Applying to University in the UK: Maths & English GCSEs

January 27, 2014

UCAS only requires a minimum of grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths for their application. So, does that mean that GCSE courses don’t matter? The best way to think about GCSE results are indicators. As with all aspects of your application, GCSE courses are a chance to show the university that you would perform well in their course. Keep reading for more information about GCSE requirements and general attitudes toward GSCE scores in the university application process….

GCSE results at most universities are at least taken into account during the application process. However, different courses place varying levels of importance on the results. Top academic universities often refer to GCSE results as an indicator of how well you will do in A level and universities studies. Even within universities, different departments will vary on which GCSEs are necessary to complete and what results are required. Universities, such as Cambridge, have recently placed more emphasis on post-16 examination performance and therefore have no GCSE requirement for most courses. This of course is a stark contrast to LSE where applicants are usually expected to receive a B or higher in both GCSE English and Maths. More selective programs often require even high GCSE results with some departments requiring A or A* grades.

Often when A or A* is required for a GCSE it is due to the relevance of the course for future study. In such instances universities are searching for evidence that you are interested in the subject and capable of excelling. However, you may be able to compensate for low GCSE scores by demonstrating progress in a certain field and explaining that progress in your personal statement.