Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

After you apply

This page will tell you more about the admissions process at ARU, including how we review your application and the different types of offer we may make.

If you haven't applied to university yet and are looking for information on how to do this, check our pages for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

We'll make a decision on your application once we have all the necessary information. For some courses this may include interview outcomes, test results, portfolio or written work.

Once we have all the required information we aim to make a decision within five working days. This may take longer if your application has to be referred to the faculty for a decision.

If you need to attend an interview, you may not receive the decision on your application immediately afterwards. For courses with limited places, we hold interview days from November to April, so that all applicants are treated fairly. We'll make a decision on who will be offered a place after all interviews have taken place. We will, of course, let you know the outcome as soon as possible.

We consider all applications, however places are limited and for some courses competition is strong. If we are unable to offer you a place we can provide feedback to help you in the future.

You may receive a conditional or unconditional offer from us. A conditional offer means you need to meet certain requirements, usually based on exam results. We'll accept you on our course if you achieve the relevant qualifications.

An unconditional offer means you definitely have a place on your chosen course.

All offers are made on the basis that you will meet the current entry requirements for your course, and complete all qualifications listed on your application form before starting the course.

For some courses, entry requirements may include completing pre-study checks such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Occupational Health.

Contextual offer making

We operate a policy of making contextualised offers to applicants who have not yet completed their qualifications based on meeting one of the following contextual criteria:

  • a care leaver or care experienced
  • a declared disability
  • from a Polar4 quintile 1 or 2 postcode 
  • provide unpaid care for another person
  • currently, or were, in receipt of free school meals during secondary education
  • a Service Child, where their parent or carer currently serves in the UK Armed Forces
  • participated in an approved activity in preparation for entry to higher education
  • attended a secondary school that had a Progress 8 score of average, below average or well below average

and, on previous academic attainment at level 2, the applicant's predicted grades, personal statement and reference, participation in an additional selection event where required for entry to the course, and our assessment of their ability to succeed and benefit from the course. Applicants may receive either an unconditional offer or a reduced conditional offer depending on the course to which they have applied and are considered for a place.

We consider that this approach promotes the equality of educational opportunity for our applicants from low participation groups in higher education. ARU has a long and proud tradition of welcoming students from a diverse background and helping them achieve their full potential through our innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research. The offer of a place through the contextual offer process is at the discretion of ARU.

We strongly advise applicants complete their qualifications for several reasons:

  • these will provide the essential foundations and preparation for study at university. Students are expected to complete them and by not doing so, they would be at a disadvantage and playing catch up from the beginning which is difficult with so many new things to learn.
  • high achievement can lead to financial assistance, such as the Merit Bursary
  • employers normally take A level and other qualifications into account when reviewing job and placement applications, and there are often requirements from pre-university qualifications
  • if an applicant wants to change courses or university because the course is not right for them, gaps in education may have a negative impact.

If an applicant decides to change their subjects or withdraw from any of them, this will invalidate their offer. Applicants must inform us of any changes so that we can issue an amended offer as appropriate.

Exclusions from the contextual offer policy

Due to external requirements, from PSRBs, or other academic requirements, not all courses are included in the contextual offer making policy and these include:

  • Foundation Year entry
  • Apprenticeships
  • Distance learning
  • Postgraduate taught and research
  • MA Social Work
  • Foundation degrees
  • BOst/MOst Osteopathy
  • Medicine MBChB – a separate Widening Access to Medicine scheme considers applicants from a range of contextual backgrounds
  • Applications made to partner institutions

If we don’t have all the information we need to make a decision on your application, we will get in touch. With the request for further information, you will also be given a deadline by which you need to respond. Please reply as quickly as possible, as until we hear back from you, we won’t be able to progress your application. If you do not respond your application maybe withdrawn or you may be considered for an alternative course.

Types of further information we may require include:

Educational certificates, transcripts and other supporting documentation may be needed to progress your application. These can be scanned and emailed to your Admissions faculty team.

For some courses you may be asked to supply a second reference. If you are requested to provide a second reference, it is your responsibility to contact your referee with the request. References must be from someone who has known you in a professional capacity for at least two years, for example your course tutor or line manager. We cannot accept references from relatives or friends.

The residential category you select on your application for helps us to decide what tuition fee rate and any scholarships that you may be eligible for. It is related to your nationality and the country that you have lived in the for last three years, with the exception or temporary absences.

We make the assessment of your residential category and tuition fee rate based on the information supplied on your application, but for some applicants we may ask you to complete a fee assessment form to ensure we have made the right assessment.

If you are asked to complete a fee assessment form please do so as promptly as possible, completing all the questions on the form and supply all relevant documentary evidence to support your responses.

For independent guidance on the eligibility criteria for your particular circumstance please visit the UKCISA ukcisa.org.uk/Information--Advice

Please view the categories below to help you select the most appropriate to your situation on your application form. The most common categories are:

Overseas / other

You are a non UK or EU national who is resident outside of the UK. You should select this category even if you have been living temporarily in another country for work or study. If you are a UK or EU citizen living permanently outside the UK or EU you should also select this category.

UK Citizen – England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

You are a UK citizen, or are the child or grandchild, spouse or civil partner of a UK citizen, and have lived in the UK or EU for the past three years and not just for fulltime education.

EU National (non-UK citizen)

You are an EU national (but not a UK citizen) or are the child or grandchild, spouse or civil partner of an EU national (but not a UK citizen) and have lived in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland or Overseas Territories for the past three years, and not just for full-time education.

Settled in the UK

You have Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain in the UK or have the Right of Abode in the UK and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (or more than one of these) for three years, and not just for full-time education.

British Citizen – Channel Islands and Isle of Man

You are a British citizen or are the child or grandchild, spouse, or civil partner of a British Citizen, and have lived in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the past three years, and not just for full-time education.

British Citizen – British Overseas Territories

You are a British Citizen, or are the child or grandchild, spouse or civil partner of a British citizen, and have lived in the British Overseas Territories for the past three years, and not just for full-time education.

EEA or Swiss National

Either: You are an EEA or Swiss national working in the UK, or you are the child, spouse or civil partner of such a person or you are the parent or grandparent of an EEA national working in the UK. You have lived in the UK, EEA or Switzerland or overseas territories for the past three years, and not just for full-time education.


You have been recognised as a refugee by the British government or you are the spouse, civil partner of child under 18 of such a person at the time of the asylum application.

Humanitarian Protection or similar

You have been granted Exceptional Leave to Enter or Remain, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave or you are the spouse, civil partner or child under 18 of such a person at the time of the asylum application.


For some of courses, you'll be invited to attend an interview. This is indicated in the entry requirements section on individual course pages.

If you're invited to an interview, you'll receive an email asking you to go to your Applicant Portal and select a date and time. If you don’t book an interview slot within the timeframe given we will assume that you no longer wish to proceed with your application; your application may be withdrawn or considered for an alternative course.

Auditions and portfolios

Some courses require you to provide a portfolio or an audition piece as part of the application process. This is indicated in the entry requirements section on individual course pages.

If you're asked to supply a portfolio or audition piece this will show in your Applicant Portal. Details of what to include, and how and when to return your portfolio or audition piece will also be given. If you don’t return your portfolio or audition piece within the timeframe given we will assume that you no longer wish to proceed with your application; your application may be withdrawn or considered for an alternative course.

We welcome all students. If you have study support needs, such as a specific learning difficulty, a medical condition, or a disability, please do let us know. You can also let us know if you're a care leaver

If you would like to discuss your requirements before an offer is made, or speak to a Study Support Adviser please contact: [email protected].

It helps to declare a disability as early as possible so that support can be arranged.

Once you have applied, your point of contact will be your Admissions faculty team. Your faculty team is made up of a small team of Admissions Officers who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Please contact your Admissions faculty team if you need any advice or assistance and they will be happy to help you. If your question is not related to admissions they will be able to put you in touch with a member of staff who will be able to help.

When contacting us, please make sure you quote your Student Identity number (SID), as this will speed-up any communication. Your SID is generated on receipt of your application and is shown in the header of all our correspondence.

Most of our communication is by email. Therefore, please check that any spam filters do not block emails ending in @aru.ac.uk. If you have given a college or university email address please check you can still access it during the summer. Do check your email regularly, and respond promptly so we can process your application as quickly as possible. Also, if your email changes, please let us know immediately so we can update your details. If you have applied via UCAS then update your UCAS application and this will update on our systems. UCAS can assist with this and can be contacted on 0371 4680468.

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998) we may not discuss your application with a third party unless we have received written permission from you to do so. If you wish to nominate a third party to communicate with us on your behalf please email your Admissions faculty team with authorisation and their name and contact information.


We welcome your comments as they help us to improve our service. If you would like to give feedback on any aspect of our service, please email: [email protected]

We always aim to give our applicants an excellent service and hope you will be very happy with our support. However if something goes wrong and you do wish to complain or appeal against our decision we have a complaints and appeals procedure. You can view this at: aru.ac.uk/admissionappeals.