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Letter of Recommendation (LOR) for UK: University Requirements, Sample and Writing Tips

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 22,2023 11:21 AM IST

A Letter of recommendation or LOR is written to validate and appreciate a candidate’s work, skills and various academic and professional virtues relevant to their field. It is addressed to an admission officer at an educational institution for recommendation to the specific field of study abroad. It is usually written by a teacher, professor, previous employer.

Letter of recommended (LOR) for UK University Requirements, Sample and Writing Tips .webp
Anyone planning to apply for study abroad requires a LOR or Letter of Recommendation irrespective of institution, course or the country. Amidst a pile of various documents, with a lot of paperwork, Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is the one that is most stressful. A good LOR should certainly highlight student’s eligibility for the relevant course. It could describe one’s uniqueness and contribution to the society or institution. So it is in a way a Letter of Reference written by a third party to the admissions committee to recommend an applicant for admission. The Letter of Recommendation for UK is generally written by the applicant’s academic or professional acquaintances to assess and describe one’s skills and qualifications concerning the course or the position. The writer’s suggestions in the letter should be very clear and it is best if it is reiterated at the end of the letter. While drafting a letter of Recommendation, there are few significant steps to keep in mind and guidelines provided by the admission committee help gain a thorough understanding of the candidate. Regarding the format, there are no specific requirements for LORs with respect to length, word limit and formatting. Although it is advisable that LOR should not exceed two pages in length. This letter should be written on the official letterhead of the school, college or firm that the recommender is associated with and it should contain the writer’s details.

Types of Letter of Recommendation

Academic LOR- It is a letter recommendation specifically provided by either faculty members, teacher, principal or counsellor of previously attended institution. This letter is utilized for applying to undergraduate programs abroad.

Professional Letter of Recommendation- At times, when applying for academic degree abroad, universities ask for professional LOR as well as an updated CV or a resume. When specifically applying for professional courses like MBA programs.

University Requirements for UK- Letter of recommendation

The University of ManchesterOne Professional or academic LOR
Imperial College LondonTwo Professional LORs
University College LondonTwo academic LORs or one academic and one professional LOR
University of OxfordTwo professional or academic LORs
University of CambridgeOne professional LOR

Letter of Recommendation-Points to include:

  • Brief introduction of the referee and his/her relationship with the applicant
  • It should highlight strengths, skills with relevant instances and describe the events when these were witnessed.
  • Some instances like discussions, coursework, tutorials could be picked to describe to support or highlight the mentioned attributes.
  • Include previous study or work experience
  • Recommender’s assessment of the applicant’s interests and capabilities to study the chosen field
  • Achievements and progress of student in school/college or firm
  • Candidate’s contribution in community or voluntary services

Letter of Recommendation- The Recommender

Recommender should be the one who has worked very closely with the candidate and can provide detailed insight into their skills, personality and work ethics. Writer should be briefed properly about the application, course of interest and document submission deadlines as well. Although recommender should form their own opinion about candidate’s overall personality and skills and values, but it’s favourable to discuss with them candidate’s his/her own idea of further plans. This process should be initiated as early as possible to avoid any last minute hurdles. The authenticity of LORs should be highly maintained by the recommender as much as possible by writing it themselves. Given the circumstances, candidate can draft the rough draft of the letter and can give it to the referee to refine it by adding their own inputs. It is also advisable to arrange one backup recommender in case the previous one is not available due some sudden reason.

Writing Tips for Letter of recommendation

  • One should follow the guidelines provided by the admission committee to write letter of recommendation
  • There is no place of grammatical errors or sentence structuring as it gives very weak impression.
  • There’s no need of exaggeration of candidate’s strengths and relevant details should be provided proving their aptitude for concerned program
  • Avoid mentioning any marks scored in any subject or course as they are already mentioned in the application
  • It’s advisable to keep the word limit of LOR to 500-600 words or two pages.

Sample of Letter of Recommendation (LOR):

As the headmistress of the Senior Secondary Section, School city, I have known (Name) to be one of the brightest students in academic and extracurricular activities. He/she first gained admission to our school in 2007 and has left a positive impression on all the faculty members and me. I have also had the opportunity to teach them Physics in twelfth standard, and based on my observation in class and interaction with them, I can classify them as one of the most diligent and sincere students I have had the opportunity to teach. They have consistently performed to the best of their abilities and shown exceptional merit in all subjects throughout their session.
He/she exudes self-confidence and also has constantly demonstrated a strong sense of dedication towards their studies. They have always actively participated in classroom discussions and have engaged in brainstorming sessions at the school. Besides excelling at academics, (name) garners immense interest in sports, especially basketball, and has captained the school team at various inter-school events and competitions.

To conclude, I would like to emphasize(name)’s penchant for achieving excellence in everything they undertake, and I sincerely believe that they are one of the ideal candidates for pursuing a course of  their choice at your esteemed university. So here I extend my wholehearted recommendation for his/her candidature for admission into the undergraduate program. I am available to answer any further queries.

School, city
Contact, Email Id.

As specified, LORs must professionally analyse the applicant’s record and overall growth. In the UK, reference letters are submitted along with admission applications, thereby giving applicants enough time to choose the right recommender and guide them properly. Depending upon the department and university, applicants must provide academic or professional LOR. The letter of recommendation for the UK is usually written by the applicant’s professional or academic acquaintance to assess and describe the applicant’s qualifications and skills concerning the job they did or the educational training they have received. Therefore, a well–planned and a well-written LOR assists the admission committee in gaining a thorough understanding of the candidate and the significance of the recommendation. 

For more detailed information about letters of recommendation for the UK, contact Canam Consultants, the study abroad consultants operating worldwide and impart valuable knowledge in this field. 


•    Write writer’s address in the top left section of the letter, followed by the date.
•    Under the address, write the recipient’s name and address.
One should initiate closing statement with “In conclusion”, or in summary”, before providing complete recommendation for the candidate. Finally, one can sign off with “Yours’s Sincerely”.
They are already mentioned in application form and CV, so these are not required to be mentioned in LOR.
Usually LOR is valid for the duration of 12 months. Although there is no specific expiry, but employers or institutions don’t entertain letters more than 18 months old.

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