Yes. Durham seeks to recruit the most able and motivated students from all backgrounds who can best benefit from a Durham University education.

The primary assessment method is prior academic achievement. Admissions staff look carefully for evidence of merit and potential in the UCAS application, including an individual assessment of:

1. A level (or equivalent) grades
2. GCSE (or equivalent) grades
3. the personal statement
4. the reference
5. the development of study skills
6. motivation for the degree programme applied for
7. independence of thought and working
8. skills derived from non-academic extracurricular activities such as engagement in sport, the arts or voluntary and community work
9. contextual consideration of merit and potential.

In addition to the contextual information provided to us by UCAS, which includes your educational journey since age 11, an indicator of whether you have spent time in care, and contextual information contained in the personal statement and reference, the University also provides our selectors with the following contextual information:

1. the postcode classification according to the ACORN dataset
2. if an applicant has participated in a significant outreach activity organised by the University e.g. a Summer School
3. an indicator of whether the average school performance where the applicant took their GCSEs is above or below the national average.

No individual piece of the contextual information will be more important than any other. Our admissions selectors will include in their consideration information about your broad educational context, and we welcome the inclusion in the reference any information that teachers believe has a bearing on the context of educational achievement.

For more information please visit Contextual Offers webpage.