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how we make our decisions

unlocking potential

A university education really does change your life, opening up opportunities that you just wouldn’t have otherwise.

We believe that as many people as possible should have the chance to benefit from a higher education, no matter what their background or circumstances, and are proud to be one of the most inclusive universities in the UK.

Your grades are not the only factor we look at when making a decision about whether to offer you a place. Our admissions team look beyond standard entry criteria where personal and educational circumstances mean applicants are less likely to receive an offer.

people, not numbers

We take a personal approach to our admissions process. We take the time to understand the background of our applicants, understand their journey to education, and make decisions based on an applicant’s potential to thrive at university and beyond.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shirley Congdon, is at the forefront of this approach to understanding the person, not just their grades:

"There is a lot of news about personal statements becoming a less important factor in university applications, but for us they remain an invaluable tool. We don’t ignore them, or use robots to read them, we take the personal approach.

"The statements help us make our decisions as they allow us to spot passion and potential, and get a personal insight into an individual that does not come across when looking solely at grades.”

taking a deeper look

The University of Bradford admissions team have been examining exactly what our applicants studied (such as their results for each module) to look at the meaning behind the overall grade, and are also considering relevant career and life experience.

This has resulted in some applicants being offered alternative courses based on the subjects they did well in or have previous experience of. A Foundation year can also be offered to provide the support an applicant needs to progress to degree study.

Claire Pryke, Associate Director (Recruitment Operations) at the University, explains:

"We've been going through the process of confirming places for September 2019 for those who applied during the main UCAS cycle. We get A Level, BTEC, Access and other exam results a few days earlier than our applicants and have some tough decisions to make if people don’t do as well as they hoped.

"Shirley and I have been personally reviewing applications and reading personal statements alongside our admissions team to assess whether or not the individual can evidence their suitability for their degree or foundation course in a different way than just tariff points."

What this means for Clearing

We are committed to maintaining this personal approach through Clearing, to give as many people who are looking for a place at university as possible the opportunity to benefit from degree study at the University of Bradford.

For those who do not get the results they need on A Level Results Day, or for the increasing number of students who are waiting until Clearing to make an application, we encourage you to call Our Clearing Helpline.

Our advisors, admissions team and academics will be on-hand to talk you through your options and find the course that's right for you.

Professor Shirley Congdon comments:

"Clearing is the highlight of the year for many of our staff. It's so fulfilling to help students work through their options and make the right choice for them at what can be an emotional time. Ultimately it's a chance to help change people's lives for the better. 

"Both Clearing and Graduation are my highlights; they’re a chance to share the pride in people’s journey and feel their excitement for what lies ahead. That's part of why we love what we do."

A university education is a transformational experience and both myself and my colleagues across the University want it to be open to the widest range of people possible. Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor