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 2019, 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)
  • You attend a school or college where GCSE or A level performance is below the national average AND your home postcode is in a low progression to higher education neighbourhood. 


Checking your eligibility

To check your school, use this tool (add your school using the link below the table, then for attainment 8 score look at the ‘Secondary performance’ tab, and for average point score for A-levels look at the ‘16 to 18 performance’ tab). 

To check your postcode, visit the Office for Students postcode look-up. Your postcode should be assessed as under the first or last boxes for ‘young participation’ as shown below:

Postcode look up

Note that your postcode AND school/college both need to be eligible in order for you to receive the contextual offer.

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 of an A2B scholarship worth £1,500 per year of study and an entry bursary worth £1,000, and an alternative offer.