When looking at study options in higher
education, you will be aware that entry
requirements will vary between providers.
Generally, most courses will require GCSE plus A
Level or equivalent qualifications (for example,
BTECs, Access to HE etc.) in addition to evidence
of relevant skills, ability, and experience.
It is acknowledged amongst university and course providers that the experience of students in achieving these qualifications and skills will vary, particularly where individuals have shared mitigating and/or personal circumstances that have disrupted their education. In such situations, the course provider may recognise the received or predicted grades against the context - for example, any disruptions in which they were achieved before recommending the applicant if they are eligible to be considered for contextualised admissions.
Contextualised admissions recognise a
student’s circumstances when considering
their application for study in higher education.
This may therefore enable you to automatically
receive entry requirements that are lower
than those advertised or better reflect the
circumstances in which your grades were
Course providers will set out the terms of their contextualised admissions policy on their website in addition to course literature, and it is always recommended to enquire with admissions advisors and/or tutors with regards to your eligibility before you submit your application.
Where reduced entry requirements are not
automatically applied, you may be able to participate on a contextualised offer scheme.
The key difference is that the scheme will
include conditions, in addition to eligibility
criteria, which you must meet to qualify for a
contextual offer. For example, these schemes
may require the completion of an assignment,
portfolio, or to simply commit to the respective
course provider as your firm UCAS choice.
Contextualised offer schemes are often coordinated internally by the course provider and may be separate to the course application process. It is recommended to enquire with an admissions advisor or course representative regarding the options available for you.
Contextualised admissions and offer schemes
may also carry additional benefits, such as
academic or financial support. When enquiring
about entry requirements, always ask whether
bursaries or scholarships are included, along
with any transitional support during your
first year of study. Transitional support may
include academic workshops, peer support
or mentoring, in addition to signposting to
appropriate services alongside the course.
So, when you are researching your choices and options, keep contextualised admissions within your thinking. They offer a reduced entry requirement, but their benefits can extend beyond your admission onto their course.
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by Rebecca Wills
posted on 22 Feb '24
With so many graduates now entering the job market, a degree alone is not always enough. It is therefore very important that you work on developing your employability skills throughout your time at university, and university careers services are experts in offering a range of support to help you achieve this successfully. I will tell you more about some of the opportunities here.