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School Selection Procedures - Psychology

At the beginning of each admissions cycle, the Admissions Sub-Committee reviews the previous cycle and recommends to the Board of Undergraduate Studies any changes in policy or the selection criteria. This policy and the selection criteria will not normally be changed during an admissions cycle.

Method of Application

All applications must be made through UCAS, details of which can be found at Applications can be made either in the English or the Welsh language. Applicants can choose up to six programmes. Cardiff University is not made aware of applicants' other chosen universities, but is aware of an individual's application for other courses at Cardiff University. Applications for other courses in Cardiff University do not affect the way that an application for a Psychology programme is considered.

During each applications cycle, the School determines whether it will enter programmes into UCAS Extra, which provides applicants with an opportunity to make late applications to Universities. This means that the closing date for applications varies across years. Applicants are encouraged, however, to apply for courses involving Psychology during the MAIN UCAS cycle (see After the end of this cycle, the School may consider applications against stricter criteria than those documented here, or may decide to consider no further applications.

The Selection Process

Each UCAS form is assessed by at least one member of the School of Psychology Admissions Team and all forms are checked by the Admissions Secretary.

In order to establish an applicant’s potential to cope with the academic requirements of the relevant programme, the initial assessment consists of screening applications according to whether they meet specified minimum academic requirements shown in the Appendix. For applicants who do not meet the criteria necessary for an unconditional offer, the application will be assessed in order to determine whether there is sufficient evidence that the applicant is likely to satisfy entrance requirements in qualifications yet to be taken. If the qualifications or combinations of qualifications offered are not specified clearly in the Appendix, further information can be obtained by contacting the School of Psychology Admissions Team. In the absence of documented exceptional extenuating circumstances, applicants who do not meet minimum requirements, or applicants for whom there is insufficient evidence that they are likely to satisfy entrance requirements in qualifications yet to be taken, will be rejected. They will be notified of this decision by UCAS.

All applicants who meet the academic requirements described above will be made an offer if the application is received in the UCAS MAIN cycle. For students holding a conditional offer who do not quite achieve the grades required by that offer, the School may also take non-academic information into account. Under such circumstances, the Admissions Team will inspect referee reports and personal statements in the UCAS form for information demonstrating the commitment of the individual to the course of study for which they have applied. The team recognises that opportunities for certain types of work experience and participation in some non-academic activities will vary according to individual circumstances, including an applicant's cultural and/or socio-economic background. Selectors are, therefore, not prescriptive about the ways in which the non-academic selection criteria may be demonstrated.


The School does not typically interview applicants. Interviews are arranged only under circumstances where it is not possible to make an informed decision on the basis of the information that is provided on the UCAS form, and where the absence of information on the form is not due to the omission of relevant detail by the applicant. In such circumstances, the School may offer an interview in order to ensure that each individual is assessed equitably. The purpose of the interview is to assess academic aptitude for the course. This will entail a requirement for the applicant to bring examples of written work with them. The interview will involve an assessment of aptitude and ability by determining the applicant’s ability to:

  1. Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the study of psychology as a scientific discipline.
  2. Demonstrate a capacity for analytical thinking and ability to discuss abstract concepts.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how academic study can contribute to society.
Confirmation of a Place

The examination results of applicants taking standard qualifications who are holding conditional offers are transmitted electronically by UCAS to Cardiff University. The central Admissions Office will review grades obtained. Applicants with other qualifications (such as graduates and overseas students) will be contacted directly for confirmation of their results. Applicants who have met the terms of their offer will be notified on results day by UCAS, and later in writing by the School of Psychology. All applicants for Psychology programmes who have failed to meet the terms of their offer are referred to the Psychology Admissions Team for review. If it is the case that there remain places available following automatic acceptances, the Team will consider offering places to ‘close misses’. In doing this, the Team will take into account all information available relating to the application, including documented extenuating circumstances if appropriate, before making a decision as to whether the student should be offered a place. The Team will not typically take into account information about exceptional circumstances that was provided after the relevant examinations or assessments were undertaken. UCAS and the Admissions Office will notify the applicant of the decision. The decision of the Admissions Team is final.

School Selection Criteria

The School endeavours to maintain criteria which ensure that individuals with diverse educational histories and qualifications are treated equitably. Where it is not possible to ascertain the suitability of an applicant on the basis of the UCAS application, and this is not due to the absence of information that the applicant might reasonably be expected to include, the School will typically offer an interview.

It is important to note that selection criteria are there to guide the decision making process. For the School of Psychology, the selection process involves adjudicating between a large number of highly competitive applications. This involves complex professional judgments that are based upon a holistic approach to assessing suitability by inspection of all sections of UCAS application forms. What this means is that satisfying criteria in terms of formal qualifications may not suffice as the basis for an offer.

Admissions Tests

Cardiff University School of Psychology does not have any standardised admissions test requirements.

Selection Interviews

Cardiff University School of Psychology does not typically interview applicants, but may under certain circumstances - please see "Interviews" section above.

Use of Contextual Data

Further information is to follow. For details of University policy, please click here.

Back to Psychology Admissions Criteria


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