Why we have alternative offers
At Bath, we always try to admit students with the greatest potential to succeed in our courses, but we also know that success is individual and our approach to admissions and making offers reflects this.
Many of our applicants will study three A levels (or Cambridge Pre-U principal subjects) and we set our offer levels with this in mind. We never expect or require you to have studied more than this to receive an offer from us.
Nevertheless, different students have different aptitudes and talents, and you may undertake extra studies that show your particular strengths when it comes to preparing for a degree. Where this is the case, we will recognise this additional study through alternative offers, which are made alongside our standard offer.
What our alternative offers look like
Alternative offers are available for A levels and Cambridge Pre-Us. Our alternative offers ask for a reduced grade in your core studies combined with strong achievement in specific extra qualifications. Alternative offer grades depend on the typical offer for your course:
|Typical offer A level||Alternative offer A level||Typical offer Pre-U||Alternative offer Pre-U|
|A*AA||AAA (A*AB for Mathematics degrees)||D2, D3, D3||D3, D3, D3 (D2,D3,M1 for Mathematics degrees)|
|AAA or A*AB||AAB||D3, D3, D3 or D2, D3, M1||D3, D3, M1|
|AAB||ABB||D3, D3, M1||D3, M1, M1|
|ABB||BBB (or ABC where two subjects are essential)||D3, M1, M1||M1, M1, M1 (or D3, M1, M2 where two subjects are essential)|
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made exceptional changes to requirements for some of our Mathematics degrees for the 2021 admissions cycle. In these cases, we will not be making alternative offers based on extra study or engagement and all successful applicants will receive the benefit of a reduced offer so they are not disadvantaged.
You can find a complete list of our alternative offers for each of our courses listed on the entry requirements section of our online prospectus
What additional study you need for an alternative offer
We recognise additional achievement in the following areas: Projects, Additional Maths qualifications, Engaging in our Widening Access schemes, or successful completion of our Access to Bath module for eligible students.
Undertaking a personal project, such as an EPQ or the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate, can help you develop skills in independent research, time management and extended writing. These skills will be invaluable to you when transitioning to undergraduate study at Bath.
Alternative offers can include any of the following project qualifications:
- grade A in an EPQ
- grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
- grade A in an AQA or Cambridge IPQ
- grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives
- grade A in the International Baccalaureate Extended Essay
Alternative offers including project qualifications are available for all honours degrees.
Unfortunately, we are not able to consider individualised projects that are set and assessed entirely through your school or college unless they are accredited by a recognised awarding body. You may still find these experiences useful when preparing your personal statement.
Additional Mathematics qualifications
Quantitative and analytical skills are invaluable for many degrees, and strong mathematics skills will help you succeed in placements and future employment. Many of our degrees require certain achievements in Mathematics, but we recognise that extra experience beyond these essential requirements can be beneficial to your future studies.
We have alternative offers that include additional Mathematics study, and which qualifications are included varies with the essential Mathematics requirements of your degree. Some of these are detailed on our course pages:
Degrees where A level (or Pre-U) Mathematics is not required
If Mathematics is not an essential subject for your degree, you can be eligible for an alternative offer based on:
- grade B in any Core Mathematics qualification:
- certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life (NCFE)
- certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life (WJEC - last award 2019)
- certificate in Mathematical Studies (AQA)
- certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics (City & Guilds)
- certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving (OCR – MEI)
- certificate in Quantitative Reasoning (OCR – MEI)
- certificate in Mathematics in Context (Pearson)
- grade B in AS level Mathematics or Statistics
- grade B in a fourth A level, where your four A levels include Mathematics or Statistics
- grade M1 in a fourth Pre-U principal subject, where your four principal subjects include Mathematics or Statistics
- grade 5 in IB Certificate Standard Level Mathematics or Mathematical Studies
If you study four A level or Pre-U principal subjects and do not study Mathematics or Statistics you will be eligible for our standard offer based on your best three grades (including any essential subjects).
Degrees where A level (or Pre-U) Mathematics is essential (excluding Mathematics or Statistics degrees)
If Mathematics is an essential subject for your degree, you can be eligible for an alternative offer based on:
- grade A in AS level Further Mathematics
- grade B in a fourth A level, where your four A levels include Further Mathematics
- grade M1 in a fourth Pre-U principal subject, where your four principal subjects include Further Mathematics
If you study four A level or Pre-U principal subjects and do not study Further Mathematics you will be eligible for our standard offer based on your best three grades (including any essential subjects).
Degrees in Mathematics or Statistics (single and joint-honours) but excluding BSc Mathematics, Statistics & Data Science
These degrees make alternative offers to students who take a relevant mathematics test alongside their A levels:
- a Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP)
- the Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT)
- the Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA)
- a GCE Advanced Extension Award in Mathematics
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not making alternative offers based on these qualifications in the 2021 admissions cycle. Instead, eligible students will receive a reduced offer normally available through alternative offers regardless of any additional study, tests or participation in outreach schemes.
Our Guide to Mathematics Tests gives further information on why we recommend these tests and how to sit them.
Engaging in our Widening Access schemes
We offer a range of schemes designed to equip you with the skills to succeed in progressing to study a degree, whatever your background or previous experiences. As part of our schemes, you will complete a research project on a topic of your choice which will help you develop skills in independent research, time management and extended writing. These skills will be invaluable to you when transitioning to undergraduate study at Bath.
Successful engagement with and completion of these schemes, as well as strong performance in your research project, also counts as extra study for our alternative offers. Alternative offers can include any of the following widening access scheme projects:
- grade B in the On Track to Bath project
- grade B in the Pathway to Bath project
- grade B in the Discover Bath Residentials project
Other Widening Access schemes eligible for an Alternative Offer
Unfortunately, we do not currently consider projects completed with any other external Widening Access scheme. You may find it useful to reflect on the experiences you have gained through your Widening Access scheme to demonstrate your enthusiasm for your course within your personal statement.
Access to Bath
Access to Bath is an on-line programme with a focus on practical skills, to help support students from under-represented groups transition into higher education.
Bath values having students from a diverse range of backgrounds and is keen to admit those students who have the greatest potential to succeed in our courses. We are committed to supporting our applicants and believe that preparation for university study can be extremely beneficial to success. We, therefore, recognise the valued demonstrated skills and knowledge successful completion of the programme provides with an alternative offer.
Eligible students who meet our widening participation criteria will receive both the typical offer for the course they apply for and an alternative offer subject to:
- a Pass in the Access to Bath module
For further information about the programme, and to find out if you are eligible please click on the above link.
If you are fortunate enough to be studying qualifications that would make you eligible for more than one alternative offer, any offer you receive will include each of them. However, these alternative offers do not stack: we will not reduce our typical offer by more than one grade if you achieve multiple extras.
Exceptions and Limitations to Alternative offers
If you are studying additional Mathematics qualifications we will always make an offer based on the highest level of the qualification that can be achieved.
We are only able to make alternative offers for our Mathematics, Economics & Mathematics, and Computer Science & Mathematics courses if you are studying both Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A level.
We are not able to make an alternative offer based on an A level in Further Mathematics for our Natural Science course.
We do not make alternative offers for our Foundation Degrees in Sports Performance.
Other qualifications (such as the IB Diploma or BTECs)
Our alternative offers are currently only available to students studying A levels or Cambridge Pre-Us. However, if you study a mix of qualifications that includes A levels or Pre-Us you may be eligible: please contact email@example.com for advice.
Our IB Diploma offers already recognise the IB Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge as part of the overall points score.
Due to the more varied experience of BTEC and Cambridge Technical students, alternative offers are not generally suitable in this instance.