Applications Guide

Flexible and friendly

Harper Adams operates a flexible admissions policy. All applicants will be treated on their merit and admissions tutors will do all they can to assist candidates who have satisfied the minimum requirements to enter their chosen course. Particular subject requirements and grades are only specified where these are mandatory prerequisites to the study of a specific undergraduate course. These are detailed below and on the course pages. Further information can also be found in the course section of the UCAS website.

Choosing the right course

It is often difficult for candidates to know which course to pursue, particularly with such a wide choice available, which is why we offer you as much help and advice as necessary.

All potentially suitable applicants will be required to attend an interview and this will give you an opportunity to discuss the course you have applied for and possible alternatives. You can also be reassured that our modular course structure is very flexible and there is provision for transfer between courses should you find your career aspirations change (this may not always be guaranteed). Particular help and advice is available for Year 11 and sixth form students at the Higher Education Choices (HEC) Conference in July.

In addition we hold a number of Open Days each year.

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Minimum age

To study on a degree or foundation degree course at Harper Adams you must normally be 17 by the start date of the course in the year of your entry and must turn 18 no later than the 1st May during the first year of study. Students must abide by regulations set out by the University for students under 18 years of age, which includes a requirement for under 18 year old students to reside in on-campus accommodation for their first year.

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Entry requirements

Harper Adams UCAS codes
Code Name: HAU
Code Number: H12

To be considered for entry you must normally satisfy the general entry requirements which are stated for all courses and those which are specific for your chosen course(s).

In general, we do not prescribe particular subjects that must be passed prior to entry, as we have found that ability, motivation and achievement are best developed if candidates study subjects which interest them. However, in some areas, specific knowledge of a subject is required and this will form part of any offer conditions.

Mature candidates without formal academic qualifications may be admitted provided that, in the opinion of the admissions tutor, they can benefit from the course and have the ability to attain the necessary standard for success.

For all degree and foundation degree courses, all applicants should meet the minimum entry requirement of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths, English Language and Science. In addition to this, applicants must also be in possession of, or studying towards, an acceptable level 3 qualification, such as A levels. Details of accepted qualifications and grades can be found on our course pages, or within the relevant UCAS Entry Profiles. If a qualification which you are studying is not listed, please contact our Admissions Office for advice.

For the Extended Foundation Degree Programme, applicants should normally possess 9 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths, English Language and Science.

For all our course areas, we do not normally accept Key Skills (or other level 2 variants) in place of the required GCSEs.

English Language Requirements

Please visit the International Office pages for information on our English Language Requirements for overseas candidates.

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Practical work experience

Harper Adams is unique in the UK in that all of its Degree and Foundation Degree courses include a year of work experience on a placement basis. However, you may be exempt from the placement year if you already have substantial work experience of two or more years. Because of the applied nature of courses, we request evidence of your appropriate experience.

For certain courses, such as veterinary nursing and agriculture, a minimum amount of prior practical experience is normally required before entry. Others require a minimum amount of work experience before the start of the placement year. Your experience will be assessed in the admissions process. Some students may be advised to undertake further work experience either prior to entry or during vacations while on the course; others may be advised to complete a pre-university year of experience. Practical experience, where required, will need to be proved by the completion of a vocational log. The deadline for any experience will be clearly stated in your offer and it is important that this is adhered to.

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Selection and interview

Your application is normally received by our Admissions office within a few days of you submitting it to UCAS. You will receive an email from the University confirming receipt. Your application will then be considered by the Admissions Officer, who will look carefully at the information you have given about yourself, and your referee's report, as well as your academic record and any exams you are due to take. Your application may also be seen by the Course Manager at this stage.

Applicants for our Agriculture, Engineering, Veterinary Nursing, Veterinary Physiotherapy and Extended Foundation Degree programmes will be required to attend an interview before a place will be offered. You will be invited to attend an Applicant Afternoon which will give you (and your guests if they would like to accompany you) an opportunity to learn more about us, see our facilities and meet current students. Details of what to expect in your interview will be included in your invitation letter but we aim to keep the afternoon as relaxed as possible. You will also be able to discuss course content and other aspects of your chosen subject area with academic staff and benefit from their advice. Applicants for Animals, Business, Countryside, Geography and Food programmes will be made an offer on the basis of their application only, although in a few occasions the Course Manager may call applicants to discuss aspects of their application. These applicant will be invited to a specific applicant day for their course area where they have the opportunity to visit the campus and take part in course specific activities.

We aim to give all applicants at least two weeks notice of your interview or allocated applicant afternoon, although at busy times we may offer you a cancellation first. If you cannot attend on that date please let us know as a matter of urgency so we can try to arrange a suitable alternative date.

While we appreciate that travelling to visit various universities can be expensive and time consuming, we believe it is essential for you to find out as much as possible about Harper Adams before deciding where to spend these important years of your life.

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Conditional and unconditional offers

The final decision on whether to make an offer lies with the Course Manager, who takes advice from the Admissions Officer where necessary.

If an offer is made and you have exams pending you can expect to receive a conditional offer specifying grades or point scores. Your offer may also include a work experience element. Please ensure that you are fully aware of all your offer conditions and adhere to any deadlines that maybe attached.

If you have already satisfied the minimum entrance requirements, and are otherwise suitable, you will receive an unconditional offer.

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Applying through UCAS

PO Box 28
GL52 3ZA
Tel: 0870 1122211
Fax: 01242 544961

For admissions to first Degree, Extended Foundation Degree Programme and Foundation Degree courses you must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UCAS handbook and details on applying should be obtained from your school or college. If you have left school/college or are a mature entrant, you should visit their website ( for information on applying

Both the UCAS Handbook and the 'Apply' pages of the UCAS website give detailed guidance on completing your application so please read it carefully. It is important to ensure that all sections of the application are completed, paying particular attention to the qualifications (both complete and incomplete) personal statement and reference sections. Any missing information will lead to a delay in your application being processed.

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Applying direct to Harper Adams

Applicants for Postgraduate courses should apply direct on a Harper Adams application form. This can be requested from the Taught Postgraduate Administrator (see the relevant course pages).

Applicants for Professional Short Courses should contact (see the relevant course pages for further information.)

For further information on applications for Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy by research please contact the Research Administrator.

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When to apply

Your application should normally reach UCAS between September 1st and January 15th for entrance in the following September. UCAS specifies January 15th as the 'on-time' deadline for applications. However, late applications are accepted and processed by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application year.

UCAS advise that late applications are only considered by institutions at their discretion, so we strongly recommend that you submit your application prior to the 15th January deadline. However, we guarantee to consider applicants for all courses, irrespective of the timing of the application, provided places are still available.

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I have applied, when will I hear?

We appreciate that once you have submitted your application you might feel anxious whilst you wait to find out whether or not we are able to offer you a place. We process all applications and arrange interviews where required, as quickly as possible. Whilst the absolute latest date by which all universities have to advise you of their decision is the 10 May (for on-time applications) we endeavour to process applications within a few weeks of receipt, although sometimes this might take a little longer. If you are invited for an interview, most candidates can expect to receive our decision within 3 weeks of the interview date, although should this be significantly longer for any reason, we will keep you informed (in writing). Please do bear in mind that processing times can vary between courses as demand varies. The time taken to process 'top-up' applications also tends to take a little longer.

If you do have any concerns regarding the progress of your application, please don't hesitate to contact the Admissions Team.

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Applicants from outside the UK

All applicants for undergraduate courses who are resident outside the UK should apply through UCAS. Further information can be found at:

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Deferred entry

Applications from candidates who have chosen not to enter higher education direct from school/college, particularly if they are gaining further practical work experience, are welcome.

We believe that a year between school and college can be beneficial in enhancing a student's maturity and motivation. Those contemplating a year out can apply in the normal way in their final year at school/college. If you subsequently decide that you wish to start earlier, please contact the Admissions Officer as soon as possible. If you are undecided on the route you wish to take whilst still at school/college, you will also be able to apply to us during your gap year.

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Higher Education CARD

If you are one of the students from the West Midlands who is working towards HE CARD, then make sure you indicate this on your UCAS form. You should put HE CARD in two places:

  • Under the Education section - click on 'Add a Qualification', select Other and Other again. Under 'Subject' put 'HE CARD', and in the Date field put June and current year, for 'Awarding Body' put a dash and leave 'Results' blank. Enter the name of your school or college and its centre number, and then click on 'Finish' to add this qualification.
  • Personal Statement - write here about the skills and qualities you have developed as a result of participating in the HE CARD programme and the way in which the scheme has helped you prepare for Higher Education and Harper Adams in particular. These will also be discussed when you have your interview, so make sure you are prepared.

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Contact information

For further information please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1952 815 000

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