FAQs for applicants, offer-holders and those interested in undergraduate study at Imperial in the future.

Use the links below to jump to the section of interest:

If you're an exchange student and you have questions about applying to Imperial then please email the College's student exchange co-ordinator, Adrian Hawksworth.

 

COVID-19

I am studying A-levels, how will my exams be affected this year?

UK A-level exam boards

In January 2021, the UK government announced that A-level exams in the UK will be cancelled in summer 2021. This year, A-level grades will be determined on the basis of a teacher-assessed-grades (TAG) model.

English A-levels with a science practical endorsement

As part of our standard offer, we will have requested any applicant taking English science A-Levels to pass the science practical. If your science practical endorsement is not classified as a result of your school having insufficient evidence to confirm a pass, this will not impact your acceptance to Imperial, i.e. you will still be accepted providing you meet all other conditions specified and any associated deadlines.

Welsh A-levels

Students receiving awards from the Welsh A-level exam board (WJEC) will initially receive a set of provisional results from their school prior to the formal award by WJEC. Please do not send your provisional results to Imperial as we will be unable to consider these. Additionally, where your provisional results do not meet your conditions, we will be unable to provide any indication on the likelihood of acceptance, as we will only take a decision on receipt of your formal awarded results when received from UCAS.

International A-level exam boards

Pearson’s and Oxford intentional A-level grades will be determined on the basis of a teacher-assessed-grades (TAG) model. Cambridge International A-levels will be exam based in countries where it is safe for exams to be held. In countries where there are Government restrictions, A-level grades will be determined on the basis of a teacher-assessed-grades (TAG) model.

Recognition of UK and international A-levels

In the case of UK and international A-levels, Imperial will continue to recognise any resultant award and grades from the appropriate qualification authority, in line with any offer conditions we have set.

I am studying the IB, how will my exams be affected this year?

In February 2021, the IB confirmed that it will offer a dual route for the May 2021 Diploma Programme examination session.
 
The IB is working with schools to determine which of the two pathways is best for their region:

  • written examinations, where they can be administered safely; or
  • an alternative route using a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades, where they can’t.

Imperial will recognise any resultant award and grades from the appropriate qualification authority, in line with any offer conditions we have set.

Do I need to travel to Imperial for an interview?

No. If an interview is part of the admissions process for your course, the department will contact you directly to arrange for this to be conducted via a suitable online platform.

Do I need to send you evidence of mitigating circumstances due to disruption I have faced as a result of COVID-19?

No. We understand that COVID-19 has caused some form of disruption for all of our undergraduate applicants this year and we know how you must be feeling.

We do not want to put you under any extra pressure so you do not need to submit evidence of your mitigating circumstances.

We will take the disruptions you’ve faced this year into consideration when reviewing your application.

How do I provide evidence of my academic qualifications?

If you are studying one of the following qualifications, we should receive your grades automatically from UCAS:

  • A-Level
  • Pre-U Certificate
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Irish Leaving Certificates
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • STEP

If we don't receive your results, we will contact you.

If you are not studying one of the above qualifications then please see our instructions on how to send us your results. 

Importantly, please, do not post any certificates or documents to us as these will not be received.

 

Application process

How do I apply?

To apply for any undergraduate course at Imperial you need to use UCAS' (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) online application system.

Learn more about filling in your UCAS application on our How to apply pages.

I'm an international applicant, how do I apply?

All applicants, no matter where they're from, need to apply via UCAS, which is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service for the UK.

You make your application in UCAS' online system, Apply.

You don’t need to do it all at once – you can save your progress and sign back in anytime.

For more guidance on applying via UCAS, please see our How to apply pages.

 

What is the application deadline?

There are two main undergraduate application deadlines:

  • if you are applying for Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge you will need to submit your application through UCAS by 18.00 on 15 October
  • if you are applying for any other undergraduate course for 2021 entry, you will need to submit your application through UCAS by 18.00 on 29 January 2021 (this deadline was extended for 2021 entry from the usual deadline of 15 January following UK COVID-19 restriction announcements)

For more details about when to apply for an undergraduate course, please visit our When to apply section.

Can I change my email address?

We will communicate with you using the email address you provided in UCAS' application system.
 
If you wish to change this email address, you can do so by logging into Track:
 
  • Navigate to the Personal details section where you can update your email address.
  • UCAS will email you at the new address with a verification code – enter this in Track to confirm it's the right email address. You cannot do this over the phone as it would negate the verification process.

How many courses can I apply for?

You can choose up to five courses.

There’s no preference order and your chosen universities/colleges won’t see where else you’ve applied until after you reply to any offers you get.

If you're applying to medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or veterinary science, you can only apply to a maximum of four courses in any one of these subjects.

You can only apply once in a cycle and if you've applied in previous cycles and want to apply again, you'll have to submit a new application.

When will I receive a decision on my application?

The UCAS equal-consideration application deadline for all of our undergraduate courses (excluding MBBS Medicine) has recently been extended from 18.00 on 15 January to 18.00 on 29 January 2021.

We will continue to aim to let the majority of applicants know the outcome of their Imperial application by 31 March 2021.

However, due to the two-week extension of the application deadline, some decisions may also be released a couple of weeks later i.e. by mid April.

Do you accept exam resits?

With the exception of our MBBS Medicine programme, candidates who have retaken exams may still be considered for entry.

However, submitting grades based on resits may be noted by our Admissions tutors. Where there are extenuating circumstances, these should be outlined in the reference which is supplied as part of your application by a teacher, adviser or professional who knows you academically.

If you choose to take exams in place of qualifications awarded via alternative methods (non-exam based awards) due to exam cancellations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, these will not be counted or considered as resits.

Can I change the course I applied for?

If you're happy with Imperial but you'd like to change the course you applied for, you'll need to get in touch with the relevant Admissions team.

In the message, please specify:

  • which course you have already applied for
  • the course you wish to considered for instead

We will consider all change requests, though we may not always be able to approve them, depending on the point that we receive your request.

Who can I contact for questions about the application process?

If you have a specific query that is not covered in these pages, please contact the relevant Admissions team.

 

Can I defer my offer?

You may apply for a deferral of entry, under exceptional circumstances. 

Requests for deferral are considered at the discretion of our academic departments.

They are based on a change of circumstances that is outside your control, and could not have been foreseen, that will prevent you from taking up your offer on the course starting date.

Please contact the academic department you have applied to if you wish to request a deferral.

They will send you the criteria for considering your request.

You can find the contact details for your department in the 'contact us' section of the webpage for your chosen course.  

Will taking a gap year negatively affect my application?

Taking time out before your degree course can give you a chance to further develop your skills, build your application and experience, increase your exam results or give you the opportunity to travel and work in a different country.

At Imperial, gap years that have been used well are generally viewed positively.

Please be sure to explain how you intend to use your gap year in your personal statement.

 

What is Imperial’s UCAS code?

Our institution code is I50. 

Do I have to submit my final grades?

If you are studying one of the following qualifications, we should receive your grades automatically from UCAS:

  • A-level
  • Pre-U Certificate
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Irish Leaving Certificates
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • STEP

If we don't receive your results, we will contact you.

These high school qualifications must be received by the College no later than 31 August 2021.

If you are receiving remarks, we must receive confirmation of this by 31 August 2021.

If your academic qualifications are not included in the above list, you will need to send your final results to us as part of your offer condition. Please, do not post any certificates or documents to us as these will not be received.

Please email a copy of your official results to the relevant Admissions team.

 

Can I apply before I have my final results?

If we want to offer you a place, but you have not yet taken your exams, then we would usually make you a 'conditional offer'.

This means we will guarantee you a place at Imperial subject to you satisfying the conditions of your offer, such as achieving certain scores in your final qualifications and gaining an ATAS certificate for certain courses.

You can submit your results after you have applied; this is usual practice in the UK and is the reason why you must specify which exams you are due to take on your UCAS application.

 

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for undergraduate study?

The entry requirements vary depending on the course you're applying for.

Please see the relevant course page for details. 

Which international qualifications do you accept?

You can see the full list of qualifications accepted for undergraduate study at Imperial on our Country Index

The grades listed here are the minimum required for entry to the College and may be higher for your course of interest, due to the demanding and competitive nature of our programmes.

For more detail, please see the entry requirements on our course pages.

You'll also find contact details on these pages in case you have any further questions about the course or the entry requirements for the qualifications you're studying.

Does Imperial offer a Foundation Year?

Foundation Years are specialised courses for overseas students whose home qualifications are not usually accepted for study at UK universities.

Imperial does not offer its own Foundation Year. However, the vast majority of Imperial departments accept students from the following two UK Foundation courses:

  • UCL UPCSE: the University Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering
  • Warwick IFP : an International Foundation Programme with an Engineering specialisation

If you are studying one of the above Foundation Years and wish to apply for undergraduate study at Imperial, please contact your department of interest to check that they accept Foundation Years and if so, what grades are required for entry.

You can find the contact details for each department in the 'contact us' section of each course page

Will you consider my GCSE grades?

In assessing your academic potential, we review all the material information available to us form your UCAS application.

However, our entry requirements are based on A-level or equivalent level qualifications.

The only GCSE grade that we may consider with respect to entry requirements is your English language grade if you are using the results of this qualification to show that you meet our required English language standard for entry, or a relevant modern foreign language for courses with a year abroad.

 

Selection process

What should I write in my personal statement?

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application where you can convey why you want to stydy your chosen course and why you'd make a valuable addition to the Imperial community.

For advice and guidance on what to include, please see:

 

I made a mistake in my personal statement, can I change it?

If your application is with your school or college but hasn’t yet been sent to UCAS, they can return it to you so you can make changes.

Once it has been sent to UCAS, you cannot amend your personal statement. 

If you have applied to Imperial as one of your choices, the relevant Admissions team will be able to advise whether you can send an amended version directly. This may not be possible as your application may already have been processed.

Will I have an interview?

The majority of our departments interview applicants who demonstrate potential on their UCAS form.

Where an interview is part of the selection process for the course, it will be referenced in the entry requirements section on our course pages

You'll also find more detail about the interview under the header 'Selection process' in the entry requirements section.

Who will conduct the interview?

The format of the interview, and who will conduct it, varies depending on the department you've applied to.

Your interview may form part of a recruitment day, which could also involve other activities to test your potential such as a group task, discussion or a written test. 

If you are shortlisted, we will send you more detail before the day so you know what to expect.

What should I do to prepare for my interview?

If you are invited to an interview, there are a number of things you can do to help prepare:

  • Re-read and familiarise yourself with your personal statement. You may be asked follow-up questions based on things you wrote about in your statement.
  • Research if your school offers mock interviews and attend one if available. 
  • Practise interview techniques with your parents or guardians, working on things like body language, eye contact and answering questions in a clear and concise way.
  • Think of questions you may want to ask at the interview – the interview is as much your chance to see whether the course is right for you as it is for the department to see if you’re a good fit.
 

Application fee

Is there an application fee?

UCAS charges an application fee of £20 for a single choice, or £26 if you are applying for more than one course. 

If you're applying via your school or college, they will let you know whether and when you should pay them, so that they can pay UCAS on your behalf.

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Do I need to pay a deposit?

No, you do not need to pay a deposit for undergraduate study.

 

Clearing and Adjustment

What happens if I just miss my grades in the summer? Should I retake or go through Clearing?

If you don’t achieve the grades in your Imperial offer, we will carefully reconsider your application during the confirmation period.

Your department will then take a decision about whether to confirm your place based on the grades you have achieved and the spaces available at that time.

If your place with Imperial is not confirmed, you may end up being placed with your insurance choice institution (if you have one and if they accept your grades).

If you are unsuccessful at securing a place with either your firm choice or insurance choice university, you still have options:

  • Either reapply for 2022 entry in the new UCAS cycle (you may choose to resit or retake exams at the next available opportunity) or
  • Enter into UCAS Clearing to try to secure a place for 2021 entry

Will Imperial be entering Clearing?

Imperial does not typically enter into Clearing, which is a UCAS process that lets you apply for a course which still has places for 2021 entry.

This year, Clearing is open from 5 July – 19 October 2021.

You should check universities’ websites and UCAS for details of which courses have Clearing places.

What is Adjustment?

Adjustment is a UCAS process for applicants who exceed the conditions of their offer with their firm choice university.

It's a way to potentially swap your place for one on another course you prefer at a university that is taking part in the Adjustment process.

It is usually available for around two weeks from A-level results day and it's entirely optional.

You can register for Adjustment in UCAS Track. If you try it but don’t find a course you prefer, you will still keep the place on the course you gained on results day.

You'll only lose that place if you confirm you'd like to go elsewhere and the new university/college adds themselves to your application.

You should check other universities’ websites and UCAS for more information on Adjustment. 

 

English language requirements

Can I submit an application before I take an English language test?

You are welcome to submit an application before taking an English language test.

If you do so, and we choose to make you an offer, demonstrating that you meet the relevant English language standard will form part of your offer conditions.

You will need to send us the results of an accepted English language test by the deadline specified in your offer.

We encourage you to make preparations to take an English language test as soon as you can to make sure you meet the relevant standard (either standard or higher – see our course pages for details).

Which English language tests do you accept?

We accept many different English language proficiency tests and qualifications.

For a full list, visit our English language requirements page.

As a sponsor of Student Route visas (formerly Tier 4), we can make our own assessment of applicants’ English language ability.

To do so, we require you to provide official evidence of the accepted English language test you have taken.

Once this English language requirement is satisfied, your Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies (CAS) – required as part of a Student Route visa application – will include a statement which confirms the College has made its own assessment of your English language proficiency. This means you will not need to provide this evidence on your visa application.

The only exception to this is pre-sessional English students, who are studying below degree level. They will need to take a Home Office approved English language test and provide evidence on this on their visa application.

 

Visa and CAS

When will I receive my CAS?

Your CAS statement will be available in your My Imperial student portal after you have completed both of these actions:

  • you have satisfied all your offer conditions
  • you have uploaded your passport to My Imperial

We aim to upload your CAS within two weeks of these actions being completed.

We can only issue your CAS five months before the start of your programme so the majority will be issued from April onwards. 

Where can I collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

As a result of changes to the UK Visa and Immigration process, non-EEA nationals who apply for a student visa will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

Normally BRPs are delivered to a local post office for collection. However, Imperial is also allowing students to collect BRPs from the South Kensington Campus.

In order for your BRP to be delivered to Imperial, as part of your visa application process you will be need to enter the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code 2HE497 when asked to.

You can find more information about this on our International Student Support pages.

EEA nationals

If you are from the EEA and you need to apply for a student visa, your immigration permissions will be issued electronically; you will not be issued a BRP.