Contextual offers for 2022/23 entry

Contextual offers aim to provide a fair chance of getting into York. They allow us to look at more than exam results in the application process.

What is a contextual offer?

Contextual offers are a reduced offer for UK undergraduate students (typically one or two grades below the standard entry requirements).

You could be eligible if you’ve spent time in local authority care (such as foster or residential care), or you attended a state school and live in an area in the UK that has low levels of progression to higher education.

If you've taken part in a widening participation programme delivered by the Access and Outreach team at York, you could be eligible for a reduced offer of up to three grades below our typical entry requirements.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the application process, our Admissions team will be happy to help.

Undergraduate Admissions
+44 (0)1904 324000

How do I apply?

You apply to York in the normal way via UCAS ( We'll take your circumstances into account when we assess your application.

  • Your home postcode will be automatically assessed. If you live in an area with low levels of progression to higher education, and attend a state-funded school, you will automatically be considered for a contextual offer.
  • If you've had experience of local authority care, make sure to check the box on your UCAS form. This will allow us to contact you to get further information.
  • If you've taken part in a University of York widening participation programme, tell us which programme you attended on your UCAS application. You should also let the programme team know. 
  • Students attending independent schools at point of application will not qualify for a contextual offer.

If we make you an offer, the conditions (including what grades you need) will be available via UCAS Track (

Applying for medicine?

If you're applying to Hull York Medicine School they have different eligibility criteria for contextual offers. 

Why have contextual offers?

Not everyone has had an equal opportunity to demonstrate their ability at school or college. Barriers can include the type of school you attended, where you live and other social and economic factors. Contextual offers promote fairness - they allow us to look at more than just exam results to assess potential and recognise achievements in context.

We know that talented students can achieve their potential whatever their background or family circumstances. We strive for a diverse student community which reflects our society - as we believe this will benefit everyone.

Support for care leavers

We offer a comprehensive package of support for care leavers including:

If you've got any questions you can contact our dedicated Student Support and Advice Coordinator Fran Hornsby at

Other reduced offer schemes

Widening participation programmes

We run a range of programmes that could help you realise your aspirations and decide on your next steps after college or sixth form.

Eligible programmes include Next Step York, YorWay, the York Experience Summer School, Black Access and Realising Opportunities. Our widening participation programmes provide an opportunity to prepare you for university, give you a head start on other students and a chance to make university friends before you arrive.

If you successfully complete one of our widening participation programmes, and you meet the subject specific requirements of the course you're applying to, you could be considered for a guaranteed offer or invitation to interview.

Eligible widening participation programme participants who receive an offer usually receive two offers, the typical offer and an alternative widening participation offer of up to three grades below our typical offer.

Alongside an alternative widening participation offer, you could also gain access to additional financial support and a whole host of extra opportunities once studying at York.

York Access Scheme

We want to extend the Contextual Offer policy to those of you who meet a range of criteria that we are unable to assess from your UCAS application form. You could be eligible for the York Access Scheme if you were eligible for free school meals, have a disability, attended a school that performs below the national average, are from a Black, Asian, Gypsy or Traveller background or if you are seeking asylum in the UK or have refugee status.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

For some courses we can make a reduced offer where the EPQ is taken alongside three A levels or equivalent.

See course-specific entry requirements for more information.

Free online courses

If you've taken part in one of these free online courses you could also be eligible for a reduced offer:

Contact us

If you have any questions about the application process, our Admissions team will be happy to help.

Undergraduate Admissions
+44 (0)1904 324000