Contextual offer

A Contextual Offer is an alternative route to undergraduate study for talented students. Our Contextual Offer scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement at school or college.

If you're applying to start your degree in September 2021, you may be eligible to receive a Contextual Offer. This means you would receive two offers - our typical offer and an alternative offer. Your Contextual Offer is normally one grade lower than the typical offer shown on our course pages or in our prospectus, but can differ depending on the subject you would like to study.  

Am I eligible for the Contextual Offer?

The Contextual Offer allows the University to consider additional your socio-economic data, alongside UCAS information, to help make the decision about your application to study at Birmingham. You may be eligible for the Contextual Offer if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’ve spent time in local authority care (and you have documented this on your UCAS form)
  • Your home postcode is in a low progression to higher education neighbourhood. 


Checking your eligibility

To check your postcode to see if you are in a low progression neighbourhood, visit the Office for Students postcode look-up tool. Under 'Area based measure postcode look-up', enter your postcode. The map will reload for your area. In the box in the top right hand corner it will detail the quintile for the area. For September 2020 entry, your postcode should be assessed as under either POLAR3 or POLAR4. Beyond 2020 (for September 2021 entry onwards) it should be assessed as 1 under POLAR4.

How to apply

If you’re eligible, you just need to submit your UCAS application in the normal way and we will take your circumstances into account when considering your application. 

If you live within the West Midlands region and you're the first in your family to go to university, you might want to consider applying through our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme. The scheme offers a full package of support in Year 13, the chance to receive an A2B scholarship worth £1,500 per year of study and an alternative offer. 

Contextual offers in Medicine

Up to 20% of interview places for Medicine (five-year MBChB) are available to applicants who are allocated to a contextual category. Visit the entry requirements page for Medicine for further details and eligibility criteria.