Applying To University With A Criminal Record

Article _criminalrecord 01

Having a criminal record doesn't have to stop you from applying to university

We’ve all got a past it’s just that some people’s pasts are slightly more interesting than others. Luckily the majority of university’s are fairly open minded and understand that their students may come from a variety of backgrounds and walks of life.

In fact, comedian Stephen Fry famously attended Oxford University after serving time in prison for fraud!

Universities will usually look at academic suitability first and then look into any criminal convictions you may have if they want to make you an offer. Universities are mostly concerned about whether you fit their academic standards and whether your criminal convictions mean you pose a risk to other students and staff.

Having a criminal record can make applying for university even more daunting that for applicants without criminal convictions, but having a criminal record doesn’t have to hold you back and you might not even have to declare it.

Do I need to declare a criminal record on my UCAS application?

The answer to this depends on whether your conviction is “spent” or not. This means that if you have not re-offended during your rehabilitation period your conviction in “spent” and you do not have to declare it on your UCAS form.

However, if your conviction is not spent then you will need to declare it. This won’t automatically remove you from the application process and universities will consider any criminal convictions on an individual basis.

Will a criminal conviction stop me applying for certain courses?

If you’re applying for certain courses you will need to declare your criminal record whether it has been “spent” or not. These courses include:

  • Accountancy
  • Actuarial Studies
  • Law
  • Medical Studies
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Qualifications to work with children or vulnerable adults
  • Other degrees that involves having to undergo a CRB check during the application process

If you want to apply for these types of courses then the best course of action is to contact the individual universities that you wish to apply to and ask them for advice. They can guide you through the most suitable application process.