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Contextual Offers

We are committed to making a high-quality and challenging university education available to all students who are capable of benefiting from it, as outlined in the University’s Access and Participation Plan. Our recruitment and application processes are designed to support everyone with the potential to succeed at Warwick, and we are committed to ensuring that every application is treated fairly and judged on its merits. Our Admissions Statement summarises the University’s current undergraduate admissions policies and procedures for admitting and selecting our students.

Our contextual offer approach considers educational and individual context to provide a rounded understanding of academic potential and achievement, ensuring we fully consider talented applicants from all backgrounds. We may make differential ‘contextual’ offers to applicants based in the UK if they meet certain eligibility criteria. However, eligibility for consideration under the contextual admissions policy does not guarantee that an applicant will receive an offer as this is also based on academic criteria and competition.

The contextual offer policy applies only to state school applicants; those from independent schools are not currently eligible. In addition, the contextual offer only applies to Undergraduate (UG) entry programmes; foundation year and graduate programmes (including Medicine) are excluded.

In addition to our contextual admissions policy, we may also consider extenuating personal circumstances when reviewing applications for a standard offer; information on submitting extenuating circumstances can be found hereLink opens in a new window.

Eligibility criteria

We consider a range of contextual factors when assessing UCAS applications to build a more holistic and rounded view of students’ academic achievement and potential. The contextual factors we use to inform decision-making and policy are drawn from UCAS application forms and a range of publicly available national datasets. Please note that the contextual offer policy applies only to state school applicants and independent schools are not currently considered.

From the 2023/24 admissions cycle, applicants must only meet one of the following contextual ‘flags’ to be considered for a contextual offer:

Area-based flag: the applicant lives in a neighbourhood where the proportion of students going into higher education is low (POLAR 4, quintile 1) or an area which has a high level of deprivation (Index of Multiple Deprivation, IMD], 0-20%).*

School flag: the applicant completed their studies at schools/colleges where performance was below average and eligibility for Free School Meals was higher than average.

* Those students in administrative areas of the UK for which school performance data are not available will be flagged for the IMD data in the first instance and a decision made on a contextual offer based on individual circumstance.

** Please be aware that the checker can currently only assess eligibility for applicants from England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. If you are applying from Scotland, please email the Contextual Data Team at, and provide your home postcode and the names of the KS4 and KS5 schools you have attended.**

Check your eligibility

If you participate in and successfully complete Realising Opportunities, Pathways to Law, Pathways to Banking and Finance, or Pathways to Engineering, either through Warwick or another university, you will also receive additional consideration when applying to Warwick through UCAS. This is dependent on meeting all other admissions criteria.

There are two types of reduced offer you may receive:

a) Contextual offer – if you meet the conditions set out in the section above;


b) Dual offer - this means that, in addition to the standard offer (which will be in accordance with our published entry criteria) you will also receive an alternative offer which will come into effect as long as you complete the programme you are on.

In both cases the reduced offer will be up to 2 A level grades or up to 4 International Baccalaureate points lower than the standard offer for entry to that course or the removal of an additional requirement (e.g. the STEP requirement for Mathematics).

All students who successfully complete one of the post-16 programmes will be invited to join the Warwick Scholars undergraduate programme.

Students who are participating in the Warwick Scholars access programme are guaranteed to receive an offer. Please visit Warwick Scholars for more information about qualifying for the Warwick Scholars reduced grade offer.

Course exemptions

There are no course exemptions. Alternative offers for post-16 programme participants will be made for all degree courses at the University of Warwick where an offer is made.

Courses available and entry requirements

For more information on the range of courses available and typical entry requirements please visit our study pages. Remember that it is important for you to check the individual requirements for the course you are interested in and what this means for you.

Any care experienced applicant, who has been looked after for at least 3 months will be eligible to receive a contextual offer without having to meet any other indicators. This will require supporting evidence. This may include a letter from Social Services confirming that the applicant is or has been in care; evidence that the applicant has been in receipt of Income Support and Housing Benefit during their post-16 education; or a letter confirming the applicant is or has been a Foyer resident.

  • Please note that we use self-declared information from UCAS application forms to identify those students that have indicated they are care experienced in the first instance

If you have any specific questions related to time in care please e-mail Emily Cannon at:

If you are estranged from your family, you will need to be able to provide evidence to support your circumstances – for example, a signed letter or email from your school, Social Worker or Personal Advisor confirming you are estranged prior to taking up your place at Warwick or evidence that you have been in receipt of Income Support and Housing Benefit during your post-16 education.

To provide this evidence, please complete this online form. The form will be sent to Emily Cannon who is our key point of contact for Estranged Students. She will reach out to you to confirm that we have received your evidence. If you would like to contact Emily prior to submitting evidence, please email her at

Applicants seeking asylum, have limited leave to remain, are under ‘humanitarian protection’ or have been granted refugee status with indefinite leave to remain may be eligible to receive a contextual offer without having to meet other indicators. If you are unsure about your current immigration status please speak to your solicitor or to your family members if you are listed as a dependent on a family member’s immigration application.

  • Please note: self-declared information from UCAS application forms is used to identify those students that have indicated they are asylum seekers or refugees.
  • You may be asked to provide additional supporting evidence of current immigration status, with documentation such as a Biometric Residence Permit, Home Office letters or a solicitor’s letter. 

Students seeking asylum may also be eligible to apply for one of the University's Undergraduate Sanctuary Scholarships. Scholarship applications are currently open until 30th April 2024 and there are 4 scholarships available for 2024 entry. More information (including other eligibility criteria and how to apply) can be found online hereLink opens in a new window.

If you have any specific questions related to the criteria used to determine refugee or asylum seeker status please e-mail Emily Cannon at:

Application process

  • Please apply as normal through UCAS: there is no need to do anything extra.
  • Applications will be assessed in the usual way against standard entry criteria.
  • You will need to be a Home fee paying applicant, from a state school.
  • The offer only applies to Undergraduate (UG) entry programmes; foundation year and graduate programmes (including Medicine) are excluded.
  • If you meet the contextual data criteria and qualify for an offer on academic selection, you will be made a conditional offer with reduced academic conditions. The Contextual Offer will be up to 2 grades lower than the Standard Offer (e.g. AAB rather than AAA) or will remove an additional requirement (e.g. the removal of the STEP requirement for a Mathematics offer).
  • Find out more information about Widening Participation at the University.

Caring Responsibilities

If you are a student with caring responsibilities, then balancing your caring role with your studies can be really challenging. However, there are lots of places where you can access support both at application stage and if you choose to study at Warwick.

Whilst we do not currently include Young Carers in our Contextual Data Policy you may still be eligible based on other criteria which you can check here.

The University also has a process for considering applicants with extenuating circumstances. Details about this can be found here.

Additionally, the University offers a range of financial support, details can be found on the Warwick Bursary page 

Other useful places to seek support when times are more challenging include:

There is also information for young adult carers on UCAS: (

If you have any queries regarding your eligibility for a contextual offer or clarification of criteria, please contact us at opens in a new window. Please be advised that we cannot assist with queries related to what your offer will be, whether you will receive an offer or any questions regarding qualifications. These queries should be directed to opens in a new window.


You might be interested in our frequently asked questions.