Access to Higher Education

The majority of our courses accept the Access to Higher Education qualification. For more information about our specific requirements with this qualification please contact our Admissions Office.

A Level and GCSE Reform

We have a separate webpage providing more information about the A Level and GCSE reform.

For queries regarding the reformed science A level and Core Maths qualification:

Reformed Science A levels

As stated by UCAS: ‘Reformed science A levels (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) awarded in 2017 in England will be allocated two grades:

  • an A* – G grade based on a learner’s achievement in their examination
  • a pass/not classified grade based on their practical ability. This will be assessed through a minimum of 12 internally assessed practicals’

Lancaster University will require students taking these A levels to pass the science practical skills assessment as well as achieving the required subject grade stated in any offer.

Core Maths

Lancaster welcomes the introduction of the new Core Maths qualification, but appreciates that some schools and colleges may not be able to offer the qualification initially. Core Maths will not typically form part of the offer for entry to Lancaster, unless specified as a subject requirement at individual degree level.


Lancaster University will be accepting the following GCSE grades:

  • grade 7 as equivalent to a grade A
  • grade 5/6 as equivalent to a grade B, depending on the course applied for
  • grade 4 as equivalent to a grade C

A Level Qualifications

Applicants who have retaken or are retaking AS or A2 Levels will normally be considered however offer conditions may be changed to reflect the retaken examinations.

We accept all A Level subjects but please see the course requirements for the degree(s) in which you are interested as there may be subjects which are compulsory, for example English Literature A Level for our single and combined major English Literature degrees.

A Level General Studies is accepted by Lancaster University but only as one of four A Levels being taken.

Typically we expect A Level applicants to be taking three A Levels and would therefore only accept students taking a combination of two A Levels (A2) and two AS Levels in exceptional circumstances.

Cambridge Pre-U Qualification

We accept the Cambridge Pre-U and the typical requirements for ABB A Level equivalent would be an overall pass including specific grades in three principal subjects. Please contact our Admissions Office for more information.

BTEC Extended Diploma

We accept BTEC qualifications for most of our degree programmes. Please visit our Course Overview pages for the entry criteria specific to each degree programme we offer.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

We welcome the EPQ as adding value to a student’s academic profile and as an excellent preparation for the independent study necessary for students to succeed at Lancaster. The majority of our degree programmes will incorporate the EPQ within the offer and eligible applicants may receive two offers; our usual offer plus an offer of a B in the EPQ and one grade lower in their A level subjects (eg AAA at A level; or AAB at A level and a B grade in EPQ).

Higher National Diploma (HND)

It is not possible at Lancaster University for those in the second year of a HND programme to top up to a Bachelors degree.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

We don't accept NVQs in their own right for entry to our degree programmes. Applicants with NVQ qualifications will also need to have Level 3 academic qualifications such as A-levels, BTEC qualifications or an Access to HE Diploma.

OCR Nationals

We accept OCR National qualifications for most of our degree programmes. If you are in any doubt about eligibility, please contact the Admissions Office.

Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers

We accept Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers and typically ask for grades between ABBBB-AAAAB. If there is a specific subject requirement we require you to achieve an A in the subject at Advanced Higher level. For more information please contact the Admissions Office.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Some of our degrees will accept the Welsh Baccalaureate alongside two academic A levels. For more information please contact the Admissions Office.