A school and college
guide to university
decisions and offers
After the long process of students researching,
visiting and applying to universities, they will
begin to receive their offers. Here is a simple
guide to what each offer means in the run up to the UCAS deadline!
This offer usually means that the student has met
the university entry requirements for the course
and should they accept the offer, will have a
confirmed place at the university.
This is where the student will need to achieve
specific grades or meet other conditions in order
to secure their place at the university.
A conditional offer may mean a student is asked
to achieve certain grades e.g. ABB at A-Level,
DMM in BTEC or 28 Points in the International
Baccalaureate; or it could be achieving a specific
number of UCAS points (all of these can be found
on individual institution websites and on the UCAS
This unfortunately means that the student
does not meet the entry requirements or is not
predicted to. Therefore, they have not been offered
a place with the university. Sometimes the student
will be given a reason. They can also contact the
university to ask if they will discuss their reason
Students may be invited to interview and/or
audition before they are made an offer. Interviews
are used more commonly for vocational and
highly subscribed courses. Auditions are for those
creative courses such as Theatre, Music and
Something else that may be used in decision
making processes at universities is contextualised
offers. A student may meet other criteria often
referred to as contextualised admissions, where
universities use data to asses an applicant’s prior
attainment and individual circumstances. There
may be factors such as an individual having
been in care, participation data of their home
neighbourhood or other qualifying information.
Responding to university offers
After having been made all of their offers,
students will be asked to respond accordingly.
This is the course and university they most want
to attend. Grades for this choice are usually higher
than their insurance choice.
A student’s insurance choice is their back up
should they not get the grades they have been
predicted. This is usually a lower offer than their