How to Get Into Nottingham University

‘How do I get into Nottingham’ is a question that I run into a lot! Luckily, I know exactly how to answer it. That’s why, here at The Profs, 95% of our students applying to their first and second-choice universities get in!

Your university application is not a one-size-fits-all. Nottingham University has its own culture and ethos, as well as its own candidate characteristics that it’s looking for. I’ll run through some tips on how to stand out to the University of Nottingham in this article.

Our expert team have worked in admissions for many Russell Group universities, including Nottingham. So, if anyone has the know-how to make your application as perfect as possible, it’s us. We offer the right support and preparation to aid you in submitting an application that stands out and maximises your chances of an offer.

Read on for insider information.


Is Nottingham a Russell Group university?

The University of Nottingham is one of the 24 Russell Group universities. It is also a leading university for research in the UK that consistently ranks well for Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health, as well as Arts and Humanities.

What are Nottingham’s entry requirements?

Nottingham University’s entry requirements vary depending on the course you’re applying to study. The table below shows the UK qualifications and the entry requirements for each.

QualificationEntry requirements
A LevelsTypically A*AA-ABB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB)Typically 36 to 34 total points, depending on the course.
International qualificationsCheck the list of international qualifications accepted by Nottingham.

The University of Nottingham accepts a wide range of international qualifications. It displays international qualifications on its individual course pages, so always check there before applying. For more information on how to apply to Nottingham as an international student, check on the university’s own support page, read our guide for international applicants, or get in touch with The Profs for one-to-one support from one of our international admissions experts.

Also, if English is not your first language you might be asked to take an English language proficiency test. So, ensure that you are adequately prepared. See here for more information regarding English language requirements. 

Does Nottingham give contextual offers?

Nottingham University gives contextual offers for students who meet their eligibility criteria; this regards personal circumstances that impact students’ performance at school. Nottingham’s contextual offers are usually one grade lower than their standard conditional offers, though this can vary for some courses. 

The majority of students won’t meet the criteria and will be made standard entry offers ranging from A*AA to ABB depending on the course, but it’s still worth checking if you are eligible for Nottingham’s contextual admissions. If you are eligible, there are no additional steps necessary to apply for a contextual offer. Your UCAS application form will show Nottingham whether you meet the criteria or not.

If you need help with funding, Nottingham offers a bunch of scholarships.

6 tips for getting into Nottingham

1. Is your academic record as polished as possible?

There are three factors you need to be aware of: A level/IB (or equivalent) grade requirements, admission test requirements, and subject recommendations or requirements. These factors differ for each of Nottingham’s courses.  

The entry requirements for Nottingham differ greatly between courses – not just in terms of grades, but also the specific subjects required. For example, the A level entry requirements for Maths are A*AA with an A* in Maths or AAA including Maths and Further Maths, whilst Sociology asks for ABB and does not specify any subjects. Need help from an expert A level tutor? Just reach out.

There are also instances where an admissions test is required or recommended. For example, Nottingham requires Law applicants to sit the LNAT, and unlike many other universities, it has a cut-off score of about 25. Medicine applicants are required to complete the UCAT. For Maths candidates, Nottingham University does not require an admissions test. However, it states that STEP qualifications will be considered as part of candidates’ applications. Hence, taking the STEP could make your application more competitive! 

If you are taking an admissions test, it’s important that you prepare adequately and in advance. Just like your A level (or equivalent) grades, any tests and interviews will play a crucial role in whether or not you are considered for a place on your chosen course, so it’s important to treat them with as much attention as your final exams. The Profs also advise working with a specialist admissions test expert.

So, it goes without saying that you should ensure that your grades and admissions test scores are as high as possible – especially when it comes to results related to your chosen course. Study Nottingham’s entry requirements for your specific degree and try to exceed them for the most competitive application. 

If you need support improving your grades to meet Nottingham’s competitive entry requirements, then reach out to The Profs’ admissions consultants today. We’ll offer a free discovery call to determine your likelihood of achieving a place at Nottingham and set up any additional support you may need.

Insider tip: Unlike many other universities, the University of Nottingham has specific GCSE subject requirements for certain courses, and for others, it might ask for a certain number of GCSEs at A grade. Consequently, you need to check if there are GCSE requirements for your chosen course. If there are, ensure that you meet them. Brush up on your GCSEs if you don’t! Even if there are no GCSE requirements for your course, it is still worth improving any poor grades or perfecting grades in your chosen subject. Since Nottingham has strict GCSE requirements for some courses, it will most likely look at your GCSEs for other courses. Similarly, having decent GCSEs in Maths and English is almost always valued. Put your best foot forward! We have excellent GCSE and retake tutors who can guide you to success.

2. How to actually go beyond your school syllabus 

Nottingham values grades highly, however, it also values well-read students who go beyond the confines of their textbooks. If you want to get into Russell Group universities like Nottingham, it’s best to start expanding your reading list early on. 

One of the best ways to do this is to look at the modules you might cover on your chosen course at Nottingham and start reading around topics that particularly interest you. Nottingham has reading lists for many of its courses on its website, so you can use this as a helpful starting point. 

You should reference some specific readings related to your course in your personal statement. You could do this by name-dropping them or going a step further and showcasing your analytical abilities by critically evaluating the reading or a specific piece of text in your statement. Read our guide to writing your UCAS personal statement for more tips on how to stand out. Prove that you have a genuine passion for your subject and are already able to think about your discipline at university level.

Insider tip 1: Don’t mention obvious materials that most other students will reference. Branch out of your school’s syllabus, and even go beyond Nottingham University’s reading lists. Try to find less-known texts relating to your subject to stand out. The more niche and specific your wider reading is, the better!

Insider tip 2: Don’t forget to research the University of Nottingham itself, including your department. What achievements, awards, and research have they got under their belt? Nottingham University is actively involved in groundbreaking research across various disciplines, including cancer research, sustainable food production, drug discovery, and advanced manufacturing. Showcase your interest in research by mentioning any relevant projects, independent studies, or participation in research conferences or competitions. Highlight how your research interests align with the university’s research strengths and faculty expertise.

For example, if you’re applying for Physics or Engineering etc you could mention Nottingham University’s sustainable energy research, particularly through the development of the Nottingham Energy Partnership and the Energy Technologies Building. The University of Nottingham has been recognised for its commitment to sustainability, receiving multiple awards for its environmental initiatives and being ranked as one of the most sustainable universities in the UK! Showing awareness of something like this can demonstrate that you are up-to-date with your discipline and dedicated to Nottingham University, and you could even say how you intend to contribute to their current research. Obviously, only mention examples that are relevant to your chosen degree. 

Our team of tutors are also on hand to help you plan your reading list, develop your personal statement, and prepare your application for Nottingham in advance – get in touch to get started.

3. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

Getting into Nottingham is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan. Like Oxbridge, LSE, and other top UK universities, Nottingham will not only want to see a genuine passion and commitment to studying your chosen course but also a plan of how the skills and knowledge you will develop on the course will help you achieve longer-term goals. 

For example, consider how a degree in your chosen subject from Nottingham will help you to achieve your future academic or career goals. You may want to go on to study a Master’s or PhD, follow a specific career path, or land a graduate job at your dream company. Why do you need this degree and what do you plan on achieving with it? 

Nottingham has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, with initiatives like the Ingenuity Lab providing support and resources for students and alumni to develop their own businesses and start-ups. Consequently, you could make yourself an attractive candidate by demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit or mentioning how you intend to make use of these resources. 

The University of Nottingham is targeted by employers. Have a look at its reputation amongst employers in different sectors, and their careers and employability services for students and alumni. 

Ultimately, having your own career goals in mind will help you enhance your personal statement and prove to Nottingham that you are motivated and committed to your academic future, and are therefore likely to secure a job post-graduation. Ultimately, you need to show Nottingham that you would land a good job or be performing well in a PhD soon after graduating. This is about proving that you will remain motivated throughout your years of study, and will have something to offer Nottingham University at the end of your degree.

For more support on coming up with a career plan and making the most of this in your application, get in touch with our team.

Insider tip: Connect with Nottingham alumni or current students through open days (in-person or virtual), networking platforms or alumni associations. Seek advice and insights into careers and the application process. Their firsthand experiences and perspectives can provide valuable information and guidance for your application.

4. Lay the ‘groundwork’ for Acceptance

Work experience and extracurriculars are not to be overlooked. If they are related to your discipline or demonstrate skills that are valued by Nottingham then they could boost your application. Any roles or extracurriculars that demonstrate creativity are valued by Nottingham! 

Nottingham University values practical experience and encourages applicants to showcase relevant work experience, internships, or industry placements. Highlight how these experiences have contributed to your academic and personal development and how they align with your chosen course at Nottingham University.

Highlight any leadership roles, responsibilities, or achievements within clubs, societies, or community organisations as Nottingham University values students who display leadership qualities. Discuss how these experiences have helped you develop skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, or communication.

Nottingham has a vibrant student community, with various societies, clubs, and sports teams catering to a wide range of interests and providing opportunities for students to get involved and pursue their passions.

So, it is also great if you research what student life Nottingham offers and mention how you intend to get involved, as Nottingham wants students who become true community members. For example, the Nottingham Lakeside Arts complex is an integral part of the university, offering a diverse range of cultural and artistic activities, including theatre performances, art exhibitions, and music concerts.

The University of Nottingham has a strong global presence, with campuses in Malaysia and China, providing opportunities for international collaborations and exchanges. So, you could even express interest in programmes like this to make your application stand out. Either way, it is a good idea to show that you have multicultural awareness and understanding. 

Emphasise your international mindset, cross-cultural experiences, or language proficiency to demonstrate your ability to thrive in a diverse academic environment. Mention any international experiences, such as study abroad programmes or involvement in globally-focused initiatives.

Insider tip: Research your course at Nottingham in detail and try to get work experience that marries up with it. For example, Nottingham’s medical school is known for its problem-based learning and early patient contact. Hence, you could try to find work experience that is collaborative and/or focused on finding solutions to problems. If you worked in customer service roles you could link your use of interpersonal skills with patient contact. Obviously, you should also get work experience in a medical environment. 

5. Invest in your personal statement!

It may seem obvious considering the tips above, but making sure that you’re investing plenty of time into writing your personal statement is crucial to your application’s success. For many of Nottingham’s most competitive courses, lots of applicants will achieve the grades required for entry. In these cases, personal statements are one of the only factors Nottingham has to differentiate applicants and decide who to offer places to, so it’s really important to submit the best personal statement possible. 

Use your personal statement as a chance to express what makes you unique. Describe your academic and career ambitions, detail your skills and experience, and explain why you would be an excellent candidate for your chosen course. Nottingham also particularly looks for students who have a clear passion for their subject area that extends beyond the bounds of the school curriculum.

The Profs’ experienced personal statement tutors can provide further guidance on how you can write a stand-out statement that is tailored to the University of Nottingham and your specific course.

Insider tip 1: Your personal statement MUST be personal to you. If it can be read without it being undeniably tied to you individually, it needs reworking. Better yet, try to make your statement personal to your course at Nottingham University. How are you suited to this discipline, how have you shown that you excel in this subject, and why are you a good fit for Nottingham? 

Insider tip 2: Choose your referee wisely; their statement is almost as important as yours. A good referee is important. Obviously, you want them to speak highly of you, but ideally, they will highlight your skills and qualities that are relevant to your chosen degree. For this reason, as well as for the general impression of your application, it is best to choose a referee who teaches your chosen subject or within your discipline. It is also a good idea to choose a referee who knows you well enough to write you something of quality. Also, if you can’t fit something into your personal statement but you think it could bolster your application, ask your referee to mention it for you!

Insider tip 3: Demonstrate alignment with Nottingham’s values! Nottingham University has a strong commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and global challenges. Showcase your alignment with these values through experiences, projects, or initiatives related to environmental sustainability, community outreach, or social impact. Highlight your understanding of Nottingham’s initiatives in these areas, such as the Sustainability Strategy or community engagement programmes.

6. Remember the purpose of your interview

Nottingham University does not routinely or systematically offer interviews. You may or may not be invited to one, depending on your individual application and your chosen course. UCAS will notify you if you have been invited for an interview.

If you are invited for an interview, ensure that you practise. Re-read your personal statement and check details about the University of Nottingham and your chosen course of study as you might be asked about these factors. Think about questions you might be asked and prepare some readings to mention. 

The purpose of the interview is not to trip you up or even “test” you. Instead, Nottingham wants to see that you are a good fit for their university. Are you enthusiastic? Are you passionate about your subject? Are you keen to learn? Are you excited about Nottingham as a university? Will you benefit them as a student?

If you are called for an interview, it’s not to be overlooked! How you perform could make or break your offer. Talk to our experienced and knowledgeable interview coaches for expert advice!

Don’t forget to check out our previous article and video on preparing for university interviews! 

Get 1-to-1 guidance from an expert admissions tutor

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of applying to the University of Nottingham, as well as the University of Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, and other top universities. 

Unsure? Don’t be. 95% of our applicants receive an offer from their first or second-choice universities!

We can even support you in your wider degree-level education, helping you with everything from writing your dissertation to applying for postgraduate courses. 

Reach out to our friendly team today to access our expert and dedicated support.


What is the Nottingham acceptance rate?

According to the University Admission Report, Nottingham’s acceptance rate is 74%. However, the acceptance rate varies depending on the course and level of study. For example, it is 11% for Medicine and 25% for Accountancy. To increase your chances of acceptance, focus on meeting or exceeding the entry requirements and showcasing your academic achievements and relevant experiences.

What are the most competitive courses at Nottingham?

Nottingham University offers a wide range of courses, and the level of competition can vary. However, some of the most competitive courses at Nottingham University include Medicine, Law, Economics and Pharmacy. These courses often receive a high number of applications, and meeting the specific entry requirements and demonstrating a strong passion for the subject can enhance your chances of acceptance.

How important are extracurricular activities for Nottingham University admissions?

Extracurricular activities can play a significant role in Nottingham University admissions. While academic achievements are crucial, Nottingham University values students who demonstrate a well-rounded profile. Engaging in extracurricular activities, such as sports, community service, leadership roles, or participation in clubs and societies, can showcase your teamwork, leadership, and time management skills, which are highly valued by the university. See tip 4 for more.

Does Nottingham University consider personal statements during the admissions process?

Yes, Nottingham University considers personal statements as part of the admissions process. Your personal statement provides an opportunity to showcase your motivation, passion for the subject, relevant experiences, and future aspirations. Tailor your statement to demonstrate your fit with Nottingham University, its values, and the specific course you are applying for. See tip 5 for more.

Are interviews required for Nottingham University admissions?

Not all courses at Nottingham University require interviews as part of the admissions process. However, for some courses, particularly in competitive fields such as Medicine or Law, interviews may be conducted to assess an applicant’s suitability for the programme. It is essential to check the specific requirements for the course you are applying to and prepare accordingly if an interview is part of the admission process. See tip 6 for more.