Sussex welcomes applications from students taking a range of non-A level UK qualifications:
Access to HE Diploma
The University has a strong record of admitting students offering QAA-recognised Access to HE Certificates from one of the Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) and welcomes the new Access to HE Diploma.
Access courses are designed for people who want to return to education but do not have standard entry qualifications (like A levels) and whose study skills are perhaps a little rusty. They aim to reintroduce students to a range of study skills and are a good preparation for university entrance. They tend to cover broad academic areas, usually in the humanities and social sciences, but some provide the knowledge required by other courses, such as the sciences. They are not designed for students who have recently completed A levels and we would encourage these students to resit those A levels if they do not have the necessary grades for admission.
With the introduction of grading into Access, each level-3 unit is now being awarded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. Offers to Access applicants to Sussex are, therefore, conditional upon you achieving certain grades in the individual units that make up your Access to HE Diploma. There is no overall final grade, so offers are based on the individual units being taken and you should clearly state which units you are taking, as well as their level and credit-value, when completing the UCAS application. Successful applicants to Sussex would normally be expected to pass the Access to HE Diploma, achieving at least 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and the remaining 15 credits at Merit or higher. Some offers may also specify which units need to be at Distinction.
Although Access courses are accepted across the University, you should ensure that you meet any other GCSE-level requirements (refer to Qualifications counted as equivalent to GCSE). It is also important to realise that for some subjects, especially in the sciences, you would need to have taken a specific Access programme – eg Access to HE Diploma (Science) – and/or may need to take a foundation year.
Access courses are taught at many further education colleges and some other sixth-form centres, and there are local providers throughout Sussex. Most courses will start in September and last for one academic year. You should contact your local college(s) for more information.
The University welcomes the Advanced Diploma, introduced as part of the 14-19 curriculum changes, and recognises the Advanced Diploma as meeting the general entrance requirements. The Progression Diploma alone would not normally be enough for entry directly to the first year of a degree course, but we welcome applications from students taking the full Advanced Diploma.
Successful applicants to Sussex will need to be taking at least one A level as their Additional and Specialist Learning within the Advanced Diploma and, for some degree courses, we would require this A level to be in a specific subject. For example, applicants to our Music degree courses will need to be taking either A level Music or A level Music Technology as their Additional and Specialist Learning within their chosen Diploma. All applicants are advised to consider their Additional and Specialist Learning options carefully and we would urge applicants to choose an A level related to their chosen degree subject.
Similarly, owing to the theoretical component of many of our degrees, we would generally prefer the extended project undertaken within the Diploma to have a written basis (for example a dissertation) rather than taking another form (such as a performance or artefact). For most subjects, we will be looking for a project that provides the opportunity for learners to carry out extended and in-depth research, exploration and writing. There are some degree courses (for example Media Practice) where another form of project may be acceptable but, for all our courses, a strong written element will provide good preparation for Sussex.
The table below gives an indication of the likely grades we will require from successful Diploma applicants in comparison to our published A level requirements. In general, we anticipate that we will be looking for an A or B grade in the Diploma, plus a high grade in the accompanying A level within the Additional and Specialist Learning.
The University is happy to receive applications from those offering the AQA Baccalaureate, and recognises the value offered by the breadth of qualifications and experiences incorporated within this award. Although our offers will normally be conditional upon the A levels being taken within the AQA Baccalaureate, the overarching qualification will be taken into account when selecting applicants for offers, and the additional elements of the Baccalaureate may be important in the summer when considering applicants who have missed the conditions of their A level offer.
The University is happy to consider applications from students taking the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (and the former BTEC National Diploma), and the table below gives an indication of the typical offer levels required. We are also pleased to consider applicants offering the Level 3 Diploma (and the former BTEC National Certificate), although we would normally expect this to be combined with an additional qualification, and also welcome applicants offering the Level 3 90-credit Diploma or Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (as well as the former BTEC National Awards) alongside A levels.
Most applicants will present with BTEC Level 3 Extended Diplomas in areas directly relevant to their chosen subject (for example, the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering for those wishing to study engineering). However, this is not always the case and the University is happy to consider applicants who wish to change direction (although you would need to demonstrate your commitment to, and suitability for, the new subject area).
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma
The University is pleased to consider applicants taking the Cambridge Pre-U, whether as the full Diploma or individual principal subjects combined with A levels. As with other diploma qualifications, the University recognises the value of the breadth offered by elements such as Global Perspectives and the Independent Research Report. Offers will normally be made in terms of grades achieved in principal subjects (sometimes combined with A levels if taken).
The University recognises the value of taking the Extended Project qualification and will take this into account when considering your application. However, we do not normally include the Extended Project within the conditions of our offers. The Project can provide useful additional experience, and good grades may be taken into account at confirmation where an applicant narrowly misses their overall A level requirement.
The University receives a number of applications every year from students studying at one of the European Schools and we are very pleased to consider applicants offering the European Baccalaureate (EB). The table below gives an indication of the typical EB offer levels compared to the A level grades declared for each course accessible via Undergraduate study. Where it is indicated that a particular A level needs to be studied (for example, A level Biology for Biomedical Science), we would expect EB students to be taking this subject throughout their Baccalaureate and at the appropriate level. For example, engineering applicants would need to be studying 5 period mathematics and would receive an offer asking not only for an overall percentage, but for a specific grade in this key subject (for example, Pass European Baccalaureate with 77 per cent overall including at least 8.0 in Mathematics).
International Baccalaureate Diploma
The University welcomes applications from students offering the full International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) and details of typical offer levels are shown for each course accessible via Undergraduate study.
Normally, offers will be made in terms of the overall score achieved within the Diploma, but we may specify minimum marks in some subjects and we will look at the full breakdown of marks across Higher and Standard levels when results are known. In addition, there are some degree courses that require specific subjects to be taken at Higher level, sometimes with a particular final mark. Details of these are shown for each course accessible via Undergraduate study.
Open University (OU)
60 credits at level 1 from the OU would be suitable for first-year entry. If you have 120 or more credits, it may be possible to consider you for direct entry into the second year (also refer to Transfers and exemptions).
Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
You would normally need at least five Highers to be considered for first-year entry (refer to the table below for typical offer levels). For our most selective subjects, additional Advanced Highers would certainly strengthen your application.
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
The University is pleased to receive applications from students taking the Welsh Baccalaureate and would normally expect good grades in the Options in addition to achieving the core (refer to the table below for typical offer levels). We would normally expect the options taken to be A levels rather than other qualifications.
Typical A level offers and their equivalents
|A level grades as quoted for each course accessible via Undergraduate study:|
|Advanced Diploma||Pass with grade A in the Diploma and A in the Additional and Specialist Learning||Pass with grade A in the Diploma and A in the Additional and Specialist Learning||Pass with grade B in the Diploma and A in the Additional and Specialist Learning||Pass with grade B in the Diploma and B in the Additional and Specialist Learning|
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma||DDD||DDD||DDM||DDM|
|European Baccalaureate||Pass with overall result of 85%||Pass with overall result of 80%||Pass with overall result of 77%||Pass with overall result of 75%|
|International Baccalaureate (IBD)||Pass IBD with an overall score of 36 points||Pass IBD with an overall score of 35 points||Pass IBD with an overall score of 34 points||Pass IBD with an overall score of 32 points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma||Pass the core plus AA in the options||Pass the core plus AA in the options||Pass the core plus AB in the options||Pass the core plus BB in the options|