Application and access

QMU is fully committed to Universities Scotland’s Guarantee of fairness, and to widening access to higher education. We recognise that applicants may have received different levels of support, guidance and educational opportunity before applying to university. This means that each application received by the University is considered carefully on an individual basis. Admissions decisions are not made based on grades alone.

Common questions

Q: What do I need to apply for the course I want to study?

A: You will need qualifications, a personal statement and a reference. For some specific courses you will also need to:
- come to an interview or audition;
- submit a digital portfolio or
- provide evidence of relevant work or voluntary experience.

If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence of your English language skills through qualifications or a Secure English Language Test. We call these our entry requirements.

You need to apply on time:

  • UK and EU students: 25 January 2023
  • International applicants: 30 June 2023

Applications received after these dates cannot always be considered. Where we receive a large volume of applications, and the number of places on a course is limited, the majority of our decisions will be made after the January UCAS deadline.

Q: What qualifications and grades do I need?

A: The qualifications and grades you need vary by course and may depend on whether you are a widening access student.

Q: Am I a widening access student?

A: We aim to identify each applicant’s full talent and potential and look beyond grades to do this.

We consider you to be a widening access student if you:

  • live in a target postcode area that identifies you as living in an area of high deprivation (most deprived 20% in Scotland) as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Visit: to see if you live in a target postcode area;
  • are eligible and have taken part in the Lothian Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS)
  • or are care experienced.

We also consider you to be a widening access student if you inform us in your application that:

  • you have caring responsibilities (unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without your support);
  • you are estranged from your family or
  • you are an armed forces/ ex-military veteran.

More details of additional support for our widening access students

You can find out more about these terms and see if we would consider you to be a widening access student in our Contextual Admissions Policy.

More about entry requirements

On the individual course pages of our website we list entry requirements for each of our courses.

This is an example of how the information is presented:

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher:
Standard: BBBC
Minimum: BCCC

Required subjects: English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/GCSE level

Unless you are a widening access student you need to meet the standard Scottish Higher entry requirements to gain a place.

If you are a widening access student you need to meet the minimum Scottish Higher entry requirements to gain a place.

Make sure you check the subject entry requirements that apply to everyone.

For all students, qualifications should normally be achieved by the end of S6 and we accept Highers taken over two or more years.

We accept many different qualifications, including a wide range of international qualifications, but cannot list them all in this prospectus. Please contact our Admissions team for further information.

Students presenting SQA Advanced Highers, or strong GCE A Level grades in relevant subjects may be eligible for entry to the second year of some of our courses. Please see individual course pages for further details.

To meet our entry requirements, a pass in a subject will be one of the following:

SQA Higher/SQA Nat 5: C or above
A Level: D or above
AS Level: C or above
GCSE: C or above/4 or above
Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Grades: H3 or above

We only count the highest level of qualification in any subject. This means that we do not count AS levels or SQA Highers if you have the full A level or an Advanced Higher in the same subject.

Where Nat 5 Mathematics is listed as a subject requirement for entry to a course, Nat 5 Applications of Mathematics or Nat 5 Lifeskills Mathematics will be accepted at the required grade. This is for all courses except for Master of Nursing.

Where Higher English is listed as a subject entry requirement, we will accept Higher ESOL at the required grade, for all courses except for BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary).

Q: Does QMU accept HNDs and HNCs?

HNCs and HNDs which are qualifications taken in college, may allow you to enter the second or third year of a degree course. Where we cannot offer entry to second or third year of a degree, we will usually consider your application for first year.

Please visit the college qualifications page of our website for more information.

Q: I am a mature student, can I apply?

We welcome applications from mature students. If you have had a break of a few years in your formal education since school, you may be able to enter university with qualifications such as an Access course or Open University modules.

A foundation or Access course offered by a further education college or other institution could provide you with the experience and qualifications for entry. The Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) offers a range of local Access courses.

Details of the SWAP Access courses

Before embarking on an Access or foundation programme, you are welcome to contact our  Admissions staff for advice on the best way to proceed.

Deferred entry

Applicants holding an unconditional offer for some courses may request to defer entry to the University by one year. If you wish to defer you must contact the Admissions Office, stating the reasons for your request. Requests will be considered on an individual basis. If a deferral is possible you still need to meet the conditions of your offer in the year that you apply.

If it is not possible to grant your deferral request, you will be welcome to submit a fresh application the following year.


Some courses require applicants to provide specific medical information as a condition of entry and this is detailed in the relevant course entries in the prospectus. QMU is not responsible for any fees or payments incurred by students in obtaining evidence of their state of health.

Criminal convictions

Applicants who have been made an offer of a place on a course may be asked to disclose criminal convictions to help safeguard the welfare of our students. Applicants for certain courses of study, including allied health and education courses, must declare all criminal convictions at the point of application and in these cases the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply.
As a condition of entry, candidates for these courses will be required to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau, Disclosure Scotland or an appropriate alternative.
For further information, see our Admission Policy

If an applicant has any doubt about the effect a criminal conviction may have on their application, they can contact the Admissions Office who will be able to advise accordingly.

How to Apply