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This is not something a school or student can apply for. Our admission selectors take into account contextual data on every application.

To be eligible for an offer under our Guarenteed Contextual Offer scheme you must meet at least two of the four following criteria:

  • Your home address postcode is classified as Quintile 1 or Quintile 2 of POLAR4 LPN
  • Your home address postcode is classified as ACORN 4 or 5
  • You are in receipt of free school meals
  • Your current or most recently attended school is classified as a UK state school.

What you can do to help us?

We will automatically make a contextual offer if your application meets the criteria above, but there are some things you can do to help us make our decision quickly:

  1. Use your home postcode on your UCAS application.  If you use another address, such as a school address, this can affect your classification.  If you move house during the application process, let us know as soon as possible so we can update our records.
  2. If you do receive free school meals, ask your referee to include it in your reference.  If they forget or you become eligible for free school meals after you have applied, don’t worry, just drop us a line to let us know and once we have confirmation from your school, we will update your records.  You can contact us here.
  3. Go to an independent school?  That’s fine.  We know lots of schools offer scholarships and other support to help students from different backgrounds to benefit from their educational experience. Provided that you meet two of the other criteria, you will still receive a contextual offer from us.
  4. Read the entry requirements for your chosen course carefully.  Contextual offers are guaranteed offers provided that you meet the above criteria and are studying, or have successfully studied, any required subjects.  Most of our courses do not require specific subject but some do so check the course information on our website before you apply.  If we ask for Maths then you need to be studying it!  If you’re not eligible for your preferred course, we will make you an alternative offer for another course that we think may interest you but if you had another choice in mind, and meet the requirements, just let us know.  If you are in doubt about what subjects you may need or how alternative offers work, just ask, we’re always happy to help.  You can contact us here.

If you receive a guaranteed contextual offer from us, we may also offer you a chance to secure a further reduction if you accept Durham as your firm choice.  This isn’t available in all subjects but if it is, it will be shown on the offer we send to UCAS. 

Don’t qualify for a Guarenteed Contextual Offer?

If you have special circumstances that may have significantly impacted on your academic performance but don’t qualify for a contextual offer, we may still be able to consider these when making an offer.  Though there are no guarantees, as we consider all the information you and your referee include on the application, it could help you stand out from the crowd if you have achieved excellent results despite any personal difficulties.

In some circumstances, we may also be able to consider a slightly reduced offer if we feel it is appropriate in your circumstances.  We will usually consider a reduced offer if there has been severe and unexpected disruption to your studies due to:

  • ill health
  • natural disaster and/or civic disorder, including military conflict
  • homelessness
  • time in care
  • being a recent refugee.

In such cases, offers may be reduced by up to two grades, depending on the subject and the individual circumstances. 

Need to get in touch with us? Ask us here