Your reference is one of the most important parts of your application. Having somebody in a position of authority put their reputation on the line to support your application to study with us means a great deal and shouldn’t be underestimated.

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree and are currently studying in a school, college or sixth form you will most likely find that your current teachers will arrange a UCAS reference for you. It would be worth speaking to a teacher or member of staff to find out more about this if you are unsure.

If you aren’t currently studying or are returning to study from a break, then you will need to arrange a referee yourself. This can be done by entering the contact details of your referee into the UCAS application form, but make sure you speak to them and get their agreement before you do this.

A suitable referee is somebody in a position of authority who has the knowledge and insight to be able to comment on your ability to study and succeed on your chosen degree. Ideally this should be a current or former teacher who can talk about your academic skills and abilities. If you are not currently studying, please try to get a reference from your most recent studies or your highest level qualifications. If you have studied GCSEs and A levels we would ask for a reference from an A level tutor, not a GCSE tutor.

Employer references can also be accepted but remember that a reference from work which is completely unrelated to your chosen degree subject may not carry as much weight as an academic reference.

If you are applying for a Masters programme, we ask for two references: one academic and one professional. The academic reference should be from your degree and professional reference should come from your most recent employer. If you are not comfortable requesting a professional reference (e.g. because you have not yet handed in notice) then please let us know, this can be made a condition of any offer we make to you.

NCTJ applicants can submit one reference, either professional or academic, from their most recent tutor or employer.

UCFB check references carefully and in some cases may contact the referee directly to confirm their validity or any details of the reference. Applicants who have submitted a reference from an unsuitable source will be asked to submit a new one. In some cases we may even reject an applicant whose reference has been proven to be fraudulent. References without contact details for the referee provided will not be accepted.