Qualifications Reform

At Keele we have taken into consideration the changes that will be made to A level and GCSE qualifications from September 2015 and reviewed our entry requirements to ensure the new post-16 curriculum does not disadvantage students in their Higher Education journey.

Further information about our approach and entry requirements for September 2017 can be found below. If you have any further queries, please email admissions.reply@keele.ac.uk.

At Keele, although we take an applicant's AS grades into consideration currently we also consider the predicted grades supplied*, qualifications taken at other levels (GCSEs for example), the personal statement and reference. We are aware of the changes within the new A level framework and would not expect all applicants to have AS level qualifications stated on their application.

We ask that all applications are completed as fully as possible and we will consider each application on its merits against our published entry criteria.

*Please note that this excludes applications to Medicine

We do not expect schools and colleges to provide a mock exam grade as a replacement to the AS grades. We will consider the predicted grades supplied*, qualifications taken at other levels (GCSEs for example), the personal statement and reference.

*Please note that this excludes applications to Medicine

We will consider the application in its entirety, this will include considering qualifications taken at other levels (e.g. GCSEs), predicted grades supplied, the personal statement and reference.

Currently Keele requires students to present a fourth AS level subject for admissions to Medicine (for example three A Levels and one AS Level). From 2017, applicants will be required to present either three full A levels at A*AA, or 3 A levels at AAA and one AS Level qualification (or an EPQ) at grade A.

GCSE English Language, Maths and the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) will also be required (grades to be confirmed).

Further information on admissions to medicine can be found here.

References should be provided by a Year/Course or Personal Tutor or someone who is able to comment on your academic aptitude and ability. References may include previous academic achievement, academic potential, experience, motivation and commitment towards the subject area that you are applying to.

Any factors/personal circumstances that might have affected your performance may also be referred to with your consent.

If your School/College has restrictions on their curriculum offer i.e. breadth of subject/qualification choice available at level 3 then it would be useful for the University to have the curriculum context. The following information should be included:

  • Restrictions on curriculum i.e. breadth of subject/qualification choice
  • Restrictions due to financial pressure
  • What information has been used to determine predicted grades
  • Collaborations with other partners/schools to offer a broader curriculum and the restrictions this has placed on applicants (additional travel, for example)

There is limited space for a reference and the main focus should be the applicant, therefore if a link to a webpage with your policy statement/curriculum context can be provided, this is recommended.

For further information please click here to access aguidance from SPA NETT

We welcome applications from candidates with non-traditional qualifications (including the EPQ and IFS) and will take into consideration prior learning and experience and alternative qualifications. Qualifications such as the EPQ will be taken into account when considering borderline cases.

For applications to Medicine, other factors such as interview performance and UKCAT score will be taken into consideration.

We understand that changes to post-16 funding may mean that schools and colleges are unable to offer such a wide variety of subjects. If the subjects available to a student have been restricted then we advise that you include this information in the UCAS reference.

For entry to Medicine and Science programmes we will require a pass in the practical element of the reformed science A Level qualifications. Applicants who fail this element will be assessed on a case by case basis.

From 2017, we will consider the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a grade C; however we will require at least a Grade 5 if the subject relates to the degree programme. The GCSE requirements for all courses are listed on the Entry Requirements page.

Any further questions?


Please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@keele.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1782 734010 who will be happy to respond to any further queries you may have regarding admissions to Keele.


To find out more about how we can support you and your learners via our outreach programme please contact the Recruitment, Outreach and Access Office at outreach@keele.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1782 734479.

Please note that this information is offered as a guide and is subject to possible change as national policy evolves.

May 2016

A Level and GCSE Reform in England - Admissions to Keele University

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