Rejection from Leeds uni

(26 Posts)
aubergineterrine Wed 31-Jan-18 18:30:10

My dd has had a rejection from Leeds uni to study graphic and communication design.

They only offer on the basis of grades and PS. The entry requirements are ABB. She has A level graphic design (grade A) and a BTec (2 A level equivalent) DM which equates to AB. Therefore, she has got AAB, albeit from a mix of A level and BTec.

Leeds do not interview or ask for a portfolio which seems wrong in a creative subject, if they did they would see the extremely high quality of her work.

We are confused as to why they have rejected her. If they bothered to read the PS which I wonder if they have, they will see she has work experience at a design studio and other work she has done independently since leaving school.

Does anyone have any advice, should she contact admissions and ask what their reasons were? Do Leeds actually read the PS or have so many applications they just sift through at speed rejecting anyone who doesn't have 3 A levels?

OP’s posts: |
LadyLance Wed 31-Jan-18 18:41:19

She could contact Leeds, although they are not obliged to give feedback. Unis do not have to accept equivalent qualifications, so maybe they felt hers were not suitable for the course.

Of course uni entry is competitive, so they may have just had an especially high standard of applicant this year. They are not obliged to accept everyone who meets their minimum requirements.

There is no process to appeal university decisions unless you feel a mistake has been made (e.g. they have said you don't have GCSE English but you do). Probably the best thing to do is write it off as their loss and focus on the offers your daughter does have.

QuitMoaning Wed 31-Jan-18 18:44:25

My son didn’t get into his first choice, mainly because of something outside his control. He grew up that day as things like that happen in life, he decided to go to the insurance choice, embrace it and make it happen.

He is thriving and having a great time and now in second year and on track for a first. This could be the start of something great.

WorldPeasAndSweetcorn Wed 31-Jan-18 18:50:34

I was supposedly a shoo-in for a uni and I didn't get in. I'm at my (subsequently discovered) second choice and actually am glad I ended up here. Rejection happens, no point pining about somewhere you aren't wanted. Best of luck to your DD finding a lovely second choice smile

LoniceraJaponica Wed 31-Jan-18 18:52:17

DD got rejected from Leeds as well

aubergineterrine Wed 31-Jan-18 18:53:41

Thank you for your replies.

Regarding the qualifications the BTec was all coursework, and the A Level graphic design is unusual in that most schools do art not graphic design, so you would have thought with an all coursework degree her background would be very suitable.

I agree that sometimes you just need to get over disappointment and move on but its hard to take when you don't understand why and wonder if they have simply made a mistake in not looking at the application properly.

OP’s posts: |
Inthishouse Wed 31-Jan-18 18:54:52

Could be for any number of reasons but DM in BTEC isn't the equivalent of AB. More like AC but it might not have been that - best to check with the admissions dept


Inthishouse Wed 31-Jan-18 18:58:01

Also worth checking that they might need to see at least one facilitating subject at A level - could also be the case for other Russell group unis

EllenJanethickerknickers Wed 31-Jan-18 19:01:21

Are you sure the DM was equivalent to AB? For the diploma, DM is worth 80 points and A levels are 48 for an A and 40 for a B, so DM is worth BB. That still meets the ABB requirements though. confused

senua Wed 31-Jan-18 19:28:53

I have just looked up the statistics on UCAS. For Creative Arts & Design they had 273,885 applications in 2016. There were 54,485 acceptances.
I should imagine that this year's ratio will be similar.

user369060 Wed 31-Jan-18 20:33:14

so you would have thought with an all coursework degree her background would be very suitable.

Not necessarily. But in any case it may well be that her background was suitable but there were other, better qualified candidates for this specific course. The qualifications listed are the minimum, not necessarily what is needed to get an offer.

BTW it is simply not the case that all university courses equate DM with AB/BB. BTecs and A levels cover different material and develop different skills. The lack of use of portfolios in selection suggests that this course may have a more theoretical focus, for which A levels could be a better preparation.

Kez100 Wed 31-Jan-18 21:08:54

Just getting the grades doesn't mean you definitely get an offer.

Even with a portfolio and interview her work might not suit their course however great.

My DD had 2 rejections, 1 standard offer and 1 unconditional after 4 interviews. Her work definitely suited the unconditional where she went and thrived. Looking back her work didn't suit the outcomes of the two rejections. She had triple Dstar predicted and achieved so more than enough ucas points.

Just chalk it down and move on if there's no error been made.

woodlanddreamer Wed 31-Jan-18 21:16:26

It may have been due to them reading the PS, rather than them not reading it, and maybe they didn't think she had what they were looking for. They have to reduce the numbers somehow, they will have thousands applying with the same qualifications. And, yes, maybe they wanted a facilitating subject.

rightsaidfrederickII Wed 31-Jan-18 21:18:11

On their website they say
A-level: ABB including an art or design-related subject and not including General Studies or Critical Thinking.
DDM in art/design.

My guess (speculation) is that, depending on what subject your DD's BTEC was in, they felt that either
a) the BTEC was too irrelevant to the course or
b) if art & design, the BTEC covered too much of the same ground as the A Level, and so it wasn't really like doing the equivalent 3 A Levels

they only offer to 37% of applicants (pretty low in this day and age) so it may be that she was perfectly well qualified but unlucky

Draylon Fri 02-Feb-18 14:01:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BubblesBuddy Sat 03-Feb-18 10:50:23

Leeds want BTEC DDM (level 3) for this course. She didn’t meet the necessary standard with only one A level. Shame no-one noticed this. She shouldn’t have applied because she didn’t have the minimum qualification. Who thought she did? Her school?

BubblesBuddy Sat 03-Feb-18 10:56:05

My DD went to UAL (LCF) but it depends what “design” you want to do. They do a range of design courses. Kingston is good too. DDs friend went there.

BubblesBuddy Sat 03-Feb-18 11:04:21

Also Leeds is a RG university. They do look for higher levels of entry qualifications than many other, less prestigious, universities who will look at portfolios and be less academically choosy. My DD did get an offer from Leeds for the course she applied for. They wanted AAB for that one but one had to be a non art subject. She did Business Studies as well as Art and Photography A levels. I wish your DD well elsewhere though.

aubergineterrine Tue 27-Feb-18 10:53:36


The BTec she did is equivalent to 2 A levels. Hence grade being DM. She also did A level Graphics. Therefore, she had the requirements.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Tue 27-Feb-18 10:58:14

Equivalent doesn't mean equal. Sorry. The tariff may be the same but that doesn't mean they regard the qualifications as the same.

Would you expect Oxford for example to accept a BTEC DDD as well as A level AAA?

YellowPrimula Tue 27-Feb-18 11:07:00

The published requirements will be the minimum tariff.Its not like an entrance that if you have those grades you will get in , many applicants will significantly exceed the tariff

strawberrysparkle Tue 27-Feb-18 11:14:21

I think the problem will be the BTEC. This will limit her offers I'm afraid.

As someone pointed out DDD in BTEC is not the same as AAA.

lils888 Tue 27-Feb-18 13:19:21

Yep, my sister works in uni admissions and equivalent doesn't mean equal

Lifeaback Thu 01-Mar-18 18:47:28

The issue with Leeds and many other RG uni's for creative subjects is that they are very grade and academic focused. For a course like graphic design, it seems really unfair to not take portfolio work into consideration. People seem to forgot that the Russel group exists as a research intensive group- the focus gets really distorted and people assume this makes them the 'best' unis for every subject, when this really isn't the case for creative subjects. Many RG are much more outdated in their facilities and approaches to creative departments than their newer counterparts- encourage your daughter that everything happens for a reason (I know this is hard especially as it is her first choice and there appears to be little reason for her rejection). Avoid dwelling on the decision for two long and in my opinion I don't think contacting is worthwhile. What are her other 4 choices?

murasaki Fri 02-Mar-18 11:09:04

We've recently had to raise the BTEC offer even though it was equivalent on points to the A level tariff as we did an analysis of the students, and the BTEC holders were doing considerably worse in their assessments. Sometimes it's not fair on the students to let them in if they can't cope. So So we now ask DDM, not DMM.. We'll do another check at the end of the year and see how it looks.

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