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Understanding contextual admissions for undergraduate applicants

Find out about contextual offers, our dedicated Admissions Progression Team and how we use contextual data

Having a diverse student population is very important to us and we aim to select students with the greatest potential to succeed in our degree courses, regardless of background and circumstances.

How we approach contextual admissions

We use a range of contextual information, alongside the information provided on your UCAS application, to gain a better understanding of both your educational and individual background. This helps to give us a better indication of your potential to excel on your chosen degree and makes sure that all applicants have fair opportunities throughout our admissions process.

We use contextual information to decide whether or not you are eligible for a contextual offer. If you are eligible for a contextual offer your application will also receive additional consideration as part of our admissions process.

Our contextual criteria

You will be considered for contextual admissions (including contextual offers) if you are a student eligible for UK fees and you meet any one of the following criteria:

  • you are verified by UCAS* as eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) between ages 11 and 16.

  • your home postcode is in an area of high socio-economic disadvantage (IMD quintiles 1 or 2) and IF you attended an independent school, this was for no more than two academic years in your last four years of school or college

  • you are a care leaver, care experienced, young carer, or estranged student

  • you are a refugee, asylum seeker** or person with humanitarian protection, or you are the child of a refugee, asylum seeker** or person with humanitarian protection.

Find out more about the contextual data we use

*In exceptional cases, we may consider verified data provided from a different source.

**You do not need to be eligible for Home (UK) fees if you are an asylum seeker. It is our policy that as a recognised asylum seeker, you pay the same fees as a Home (UK) student even if you are not otherwise eligible.

Our contextual admissions criteria contribute to the commitments in our Access and Participation Plan (APP). Our new plan is subject to approval by the Office for Students and we may make changes to these criteria in keeping with any changes to our APP during approval.

What is a contextual offer

A contextual offer is a lower offer made to some applicants based on their circumstances. It includes a reduction of one grade below our typical entry requirements.

Contextual offers help to promote fairness and are available to those who meet our widening access criteria across our undergraduate courses.

Contextual offers are automatic - if you receive an offer and meet our eligibility criteria, you will receive the contextual offer instead of our typical or alternative offers.

Contextual offers are available if you are studying A levels or the International Baccalaureate Diploma

Find out about the contextual offer for your chosen course on our course pages.

If you receive an offer and you are eligible for a contextual offer, you will receive only our contextual offer. Any additional study may benefit your preparation for university study but will not form part of your offer.

If you are not eligible for a contextual offer, we do offer a range of alternative offers which recognise additional study over and above the typical entry requirements.

Find out about alternative offers for your chosen course on our course pages.

Guaranteed Offers for Care Leavers

The University has pledged to make guaranteed offers to Care Leavers who meet our criteria and terms and conditions. Please visit our Care Leavers webpage for details.

Guaranteed Offers for outreach participants

For 2024 entry, the University will make guaranteed offers to students who successfully complete our outreach programmes Pathway to Bath, Discover Bath or Target Bath. In order to be eligible, applicants will need to have demonstrated an interest in the subject and meet the minimum entry and subject requirements for the course they have applied for. In some cases, there will be an interview as part of the admissions process and a conditional offer will be made to applicants who are successful at interview. '

View our eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for guaranteed offers to outreach participants.

How your UCAS application will be considered

Your application will first be considered against our selection criteria, using aspects such as your GCSEs, the subjects you are studying, your personal statement and predicted grades. If your application is strong enough you will receive an offer on that basis, regardless of your circumstances.

Otherwise, if you meet our contextual criteria, we have a dedicated Admissions Progression Team who aim to make sure that we carefully consider information about your background and circumstances before deciding whether or not we can make you an offer. They will make sure we consider each aspect of your UCAS form carefully in context.

This process doesn’t stop if you receive an offer: if you choose Bath as one of your final choices but miss your offer, our Admissions Progression Team will assess your application thoroughly again and strongly prioritise you for a place at Bath.

How we consider mitigating circumstances

We understand that difficult circumstances outside your control, such as illness or bereavement, may have a negative impact on your studies and grades. These would be described as ‘mitigating circumstances’.

Separate to our contextual admissions process, our Admissions Progression Team also consider any mitigating circumstances that are declared to us. If your studies (past or current) are affected, we would encourage you to read our guidance about mitigating circumstances and return a copy of our form.

Funding

We want to support you if you become a student at Bath. If you are a Home UK student, then your contextual data will be considered alongside any household income data we receive from your UK student loans provider. You may be eligible for one of our bursaries or scholarships.

Also, remember to look out for our travel bursary if you are travelling to an interview or applicant visit day.

Student Experience webpages and E-mentoring

If you are a care leaver, estranged student, young carer or from a forced migration background we have some newly created Student Experience webpages which have been created by our students to share with you their lived experiences, journeys, and resources they’ve found helpful. The pages also include the option to access E-Mentoring through online direct messaging with a current Bath undergraduate with lived experience. Please click on the links below to access the page:

Student Experience webpages for care leavers

Student Experience webpages for estranged students

Student Experience webpages for students from forced migration backgrounds

Student Experience webpages for young carers

Widening Participation and Outreach

The university offer a range of activities, events, and programmes for students from under-represented groups. Please click here for further information about the support we can offer.

Student profile

Watch Sam's video about his experiences


Enquiries

If you have any questions, please contact us.


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