Eligibility and entry requirements and how to apply for our courses

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Eligibility requirements

Our courses are designed specifically for mature learners who have been out of education for some time and haven’t previously accessed higher education. The requirements for entry are different from those for students wishing to enter directly onto a degree programme elsewhere in the university.

We are committed to supporting learners from non-traditional backgrounds to succeed at University and consider a range of factors including previous work, life and educational experience. We will assess your suitability for the course you've applied for by reviewing your personal statement, which should outline your previous work and life experience, as well as your interest in the subject you have applied to study. All suitable applicants will be invited to attend an interview and assessment day.

Information you discuss with us in the interview may be used to inform contextual decisions relating to your application or shared with your personal tutor and members of university support staff if we feel this will help with you transition into higher education. For more details on our policy regarding the use of contextual data please visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/policies/contextual

To be eligible to apply, applicants should:

  • Out of formal full time, level 3 education for 2+ years (A-Levels, Access) 
  • Have potential to succeed on their chosen degree programme, evidenced by a combination of work, life and prior educational experience
  • Have an understanding and commitment to the subject-area of their chosen degree programme
  • Be prepared for the demands that undergraduate degree level study will place upon them
  • Be 21 or over (see below for advice for younger applicants)

If you meet all of our eligibility requirements, please check our entry requirements.

Younger Applicants 

Non-mature applicants will only be considered where they have not been in recent, full-time, post-16 education and where they have experienced extenuating circumstances which have had a demonstrable impact on level 3 achievements.

Additional supporting information should be provided in accordance with the terms and conditions of the University’s Disrupted Studies initiative and supported by third party evidence (e.g. a medical note).

Applicants with Previous Higher Education Experience

Applicants who have previously studied at HE level are strongly advised to contact Student Finance England before applying, to check eligibility for funding.

Foundation year entry requirements

All applicants must demonstrate that they meet the University of Sheffield’s minimum academic entry requirements for English language (normally demonstrated by GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent). Non-native English speakers may demonstrate proficiency through the attainment of IELTS 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.

A minimum GCSE grade D/3 in Mathematics (or equivalent) may also be required. A GCSE grade C/4 may be required for some science programmes. 

All applicants will be asked to complete literacy and numeracy assessments as part of the DLL selection process. The outcome of these tests will be used in admissions decisions.

In addition, applicants should be able to demonstrate evidence of:

  • Potential to succeed on their chosen degree programme, evidenced by a combination of work, life and prior educational experience
  • Understanding and commitment to the subject-area of their chosen degree programme
  • Preparedness for the demands that undergraduate degree level study will place upon them

Applicants to BMus Music with Foundation Year must also demonstrate:

  • Evidence of prior musical learning, which could include Music GCSE, Grade V theory and/or Grade VIII practical (ABRSM or equivalent)
  • If you do not hold any of these qualifications you may be asked to sit a short test at interview

See the BMedSci Orthoptics with Foundation Year page for additional specific entry requirements for this course

How to ApplyImage of people at computer

Before making an application, we strongly encourage anybody with an interest in any of our degrees with an integrated foundation year to read all our foundation year web pages, particularly preparing to study at DLL.

If you have any further queries you would like answering before you make your application, please contact a member of our admissions staff for further information, advice and guidance. Visit our events and open days page to register for our events and the chance to find out more about applying and studying with DLL. 

Email: foundation.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 7000

When writing your application, we encourage you to think about examples from all areas of your life, not just previous study, which have prepared you for the course you are applying to. Examples may include: paid work, voluntary work, travel, reading, hobbies, home or family life. Try to give clear examples of your experience and explain how this has prepared you for studying at University.

You should explain why you have chosen a particular course or subject area and what it is that motivates you. We also ask you to show that you have thought about why a degree with a foundation year may be the best route for you, about what studying at full- or part-time at University may involve for you.

For further guidance, please watch the video below:

Full-time course applications

Applicants wishing to study their degree with integrated foundation year on a full-time basis should apply via UCAS

Part-time course applications

Applicants wishing to study their degree with foundation year on a part-time basis should apply using our online part-time application form, by following the link from the relevant course page.

If you are interested in studying for one of our full-time degrees with foundation year, but want to study the foundation year itself part-time over two years, please contact one of our admissions staff direct for further advice before applying as this option is only available for a small number of courses.

International Students 

University of Sheffield International College offers a foundation programme especially for international students. 


Please note that the University only provides accommodation for all full-time students in their first year and not part-time students, so part-time students will need to either live within travelling distance of Sheffield to attend their course or make their own arrangements to do so.