Your application will be flagged as a widening participation priority if you meet any two of the measures on this page, or if you:

  • are a care leaver
  • are refugee
  • are asylum seeker
  • have been granted humanitarian protection

POLAR

The participation of local areas (POLAR) classification groups areas across the UK based on the proportion of the young population that participates in higher education (HE). It looks at how likely young people are to participate in HE across the UK and shows how this varies by area.

POLAR classifies local areas into five quintiles based on the proportion of 18-year-olds who enter HE aged 18 or 19 years old. Quintile one shows the lowest rate of participation and quintile five shows the highest rate of participation.

We receive POLAR data directly from UCAS and, to meet this measure, the home postcode listed on your UCAS application when you submit it must fall into quintile 1 or 2.

The data currently provided by UCAS is Polar3, however, the latest version of this data is Polar4 which may be used in future admissions cycles.

Look up which quintile your home postcode falls into.

ACORN

ACORN analyses demographic data, social factors, and population and consumer behaviour to provide insight into the socio-economic demographics of an area of the UK.

ACORN segments postcodes and neighbourhoods into 6 categories, 18 groups and 62 types.

ACORN data is purchased by the University separately as it is not provided from UCAS. When we receive your UCAS application, the home postcode you provide will be paired with our ACORN data so that we can determine which category you fall into.

To meet this measure, the home postcode listed on your UCAS application when you submit it must fall into ACORN categories 4 or 5.

We do not generally look at the particular group or type within this category. However, we do not consider ACORN category or group 4K (‘Student life’) as meeting this measure. This is because applicants who are flagged under 4K are typically living in university housing while studying at another university, which is not their original home postcode.

Find out more information about ACORN data.

School performance at Level 2

We look at data attached to the school that you have listed as attending when you sat your GCSEs (or equivalent qualification, such as Standard Grade). We look at the data for the latest year of examinations that is available, which is the 2017 examinations for the 2019 UCAS cycle.

If you have attended numerous schools, we will look at data for all those you may have attended up until taking your GCSE or equivalent qualifications. Some school performance data is provided by UCAS, but other data is collected directly from the relevant national government department.

The table summarises the measure we use to determine school performance for each nation, and what the national average is for the 2017 examinations. Our data is for state-funded schools only.

Nation Measure used National average for 2017 examinations
England Average attainment 8 score per pupil 46.3
Wales Average QCA points score for best 8 GCSEs 326
Scotland Percentage of learners achieving 5 or more qualifications at SCQF Level 5or better 56.7%
Northern Ireland Percentage of learners achieving 5 A*-C graded GCSEs, including English/Welsh and Maths 70.3%

Your school must have performed at or below the relevant national average based on this for you to meet this measure.

School performance at Level 3

We look at data attached to the school or college that you have listed as attending when you sit your A levels (or equivalent qualification, such as Level 3 BTEC). We look at the data for the latest year of examinations that is available, which is the 2017 examinations for the 2019 UCAS cycle.

If you have attended numerous schools/colleges, we will look at data for all those you may have attended while taking your A level or equivalent qualifications. Some school performance data is provided by UCAS, but other data is collected directly from the relevant national government department.

The table summarises the measure we use to determine school performance for each nation, and what the national average is for the 2017 examinations. Our data is for state-funded schools only.

Nation Measure used National average for 2017 examinations
England Average QCA points per A level entry or equivalent 46.3
Wales Average QCA points score for best 8 GCSEs 730.60
Scotland Percentage of learners achieving 5 or more qualifications at SCQF level 6 or better 56.7%
Northern Ireland Percentage of learners achieving 3 or more A Levels at grades A*-C 69%

Your school or college must have performed at or below the relevant national average based on the above for you to meet this measure.

Disability status

When you complete your UCAS application there is a section for you to declare if you have a disability, additional learning need or long-term health condition.

We would strongly recommend doing this if it applies to you, as it will make sure that you receive relevant information about support from all the universities that you apply to.

You will meet this measure if you declare something in this section of your UCAS application.

Time in care status

When you complete your UCAS application there is a section for you to declare if you have spent time in Local Authority care, either with foster carers or in a children’s home (or in Scotland under a home supervision order).

We would strongly recommend doing this if it applies to you, regardless of when or how long you were in care for. This means that you will receive relevant information about support from all the universities that you apply to.

You will meet this measure if you declare something in this section of your UCAS application.

Refugee, Asylum Seeker, Humanitarian Protection status

When you complete your UCAS application there is a section for you to declare your fee status.

To meet this measure you must have declared on your UCAS form that you are a refugee, asylum seeker or someone who has been granted humanitarian protection.

If this applies to you and you're successful in receiving an offer from us, you will receive a copy of our Fee Status Questionnaire so that we can formally assess and confirm your fee status.