this time but wanted to give you a little more information about why this wasn’t possible. 

Applying to Durham is competitive 

Each year we receive in the region of 6 to 7 times as many applications as we have places available, and some of our courses are even more competitive than this. This means that even applicants who meet or exceed our entry requirements are unfortunately unsuccessful.  

It depends who else has applied 

The University has targets for each of its courses and has a set number of offers that can be made for each course to meet those targets. Consequently, admissions is a competitive and comparative process.  

This means that as well as assessing each application against our entry requirements and selection criteria, we also compare them to the very best examples of applications received that year for the specific course.  

As such, one of the most common reasons why applications are unsuccessful is simply that there were other applications that were, in our opinion, stronger. That doesn’t mean that the application didn’t have merit or that it wouldn’t be successful in another cycle, just that it wasn’t as strong as others on this occasion. 

We consider the whole application 

We consider the whole application to identify the applicants who can best benefit from a Durham University education. We look at each application individually and consider the context of the applicant’s education and background, alongside their grades, personal statement and reference. This means we don’t always give offers to applicants with the highest grades; whilst grades do feature in our decision making, we’re looking at more alongside this. 


We've proactively provided you with feedback in your decision at UCAS. Please see our decision on UCAS Hub for the reasons your application was unsuccessful with us. We're unable to respond to requests for further feedback.