Who can apply?
Any resident of the Caribbean who satisfies the University of the West Indies matriculation requirements can apply to study at a distance. An applicant requires a minimum of five subjects (CXC General Proficiency Grades I to III or GCE ‘0’ Level) including English Language, which is compulsory for entry. You must also satisfy the entry requirements of the faculty of your choice. For example, English Language and Mathematics are required for any degree programme offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Age entry requirement
There is no minimum age requirement for entry to undergraduate programmes at UWI. However, if you are seeking admission to UWI to enroll in a distance programme you should be 17 years or older on December 31st of the year in which you apply.
Qualifications for admission
Applicants are required to satisfy the relevant University minimum entrance requirements for matriculation, either at Normal or Lower Level, before being considered for admission to degree or other programmes. These are explained below:
(a) Normal matriculation: admission to undergraduate degree courses
Applicants with the qualifications listed in Schemes A and B below are eligible under normal matriculation for admission to degree programmes, provided that they have an acceptable pass in English (A) in an examination of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) or an acceptable equivalent. (An acceptable pass in a CXC examination is defined as a pass with Grade I or II at the General Proficiency Level, or Grade III General Proficiency from June 1998.)
Holders of CXC Certificates, General Certificates of Education (GCE) (or the approved equivalents) who satisfy either Scheme A or Scheme B as stated below:
Scheme A: They possess FIVE (5) subjects of which at least TWO (2) must be GCE
Advanced Level (A-Level) passes, while the remainder may be acceptable passes in the CXC or GCE “0” Level examinations.
Scheme B: They possess passes in FOUR (4) subjects of which at least THREE must be GCE A-Level passes, while the fourth may be an acceptable pass in the CXC or GCE “0” Level examinations.
CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination)
(i) Candidates who have passed two 2-unit courses in a particular subject area fall within the two (2) A’ Level matriculation standing (Reference Scheme A).
(ii) Six (6) Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) Units, including the two single-unit courses - Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies will be accepted for normal matriculation (Reference Scheme B).
In either scheme the subjects must be those approved by the University as listed in
its Regulations and need not have been passed at one sitting. With the exception of the special concession for Mathematics subjects, no subject may be counted at both CXC General Proficiency level and GCE Advanced level and some subjects cannot be counted together.
An Associate Degree from the Barbados Community College, the College of the Bahamas, and St. John’s College, Belize; the Associate Degree in Science of the Marryshow Community College, Grenada; the Associate Degree in Management Studies, Royal Bank Institute of Business and Technology (ROYTEC), Trinidad & Tobago; and the Associate Degree in Business offered by the Council of Community Colleges, Jamaica, provided that holders achieve a Grade Point Average of 2.5 or above.
(b) Lower level matriculation
The following are eligible under lower level matriculation:
Holders of five (5) CXC or GCE “0” Level certificates with acceptable passes or equivalent, not necessarily obtained at the same sitting, as follows:
(i) English (A), and
(ii) Mathematics or a foreign language, or an approved science (not Health Science), or additional Mathematics or Geography
(iii) Three (3) other approved subjects not already counted above.
You should note that the same subject cannot be counted at both CXC General Proficiency and GCE Ordinary Level.
(c) Mature students
(i) Applicants will be considered for admission if they fulfill the following criteria:
• have been out of school for at least five (5) years
• are over the age of 21 years
• have demonstrated academic potential
• have a minimum of three (3) years working experience in a behaviour-change environment such as Health Education, Health Promotion, Social Work or Counseling.
(ii) Applicants will be required to present, where appropriate:
• official academic transcripts*, certificates, documents and references.
• a document outlining knowledge development and employment record.
(iii) Applicants may be interviewed by the Dean of Faculty or his/her nominee who may also administer a test.
Applicants must submit two (2) references in support of their applications. Please note that admission under this category is not guaranteed and is subject to approval by the Faculty.
*Transcripts should be forwarded directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts in the
student’s possession are not usually accepted as authentic records of academic achievements.
(d) Specially admitted students
Some students may be able to apply to take distance education courses under the category of specially admitted students. Below is an extract from the UWI’s regulations for specially admitted students, taken from the University Calendar 1999/2000, p.22.
In addition to the students admitted to courses leading to degrees, the Vice Chancellor may admit to the University as specially admitted students, for limited periods, such as he may deem fit provided that they comply with the following regulations.
The following persons are eligible for special admission:
1) Persons sponsored by governments or other employers to read certain courses, not for credit towards a University qualification, under a special arrangement.
2) Private individuals who wish to pursue and develop a particular area of intellectual interest.
3) Graduates of UWI or of other recognized universities who wish to pursue a particular course or courses:
(a) to equip themselves for a particular job;
(b) increase efficiency in the performance of a job;
(c) to satisfy entry requirements to a programme in this or another institution
(d) to update or improve their knowledge in a subject
i. Such students should be known as “specially admitted students”.
ii. Applications for special admission must be made on appropriate forms.
iii. To be considered for entry as “specially admitted students,” applicants should normally be matriculable.
iv. Those students who do not satisfy the requirements for entry to the University must provide satisfactory evidence of their previous studies. In appropriate cases they may be required to sit for a special entrance examination. In the assessment of the qualifications of applicants due allowance should be made for their maturity.
v. Specially admitted students shall be required to pay the appropriate fees as are in force.
vi. Such students shall be required to comply with the General Regulations for Students as are in force.
vii. Normally a specially admitted student should be allowed to take no more than twelve (12) credits in any given year; or more than a total of 24 credits under this category of registration.
viii. Specially admitted students are permitted to write the University examinations appropriate to the course(s) they have been allowed to pursue.
ix. Their membership of the University shall be subject to satisfactory reports on their work and conduct.
x. The credits obtained through special admission can be counted towards UWI certification and University programmes provided they have been obtained within such time limits as are set from time to time by the institution.
If, at some later time, a student who was specially admitted should seek entry into a programme in which the course(s) taken are a part, the student will need to apply for exemption and/or credit, and cannot use such a course(s) for matriculation purposes.
(e) Provisional matriculation in the distance education programme
Mature applicants to programmes in the UWIDEC (i.e. those aged 21 or more at
the time of entry to the programme) who do not satisfy minimum entrance requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis. Such students will be required to complete successfully a number of courses, not less than four, to be specified by the UWIDEC in the light of their background and the programme they intend to take. Upon successful completion of these courses within a timeframe determined by the UWIDEC, such students will be registered as normally matriculated students.
How to apply
Once you are sure that you meet the university’s matriculation requirements, you may apply online at:
The application period is December 1st 2007 – February 29th 2008
Your application must be completed and submitted by the deadline date stipulated on the website of the year for which you wish to be registered.
Your application must be accompanied by the appropriate application-processing fee (where necessary), which is indicated on the website.
Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances and will be subject to a late fee.
Documents to be submitted with your application
In addition to your online application, you must submit the original (along with one photocopy each) of the following documents to the Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator/Campus Registry:
(i) Birth certificate
(ii) Academic certificates/grade slips
(iii) Professional certificates/diplomas (where applicable)
(iv) Marriage certificate/deed poll (whichever is applicable) if the present name is different from that on documents). Each name must be spelt correctly and also correctly hyphenated, where necessary.
The Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator or Registrar will certify the photocopies of your documents and return the originals to you. Please remember to collect your original documents from the Centre before the start of the semester.
Submission of transcripts
If you have a professional certificate, diploma, and/or university degree from an institution other than the University of the West Indies, you should ask that institution to forward an original transcript directly to the appropriate Registrar’s office no later than two weeks after the deadline for applications.
For those whose qualifications were obtained from the University of the West Indies, the transcript request forms are available from the Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator. Applicants should note that there is a cost attached to the processing of a request for a transcript. The Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator will have details of these costs.
The application process
1. Online applications should be completed carefully by following the instructions provided.
2. When completing the application form, please be sure to provide all the information requested.
3. After completing the online applications, the relevant documents should be sent to the Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator/ Campus Registry, by the deadline specified.
How the application process works
Here’s what happens when your application form arrives at the campus:
1. The Campus Registry sends you an acknowledgement letter, which indicates that it has received your application form and supporting documents. The letter will advise you of the status of your application and will specify any additional steps you must follow to complete the process. This letter of acknowledgement does not, however, confirm admission to the programme of your choice. You should note that if documentation is missing, it is essential that you arrange to send it to the Campus Registry as quickly as possible.
- Your application is processed when the Registry receives all the required documents from you, then your application is forwarded to the relevant faculty selection committee for a decision on your admission. You will receive a formal offer of admission as well as fee sheets and other relevant information from your Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator or from the Campus Registry/UWIDEC Registrar.
Re-entry to the University
Re-entry after a leave of absence
Students who are on approved leave of absence from UWI are eligible to return and re-register at the end of the leave period without reapplying for admission.
Re-entry after being required to withdraw
Students required to withdraw from the University for failing to complete their programme, or for failing to complete their programme within the stipulated period may be re-admitted to the Faculty after at least one year has elapsed since their withdrawal.
Students, who wish to resume studying, must re-apply using the UWI online application form.
Re-entry students may be given credits for courses previously passed. Determination of such credits will depend upon the grades achieved, the time that has elapsed since the courses were passed and the relevant student’s activities during the elapsed time. Credit will not normally be given for courses with a grade of less than B.
The Amendment to the Regulations Governing Re-admission is as follows:
A candidate who has been required to withdraw from the Faculty may apply to the Faculty for re-admission one (1) academic year after withdrawal. Each case will be considered on its own merit, but will only succeed if the Faculty is satisfied that the circumstances attending the reasons for the withdrawal have altered substantially.
Qualifying Test/Remedial Courses
The English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)
The ELPT must be taken by all students who do not have the qualifications to allow them to register for English for Academic Purposes (FOUN1001/FD10A). Depending on your campus of registration, the ELPT is used for various purposes. For students seeking admission through the Cave Hill and St. Augustine campuses, the ELPT is a diagnostic test. For candidates seeking entry through the Mona campus, passing the ELPT is an entry requirement for admission into all undergraduate degree programmes.
Persons in the following categories are exempted from the ELPT:
(a) Persons with any one of the following English Language qualifications:
(i) Grade 1 - CXC English ‘A’ examination
(ii) Grade A - Cambridge GCE O’ Level
(iii) Grade A or B - Cambridge GCE ‘A’/O’ Level General Paper examination
(b) Persons who are applying to enter a UWI undergraduate Diploma or Certificate programme.
What if you fail the English Language Proficiency Test?
If you fail the ELPT, you will have to take a course called Language Proficiency for Tertiary Level. Self-instructional materials are designed for this course and they can be bought from your DE site. Enquire at your site for information on how to obtain these materials. Once you have completed the course, you retake the ELPT. Different campuses offer the test at different times throughout the academic year. Check at your site to find out when and how often the test is administered by the campus at which you are registered.
For entry into certain B.Sc. programmes, Mathematics is a requirement. You are required to have a minimum of CXC General Proficiency or the equivalent, or else you will be required to pass MATH0900/CE001 Mathematics1 in the summer prior to admission to the programme of study, or by the end of Semester 1 in the year of entry to your programme of study. You should consult your Head of the University Centre/Site Coordinator for information about how to access MATH0900 through the School of Continuing Studies. You should note that you are required to obtain a grade of at least B+ in this course for equivalency.