Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

We are committed to making the admissions process as smooth as possible for our applicants. Below you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Degree Structures

What is the difference between Single Honours, Combined Honours and Major/Minor Degrees?

General Information

Whether they are dual honours, single honours or major/minor degrees, the majority of undergraduate degrees at Keele share a common structure of eight 15 credit modules in each year (for a total of 120 credits).

Regardless of your degree type, you will have to complete at least 270 credits in your chosen subject(s) overall.

There are some degree programmes which do not follow this format, usually degree programmes with a professional aspect, such as Medicine, Nursing and Physiotherapy, and some modules are worth 30 credits.  You'll receive more information about the structure of your programme when you arrive at Keele.

We've briefly outlined the structure of each degree type below.

Single Honours

Single honours degrees are taken wholly or predominantly in one subject (referred to as your single honours subject).  

You will be required to take a minimum of six modules (90 credits) each year in that subject and therefore you must have gained at least 270 credits in the single honours subject overall.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours was known as Dual Honours until 2018 entry.

Combined honours degrees are taken in two different subjects, resulting in an X and Y degree title.  For example History and Politics. 

If you are taking a combined honours degree, these will be the two subjects you applied for and they are referred to as your Principal Subjects.

You will take at least three modules (45 credits) each year in each of your principal subjects, although some principal subjects will require you to take more than this, and therefore you must have gained at least 135 credits in each of your principal subjects.

The remaining available credits can be filled with modules from these subjects or other subjects entirely.  For example, you could take a total of three modules in one principal subject, four modules in the other principal subject and a language module.  

You will be required to take at least one Independent Study Project in your final year, although this will depend upon the requirements of your principal subjects.

Combined honours students (from 2018 entry onwards) will be given the option to specialise in one of your chosen subjects in your final year.  This will result in an X with Y degree title.  For example, History with Politics.

Entry Requirements

Will the entry requirements be amended to reflect the changes to qualifications from September 2015?

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 2018 can be found at Qualifications Reform.

Do you accept all A level subjects?

For some of our courses, we do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking A Levels. Please check the entry requirements course table for details relating to your subject choices. If you wish to study a combined honours course combination please check the entry requirements for BOTH subjects.

Do you consider resits?

For non Health degrees we do consider resit qualifications. Please refer to Health Schools directly for their policies.

What are the GCSE requirements for my chosen course?

The GCSE requirements for all courses are listed on the Entry Requirements page: Please check the requirements for your chosen course carefully.

Please note that GCSE English at a minimum of Grade C or above is a requirement for all our courses and some courses may have a higher requirement.

GCSE Mathematics and/or Science at a minimum of Grade C or above are also a requirement for most courses, some courses may specify either or both of these subjects. Please check the Entry Requirements table for your chosen course.

Further information about our entry requirements following the changes that will be made to A level and GCSE qualifications from September 2015 can be found on the following webpages - 

What are the English Language requirements for EU/International applicants?

Please see English Language Requirements tab for further information.



Will you accept an application even though I am only taking 2 A levels?

We require applicants to be taking 3 full A-levels (or equivalent), excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking, for the majority of our courses. For some courses, depending on individual circumstances, there may be some flexibility for students who have chosen two AS levels in place of a third A level subject. The changes to AS levels will be taken into consideration though.

I am studying an EPQ qualification, will this be included in my offer?

At Keele, we recognise the skills and knowledge acquired whilst studying an EPQ qualification and therefore will take this into consideration when assessing your application.  If your EPQ is in a relevant subject to the course you have applied for, it will be* included in your offer if you have applied for one of our Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Humanities or School of Nursing and Midwifery courses.  

*If you are also eligible for another offer scheme, for example our Contextual Data Offer Scheme, your offer will reflect this and your EPQ qualification will not form part of your offer.  

I have an offer that includes my EPQ qualification but also includes higher A level grades.  Do I have to choose one of these offers?

No.  Your offer includes two possible combinations that we will take into consideration when we receive your A level results.  If you meet one of these combinations, we will confirm your place at Keele, subject to other admissions checks and a firm acceptance of your offer through UCAS.  

I am studying an EPQ qualification but this has not been reflected in my offer.  Why is this?

You may be eligible for another offer scheme, for example our Contextual Offer Scheme or we may have assessed your EPQ not to be in a relevant subject area for your chosen course.  We still value your application to Keele and hope you will consider your offer from ourselves.  

Will I be interviewed?

If you are applying for our courses in Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Social Work it will be compulsory to attend interview. For other courses, it is not normal practice for us to interview applicants. Some applicants offering non-standard qualifications or work experience may be called for interview, although we would firstly ask for examples of written work to support the application.

Can I Apply for Year 2 Entry?

For the majority of courses, we may consider an application for direct entry onto year 2 as long as your studies in year 1 are on a similar course and you have covered similar content to the first year of our course.  
We would need to see a transcript of your studies and also details of the course and module content from your current university.   We would expect your reference to be from a tutor at your current university and your personal statement to reflect your reasons for seeking a move at this time.
You should apply through UCAS and indicate your chosen year of entry on your application.
Please note, in most cases, we do not consider applications for entry onto year 3.

Will you consider the Contextual Data on my application when making an offer?

At Keele, we recognise that applicants have different backgrounds and experiences and that some applicants may not have had the same opportunities to demonstrate their suitability for HE. Therefore, we will consider the additional data and information provided on your application (the contextual data) as part of the selection process to help identify applicants whose academic performance to date may not be a true reflection of their potential to succeed at University. Our offer will reflect our recognition of individual circumstances*.

· What does “Contextual Data” include?

Contextual information generally includes the following:

· Information about a school and the performance in examinations (at GCSE and A level)
· Information about whether an applicant has been in care and for how long
· Information about whether a home postcode is in a Low Participation Neighbourhood (see the HEFCE webpages for more information -

* This excludes applications to the Faculty of Health (Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Health & Rehabilitation (Physiotherapy) and Pharmacy) courses and Social Work. Please refer to the specific School webpages for their policies on the use of contextual data.

Submitting an application

What is the Institution Code for Keele University?

The institution code for Keele University is K12.

What is the course code for my course?

The UCAS course code for all our courses can be found on the UCAS website or on the Undergraduate course list on our website.

Do I need to include a reference?

We do expect a reference to be provided to support your application. Where possible, this should

be provided by your most recent academic institution. We would find it very helpful if your referee

could include the following information:

  • The number of AS-levels that you could have taken under the school/college’s teaching arrangements
  • Full title of qualifications taken, e.g. BTEC 90 Credit Diploma, OCR level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
  • A comment on your AS-level results (if any) achieved
  • Any issues that might impact on your performance

Do you accept applications for deferred entry?

Applications for deferred entry are acceptable for the majority of courses, providing that you have constructive plans for your gap year. Please check with the specific course.

Please tell us about the plans you have in your personal statement. If you have not applied for deferred entry in the first instance but you subsequently find that you have the opportunity to work/travel and take a gap year, please inform us of your intentions as soon as possible.

Please note that under the rules of the UCAS scheme, it is not possible to defer entry for more than one year.

How do I apply for an International Year?

A number of our courses now offer an opportunity to take an International Year between the second and third year of study. 

If you are interested in including an International Year in your course of study, please state this in the “further information” section on your UCAS application.   Your application will be assessed against our standard entry requirements for the subjects you have applied for.

You will be able to confirm your request for an international year during your first year of study or opt in, if you have not included this on your UCAS application.

The grade requirements and further information about the International Year can be found on the following webpages:

When You've Received Your Offer

What is the Keele Unconditional Offer Scheme?

Keele University Unconditional Offer Scheme (for 2018 entry only).

This scheme enables Keele to recruit exceptional students to a number of targeted subject disciplines. [1]

Keele’s unconditional offer scheme is intended to attract the highest calibre students who we believe will make a substantial contribution to the University’s continued and future success.

Successful applicants of this scheme will demonstrate outstanding academic performance in their schooling to date, motivation to study at a higher level, and a strong commitment[2] to study at Keele.

Keele will continue to reward those students who perform exceptionally and attain the highest grades in their pre-entry qualifications via the Keele Excellence Scholarship.

This scheme is not applicable to overseas students.

[1] This excludes Medicine, Social Work, Physiotherapy and Foundation year courses. 

[2] Students will need to choose Keele as their first (firm) choice in order to gain an Unconditional offer through this scheme.

Further information:

How does the scheme work?

Applicants will be notified if they have been selected for the unconditional offer scheme at the time of their offer. Their offer will be initially conditional but will be changed to Unconditional once they have accepted Keele as their first (firm) choice. Offers will be transmitted to them via UCAS Track.

How does the University select which applicants will receive an unconditional offer?

The University considers a number of indicators:

  •  outstanding academic achievement (achieved and predicted)
  •  an exceptional personal statement that shows evidence of excellent motivation, commitment, initiative and interpersonal skills
  •  strong academic reference
  •  successful interview for some disciplines e.g. Pharmacy, Nursing & Midwifery
  •  Pharmacy also have additional criteria.  Please contact the Pharmacy Admissions team on: or 01782 733833 for further information.
  •  exceptional performance skills for applicants to Single Honours Music

Is this scheme only for students completing A Levels?

No, the University considers a broad range of other qualifications for example International Baccalaureate, BTECs, Cambridge Pre-U, OCR Diplomas and combinations of qualifications (e.g. A level and BTEC, A level and OCR, BTEC and OCR, A level and pre-U subjects etc.).

Once I have my unconditional offer, can I stop studying for my level 3 qualification?

No, applicants will still need to have completed all formal assessments of their level 3 qualifications, i.e. sit all examinations and submit all course work elements (where applicable).

It should also be noted that strong academic performance in A Levels or equivalent are critically important for your future employability, as these results are often used by employers as one of their key indicators when  considering a candidate’s potential.

Please note: Keele will continue to reward those students who perform exceptionally and attain the highest grades in their pre-entry qualifications via the Keele Excellence Scholarship.

How do I demonstrate motivation to study at a higher level?

It is important that students show in their personal statement why they wish to study at degree level in their chosen subject. The University will also require students to complete all formal assessments of their level 3 study, i.e. sit all examinations and submit all coursework elements (where applicable).

What are the benefits of gaining an unconditional offer?

There are a number of benefits for gaining an unconditional offer; it will remove the uncertainty of gaining a place at Keele, which in turn will hopefully alleviate some of the pressure enabling students to focus fully on their study in order to achieve the best grades possible.

Is there a deadline for responding to the offer?

The only deadlines to adhere to will be those stipulated by UCAS.

What if I don’t choose Keele as my ‘firm’ choice? What happens then?

Obviously, we really hope you will choose Keele as your first choice.  Keele students and graduates really are different, and we’re proud of that. At Keele, you’ll learn to think differently, to dare to be different and value the freedom to be yourself. At the same time, you’ll find yourself part of a lively community of people with the same spirit of independence on the largest campus-based university in the UK. What ’s more, Keele students are the happiest in the country. However, applicants who do not choose Keele as their ‘firm’ choice will still be in receipt of a conditional offer from Keele.

Can I change my reply to a firm acceptance later in the admissions cycle?

If you choose to swap your replies (firm, insurance and decline) through UCAS, the Unconditional Offer Scheme will only be applied to a firm choice at Keele up until 1st June 2018 if you are eligible.  Any amended replies after this date to a firm response will not be eligible for the scheme.

Another institution has offered me an Unconditional Offer Scheme offer – will Keele reconsider?

At Keele, we thoroughly assess each application upon receipt and consider it against the criteria for our Unconditional Offer Scheme.  The scheme will not be applied to applications that do not meet our criteria at the initial application stage.

Can I defer my Unconditional Offer to 2019?

The Unconditional Offer Scheme is only valid for offers made for the 2018 intake.  Deferral requests will only be considered after your qualification results have been received.

Any further questions?

Please contact the Admissions Office at or telephone (01782) 734010 who will be happy to respond to any further queries you may have regarding this scheme or any other admissions questions.

How do I respond to my offer?

If you applied to Keele through UCAS and have received decisions from all your chosen institutions, UCAS will ask you to choose two institutions, your first (Firm) and second (Insurance) choices. If you would like to hold Keele as your firm or your insurance choice, you should indicate this on UCAS Track by the deadline date given by UCAS.

If you have made a direct application, please email Admissions team to let us know if you wish to accept your offer or not.

Will you receive my examination results?

If you have applied through UCAS and you are studying for A-levels or BTEC qualifications or the International Baccalaureate in the UK, we will receive your results from the examination board through UCAS.

If your offer is conditional upon providing any other examination results and/or your English language test results, you should send the Admissions team a copy of your results as soon as you receive them.

If you are an overseas applicant you will also need to send a copy of your examination results to us if you want to apply for a Tier 4 student visa.


What happens if I do not meet the conditions of my offer?

If you have accepted your offer at Keele and do not meet the conditions - DON'T PANIC. We will reconsider your application and it may still be possible to confirm your place at Keele if you have only narrowly missed your offer, and providing that we have sufficient spaces on your chosen course.

If we are not able to admit you onto the course of your choice we do sometimes look at alternatives that we feel may be of interest, however, this very much depends on number of vacancies, if any, on other courses.


Contact Details

If you have any queries regarding admissions or applying to Keele University please contact:


Telephone: 01782 733632

Nursing & Midwifery:

Telephone: 01782 679600


Telephone: 01782 733833


Telephone: 01782 734191

Social Work:

Telephone: 01782 734532

All other applications:

Admissions Telephone:   01782 734010

Admissions email address: