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What qualifications and documents do I need for university?

What qualifications and documents do I need for university?

You do not only have to study A Levels to go to university. To be accepted onto an undergraduate course, you will usually need one of the following level 3 qualifications:


  • A Levels

  • BTEC awards, certificates and diplomas at level 3

  • International Baccalaureate

  • NVQs at level 3

  • Access courses


Check the entry requirements of the degree course you would like to study. The university’s website will also list the qualifications requirements that you will need. You can also email or call the admissions team at the university to ask whether your qualifications will be acceptable.


If not, you may need to explore doing one of these qualifications at your nearest Further Education (FE) college before you can apply for university.


You will also need to think carefully about your level of spoken and written English. Universities may ask you to have a pass (usually 4 or C) in GCSE English Language or to sit an alternative English language test (such as IELTS) and achieve the minimum score required by the university. You can find more information about English language requirements here.

I have transcripts/certificates from my home country, how do I know if I can apply to university using them?

UK NARIC is an organisation that compares international qualifications. They provide 'Statements of Comparability' for people who have international qualifications and want to study in the UK. You can apply for this through their website, but please note there is a cost for this. You may be able to fund the cost of this through a small grant.

What is 'contextual admissions', and how can it help me?

'Contextual admissions' is where a university recognises any barriers or challenges you may have faced in your education. Because of this, the university might reduce their grade requirements or give extra consideration when deciding whether to give you an offer.

Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward

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