Accessibility statement

2021/22 Entry Admissions Policy

Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we’ve postponed all on-campus activities and events until further notice. As a consequence, we will be making offers to suitably qualified applicants without requiring them to visit the department. Depending on Government guidelines, from January 2022, we will be hosting post offer online events and/or face-to-face visit days in the department. Please contact if you have any queries.

Entry requirements

We consider all applications on their merits and therefore the exact nature of offers can vary to match individual cases. We select applications on the basis of student potential and will take account of evidence of educational, social, health or other personal disadvantage. 

For example, offers will be influenced by:

  • the content of the UCAS application
  • any extenuating circumstances
  • the requirement to visit the Department of Chemistry. For applicants who are based in the UK and whose application meets our selection criteria, we require you to visit the Department before considering you for an offer. You can visit the Department in three ways:
  1. If you've visited us on an Open Day and applied to study at York, we'll invite you to a post-offer visit day, meaning you have another opportunity to visit us before making your decision
  2. If you've never visited us, but you've applied to study at York, we'll invite you to a pre-offer visit day. This allows you to see the campus, department, teaching facilities and meet members of staff, and allows us to learn a bit more about you
  3. If you've missed the main University Open Days, you can attend a pre-application visit day over the summer, where you can see the department, teaching facilities and meet our staff

You may also be interested in downloading our undergraduate admissions app: Chemistry@York, which is free to download for Android and iPhone.

Offers to applicants for the MChem programmes are the same as for BSc programmes, except that applicants wishing to be considered for the year abroad programme are generally expected to have a minimum of GCSE grade B/5 in the appropriate language (except in Australia, Canada, Finland, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA).

The following provides a guide to our typical entry requirements for all of our undergraduate courses.

Widening participation

The University of York is committed to a programme of widening access to higher education.

We select applications on the basis of their potential and will take account of evidence of educational, social, health or other personal disadvantage.

For further details of the University of York Access Scheme 

A levels

Offers are typically based on three subjects at A level, one of which must be Chemistry. We do not include General Studies in the terms of an offer. Typical offers are as follows:

  • AAB, A in Chemistry for students taking Chemistry and at least two other sciences/mathematics
  • AAA, A in Chemistry for students taking Chemistry with one other science/mathematics
  • AAA*, A in Chemistry plus an A or B grade in AS science/mathematics for students taking Chemistry with no other science/mathematics

(Where science/mathematics includes biology, electronics, environmental science, further mathematics, geology, mathematics and physics; we treat mathematics and further mathematics as separate A levels).

You must also achieve a pass in the science practical if your science A level includes a separate practical assessment.

For students taking four A levels, one of which is a non-science, our offer is: AAB (A Chemistry) excluding the non-science or AAA (A chemistry) including the non-science.

The introduction of the Extended Project gives you the opportunity to develop independent study and research skills. Completing an Extended Project may ease the transition from your school or college to our Chemistry degree programmes. We encourage students to undertake an Extended Project, however, this will not be a requirement of any offer that we make.

Scottish Highers

Two Advanced Higher levels are preferred, which must include Chemistry and also a second science/mathematics, plus a suitable range of Highers. Typical grades expected from Advanced Higher levels are AA/AB (A Chemistry) and AAAAA/AAAAB at Higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Typically H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H3 - H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including Chemistry and a second science/mathematics.


BTEC National Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD.
We accept a range of BTEC qualifications equivalent to 3 A Levels.
An additional A Level or equivalent qualification in Chemistry is required alongside any BTEC qualification.

Advanced Diploma

A or B grade plus A grade in A level Chemistry.

European School Leaving Certificates

We are happy to consider the school-leaving certificates of other European countries, as long as the syllabus equates to the equivalent standard of A level, particularly in science and mathematical subjects.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

Pass the diploma in principal subjects with:

  • D3/D3/M2 for a student studying Chemistry and two other sciences/mathematics
  • D3/D3/D3 for a student studying Chemistry and one other science/mathematics

International Baccalaureate

For students taking Chemistry and at least one other science/mathematics at Higher level:

  • Obtain the diploma with a minimum score of 35 points overall, including grade 6 in Chemistry and grade 6 in another science/mathematics at Higher level

For students taking Chemistry at Higher level without another science/mathematics at Higher level:

  • Obtain the diploma with a minimum score of 36 points including grade 6 in Higher level Chemistry and grade 6 in one or more Standard level science/mathematics subjects

For students taking Chemistry at Higher level without another science/mathematics at Higher or Standard level:

  • Obtain the diploma with a minimum score of 37 points including grade 6 at Higher level Chemistry 

(Our IB offer level takes into account guidance published by UCAS on the setting of International Baccalaureate entry requirements, and our own experience of the IB qualification).

A qualification in English Language is required from applicants whose first language is not English and who were not taught predominantly in English (please see below). This requirement can be satisfied by obtaining grade 5 in English at Higher level.

European Baccalaureate

Applicants must obtain the diploma with a minimum mark of 80% overall, including a minimum grade of 85% in Chemistry.

Overseas qualifications and international foundation programmes

Applications from international students are very welcome. We are happy to consider these qualifications on an individual basis, as long as the syllabus equates to the equivalent of A-level standard and has appropriate science and mathematics content. View a list of our international qualifications by country.

All international students whose first language is not English must satisfy the University’s English requirement. This can be covered by one of the following qualifications:

  • GCSE English Language grade B/5  
  • IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) grade C

IELTS is preferred if a choice is available.

View more detailed information on the University's English language requirements

Sri Lankan A level/Singapore A level/Malaysia STPM

Grades in the region of AAA/AAB to include Chemistry and typically at least one other science/mathematics.

Mature students

Access or foundation courses

The Department welcomes applications from students over 21 including those who have completed a suitable Access to HE course or Foundation course.

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3). The specific course requirements are 39 credits at Distinction, typically 15 of which should be in chemistry and 15 in another science (mathematics, physics or biology), and 6 credits at merit or higher.  We may request a copy of your modules.

Access courses are designed to prepare adults for entry to degree courses and provide the opportunity to study the necessary subjects at a level equivalent to A level, as well as ensuring that you have the key skills needed for higher level study, such as English, numeracy and ICT.

Access courses are offered by local further education (FE) colleges, and most can be completed in one year or over two years on a part-time or evening-only basis. You will need to make sure that the particular Access course you are considering is appropriate, and syllabuses must contain a significant portion of chemistry and mathematics.

The Access tutors at your College would be able to confirm that this is the case. Applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Students with disabilities and special needs

The University has an explicit policy of accommodating students with disabilities. The Department of Chemistry has accessible lecture rooms and laboratories, and we have a Disability Officer on the chemistry academic staff who coordinates the support for students.


Further information

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