University of Aberdeen Entry Requirements

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University of Aberdeen Entry Requirements

Arts and Social Sciences

Master of Arts (MA) in Arts & Social Sciences

  • MA – Minimum Entry Requirements
  • MA – Minimum Entry Requirements for Advanced Entry

Honours degrees in Scotland normally take four years to complete. In an arts or social science subject, you have a great deal of freedom to devise your own programme of study. Most first year classes are open to you even if you have not studied the subjects before, and you can usually go on to Honours in any subject that particularly interests you, even if it is not the subject you applied for via UCAS. All degrees have core courses, but your freedom to combine subjects is generally limited only by the timetable.

Changing Your Subject

The tradition in Scotland is to admit students to a degree programme rather than to a particular subject or degree. You do have to put specific subjects and course codes on your UCAS form, but essentially we admit you to the MA degree programme rather than specifically to an MA in Anthropology or History or Philosophy, for example. As a result, it is possible in most cases to change your Honours preference after you have begun your degree.

Specialised Years – Honours

Honours students can specialise in their third and fourth years in one particular subject (Single Honours), in two (Joint Honours) or in the case of Scottish Studies, three (General Honours). You can also take an Honours degree in which you add a ‘minor’ in a subject like Music to your ‘major’ subject. Honours degrees are classified, that is to say you will be awarded a first-class, upper-second, lower-second, or third-class degree.

Minimum Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for the MA are rarely subject-specific: we are more interested in your overall ability than in the precise content of your pre-university studies. In most cases you do not need a prior qualification in the subject to enter a first year degree, even if the subject in question is one that is on the school curriculum. There are some exceptions, but they are rare. When you apply, do not worry too much about getting your subject choice absolutely right on your application. If you find your interests changing, you will usually be able to change your degree intention accordingly.

Level One
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • National 5 at A, B C orS at levels 1, 2 or 3 in English
  • Minimum of 4H at AABB or 3AH at BBB.
  • Those seeking to qualify over two sittings must normally get H at BBB at first sitting.
  • Group Awards will be taken into consideration for entry purposes although additional H or AH passes may be required. National 5/S Grade Maths needed for entry to Accountancy, Economics, Finance
  • For some degrees a specific subject is required, see subject listings for details
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • GCSE in English or English Language
  • Minimum of 3 A Levels at BBB or 4AS at AABB
  • GCSE Maths needed for entry to Accountancy, Economics, Finance
  • For some degrees a specific subject is required, see subject listings for details
ILC – Irish Leaving Certificate / Ardteistimeireacht
  • O in English or in English Language
  • Minimum of 5H at AAABB obtained at a single sitting of Hs. The grading within band B must be at B2 or above
  • For some degrees a specific subject is required, see subject listings for details
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • SL in English
  • Minimum of 32 points at least 5,5,5 at HL
EB – European Baccalaureate
  • Pass First Foreign Language – English
  • Minimum of 75% overall
National Diplomas
  • Minimum of DDD
Higher National Certificates
  • Pass with B grade in assessment unit
  • Articulation agreements exist for some subjects with local FE Colleges, see below

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Level Two (Advanced Entry)
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • Advanced entry is possible in most school based subjects. A minimum of ABB overall in Adv H is required. Adv H at A in the subject selected for Single Honours, or AB in the subjects slected for Joint Honours.
  • National 5 at A, B or C, or S at levels 1, 2 or 3 in English
  • For some degrees a specific subject is required, see subject listings for details
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A Level at A in the subject selected for Single Honours plus BB or AB in the subjects selected for Joint Honours, plus a further B
  • GCSE in English or English Language
  • For some degrees a specific subject is required, see subject listings for details
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • SL in English
  • Minimum of 36 (including 6,6,6 at Higher in subject(s) selected)
Higher National Diplomas
  • Pass in Related Subject (restrictions apply)
  • Articulation agreements exist for some subjects with local FE Colleges, see below

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Offers of Admission

Applicants should note that achieving the minimum entrance requirement from a single sitting of exams will not guarantee an offer of admission. We have many more applicants than places, and most of them meet our minimum entrance requirements. Consequently, we may need to ask for more than the minimum. An applicant’s academic profile will normally be the most significant factor in our decision making. Additionally, certain features of the personal statement may help to strengthen an applicant’s case.

Advanced Entry

The traditional four year MA Honours degree with its ‘two-plus-two’ structure (two pre-Honours years followed by a two-year Honours programme), allows you to experiment with new subjects in your pre-Honours years, and perhaps change your Honours intention, while still completing your degree in the normal time. However, if you are clear about what you want to study, and have (or are likely to get) good qualifications in the subject or subject area you have applied for, it is possible to complete an Honours degree in three years. In your first year, you would take a combination of first and second year subjects, and then proceed to third year in your second year of study. Direct entry to the second year of study is possible in most subject areas covered by the MA degree. To qualify for Advanced entry, prospective Single Honours students must hold an A grade pass at A Level, or an A grade pass at Advanced Higher, in the subject they wish to study for their degree. Prospective Joint Honours students may be admitted directly to the second year of the degree if they hold an A and B grade pass at A Level, or one A grade pass and one B grade pass at Advanced Higher in the subjects concerned.

Enhanced Study

You may have the opportunity to take Enhanced Study options as part of your degree and widen the breadth of your studies even more. Visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/enhanced-study-options-1518.php for further information.

Employment Prospects

‘Arts’ degrees are often thought of as educationally attractive but not strongly job-related. In fact, some degrees within the arts and social science area are strongly vocational: most graduates in Accountancy, Computing and Economics, for instance, will have no difficulty in finding a job, and will be employed because of the knowledge and skills they have learned at university; Mathematics graduates, too, are highly employable. As with most science graduates, however, the majority of graduates in arts and social science subjects go into careers in which they do not use their subject knowledge directly. They nevertheless have access to a wide range of career openings, because more than 40% of the vacancies notified to university careers services, or advertised in the broadsheet press, are for holders of degrees in any subject. Employers are looking for the qualities that any good MA graduate will have.

Sciences

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Sciences

The University is a major international centre for teaching and research in all divisions of scientific study, and Aberdeen has an unparalleled provision of buildings and equipment for science students.

  • BSc – Minimum Entry Requirements
  • BSc – Minimum Entry Requirements for Advanced Entry
  • BSc Biomedical Sciences – Minimum Entry Requirements
  • MChem, MGeol, MPhys, MSci Biomedical/Medical Sciences – Minimum Entry Requirements

Flexibility and Breadth

The University of Aberdeen BSc degree structure is extremely flexible. When students apply, they are asked to nominate a specific degree title. However, admittance is actually to the general BSc Pure Science programme. Within this programme, students are free to change their degree intention to any of those listed in the BSc section of the prospectus. There are a few exceptions: the Biomedical Sciences, MChem, MPhys and some MSci degrees have higher entry requirements than other science degrees, and consequently formal approval is required before changing degree intention to one of these degrees.

In the first year of study, students typically take at least three subjects. One of these is continued in second year for half of the time, alongside either one of the other subjects studied in first year, or a selection of subjects, some of which may be new. At the end of second year the final choice of degree intention is made, based on the subjects studied so far, and the results obtained. In years three and four, students follow the specified curriculum for their final choice of degree subject.

Each student has a Personal Tutor to guide them in their subject choices and to ensure that these choices comply with the degree regulations.

Qualifications

The Honours BSc requires four years of full-time study. The degree classification is based on the student’s performance in the final year, and in some cases the third year as well.

There are also a number of integrated Masters programmes (e.g. Mchem, MPhys and MSci) which require five years of full-time study. These degrees normally include an integral industrial placement. A student who leaves the University after one, two or three years of study can be re-admitted to study for a more advanced qualification.

Entry Requirements

Below you will find a full breakdown of our entry requirements. We look for a good level of proven academic ability overall, and strength in Science or Mathematics subjects. Beyond this we do not usually insist on specific subjects.

In some cases, such as Chemistry and Mathematics, previous study of the subject is usually desirable in order to cope with the first year material. A student applying for one of these degrees who does not have the required background may still be offered a place, but in this case may be directed towards one of the other science degrees for which their background provides a better preparation.

Minimum Entry Requirements – BSc

Level One
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A mimimum of 4H at AABB (C at AH may substitute for B at H) obtained at a single sitting or a minimum of AAABB obtained over two sittings
  • S at levels 1, 2 or 3 or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
BB from two Science or Mathematics subjects
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at BBB
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
BB from two science or Mathematics subjects
ILC – Irish Leaving Certificate / Ardteistimeireacht
  • A minimum of 5H at AAABB (B1 or B2 required)
  • O in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
BB from two Science or Mathematics subjects
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 32 points
  • SL or HL in English and Maths
5 points at HL required from two Science or Mathematics subjects
EB – European Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 70% overall
  • Pass First Foreign Language
National Diplomas
  • Distinction overall
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
Main subjects to be Science or Mathematics
Higher National Certificates
  • Pass with Merit or B grade plus
  • S at levels 1, 2 or 3 or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics

or

  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
Main subjects to be Science or Mathematics

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Level Two (Advanced Entry)
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A minimum of 3AH at ABB
  • S at levels 1, 2 or 3 or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
2AH at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects (including the subject(s) nominated for Honours)
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects (including the subject(s) nominated for Honours
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 34 points
  • SL or HL in English and Maths
  • 6 at HL in the subject(s) nominated for Honours
Higher National Diplomas
  • Pass with Merit or B grade plus
  • S at levels 1, 2 or 3 or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics

or

  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • Good performance in subject(s) nominated

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Minimum Entry Requirements – BSc Biomedical Sciences

Level One
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A mimimum of 4H at AAAB (C or B at AH may substitute for B or A at H respectively) obtained at a single sitting or minimum of 5H at AAAAB obtained over two sittings
  • National 5 at A, B or C, or S at levels 1, 2 or 3, or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics Subject
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics Subject
ILC – Irish Leaving Certificate / Ardteistimeireacht
  • A minimum of 5H at AAAAB (B2 or above required)
  • O in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics Subject
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 34 points
  • SL or HL in English
  • 6 points at HL required from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics Subject

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Level Two (Advanced Entry)
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A mimimum of 3AH at AAB
  • National 5 at A, B or C, or S at levels 1, 2 or 3, or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • 2AH at AB from Chemistry and Biology
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at AAB. A Level subjects should include Chemistry, Biology and (normally) Physics
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • AB from Chemistry and Biology
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 36 points
  • SL or HL in English
  • 6 points minimum at HL required from Chemistry and Biology

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Minimum Entry Requirements – MChem, MGeol, MPhys, MSci Biomedical/Medical Sciences

Level One
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A mimimum of 4H at AAAB (C or B at AH may substitute for B or A at H respectively)
  • National 5 at A, B or C, or S at levels 1, 2 or 3, or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)
ILC – Irish Leaving Certificate / Ardteistimeireacht
  • A minimum of 5H at AAAAB (B2 or above required)
  • O in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 34 points
  • SL or HL in English
  • 6 points at HL required from Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)

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Sciences: Level Two (Advanced Entry)
Type of Qualification General Requirements Subject Requirements
SQA – Scottish Qualifications
  • A mimimum of 3AH at AAB
  • National 5 at A, B or C, or S at levels 1, 2 or 3, or Int 2 in English, Mathematics and in either Chemistry or Physics
  • 2AH at AB form Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)
GCE – General Certificate of Education
  • A minimum of 3 A Levels at AAB. A Level subjects should include Chemistry, Biology and (normally) Physics
  • GCSE at C or above in English or English Language, Mathematics and in either Chemistry, or Physics or Dual Award Science
  • AB from Chemistry and another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)
IB – International Baccalaureate
  • A minimum of 36 points
  • SL or HL in English
  • 6 points minimum at HL required from Chemistry another Science (MChem) or from Physics and Mathematics (MPhys) or from Chemistry and Biology (MSci)

Please note that all Entry Requirements stated are the minimum required and do not guarantee entry.
Computing, Geography, Geology, Information Systems, Psychology and Technology are acceptable as Science subjects for entry purposes.

Offers of Admission

Applicants should note that achieving the minimum entrance requirement from a single sitting of exams will not guarantee an offer of admission. We have many more applicants than places, and most of them meet our minimum entrance requirements. Consequently, we may need to ask for more than the minimum. An applicant’s academic profile will normally be the most significant factor in our decision making. Additionally, certain features of the personal statement may help to strengthen an applicant’s case.

Advanced Entry

The four year length of the degree programme provides the opportunity for the breadth and flexibility that is such a significant feature of the Aberdeen Honours degree. However, for those who are well-qualified, and who are clear about their degree intention, it is possible to complete an Honours degree in three years rather than four. Such students effectively join the second year of the degree programme, and during this year they study the required second year modules for their nominated degree subject, alongside a selection of other first and second year modules.

Good entry qualifications are needed, at least up to the level of GCE A Level, or SQA Advanced Higher, particularly in subjects that are essential for the intended degree and that would otherwise have been studied in first year. Opportunities for third year entry also exist for those with qualifications up to the level of a good HND, provided the core content of the first two years of the degree curriculum has been covered adequately.

Enhanced Study

You may have the opportunity to take Enhanced Study options as part of your degree and participate in co-curricular activities. Visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/enhanced-study-options-1518.php for further information.

Employment Prospects

Most science graduates, regardless of their university, are able to find some kind of employment. The important question is not “Will I get a job after graduating?” but “What kind of job can I get?” As a science graduate from Aberdeen you will be well prepared for a wide range of high-quality employment opportunities. With a good Honours classification you will also be qualified for study towards a higher degree or PhD study.

Good Aberdeen graduates are highly regarded, and consequently many major employers in industry and commerce target the University in their annual recruiting exercises. An extremely high percentage of science graduates secure good jobs or further study/training opportunities within six months of graduation.

 

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