We incorporate contextual information into our calculation of an application score.
Applicants who attend a state (not independent) school that meets our threshold for either GCSE or A Level (see below) will receive a contextual score. The score we allocate is based on the POLAR4 quintile determined by your home postcode.
Our offer for a contextual applicant (irrespective of POLAR4 quintile) is AAA.
How we identify a contextual school
We use published school performance data to identify contextual schools. It is important to note that about 90% of non-selective state schools are included.
- Contextual measure: Attainment 8 (average score per pupil)
- Score for inclusion: <54.8
- Contextual measure: QCA points per A level subject
- Score for inclusion: <34.65 points
If you studied at a school that meets our contextual criteria for GCSEs and/or A Levels, you will receive a score for the contextual element. Applicants from state (non-independent) schools in Wales will receive a contextual score. Please contact your school provider or search for your school on gov.uk for more information.
POLAR (Participation of Local Area) represents the rates of participation in higher education (HE) in a local area (defined by postcode). All areas are ranked according to this rate and segregated into quintiles. If your area is in quintile 1, this means you live in the lowest 20% of local areas in terms of rates of entry to HE.
You can look up your POLAR4 quintile from the Office for Students website: OFS Postcode Lookup.
We will use your home postcode on your UCAS application to identify the quintile. If you have moved recently, we will accept, with evidence, the previous postcode. Otherwise, we will ask to see evidence of your home postcode (where you live normally) at interview. The postcode information is not relevant for applicants who do not/have not attended a contextual school.