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Contextual admissions

We aim to widen participation and fair access and welcome applications from students of all backgrounds.

Contextual admissions is where we use additional information as part of the admissions process to provide context for an individual applicant’s performance and achievement.

We use contextual information as part of our commitment to widening participation, taking into account the context in which an applicant has achieved or will achieve their qualifications, to provide greater understanding of their potential to study an undergraduate degree programme with us.

Contextual information we use

For applications received from September 2019, the following contextual indicators will be used:

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) household gross annual earnings
  • POLAR4
  • Welsh, English, Scottish, and Northern Irish indexes of multiple deprivation
  • Welsh and English high school sixth form performance data
  • Welsh and English free school meal rates
  • in-care UCAS flag
  • parents not educated to HE level UCAS flag.

How we use contextual information

We use a weighted score for each of the above indicators to create an overall contextual score for our undergraduate applicants. This score is based on a scale of 0-330 with 0-99 being non-contextual (no disadvantage) and a score of 100 or above signifying indicators of deprivation that demonstrate disadvantage to attainment and access.

We use a weighted scale as opposed to yes/no metrics as it provides a more holistic approach to contextual admissions. Using a weighted scale allows us to take account of positive factors alongside disadvantage to create a rounded score. For example, an applicant may be disadvantaged against a single metric but advantaged in multiple others, which would offset the single disadvantaged metric

Only information received in the original UCAS application can be used to create a contextual score. Information updated or provided post submission cannot be taken into account as a contextual score will already have been applied and used.

How we use scores

For programmes that do not require an interview, audition, or portfolio review:

Score

Action

0-99

No action – standard consideration

100+

Where an applicant is taking or has achieved appropriate qualifications for the course for which they have applied, an offer will be made at one grade lower than the standard offer.

For programmes that require an interview, audition, or portfolio review:

Score

Action

0-99

No action – standard consideration

100+

Where an applicant is taking and/or has achieved appropriate qualifications for the course for which they have applied (including any selection process elements, which may be competitive) the applicant will be guaranteed an interview, audition, or portfolio review.

If following the selection process an offer is to be made, this will be at one grade lower than the standard offer, excluding offers to Medicine (MBBCh) and Dentistry (BDS).

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