The University of Southampton is the first Russell Group University to make an official admissions policy statement for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) in recognition of how the programme prepares its students for university and its value within the UK education system.

The University’s statement follows a large increase in the number of applicants applying to the university with mixed qualifications. Offers for CP students will be based on the equivalent of three full A Levels, irrespective of the total combined value of the qualifications taken.

Nicky Stecker-Doxat, Education Policy Development Manager, University of Southampton, said: “The University of Southampton welcomes over 6,500 international students from more than 135 countries, and we therefore recognise the value in an internationally recognised curriculum. Due to the flexible nature of the CP, we decided to review our admissions policies and selection criteria to ensure that these remain appropriate, and more importantly that there is no disadvantage to our applicants.”

The University will make offers to CP students based on the individual DP course subject(s) - typically at higher level, and the career-related study qualification. Where the career-related study meets the subject pre-requisite(s), and the total combined points for the professional qualification plus DP courses exceeds the equivalent of three A Levels, CP students may opt to study the DP courses at standard rather than at higher level*.

The CP combines a career-related qualification (for example a BTEC), with at least two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, and the unique CP ‘core’, which consists of a reflective project, a foreign language, a community project, and personal and professional skills.

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A CP package for students wishing to enter the engineering world for instance, might include: a BTEC Extended Diploma in engineering (double), IB DP business and management, mathematics and chemistry, as well as the ‘core’.

Dr Peter Fidczuk, UK Recognition and Development Manager at International Baccalaureate, said: “As one of the UK’s leading universities, it is encouraging for both schools and CP students to see that the University of Southampton has taken a formal position on the appropriateness of the CP as preparation for university.

“The combination of the CP curriculum provides students with both an academic and practical education, while developing thinking skills, social skills and real world skills required by 21st century employers and higher education.”

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