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Contextual Offers

The University of Warwick is committed to making a high-quality and challenging university education available to those 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 students with the potential to succeed at the University and we are committed to ensuring that every application is treated fairly and judged on its merits. Our approach considers educational and individual context in our offer making to provide a rounded understanding of academic potential and achievement, and ensure we consider talented applicants from all backgrounds.

Our Admissions Statement summarises the University’s current undergraduate admissions policies and procedures for admitting and selecting our students. As do many universities in the UK, the University may make differential ‘contextual’ offers to applicants based in the UK if they meet certain eligibility criteria. Please read below to find out if you might be eligible.


Students with particular ‘contextual data’ indicators

Since 2017 entry, a number of contextual factors have been taken into account 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. Students must meet at least two of the following factors outlined below to be considered for a contextual offer:

a) The applicant completed their Key Stage 4 qualifications at a school where average performance of students at Key Stage 4 Level was below the national average

and/or

The applicant completed their Key Stage 5 qualifications at a school/college where performance at Key Stage 5 falls within the bottom 40%

b) The applicant completed their Key Stage 4 qualifications at a school with above the national average entitlement/eligibility to Free School Meals (national average is 14.1%)

c) 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%).

Those students in administrative areas of the UK which do not collect this data will be flagged for the IMD data in the first instance and a decision made on a contextual offer based on individual circumstance.

Post-16 Programmes

Students who participate in and successfully complete any of our sustained post-16 programmes (Realising Opportunities, Pathways to Law, Pathways to Banking and Finance) will also be automatically eligible for a contextual offer

Applicants who have spent time in care:

Any applicant who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, and was in care on their 16th birthday 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.

To provide evidence supporting your circumstances or if you have any specific questions related to time in care please e-mail b.gill.2@warwick.ac.uk . For general enquiries about contextual data please e-mail contextualdata@warwick.ac.uk

How can I assess eligibility?

  • If you are a student, or if you are advising a student, who would like to assess their likely eligibility for a contextual offer based on the schools they attended please see the attached spreadsheet (once the spreadsheet is open, click enable editing and search for your school).
  • To find out if your home postcode is eligible based on POLAR 4 or IMD you can use the following postcode look-up tool (once the spreadsheet is open, click enable editing and then type in your postcode to see if this is eligible).

What is the application process?

  • Students should apply as normal through UCAS, there is no need to do anything extra, we have all the information we need
  • Applications will be assessed in the usual way against standard entry criteria
  • Students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme will be made a dual conditional offer, one part of which will include completion of the Realising Opportunities programme alongside a reduced academic offer, the other which is the standard academic offer. If you are Realising Opportunities Participant and want to know more click here.
  • Students who meet the contextual data criteria will be made a conditional offer with reduced academic conditions
  • To find out more information about Widening Participation at the University.

Access Eligibility

  • Applicants who apply for a foundation year will not be eligible for a contextual offer.

If you have further queries about the contextual data policy please contact us at: contextualdata@warwick.ac.uk