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Once you’ve applied to us your application will be considered by one of our highly trained admissions selectors. Our Admissions Policy outlines our approach to decision making, which is based on the key principles of fairness, transparency and consistency.

Our courses are highly competitive, so it isn’t possible to make an offer to everyone who applies, even if you have achieved or are predicted to achieve our entry requirements. 

Because we are committed to selecting applicants with merit, potential and motivation to make the best of the many and varied opportunities available at Durham, selectors will look at your whole application, not just your qualifications, including:

  • Your personal statement 
  • Your reference 
  • Evidence of relevant and transferrable skills 
  • Any special circumstances affecting your application

If you receive an offer this will either be conditional or unconditional, and will be sent to you by UCAS or by email if you’ve applied using Common App.  

Unconditional offers are given if you have achieved our entry requirements, or otherwise satisfied the selector that you have the merit and potential to succeed at Durham. 

Conditional offers are given if you have yet to complete your academic qualifications. It’s important that you read the conditions of your offer so you know how to meet them. You may need to achieve a specific grade in one or more subjects for example. If you have any questions about your offer, you need to Ask Us.

Referral Offers 

Sometimes we might make you an offer for a course that you haven’t applied for. We do this when your application might not be as strong as those of other applicants, but we still think that you demonstrate the merit and potential to succeed at Durham. If you have received a referral offer, you are not able to later request to change your course to the one you originally applied to. You can turn down an alternative course offer, but we hope that you will look at it as an opportunity and a way to still be able to take advantage of all that Durham has to offer.

Decision-Making Timeline 

We try and make decisions as quickly as possible after you have applied. Sometimes a decision on your application may take longer. This might depend on the number of applications we have received, whether we need to see additional test results (for example in law and maths) or whether we need to contact you for additional information. If you apply by 26 January then you should receive a decision by the UCAS decisions deadline.  

Our Post Offer Visit Days take place in February and March. If you receive an offer or college allocation after these have taken place, then we run Discover Durham Tours where you can visit a college and tour the University with one of our Student Ambassadors. These are subject to Covid-19 restrictions, and online alternatives may be offered instead.