This page deals with the official requirements to apply. With the impending move over to electronic application submission and follow-up, the university is going to be making some changes as to how it processes applications, and the requirements for those who wish to apply.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and there is no ‘official’ cut-off point. However, they have quotas for each country – once they have filled their quota they consider the remaining applications for the following year. For this reason, it is important to get your application in as early as possible. They do have an ‘unofficial’ cut-off point, which is the point by which most applications will have been considered for most countries. This is normally around February of each year. The university doesn’t allow you to apply a number of years in advance, you need to be ready to enrol in the upcoming year.  Notification of acceptance normally comes out between May and August, although it can be delayed. At the moment, the term starts in the beginning of October, which means there can be more than a year between submitting your application and starting study.

A number of brothers asked about the best time to come for an interview. This has now been added to the FAQ.

The conditions that the university lays down are fairly non-flexible, although it has been known for the university to ignore one or two of the conditions, especially if one or more of the references are from someone they can’t really say no to. However, in general, if you don’t meet these requirements, you can’t study at the university. I have missed out the conditions which are commonly understood, such as being a Muslim of good moral character, etc. – what follows are the conditions which most people get stuck on:-

  1. An applicant must be a holder of a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or equivalent. In reality this condition is dependant upon which country you come from. In Saudi they follow a system in which there is one main qualification in High School which takes you directly to university. In the UK, university entry is not possible without A-levels, which come after GCSEs. To summarise, you need to find out the requirement for your particular country, but in terms of the UK, they accept the GCSE qualification for direct entry to the university, and do not require A-levels, even though they would be a bonus, and are still counted within the ‘5 year limit’. Note that they have a Saudi high school in the university, which takes an additional 1-3 years after the 2 year Arabic course. This is for people who do not have at least a GCSE or equivalent. However, not all countries are allowed to enter. Officially UK students are not allowed to study in the High School – it’s either GCSEs or nothing. However, some students have studied there in the past, as an exception to the rule. Note entering the high school impacts upon your stipend, as I mentioned here.
  2. Not more than five years should have passed since the applicant obtained the certificate. This refers to the last certificate which can be classed as High School/GCSE/A-level – meaning that there must not have been more than 5 years since you got your High School/A-level certificate. Your degree doesn’t count here, which is a major problem, since many people who are 23+ have had more than 5 years since graduating High School. We’re currently making an effort to have this changed to cover any certificate; under-graduate or post-graduate. This is being put before the university council in the coming weeks, in shaa Allah.
  3. A scholarship applicant should not exceed the age of 25 years. This refers to when you start the course. It is possible for a 26 year old to be accepted with permission of the university management, but is rare, since it requires them to do extra paperwork, and normally only happens if the student is exceptionally gifted, or from a country from which not many people apply. Students older than 26 when they start are almost unheard of, but they do exist.

There is some mention of being able to read the Qur’aan well. In fact, allowances are made for new Muslims, or for the availability of education in an applicant’s home country. However, it is a factor which they consider.

Now go check out Documents you need to apply