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THE UK: Applying to University

Admission to Business schools: What to expect?

UK business centre in London

We spoke with Lindsay Duke, the Postgraduate Student Recruitment Manager at Durham University Business School in the UK, to find out about admissions in Business schools and how students can get to grips with the process.


What is the process to review an application and how long it takes to get an offer?

This depends on the time of year. For example, between October and February it will take approximately 4 – 6 weeks, in the summer it is 1 – 3 weeks as we receive the majority of our applications before March. We then review a full application including all supporting documents: academic transcript, English Language and academic references. Applications are reviewed by a minimum of two trained admissions tutors.


How do you assess the academic references?

All references must be signed and on letter headed paper. They must have been written within the last two years and be reasonably detailed. Most are approximately half a side of A4.

Personal references are not a requirement for Postgraduate courses at our school.


How do you work out the equivalences for grades from different countries?

We use a combination of UK NARIC and the expertise of our International Office. We set the criteria at the beginning of each new recruitment cycle and advice applicants accordingly.


How can international students find guidance during the application process?

There is detailed guidance on our website and also very detailed guidance on the online application form. They can also contact the Admissions Office at any point for help. The International Office have a website dedicated to international students.

About filling the online application for international students, do you have any piece of advice?

Ensure all details are accurate as these will be used to form your Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) which is required for a visa application.


Do you carry out interviews for prospective students? If so, what do you expect from the student?

Only for Full-Time and Executive MBA applicants go through interview process. We look for a variety of things, including their motivation, their post MBA plans, what they can bring to the programme and their level of managerial work experience. Given our application numbers, it would be impossible to interview Masters applicants.


What does impress you the most of a good student application and personal statement?

Clear reasons why they want to study their chosen subject, and in particular why at Durham University Business School. Clear idea of post-degree plans. A passion for studying and learning. Personal statements are less important at Postgraduate level than at Undergraduate level for us.


What are the most common mistakes that students make in their personal statements?

Quote the wrong university name!


Related information

Check our list of Business undergraduate courses in different schools around the world.

If you are ready for the next step, check our list of postgraduate courses in Business and Management abroad.

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