A Complete Guide to the GSD Admission Process

by Luca Niccolai

You might wonder how your application gets reviewed and how the admission team decides on who gets an offer or not. At least, this is what I asked myself last year when I applied to study Politics, International Studies (PAIS) and Global Sustainable Development (GSD) at the University of Warwick. The admission process for GSD courses is slightly different than for other courses. In this article, I am going to guide you through the GSD admission.


Overview of the 2016 entry:

  • Around 460 applicants. 93 students are today in their first year (the department expected a cohort of 30 to 40 students, less than half of today’s cohort!),

  • The most popular partner departments are PAIS and Economics with around 15 to 20 students each.

First off, you need to apply for this course through UCAS, once the application is received, the administrators have a look at your predicted grade: it must be in the acceptable range of what the grade requirement. They also look at if you meet the subject-specific requirements.

Picture penThey then request a second personal statement. This second piece of writing is the most important, you are expected to touch on the few questions that you will have received by email. This is your chance to demonstrate a genuine intellectual and practical commitment to GSD, your sense of familiarity with the partner subject and your ability to link the two disciplines. The GSD Admission Team (Leon Sealey-Huggins for PAIS, Marta Guerriero for Economics and David Beck for the other partner subjects) particularly enjoys reading about your previous professional or volunteering experiences and is keen to know your goals for the future and what you intend to do with this GSD degree.

Your whole application is then studied by the admission team, who reaches a decision on whether to offer you a place for the course you applied to. You will get notified by UCAS when a decision has been taken. The offers are standardized by the University of Warwick, and the typical grade requirements can be found on the GSD website (it varies from A*AA to AAB).



You are highly encouraged to come visit the University during an offer-holder day as it gives you an opportunity to visit the campus, get an overview of the degree, meet the GSD staff and current students who will gladly answer any of your questions. The offer-holder day made a significant difference for me as it helped me decide on whether I should firm this course (and as you may guess, I firmed it). Your exam results will either be sent directly by UCAS (for most the cases), or your school must send them for you (for some international certifications).


I hope this guide helped you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email David Beck or any other GSD staff, they will be happy to answer them. Good luck with everything!


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