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York Access Scheme

We’re committed to making sure everybody has a fair chance of getting into university.

The York Access Scheme gives you the opportunity to let us know about any circumstances that might have prevented you from reaching your true academic potential.

You should submit your York Access Scheme application before 30/03/2023. If you are unable to do this for any reason, please contact

Through the York Access Scheme, we aim to promote a more equal, diverse and inclusive community at York.

Letting us know more details about your background and circumstances gives our admissions assessors more context in which to consider your UCAS application. After consideration, you could receive a reduced offer of up to two grades below the typical offer. You could also access an enhanced support package to help you meet similar offer-holders and prepare for your exciting transition to university life.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for the York Access Scheme, you must:

  • be a UK (home) student. Find out how to determine your fee status.
  • hold an offer to study on an undergraduate programme at the University of York
  • have attended a UK state-funded school at Key Stage 4 (secondary school) and Key Stage 5 (sixth form or college).

If you are currently seeking asylum or have refugee status, the above criteria will not apply to you, and you should indicate this on your York Access form. Our Access and Outreach team will contact you if they require additional information.

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You attended a school that performed below the national average*
  • You were entitled to Free School Meals, Pupil Premium funding or school/college payments related to financial hardship
  • You have a disability or long-term health condition and are in receipt of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • You are seeking asylum in the UK or have refugee status
  • You have caring responsibilities for a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem
  • You are estranged from your family**
  • Have experience of being under the care of your local authority
  • You are from a background underrepresented in higher education, as follows:
    • British Black background (such as Black or Black British - Caribbean, Black or Black British - African or Other Black background)
    • Asian or Asian British background (such as Asian or Asian British - Indian, Asian or Asian British - Pakistani, Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi)
    • Mixed or multiple ethnicity background (such as White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, White and Asian)
    • Gypsy or Traveller background.

*You can check this online using the government school performance website ( For secondary school performance, look for the attainment 8 score and for sixth form/ college performance, look for the average advanced level qualification. We will use an average of the most recent data available.

**'Estranged’ describes someone who has little or no contact with their parents (either biological or adoptive), and the situation is likely to remain permanent.

If you do not meet the criteria outlined above, but have experienced challenges that have affected your academic performance, take a look at our mitigating circumstances policy or contextual offers page.


How to apply

We encourage you to submit your York Access Scheme application form at the same time as submitting your UCAS application. This will allow our admissions assessors to take all the relevant information into account when making their decision.

To complete the online application form, you’ll need the email address of a member of staff from your sixth form or college (preferably your UCAS referee).

York Access Scheme online form

After applying

Our Access and Outreach team will assess your application to see whether you meet the York Access Scheme criteria. They will then contact you to let you know the outcome of their decision.

They will inform the Admissions team if you are eligible for a reduced offer but will not share the details of your application form unless you give permission for them to do so.