Cass MSc Admissions

Advice and Information from the MSc Admissions team

How to submit references

| 79 Comments

We get many queries from prospective students about their reference letters. These supporting documents are an important element of your application and it is crucial that you read our guidance carefully to ensure you provide valid references.

Choosing your referees

We require two reference letters for each student. Usually we would recommend that you provide one academic and one professional reference.

If you do not have any work experience, you may provide two academic references. Similarly, if you have been out of full-time education for at least two years, we can normally accept two professional references.

Please note that we cannot accept references from fellow students, friends or family – even if you have worked in a family business – as we cannot guarantee the impartiality of these.

How to provide your references

When you fill in the application form, you will see that you are asked to provide the email addresses of two referees. When you submit the application we will email these contacts directly to request a reference. However, it would be courteous of you to inform them in advance that we will be contacting them.

We inform referees that they can either email the references to us or post them.

If your referee wishes to email us, they must use a professional email account. We cannot accept references emailed from web-based email accounts like @gmail.com, @hotmail.com or @126.com because we cannot confirm the provenance of these. Please bear this in mind when you fill in their email address on the application form.

If your referee does not have a professional email account they may wish to post the reference to us. This should be written on university or company headed paper, and sealed in an envelope with the referee’s signature across the seal and covered in clear tape so we can see the letter has not been tampered with.

Confidentiality

We can only accept confidential references. This means that your referee has written their letter objectively and that you have not read it.

Therefore we cannot accept references that you email to us yourself, or that you post to us unsealed. We also cannot accept references from agents. The reference should always come directly from the referee. The only exception to this would be if the referee gives you a hard copy in a sealed envelope for you to forward on to us.

References should never be faxed to us.

When do I need to provide my references?

Due to the huge volume of applications we process, for most programmes, your application will be considered without references if they have not been received by the next file review. This means that you may be made an offer which lists providing satisfactory references as a condition. If your references arrive promptly they will be considered when your application is reviewed.

 

We hope this clears up a few common queries but if you have any questions about providing your references you can check the guidance on the website or contact your Admissions Officer who will be glad to advise you.

79 Comments

  1. which email are you using to receive the reference form from the referees.

  2. In the reference´s form is required a “Student number”. What is this number?

    • Hi Alejandra, thanks for your query! The student number is the unique number given to each applicant when they submit their application. It is mentioned on the correspondence we send them, and is also mentioned in the reference request email that is sent to referees.
      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions!
      MSc Admissions Team

  3. Are the applicants informed when the references are submitted?

    • Hi Gulara, good question! Due to the large volume of applications we receive it is unfortunately not always possible to individually inform applicants when each reference has been received. However, applicants can always check the status of their application through the online link that is sent to them after they submit their application online. This will specify which references have already been received, or if they are still pending.
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further queries.
      MSc Admissions Team

  4. When the references receive the request from the admision team to fill out the questionary about the applicant, they are requested to sign and attach an stamp or headed paper. I suppose they will need to print the paper, sign it and then scan it, just the same as the scan of the headed paper. I appreciate your confirmation that my understanding is ok.

    • Hi Alejandra – yes, this is generally what is done. The most important thing is that the references are sent from the referees’ academic or professional email account.
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further queries.
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  5. It is stated on the application page that “Two references are required from people qualified to comment on your academic ability. If you are unable to obtain two academic references, then you can submit one academic and one professional reference.” It looks like that two academic referees are preferable. But it is said here that one academic plus one professional is recommended. If I am applying for a taught degree, which is better, two academic or one academic and one professional from my intern.

    Thx

    • Hi Sally
      Thanks for your question! It is really up to you whether you submit one academic and one professional, or two academic references. If you graduated within the past three years we normally expect at least one reference to be academic. If you have been out of university for more than three years you might find it easier to submit two professional references. The most important thing is that your referees are qualified to write your recommendation (for example, they know you well and ideally have taught/managed you).
      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions, and we look forward to receiving your application.
      MSc Admissions Team

  6. When it asks for the referees’ title, what exactly is it asking for? “Professor?” or their job title “COO?”

    Thanks!

    • Hi Leah
      Thanks for your enquiry! We are looking for their job title, such as COO, director, professor etc.
      I hope this helps – please let us know if you have any further questions!
      MSc Admissions Team

  7. Can my referees use their reference form for submission? Are there any effects for university decisions?

    • Hi, thanks for your question!
      Your referees can submit a reference in their own format, as long as it is written on university/company headed paper and sent from their academic/professional email account. Normally a decision can be made on an application before the references are received, but the sooner we receive them the better.
      I hope this answers your query.
      MSc Admissions Team

  8. If my referees use their own template, do they have to use company headed paper?
    Are letters signed by referees and sent from professional email account enough?
    and how can I find Cass’s templete.

    Thanks,
    Pang

    • Hi Pang
      Thanks for your query! Yes, ideally your referees should use company/institution headed paper. If this is not available their business card should be scanned and attached, or the reference should bear the company/institution stamp. The references must come from the referee’s academic or professional email account, which should be verifiable online. We no longer use a reference template, so referees are welcome to write their reference in the format they desire. The email we send them will give further guidance on the content we expect.
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further queries.
      MSc Admissions Team

  9. My referee has been made redundant, is it possible to send the reference questionnaire,again, to another referee through my admissions officer ?

    • Hi David
      Thanks for your question! This is not a problem – either you can ask your new referee to send a reference directly to your admissions officer from their academic/professional email account (written in their own format), or you can ask your admissions officer to send the reference request email to the new referee.
      I hope this helps – please let your admissions officer know if you have any further queries.
      MSc Admissions Team

  10. Who can be my professional referee? Would my colleague be possible? Or it has to be supervisor/ line manager?

    • Hi Lana
      Thanks for your query! The professional referee should be someone who oversees your work, such as a line manager or supervisor.
      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions!
      MSc Admissions Team

  11. My referee has given me a hard copy of his reference letter in a sealed envelope for me to forward it.
    1. Should I include his email address in the online application form?
    2. Should I first submit my online application form and then send by post my reference letter?
    3. Where do I send the reference letter in what address?
    Admissions Office
    Specialist Masters Programme
    Cass Business School
    106 Bunhill Row
    London, EC1Y8TZ
    Is this the right address?
    Should I include my application reference number on the envelope or the specific Maters Programme that I want to attend?

    Thanks JEM

    • Hi Jem
      Thanks for your message!
      If you already have the reference in hard copy (in a signed and sealed envelope that has not been opened) you do not need to input your referee’s email address on the application form.
      Please first submit your application online. You will receive a student number by email after submitting the application form. Please then send the reference to us at our Bunhill Row address (please address it to the admissions officer for the course to which you have applied). It will be helpful if you also write your student number on the envelope somewhere. The admissions officer can then easily match it up with your application when it arrives.
      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further queries.
      MSc Admissions Team

  12. My professors have sent the references after my application form was submitted. However, I have still been asked to submit 2 references in my conditional offer for MSc Management. Do i post the sealed copies or should i ask my professors to directly email the Admissions Officer?

    • Hi Sahiba
      Thanks for your message! I have informed your Admissions Officer, and she will get in touch with you directly about this.
      I hope this helps!
      MSc Admissions Team

  13. I completed my high school education in 2011 and thereafter pursued a distance education undergrad degree along with the professional qualification of Chartered Accountancy by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.I have done many internships and currently have a work experience of 1 year.Will you accept two professional references-one from the current employer and one from my manager at the firm from where I did my internship.

    Thanks
    Aditya

    • Hi Aditya
      Thanks for your question! We do normally require at least one academic reference, so please try to obtain one from your undergraduate degree institution. If you are made an offer on a Masters course at Cass please contact your admissions officer at that time, and they can further advise you upon review of your full application.
      I hope this helps. Good luck with your application!
      MSc Admissions Team

  14. My referees want to submit their own reference form. Is it possible? If possible, Do they just need to print on university/company headed paper, make a scan file and send it using thier academic/professional email accounts? Additionally, How about student number? Do they have to include it in their format?

    • Hi Kyungjun
      Thanks for your questions! The referees can write their reference in their own format on headed paper and then scan and send it directly to the Admissions Officer from their academic/professional email account. When you fill in the online application form you need to enter the email address of two referees. We will then send them an automated email with instructions on how to send the reference to us – this email includes the applicant’s student number, and this should be stated in their reference or email so that we can easily identify the applicant.
      I hope this answers your questions.
      MSc Admissions Team

  15. Good day, I am a mariner currently sailing on board a ship. Can the references be from the captains of my previous two ships or is it required to be from my companies whom I have been employed with.

    • Hi Mayank
      Thanks for your question! If you have been out of higher education for more than two years we can accept two professional references. These should be written and sent by someone who has supervised you, such as a line manager (or captain, in your case). One of the references should ideally be from your current workplace/ship. If the admissions panel have any issues with the references supplied we will contact you at that time and let you know if anything else is needed.
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  16. Hello! I am an international student interested in [MSc in Shipping, Trade & Finance] -2017/2018. My IELTS score will be available at April 21th, and since the scholarship application will be closed at May 2nd, I am worried about that there is not enough time to apply for it. So my question is

    1. In order to send the request of Reference Letter to my referees as soon as possible, can I submit my application in advance with a future IELTS score, for example [will be available on April 21th].

    2. Does a separate reference letter or recommendation needed to apply for a scholarship?

    • Hi Jerry, thanks for your question!
      We do not need the IELTS score in order to make a decision on your application, so it is fine to apply without the IELTS. If you are made an offer on the course then the IELTS will probably be a condition of the offer, and you can submit it later.
      There is no need to submit any documents with the scholarship application – you just need to fill in and submit the online scholarship application form.
      We are waiting for final confirmations regarding 2017 scholarships, but when these are open for applications we will inform all offer-holders by email, and the links will be put on our website. Please submit your course application as soon as possible, as in order to be considered for a scholarship you must first have accepted an offer and paid the deposit.
      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further queries!
      MSc Admissions Team

  17. Can the professor send a scanned copy from her email id??
    as she has a gmail account
    she has printed out a reference on the college letter head.

    • Hi Keerthi
      Thanks for your question! If your professor’s email address is clearly stated on your university’s website (so that we can easily verify it), we should be able to accept the reference from her gmail account. If we are not able to verify her email address she will need to send the reference to us by post in an envelope that she has signed and sealed to ensure confidentiality.
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  18. Are the applications held till we submit the references ??
    Or is it processed without also ?

    • Hi Keerthi, thanks for your question!
      It depends which course you are applying to – some admissions panels need to see at least one reference before they can make a decision, whilst others can make the decision without the references. Please refer to the course page for the course you are applying for, and in the Entry Requirements tab check what documents are listed under ‘Documents required for decision-making’.
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  19. Hi,

    I did my Masters of Computer Application in India, now I am looking forward to the MSc in Management at CASS. I have the hard copy of a reference letter which has been signed and given to me by my professor. Its an a plain envelope.
    Would that suffice for the Application?
    My second reference is my past employer who does have a company email account and can be contacted online.

    Would that be fine if one reference is online and another one is submitted offline(hard copy)

    • Hi Noopur, thanks for your question!
      If the reference is in an envelope that has been sealed by the referee and signed across the seal to ensure confidentiality (and you have not opened it), then we can accept it by post. We would expect the letter to be written on university headed paper. It is fine for one reference to arrive by post, and the other to be sent by email.
      I hope this helps!
      MSc Admissions Team

  20. Hello admissions team,

    Hope you all are fine.
    Last week, I submitted my application form and got a confirmation of my submission from the university.
    But in due course I forgot to upload the reference letters.
    Till now nothing has been intimidated.
    Can you kindly tell me what should be done and how can I submit the letters?
    Have a nice time.

    Regards

    • Hi Adas
      Thanks for your question! The best thing to do would be to contact your admissions officer (stating your student number) and they can advise you. Alternatively you can just ask your referees to send their references directly to your admissions officer from their academic/professional email account, or by post in a signed and sealed envelope (we cannot accept references emailed directly from the applicant).
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  21. Hii
    I’m applying for the MSc Management program at Cass. Since it requires 2 referees, one will be my academic professor.
    I did an internship for a month and half in the Human resources department and was part of a project there. So it will that count as a professional experience and can i put the the assistant manager who guided me in my internship as the second referee?

    • Hi Vishh
      Thanks for your question! We can accept a reference from an internship – ideally it should be related to the field of study of the Masters you are applying for.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  22. Hi!
    I’m applying for Msc International Accounting and Finance. My references do not have a professional email address so can they email a scanned copy of reference letter which is stamped as well as on the letter head of the institution?

    • Hi Sneha
      Thanks for your question! If your referees do not have a professional/academic email address they must send an original reference (not a scan) – it should be written on headed paper and signed by the referee, and ideally should bear the institution stamp. It should be placed in an envelope that they have signed and sealed to ensure confidentiality, and posted to the Admissions Officer at our address at Cass Business School, MSc Admissions Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK.
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  23. Hi,

    One of my references is asking if there are any guidance notes on content that you will require in the reference, I cannot see anything on the site, is there guidance that exists or will the request tell them what information you are looking for?

    Kind Regards,
    Chris

    • Hi Chris
      Thanks for your question. When you submit your application online an automated email will be sent to your referees. This email contains guidance on what they should write in their reference, and also contains instructions on how to send the reference to us. If they have any queries they are welcome to contact us for further advice.
      I hope this helps.
      MSc Admissions Team

  24. Hi,
    My referee mentioned about there might be a follow up after sending a reference letter. However my referee will be quitting his job soon and his professional email will no longer be available. May I know what kind of follow up there is after he submits the reference letter? What can I do about this ?

    • Hi Eunice
      Thanks for your question! We normally only follow up with the referee if we have any additional queries, but often this is not required. If your referee wishes, he can send us his new contact details so we can contact him if necessary.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

      • Thank you for your reply! Does his new contact details has to be a working email? Thank you.

        • Hi Eunice
          We would normally expect the new contact details to be a professional email address.
          I hope this helps.
          MSc Admissions Team

  25. Hi,
    May i ask if it is possible for me to replace one of my referees who was presented to be one of the 2 referees in my application? Or i can not amend the details of the referees after application has been sent?
    Many thanks,
    Crystal

    • Hi Crystal
      Thanks for your question! Yes, this is possible. Please contact your Admissions Officer directly for assistance.
      I hope this helps!
      MSc Admissions Team

  26. Hi All,

    Are the referees supposed to draft a letter or fill out a reference form?

    If its the latter, where can I download this form?

    • Hi Francis
      Thanks for contacting us! When you submit your application form online, you will be asked to write the email address of two referees. We then contact the referees and give them instructions on how to submit the reference. We do not have a form, but instead we ask the referees to write a reference in their own format. We also give them some pointers as to what they should write about. The reference can then be emailed directly to the admissions officer from the referee’s academic/professional email account. We will not be able to accept references sent from personal email domains or sent by the applicant.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions

  27. Good afternoon, could you tell me how to submit your degree transcripts, IELTS results as well?

    Kind Regards,
    Glafkos Koualis

    • Hi Glafkos
      Thanks for your question. If you already hold an offer at Cass please send your IELTS score report directly to your Admissions Officer by email, as we can verify your score online. The degree documents must be sent by post to your Admissions Officer at Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ. The degree documents must be either the originals or copies that have been certified by your university or an official public notary.
      I hope this helps!
      MSc Admissions Team

  28. Hello,

    With regards to the reference, if I work less than 2 years,

    Is the reference available from my manager?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Minyong
      Thanks for your question. Normally if you graduated over two years ago we can accept two professional references (although you can submit one academic if you wish). If you graduated less than two years ago we will need at least one academic reference. Sometimes the admissions panel will specifically want to see either an academic reference or a professional reference, in which case we will inform the applicant in case they have not submitted one.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

      • Thank you for answering,
        Let me ask again,
        I graduated last year, and now working in the company.
        I’m currently planning to ask both my manager and professor in my Uni.

        But my working experience is quite short, started from Feb 2018.
        Because of short period for this job, I’m afraid the reference by my manager is not acceptable.

        So is it ok to ask reference to my manager or should ask 2 professors in Uni?

        Await your answer then 🙂

        • Hi Minyong
          In this situation, you can submit a professional (work) reference and an academic reference.
          I hope this helps!
          Kind regards
          MSc Admissions Team

  29. Hello,

    One of my references will come from my internship supervisor. She doesn’t have a professional email herself, but her department has a shared professional email. Will the reference be accepted if she send it from the shared professional email?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Claire
      Thanks for your question! Please ask your referee to submit the reference from the shared professional email account. Ideally we should be able to verify this email address online, and the reference should be written on company headed paper and attached to the email. If there are any issues with the reference we will let you know so that you can arrange for another one to be sent.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  30. Hi

    Can we change the referee details after submission of the application?

  31. Hello!

    My reference just received the automated email regarding providing a letter of reference. They have asked what the deadline is for that letter, and I could not find it on the website. If you could provide me with the deadline if there is one, that would be wonderful. Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Emmalee
      Thanks for your question! There is no set deadline for the referees to provide their reference, and for most of our MSc degrees we are able to make decisions on applications without the references. However, we would recommend that the references are sent to us within about one month of you submitting your application. This is particularly important later on in the admissions cycle when academics are out of office during the holiday period, and it can be harder to get in contact with them.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  32. Hello!
    Can I apply two different courses?
    and If I apply two application on your course, should referees send twice of reference letters?

    • Hi Emma

      Thanks for your question! You can only submit one application, so please submit your application for the course you are most interested in. However, you can nominate a second and third choice course on the application form. If you are successful for your first choice course your application will not be passed to your second choice. If you are not successful for your first choice your application will be passed to the second choice. We can use the same references for your second choice – there is no need for your referees to send new references for the second choice course. You may wish, however, to upload a personal statement for your second choice course when you apply (although this is not compulsory) – this will expedite the review process for the second course should you not be successful for your first choice.
      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further queries.

      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  33. Hi

    I want to know is it possible to upload the scanned copies of the references while filling in the application form. As my two referees have given only one copy of LOR and I’ve to apply to other schools as well with that so can I upload the scanned copy of the LOR.

    Thanks Devesh

    • Hi Devesh
      Thanks for your question! I’m afraid we are not able to accept reference letters that have been scanned and uploaded to the application, or emailed to us by the applicant. This is because reference letters should be confidential. We can only accept references if they are sent directly by the referee from their academic/professional email account. Normally we do not require the references in order to make a decision, so if you are made an offer you will need to kindly ask your referees to send their references to us directly.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  34. Hello,

    I wanted to know how do we have to submit the LOR’s. Will you require the referrer to send it to you directly or are we supposed to attach them along with the rest of the documents during applications?

    • Hi Rahul
      Thanks for your query! References are confidential and therefore should be sent to the Admissions Officer directly by the referee from their academic/professional email account. When you fill in the application form you need to input the email address of two referees and we will then contact them with instructions on how to send the reference. We will not review any references that have been uploaded with the application or sent by the applicant.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  35. Hello,

    I wanted to know how if my academic referee cam use her gmail account to submit the reference as my institution doesn’t provide professional email address for the faculty. (To prove the authenticity of the LOR, the reference is written on the official letterhead of the college and duly stamped and signed by the college authorities itself.)

    And i also wanted to confirm if the referee has to fill the reference form you provide, or he/she can upload the LOR written in their own format on official letterhead?

    Thanks

    • Hi Abha

      Thanks for your question! I’m afraid we cannot accept references from domains such as gmail, unless we can verify the email address on the university’s website. If we cannot verify the email address then we would need to receive the original reference by post. The reference must be written on headed paper and be sent in an envelope that has been signed across the seal by the referee to ensure confidentiality.

      We do not have a reference template, and therefore we expect the referees to write their reference in their own format.

      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further queries.

      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  36. Hi there, I can’t seem to find the reference tab on my application for my Postgrad. Is this normal?

    • Hi Tristan
      Thanks for your question! I have checked our database and can see that you have recently submitted an application for a degree in another school at City, University of London – it is therefore possible that they do not request references as part of the initial application process.
      Applicants who are applying for a Specialist Master’s degree at Cass Business School will be asked to provide the email address of two referees when they fill in the application form online.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

  37. I have been asked by a prospective student to provide an academic reference. Having now retired I no longer have an academic email address nor headed paper. Your information to candidates doesn’t appear to state that they cannot request references from retired academics, but your reference response criteria appears to preclude such people. Is there a solution that you could suggest?

    • Dear Robert
      Thanks for your question! For verification purposes we do require references to be sent from an academic/professional email account, or be written on university/company-headed paper and sent by post. In your circumstance we can receive a reference from your personal email account and we would use it as a supplementary (third) reference. We would ask the applicant to also find an additional referee whose reference meets our verification checks.
      I hope this helps.
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions

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