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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

9.7.1 Admissions

Admissions policies and procedures

1.    Durham University is responsible for assuring that admissions policies at Partner Organisations are equivalent to those at Durham University.  The main features of such policies are:

a. the number of students to be admitted to the programme;

b. specific entry requirements;

c. more broad-based entry criteria which may be particularly relevant to the selection of applicants with non-standard qualifications, including mature applicants, or to the selection of students where there are large numbers of similarly highly qualified applicants;

d. treatment of students with special requirements (e.g. non-standard entrants, disabled students).

2. To assure the quality and comparability of the standards of the admissions process Durham University must approve:

a. the number of students to be admitted to the programme, with regard to the market demand for the programme and the resources, including staff resources, available at the Partner Organisation to support delivery of the programme;

b. specific entry requirements: entry grades and subjects or equivalent.

c. other entry criteria such as relevant experience or motivation which may also be used to select applicants.

3. The admissions policies and procedures of Partner Organisations must be documented for consideration by Durham University:

a. when a new partnership, or new programme to be offered within an existing partnership arrangement, is submitted for approval;

b. for Periodic Review when the appropriateness of the procedures will be reviewed and their implementation monitored.

4. These policies and procedures will be approved at initial approval and will be reviewed within Periodic Review. If a Partner Organisation wishes to make changes to the agreed entry qualifications/criteria or to the number of students on the programme, a formal request, detailing the reasons and with supporting information, must be submitted to the Management Committee. The Management Committee will consider it and make a recommendation to Quality and Standards Sub-Committee for consideration. Under no circumstances should any action be undertaken in respect of the admissions process which pre-empts the decision of Quality and Standards Sub-Committee in these matters.

5. Partner Organisations are responsible for the detailed procedures associated with the admissions process, notably arrangements for open days, interviews, reviewing application forms and making offers. The procedures in place at Durham are documented in Section 1 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook.

6. Durham University expects Partner Organisations to conform to the spirit of the following aspects of its own admissions policies and procedures which are to be found in other sections of the Learning and Teaching Handbook. Partner Organisations are asked to pay particular regard to the following University policies:

a. General Policy Statement - Section 1.1

b. English Language Proficiency of Candidates - Section 1.3

c. Guidelines on Interviewing - Section 1.4

d. Guidelines on the Accreditation of Prior Learning - Section 1.6

7. Partner Organisations are required to ensure that the Management Committee receives;

a. the entry qualifications of ALL entrants to a programme

b. details of all cases of withdrawal or non progression arising within each cohort of students

c. demonstrable evidence that the required learning outcomes have been achieved where credit is given for prior learning.

Overseas Qualifications

8. If a Partner Organisation wishes to admit students routinely with a particular overseas qualification a request to have the qualification recognised should be made to Quality and Standards Sub-Committee via the Management Committee detailing:

a. the level and quality of the qualification concerned;

b. the reason for the request (including evidence of the frequency of the occurrence of applicants with the qualification concerned);

c. evidence of the comparability of the qualification with UK qualifications.

9. If Partner Organisations are uncertain regarding the comparability of an overseas qualification, they should contact the Academic Support Office in the first instance who will liaise with Durham University's International Office and offer advice and guidance on request.

10. If a Partner Organisation wishes to admit a student on an individual basis with an overseas qualification not listed by UCAS and not recognised by the University, an application must be (through the Academic Support Office) made for a concession before an offer of a place is made (see 1.4 below).

Admission concessions

11. This procedure should be used in the case of all such

12. Where Partner Organisations wish to admit an applicant who does not satisfy the entry requirements for a programme validated by Durham University, the Partner Organisation will need to request from the University a concession on behalf of the applicant and in consultation with the Programme Leader(s) concerned. This requirement applies to all non-standard entry including:

a. direct entry to the second year of a programme;

b. entry on the basis of overseas qualifications not generally recognised by Durham University;

c. entry on the basis of relevant experience in the absence of formal qualifications;

d. students admitted on the basis of Advanced Standing or APL.

13. Requests for concessions should be submitted on the standard University concession request form available at Appendix A9.11 (or for direct entry into the second year of a programme Appendix A9.12), to the Academic Support Office for the attention of the relevant faculty support officer in the Academic Support Office.

14. All concession requests should be accompanied by a photocopy of the candidate's application form and, where appropriate, supporting documentation from the Programme Leader(s) concerned. The request will then be considered by the chairs of the Management Committee and Quality and Standards Sub-Committee. He/she may consult with the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office at Durham University to ensure comparability of treatment between the Partner Organisation and Durham University.

15. The relevant faculty support officer in the Academic Support Office will inform Partner Organisations of the outcome of the consideration of concession requests.

•16.  Partner Organisations must give no undertakings to candidates until the request for a concession has been formally approved by the University.  Under no circumstances should a partner Organisation pre-empt the decision of Durham University; in particular, students must not be led to believe that a concession has been granted before a decision has been made by Durham University.

Information for applicants

17. Partner Organisations are responsible for issuing applicants with information which should include clear statements of:

a. the minimum and typical entry requirements;

b. any additional entry requirements, such as relevant experience;

c. opportunities to visit the Organisation prior to entry (e.g. open days);

d. arrangements for interviews;

e. any special arrangements for students from overseas, disabled students or those with non-traditional backgrounds;

f. any other issues related to the Organisation and/or the programme involved;

g. the validated status of the programme and the implications of this for the students registered on the programme (see paragraphs 19 to 21 below).

18. Responsibility for the implications of this information and for compliance with legal requirements in respect of the 'contract' between the student and the Organisation rests with the Partner Organisation. See also the section on Publicity in Section 9.7.3.

Validated Status of the Programme

19. Publicity and other information for applicants, including any letter confirming the offer of a place must contain the following statements:

a. the programme (name/title) is validated by Durham University and on successful completion will lead to the award of a qualification of Durham University;

b. the students registered on the programme are registered to the Partner Organisation (name) and not to Durham University;

c. the validation arrangement does not carry any entitlement with respect to the use of any resources or facilities at Durham University except where otherwise stated.

20. This information must also be included in the programme handbook issued to students.

21. See also the section on Publicity in Section 9.7.3 of this handbook.