University Calendar 2008/9
Section IV : General Regulations
Regulations for Admission to Degree Programmes

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1. Age of Candidates
  1.1 The University of Southampton admits students on individual merit and does not discriminate on the grounds of age. Some programmes of study are bound by external professional or placement requirements concerning age.
  1.2 Where the age of an applicant would raise issues of safety, child protection, personal support or issues of care, the Head of Registry Services should be notified in order to invoke appropriate measures to investigate and assess the situation prior to an offer being made.
2. Candidates with Current UK Qualifications
  2.1 Undergraduate Programme of Study
    Candidates for admission to programmes of study who have achieved current UK qualifications must satisfy the relevant School and specific programme requirements. Candidates will normally be expected to have passed three subjects at General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A level) or equivalent in other qualifications, examples of which could include those listed below. The University of Southampton will normally be guided by the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) tariff when determining equivalency of qualifications.
  • General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A level)
  • General Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary level (GCE AS level)
  • Advanced Extension Award (AEA)
  • Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE)
  • Advanced Subsidiary Vocational Certificate of Education (ASVCE)
  • BTEC Nationals
  • OCR Nationals
  • Scottish Highers
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Welsh Baccalaureate
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Extended Diploma
  • Cambridge pre-U Principal Subjects and Diploma
  • General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQ) at national framework level three or higher
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) at national framework level three or higher
Candidates for admission must satisfy the appropriate admissions tutor(s) that their academic qualifications are sufficient to enable them to undertake the programme of study.

In addition to the general entry requirements, candidates for admission may be required to take an additional admissions test for some programmes. Additional examinations can also be required to qualify for School or programme bursaries. Please refer to the relevant School and specific programme requirements.
  2.2 Higher Degree
    The School concerned may declare eligible for admission to a programme leading to a higher degree:
  1. a graduate of a University in the United Kingdom or any other appropriate institution of higher education;
  2. a candidate not being a graduate whose qualifications have been specially approved for this purpose by the Faculty concerned.
3. Candidates with non-UK Qualifications or UK Qualifications that are no Longer Valid
  3.1 Candidates with non-UK qualifications or UK qualifications which are no longer offered must have achieved a qualification in the list at Appendix 1 or have otherwise satisfied the Faculty concerned.
  3.2 Candidates not possessing any of the qualifications listed in Appendix 1 may be admitted to a first degree course provided they can submit evidence of previous serious study and demonstrate the capacity and attainments to pursue the proposed course successfully. Examples of such evidence include recent study with the Open University or another institution of higher education, successful completion of an approved Access course or of one of the University's 'Return to Study' courses, or recent relevant work experience. In such cases, eligibility for admission is subject to the approval of the Faculty concerned.
4. English Language Requirements
  4.1 In addition to any of the above qualifications, candidates whose first language is not English are required either:
  1. to reach a satisfactory standard in an approved test in English (see Appendix 2) or
  2. to offer a first degree from a UK university that has been taught and assessed in English, or
  3. to have been instructed and assessed in English and come from a country which appears on the list of those exempt from testing (see Appendix 3).
  1. Although the candidate may have satisfied the English language requirements listed in 4.1 above, the Faculty, with advice from the Centre for Language Study, may recommend that the student take a pre/in-sessional programme, or

  2. If the candidate cannot provide any of the requirements listed in 4.1, the candidate must otherwise demonstrate to the Faculty that they have an adequate command of both written and spoken English language to follow the proposed course.
The original English language certificate is required as evidence in all cases except where online verification is available; ie: IELTS results.
5. Annual Review of Admissions Regulations
  5.1 The regulations and accompanying lists at appendices 1, 2, 3 and 4 are reviewed annually by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) with advice from Registry Services, the International Office, Associate Deans (Education), Faculty Executive Officers and the Centre for Language Study. This Admissions Review Group meets annually in May. Any decisions made are implemented in the following recruitment cycle. The amended version of the regulations is taken to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee to be approved. Decisions made are reported to the following Recruitment and Admissions Network meetings.
  5.2 The Admissions Review Group will also meet on an 'as and when' required basis at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education).
  5.3 Schools that would like their English language requirements to differ from the standard University of Southampton requirements should submit a case to be considered by the Admissions Review Group for approval.
6. University Commitment
  The University will, at all times, seek to operate admissions regulations that are fair and are in accordance with the law of the United Kingdom and the University's Charter, Statues, Ordinances and Regulations. This includes specific compliance with legislation relating to discrimination (eg: Race Relations Amendment Act, Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act, Employment Equality (Age) Regulations [2006], etc.) and the University's Equal Opportunities Policy Statement. This includes a commitment that the University will 'actively assist groups that experience disadvantage in education and employment to benefit from belonging to the University' and 'actively seek to widen participation to enable students that do not traditionally participate in higher education to do so'.
(Updated by the Admissions Review Group : 08 May 2008) 

APPENDIX 1 : Non-UK Qualifications and old UK Qualifications Accepted for Entry
Non-UK Qualifications
(a) Leaving Certificate of the Department of Education, Republic of Ireland with a score of 260 points or above in five subjects, of which four are at the Higher (or Honours) level obtained at one sitting.
(b) The International Baccalaureate.
(c) The European Baccalaureate.
(d) Two subjects passed at Grade 4 or 5 in the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations of the American College Board.
(e) Qualifications such as school leaving certificates from member states of the European Community which allow admission to University in a candidate's home country. Candidates from countries whose education systems offer fewer than 13 years of formal education may be required to provide evidence of additional study, such as A-levels or a recognised foundation programme. These countries include Cyprus, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.
(f) Overseas GCE and School Certificate examinations comparable to the UK equivalents.
(g) Year 12 Certificate of the relevant state authority in Australia.
(h) Senior Matriculation Certificate of the relevant provincial state authority in Canada.
(i) Vitnemål fra den Videregående Skole (Certificate of Upper Secondary Education) from Norway.
(j) Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STMP/Advanced Certificate of Education).
(k) All India Senior School Certificate, Indian School Certificate, Higher Secondary Certificates awarded on completion of Standard XII if awarded by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) and Metro State Boards (Delhi, Maharashtra, Chennai, Kolkata, Kamataka).
(l) Other qualifications gained outside the United Kingdom which are listed as equivalent to British entry requirements in the International Comparison section of the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) website .
Other qualifications subject to approval by the Faculty concerned.
Old UK Qualifications
(m) Qualifications no longer offered subject to approval by the Faculty concerned. Examples are an Ordinary Level Certificate or Higher National Certificate or Diploma awarded before the establishment of BTEC, pre-GCE school leaving examinations and AO-levels.
08 May 2008

APPENDIX 2 : Accepted Tests and Test Scores for English Language Certification
The required certification in English Language should normally have been obtained within the last three years. Tests currently approved are:
  • British Council/Cambridge IELTS, TOEFL, computer-based TOEFL, internet-based TOEFL are nomally acceptable at the following grade/score levels (for exceptions please see below):

    IELTS* 6.5
    TOEFL paper-based test 580
    TOEFL computer-based test 237
    TOEFL internet-based test 92

  • Programmes accepting lower IELTS, TOEFL, computer-based TOEFL, internet-based TOEFL equivalent scores/grades:

    For the International Foundation Year programme in Law, Arts and Social Sciences (including Management):

    IELTS* 5.0
    TOEFL paper-based test 500
    TOEFL computer-based test 173
    TOEFL internet-based test 61

    For all other Foundation Year programmes:

    IELTS* 5.5
    TOEFL paper-based test 527
    TOEFL computer-based test 197
    TOEFL internet-based test 71

    For admission to research degrees in Engineering, Mathematics and Science disciplines, and for entrance to studio-based programmes at the Winchester School of Art:

    IELTS* 6.0
    TOEFL paper-based test 553
    TOEFL computer-based test 217
    TOEFL internet-based test 81

    * IELTS qualification must include the Academic Reading and Writing modules. Though overall grade is stated, requirement for the particular components of listening, reading, writing and speaking may vary.

  • AEB test in English for Educational Purposes (TEEP) (Grade 4 throughout).

  • Brunei/Cambridge English GCE O level (grade C or above); Brunei/Cambridge GCE A level English (grade C or above).

  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (Grade C or above).

  • Cambridge International Examinations English O-level (used in Malaysia) (Grade C or above).

  • Certificate in Advanced English (Cambridge) (Grades A - B).

  • Certificate of Attainment in English (London) (Levels 5 - 6).

  • GCE O-level or GCSE in English (Grade C or above).

  • IGCSE English as a Second Language (used in Cyprus, the Middle East and Argentina) (Grade C or above).

  • International Schools: Undergraduate applications where the medium of instruction and assessment is English in an international school.

  • JMB University Entrance Test in English for Speakers of Other Languages (Pass).

  • Nigeria: Year 12 Certificate in English (WAEC) (grade C and above).

  • Northern Consortium of British Universities (NCUK): EAP module - B for all courses are the University.

  • Successful completion of either a pre-sessional course or the qualifying course offered by the University's Centre for Language Study.

  • University of Reading: Test in English for Education Purposes (TEEP).

  • Warwick Higher Education Foundation Programme: 55% for all courses at the University.
The following qualifications are also acceptable:
  • Abitur with a minimum score of 11 out of 15 or 2 out of 6 in English Language as a Leistungskurs.

  • European Baccalaureate with a minimum 7.5 in English as the First Foreign Language L2 or First Foreign Language - Advanced L2A.

  • International Baccalaureate (Syllabus A1: Grade 4 at either Higher or Standard level; Syllabus A2: Grade 5 at Higher level or Grade 5 at Standard level where the IB subjects have been studied through the medium of English; Syllabus B: Grade 5 at Higher level).

  • India English Exam for CBSE and ISC exam boards with a minimum score of 70%.

  • Norwegian Vitnemål with minimum score of 4 in English.
Please note that the scores listed above are normally minimum requirements. However, some programmes may require higher scores. A number of programmes specifically require the following grade/score levels:

TOEFL paper-based test 617
TOEFL computer-based test 260
TOEFL internet-based test 105
Specific examples include the School of Law's LLM programme, MSc Audiology, School of Medicine Bachelor of Medicine programmes, MSc and postgraduate research programmes and a number of BSc programmes in the School of Health Sciences. Applicants are advised to contact individual School admissions tutors for definitive programme requirements,
For the full list of IELTS and TOEFL equivalences, please see Appendix 4
08 May 2008

APPENDIX 3 : Countries where no Separate Test of English Language Proficiency is Required †
British Virgin Islands
Canada (if education has been through the medium of English)
Cayman Islands
Christmas Island
Cocos Islands
Cook Islands
Falkland Islands
Heard Island
India (CBSE and ISC English Exam Boards at 12th standard with minimum score of 70% only)
McDonald Island
New Zealand
Norfolk Islands
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United States of America
Western Samoa
(08 May 2008)
As long as Education has been through the medium of English; see Section 4.1 of Admissions to Degree Programmes.

APPENDIX 4 : Table of IELTS and TOEFL Test Score Comparisons
TOEFL paper-based test
TOEFL computer-based test
TOEFL internet-based test
* IELTS qualification must include the Academic Reading and Writing modules. Though overall grade is stated, requirement for particular components of listening, reading, writing and speaking may vary.
(08 May 2008)

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Last reviewed: 23-Jul-2008
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