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Applicants who will be under 18 at the start of a course.

The University considers applications on the basis of individual merit and does not discriminate on the grounds of age. However, under 18s living in England are considered by law to be children, which means the University has additional responsibilities towards students it admits who are under the age of 18 prior to the start of their course and until the date at which they turn 18, even if this period is brief.

Applicants who will be under the age of 17 on entry are not permitted to enrol at the University.

If an offer of a place is made to an applicant who will be under the age of 18 at the point of enrolment, they will be required to provide parental consent and to prove that they have guardianship in the UK.

If the student will be under 18 at the start of their programme, and if we wish to make an offer, this offer will be made conditional on satisfactory completion of the Guardianship Consent form.

Completed Guardianship Consent forms will be reviewed by Student Services in a timely manner and outcomes communicated to the relevant Admissions teams.

In the case where guardianship consent forms are not received by the deadline, where a parent/guardian denies consent, or there are concerns about the content of the form which gives the University a reasonable belief that the applicant’s needs cannot be safeguarded, a decision will be made in collaboration with Admissions as to whether the application should be rejected or a deferred place should be offered.

No applicant under the age of 18 will be eligible to enrol at the University until all required forms have been submitted and approved.

In the case of International Students, they must have submitted a satisfactory guardianship consent form prior to the CAS request deadline (usually 8th – 15th August), just like any other conditions.

In order to ensure that we have adequate time to make all of the necessary checks to safeguard the U18s student experience, international applicants under the age of 18 will not be permitted to make an application through Clearing (and in the case of entry points outside of the September intake, applications will not be accepted from under 18s where they are made within 6 weeks of the course start date), and Home applicants will not be permitted to make an application after the 31st August, with the completed guardianship form to be received no later than 7th September.

Suitable Programmes of Study

For the majority of undergraduate courses offered by the university under 18s who have completed, submitted and had all the required guardian consent forms approved with all other conditions met will be able to enrol. However, for the following courses applicants must be 18 years old at enrolment:

  • BA Education
  • BA Primary with QTS
  • BA Early Years with QTS
  • BA Early and Middle Childhood
  • BA Childhood Studies with Applied Psychology

Please note for the following courses the content can be adjusted to allow for applicants under 18.

  • BA Popular Music Performance
  • BA Music Production
  • BA Music Production and Performance
  • BA Film and Media Studies
  • BA Media and Television Production
  • BA Acting
  • BA Drama

Contractual Capacity

A University is deemed in law to have a contractual relationship with its students and there is no difficulty in including students under 18 within this concept. Contracts with persons under 18 are enforceable if they relate to ‘necessaries’ (which include education and accommodation), and the only problem that arises is with contracts falling outside the definition (an example of which is agreements relating to student loans). To ensure that all contracts are enforceable it is suggested that the University of Chester should obtain a signature from the parent or guardian on any contractual documentation. The current practice with loans is to ask students to confirm the agreement when they reach the age of 18 and it is recommended that this practice be followed in any similar situation.


The University of Chester, in common with all educational establishments, has statutory obligations in this area, and we have to assume that students under 18 come under the category of ‘child’ for this purpose. Child protection awareness involves responding to concerns raised by or about students aged under 18 whilst at the University. Any suspicions or allegations relating to the abuse of such students should be brought to the attention of the Director of Student Futures, who is required to liaise on the matter with the appropriate authorities.

Staff-Student Relationships

Under the provisions of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act (2003), a member of the University of Chester staff who is in a position of trust in relation to a student under 18 and who engages in sexual activity with or directed towards such a student may in doing so be committing a criminal offence.

Alcohol and Tobacco Products

It is an offence for a person under 18 to purchase alcohol or tobacco products (and, conversely, to sell alcohol or tobacco products to such a person). It is also an offence for any person to purchase alcohol or tobacco products on behalf of someone under 18, whether it is for consumption on licensed premises or publicly elsewhere (e.g. on the street). The University of Chester will make every effort to ensure that the law is not broken in respect to its licensed premises. The Students' Union is responsible for its own licensed premises.

The University of Chester undertakes to advise the Students' Union of students who are under 18.

Parental Involvement

The University of Chester’s policy is to correspond with students (with whom it has a contractual relationship) and not with their parents, and this applies equally to students under 18. However, the University should routinely inform parents of this (and of its general position regarding students under 18) before enrolment.

Irrespective of an individual student’s age, correspondence regarding an individual student may only be entered into with parents in specific and limited circumstances e.g. that contact is necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual student. Staff are reminded that they should not discuss with other persons (including parents) an individual student’s attainment, attendance, behaviour or any other related matters. Further advice may be obtained from the Data Protection Officer and/or Director of Student Services.

Awareness Within the University

Registry undertakes to inform Student Services by 1 September, or as soon as possible thereafter, of any students who will be under the age of 18 at enrolment. Nursing and Midwifery admissions also undertake to inform Student Services of any students who will be under the age of 18 when enrolling for the March cohort of diploma courses. Student Services will send a letter to the Dean of the relevant Faculty and Head of Department whose undergraduate entry is expected to include a student(s) aged under 18.