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External Candidates

You can sit exams at Connell, even if you don't study here.

We accept external candidates from any part of the world. If you can get here, we'll look after you!

We have an excellent reputation for academic success and an outstanding record of student support. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the very best support with your exams. Our dedicated examinations team are here to provide the best experience through the most difficult time of your studies.


  1. Read the External Candidate Information (PDF) – it contains everything you need to know about the process.
  2. Complete the External Candidate Application Form (Word document - see link below) in full.
  3. Return with copies of your ID and any other relevant information.
  4. Once the application has been checked, we'll contact you to take payment.
  5. Pay the fee.
  6. Turn up for your exams!

We’re situated just two miles from Manchester city centre and served by excellent public transport links and an on-site car park. Our comfortable refectory is the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate before your exams.

Please complete the application form in full before the deadline and submit it along with the appropriate fees and copies of two forms of ID, by email or post.

Email - to: Julie Howarth, Exams Officer at

Post - to:

Exams Department
Connell Co-op College
301 Alan Turing Way
M11 3BS

If you have any queries about examinations at Connell, please contact Julie ( or 0161 231 9200).

Please note: Most people applying to be external candidates are friendly and polite. On very rare occasions, we encounter people (in person, by email or on the telephone) who fall short of accepted standards. All applicants should be aware that no centre is obliged to accept private candidates and that examination boards will not intervene if a centre refuses an application. As with all other examination centres, we reserve the right to refuse any application. We are not obliged to give a reason. Our decision to accept or decline applications is final and non-negotiable.


Where can I find information about becoming an external candidate?

All the information is on this webpage: deadlines, fees and the application form.


Which exam boards can I take exams with?

We offer exams from AQA, OCR, Pearson Edexcel and WJEC.


What are the deadlines?

For November examinations, the deadline is 20th September. For summer exams, the deadline is 7th February. Completed application forms and fees must be submitted by the deadline.


Do you accept late applications?

We don’t accept late applications under any circumstances.


Can I pay in instalments?

We do not accept instalments. All payments must be made in full by the deadline.


What is a UCI number?

Every student has a 13-character code that’s unique to them. It’s used to collect results for each student across time and different exam boards, schools or colleges. All students need a UCI. If you have sat exams recently at another venue, they will have your UCI, or it will appear on your entry and results information from them. You will need your UCI if you are resitting a qualification. We can issue new UCI numbers for candidates that have never sat exams in the UK before.


How do I find out my entry codes?

Entry codes can be found on your previous entry and results information. They can also be found on the exam board websites. Please check these codes carefully as they may contain option codes (such as tiers or route) that we will require to complete your entry. You must ensure that you have checked them and are satisfied they are correct. The college cannot take responsibility for incorrect information given on application forms.


Can I get support for my studies?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer subject specific tuition.


What about subjects with controlled assessment or coursework?

We are unable to authenticate or facilitate controlled assessments or coursework for external candidates. We only accept applications for those subjects that are resits and the grade for the controlled assessment or coursework can be carried over.


What about subjects with practical assessments or speaking exams?

We cannot accommodate candidates for practical assessments or speaking exams. We can only accept these when it is a resit and the grade can be carried forward.


Could I take the practical assessments or coursework somewhere else?

Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate this.


Can you provide me with predicted grades and references?

Unfortunately, we can’t. To give predicted grades, the student has to be working in the college and known by the subject teachers. We do not provide references for any outside organisation.


When do exams take place?

You will receive a personalised timetable showing the dates and times of your exams. Exam dates can also be found on the appropriate exam board websites. For morning exams, we start promptly at 9am, and for afternoon exams, we start at 1pm. Please ensure you arrive at least 10 minutes before the exam starts.


Do you have a waiting area for family members?

Family members are welcome to drop candidates off at college but are not allowed to wait in any of the college areas, including reception.


What do I do if I am ill or going to be late on an exam day?

You must contact the college reception as soon as possible on 0161 231 9200 giving your full details and the circumstances. If you feel unwell during an exam, you must inform an invigilator or the exams officer.


When and how will I get my results?

Results will be emailed to the email address on your application form. Results days change slightly every year, hence why they are not listed in the information, but these can be found on the exam boards’ websites. Under no circumstances do we give results over the phone or by post.


When will I get my certificates?

Certificates arrive at college by the middle of November. You must email the exams officer to arrange the collection of certificates. They must be collected from college and signed for. Certificates will not be given without prior arrangement with the exams officer.


Do I need to bring ID with me to the exam?

Yes, you must bring your photo ID with you to every exam. If you don't, you will not be allowed entry to sit your exam.


I’ve changed my mind. Can I get my money back?

Unfortunately, once fees have been paid, we do not issue refunds.