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Entry Requirements


The University of Cumbria welcomes applicants with a wide range of qualifications and/or experience. Every application is assessed on its own merits.

Our entry criteria will vary by programme and whether you are joining an undergraduate degree or postgraduate programme.

  • Undergraduate Degrees – entry requirements for our undergraduate degrees are expressed in UCAS Tariff points, with some courses requesting grades in specific subject areas. Where the points are shown as a range a typical offer will be at the top of that range with the use of contextual information and data applied where applicable to reduce the offer within the tariff range.
  • Postgraduate Taught Courses and PGCEs – entry requirements for Masters degrees and PGCEs usually ask for a degree which for some programmes may need to be in a relevant subject area and/or at a minimum award classification.

Whether you are looking to join an undergraduate or postgraduate award, additional criteria may apply and you should refer to our course pages to see the entry requirements for individual programmes.

If you’re a prospective undergraduate student, below you will find more detail of our entry requirements. We explain how you could achieve the required UCAS Tariff points from A-Levels, BTEC Level 3 Nationals, T Levels and Access to HE Diplomas and outline the range of alternatives qualifications that we also accept.


UCAS Tariff

To join a degree with us, you will typically need to achieve a certain number of UCAS Tariff points as all or part of the entry criteria.

The UCAS Tariff allocates points to a range of qualifications in university entry requirements.

We accept qualifications such as A and AS levels, BTEC/OCR Nationals and Higher Nationals, BTEC QCF and RQF, International/European/Welsh Baccalaureates, Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers, Irish Leaving Certificates, Access to HE Diplomas, NVQ Level 3 (alongside other recognised qualifications), Advanced Diplomas and Open University credits.

T Levels

T Levels are acceptable for entry to our undergraduate programmes (please note specific T levels and specialisms may be required). If you are currently studying T Levels and thinking about what you want to do at the end of your course, UCAS have published tariff points for T Levels to support your progression to university. The University of Cumbria recognise the value of a range of qualifications for entry to our programmes and we'll be accepting T Levels based on the tariff points allocated by UCAS and other course level requirements specified.


Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve selected totals of UCAS Tariff points through the successful completion of A Levels, BTEC awards, T Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Access to Higher Education Diplomas are detailed below.
To establish the number of UCAS Tariff points required for a specific degree, and to see if there are any additional requirements for your preferred course(s), you should refer to the individual course pages.

The below examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent) (one A level for our Integrated Foundation Years), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as the Welsh Baccalaureate and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards. We do not make unconditional offers made solely on the basis of AS or equivalent awards.

Please note, as BTEC awards and T Levels are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction, some Tariff points scores cannot be matched precisely to BTEC qualifications. This means that if you are studying or hold a BTEC qualification or T Level, you need to refer to the offer conditions for the exact grades/Tariff score which needs to be achieved or exceeded for entry.

There are a number of alternative BTEC qualifications attracting different Tariff scores to those listed above. These include the BTEC National in Early Years (NCF) and BTEC Specialist (QCF).

For a comprehensive listing of the UCAS Tariff points obtainable from these awards, as well as alternative qualifications, you should refer to the new UCAS Tariff calculator.

128 UCAS Tariff points

104 UCAS Tariff points

96 UCAS Tariff points

Alternative Qualifications

In addition to A Levels, BTECs and Access to Higher Education Diplomas, some of the other awards we accept include Irish Leaving Certificates, CACHE Qualifications and FETAC Qualifications.


Contextual Data and Information

Going to higher education can transform a person’s life. We use contextual admissions to make sure that we are accessible to everyone who has the potential to succeed. Qualifications and grades are important, but they are considered alongside other information that helps universities to identify potential and widen access to university level study. For some individuals, the disadvantages they have experienced in their life mean that they have not been able to demonstrate their full academic potential. Where a person lives and their personal circumstances can all affect their educational attainment. 

We take this context into account and look for an applicant’s potential when making admission decisions. The University of Cumbria will make offers to applicants that live in postal code regions with the lowest participation in Higher Education (Polar 4 quintile 1 – you can check your postcode here) and care leavers, offers will be made at the bottom of any UCAS Tariff range. Attendance at our Masterclasses and Summer Schools will also allow applicants to receive an offer lower within the tariff range. (T&Cs apply) 

Contact for more information. 

For 2023 entry onwards, our contextual data and information we use in our offer making will be broadened to include applicants that are estranged from their parents, have caring responsibilities or are in receipt of or received free school meals during their secondary education.  Successful participation and completion of our Future Teachers Scheme will also receive an offer lower within the tariff range

Returning to Education

If you are over 21 and returning to study after being in relevant employment for a minimum of 3 years and do not meet the published entry requirements for Year 1 of our degree courses, please do not assume you are not qualified to join us. Our experienced Admissions and Academic staff will review your prior qualifications and professional experience to support your application. If we feel it appropriate we will offer you the chance to be interviewed and to undertake a short piece of written work (or e-portfolio) so that we can guide you on your best route into Higher Education.

We also offer Integrated Foundation Year programmes to support your return to education which are specifically designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree but may not have all the necessary qualifications, skills or experience to join the degree in Year 1. Contact our Course Enquiries Team for more information.


International Students

If you are an International student, visit our International pages for country-specific entry criteria for overseas applicants, as well as information about English Language and visa advice.



In addition to UCAS Tariff points, our courses may also require you to hold specific GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) in different subjects.

Please see the individual course pages for details of GCSE requirements for individual programmes. Where English is stipulated we would expect this to be an English Language qualification.

If you do not have the relevant GCSEs, offers equivalency tests in English, Mathematics and Science.


Additional Requirements

For some degrees there may be additional criteria, other than GCSEs, that you need to meet as well as achieving the set number of UCAS Tariff points.

This may include set grades or a specific number of points in a particular subject, clearance to work with children and/or vulnerable adults, and medical fitness to teach or practice.

Please see the individual course pages for details of which, if any, additional requirements apply to specific programmes.


Recognition of Prior Learning

The University of Cumbria recognise that learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please contact the APL team.


Get in Touch

Our students come from many different backgrounds and we try to reflect this in our admissions criteria. The qualifications listed on this page satisfy the general entry requirements, however the list is not exhaustive if you would like to check the qualification you are taking would meet our entry requirements do not hesitate to contact our Course Enquiry team by phone 0808 178 7373 or email You can also speak to one of our students here

Further general information about entry requirements is available on the UCAS website.

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