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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 Universities Access Agreement as approved by OFFA (the Office for Fair Access). 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 offering making, to provide a rounded understanding of your academic potential and achievement, and to 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 offers to applicants based in the UK, in a number of circumstances as described below.

We have used a range of national data sources to inform our policy, where relevant using the most up to date datasets, including the Department for Education and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

1. Participants of the Realising Opportunities programme

The Realising Opportunities programme is a collaboration of 15 leading research-intensive universities, including Warwick, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from groups underrepresented in higher education. Students who have participated in and completed the Realising Opportunities programme will receive an offer up to 2 A Level grades (or equivalent) below the standard university offer for their chosen course (to a minimum of BBB).

2. Students with particular ‘contextual data’ indicators

From 2017 entry, a number of contextual factors will be taken into account when assessing applications to support students who are considered suitable to receive an offer of a place for their chosen course, but whose personal and educational circumstances make it less likely that they will achieve standard entry criteria.

The University of Warwick recognises that the school indicators used to outline our contextual data approach is not a reflection on the quality of the school or college. Indeed we appreciate that many schools and colleges that have contextual flags are deemed as good or outstanding in many other ways.

From 2017 contextual data will be applied to applications, and students who meet two of the following criteria will be made an offer one or two grades below the standard university offer (to a minimum of BBB):

a) The applicant attended a school where average performance of students achieving 5 A*-C GCSE including English and Mathematics was below the national average


The applicant attended a school/college with below the national average performance at Key Stage 5

b) The applicant has spent time in local authority care

c) The applicant attended a school with above the national average entitlement/eligibility to Free School Meals

d) The applicant lives in a low participation neighbourhood (POLAR 3, quintile 1) or an area which has a high level of deprivation (Index of Multiple Deprivation, 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.

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 table (PDF Document).
  • To find out if your home postcode is in a low participation neighbourhood you can use the following postcode tool (when you type in your postcode you should look at the number in the first category ‘POLAR3 young participation quintile’.

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
  • 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.