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Graduate Admissions

 

Graduate Admissions Appeals

The Board of Graduate Studies cannot give reasons for not offering admission, nor advise you how to improve your application. However, an admissions appeal can be made if you believe that there has been an administrative error, or if you believe you have been treated unfairly because of bias or prejudice, or if there are circumstances unknown to the University that might have affected the decision.

Fee Status

Any candidate who thinks they have been wrongly assessed for fee status may seek a review by submitting a self-assessment questionnaire and supporting documents. This questionnaire can be downloaded from your self-service account.

Academic Decisions

The Board of Graduate Studies cannot provide feedback on admissions decisions. Faculties or Departments are not obliged but may agree to do so and should be contacted directly.

The Board will not consider an appeal against an academic decision by faculty staff.

If your application has been rejected then you may have recourse by appealing about the decision using the appeals procedure set out on this page.

Graduate Admissions Appeals Procedure

1. Purpose

A Graduate applicant who is dissatisfied with the admissions decision made by the University, can appeal the decision on one of the following grounds:

  1. an error in the decision-making process or a procedural irregularity;
  2. bias or perception of bias in the decision-making process;
  3. extenuating circumstances, which, for good reason, you did not inform the University of in your application, which would have had a material impact on the admissions decision.

An admissions appeal cannot be made based on any other grounds, including the academic judgement of the decision-makers. 

If applicants have an informal query about the admissions decision that was made, or wish to receive feedback, they should contact their Faculty or Department directly.  Faculty and Department contacts are available via this webpage: https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses

If applicants have a query or concern about their College allocation, they should contact the Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor within the College in the first instance.  College contacts are available via this webpage: https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/colleges

2. Submitting an appeal

An appeal must be submitted using the Graduate Admissions Appeal form to the Graduate Admissions Office within 28 days of receiving the formal written admission decision.

The form can be downloaded from this web-page on the Graduate Admissions website.

Forms should be submitted by email to Graduate.Admissions@admin.cam.ac.uk

The email subject line should read:

FAO HEAD of GRADUATE ADMISSIONS,  ADMISSIONS APPEAL

or by post to this address :

Head of Graduate Admissions
Academic Division
17 Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RX
United Kingdom

The Head of Graduate Admissions may choose to accept an appeal submitted after the 28 day deadline for exceptional reasons.

An applicant can withdraw an appeal at any time by emailing or writing to the Head of Graduate Admissions.  Once an appeal has been withdrawn it cannot be reinstated.

3. Responding to an appeal

The Head of Graduate Admissions (or delegate), will acknowledge an appeal within 5 working days. 

An admissions appeal can be declined to be considered if it does not fall within the permitted grounds; if it is trivial, vexatious, malicious; if the remedy requested does not include amending the admission decision; or if the appeal has been submitted outside the timeframe and there are not exceptional reasons for late submission.

If an appeal is not declined it will be investigated by the Head of Graduate Admissions (or delegate).  The investigation is likely to include requesting responses from the staff or department involved in considering a Graduate applicant’s application.  This will involve sharing a copy of the applicant’s appeal with the relevant staff.

As part of the investigation, the University’s written documentation and legal obligations will be taken into consideration.

An applicant will normally receive an appeal decision letter within 20 working days of receiving the appeal acknowledgement.  If an appeal decision will take longer than 20 working days, the applicant will receive an update regarding the investigation.

The appeal decision letter will include a description of the investigation that took place; the decision; the reasons for the decision; and any actions being taken because of the decision.

The appeal decision letter confirms the University’s final decision is relation to a Graduate Admissions appeal.  This decision is likely to be communicated to any staff or department involved in the investigation.

Graduate Admissions Complaints Procedure

1. Purpose

A Graduate applicant who is dissatisfied with an aspect of the admissions process. 

This is not a procedure for applicants who believe there has been an error made in the admissions decision-making process.  Where applicants have a concern with the admissions decision, they should use the Graduate Admissions Appeal Policy.

A complaint cannot be based on the academic judgement of the decision-makers.  If applicants would like feedback on their application then they should request this directly from their Department.  Department contacts are available via this webpage: https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses

If applicants have a query or concern about their College allocation, they should contact the Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor within the College in the first instance.  College contacts are available via this webpage: https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/colleges

2. Submitting a complaint

A complaint must be submitted using the Graduate Admissions Complaint form to the Graduate Admissions Office within 28 days of receiving the formal written admission decision.

The form can be downloaded from this web-page on the Graduate Admissions website.

Forms should be submitted by email to Graduate.Admissions@admin.cam.ac.uk

The email subject line should read:

FAO: HEAD of GRADUATE ADMISSIONS, ADMISSIONS COMPLAINT

or by post to this address :

Head of Graduate Admissions
Academic Division
17 Mill Lane
Cambridge CB2 1RX
United Kingdom

The Head of Graduate Admissions may choose to accept a complaint submitted after the 28 day deadline for exceptional reasons.

An applicant can withdraw a complaint at any time by emailing or writing to the Head of Graduate Admissions.  Once a complaint has been withdrawn it cannot be reinstated.

3. Responding to a complaint

The Head of Graduate Admissions (or delegate), will acknowledge a complaint within 5 working days. 

A complaint can be declined to be considered if it is trivial, vexatious, malicious or is outside of the timeframe and there are not exceptional reasons for late submission. 

The complaint will be investigated by the Head of Graduate Admissions (or delegate).  The investigation is likely to include requesting responses from the staff or Faculty/Department involved in considering a Graduate applicant’s application.  This will involve sharing a copy of the applicant’s complaint with the relevant staff.

As part of the investigation, the University’s written documentation and legal obligations will be taken into consideration.

An applicant will normally receive a complaint decision within 20 working days of receiving an acknowledgement.  If a complaint decision will take longer than 20 working days, the applicant will receive an update regarding the investigation.

The complaint decision letter will describe the investigation that took place, the decision, the reasons for the decision, and any actions being taken because of the decision.

The decision letter confirms the University’s final decision is relation to a Graduate admissions complaint.  This decision is likely to be communicated to any staff or department involved in the investigation.