Contextual offers for 2021/22 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.


Information contained below is subject to further review. Please come back shortly when we hope to have the details finalised. Apologies for any inconvenience.

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 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'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 widening participation programme, tell us which programme you attended in your UCAS application.

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

Travel bursaries

If your application is eligible to be considered under the University's Contextual Offer policy, you could be eligible for a travel bursary. Your travel costs to and from post offer visit days and interviews could be paid back to you once you've made a claim.

Read more about travel bursaries

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.

Next Step York, YorWay and the York Experience Summer School provide an opportunity to experience university life and learning. Our programmes will prepare you for university, give you a head start on other students and a chance to make university friends before you arrive.

If you complete one of our programmes, you would be eligible for an alternative offer (up to three grades below the standard offer), additional financial support and access to a whole range of extra opportunities once studying at York.

York Access Scheme

Have you faced social, personal or educational challenges which have affected your performance in education? You could be eligible for our York Access Scheme which means you can provide additional information about your circumstances. These will be considered alongside your UCAS application and you could receive a reduced offer.

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:

Accents, attitudes and identity
Exploring everyday chemistry

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