10.8 Contextual Admissions and Special Circumstances

1. Contextual admissions is a term used to describe additional information, such as where a potential student lives or which school they go to, which provides the context for assessing their attainment and potential. This information enables the University to take into account the circumstances in which a student’s academic performance has been achieved, which may lead to a contextual offer being made (adjustment to the standard offer issued) for the course applied to.

2. The University will make a contextual offer to eligible applicants studying A-levels (including the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate) or International Baccalaureate in the UK. Contextual offers will typically be made at the lowest point of the published offer range for the course/s applied to. Contextual offer eligibility criteria for applicants applying for undergraduate courses in the 2022/23 application cycle are as follows:

  • Your home postcode is in a low HE participation neighbourhood (this information is collected from the Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) and sourced by UCAS). The score ranges from 1 (low participation) to 5 (high participation). The University will make a contextual offer to those applicants from POLAR4 Quintiles 1 and 2.
  • You are the first generation in your family to go to university (identified through self-declared information on the UCAS application that you have parents or guardians who have not attended university)
  • You are under the age of 25 and have spent a period of three or more months in care since the age of 14, you are a young carer, or you are estranged from your family (identified through self-declared information on the designated application form)
  • You have one of the following immigration statuses:

    - Refugee
    - Humanitarian Protection
    - Asylum Seeker
    (identified through self-declared information on the UCAS application in the first instance)

    Access All Aber

    All students that successfully complete our Access All Aber programme will receive an enhanced contextual offer of 2 A Level grades or 16 UCAS points below the lowest published offer range for all Aberystwyth University Undergraduate courses.

    3. It is the responsibility of an applicant to inform the University of any circumstances that may have unduly affected their previous or current study. This information should be submitted to the Admissions Office at the point of application or at the earliest opportunity if the special circumstances arise post-application. Special circumstances, will be considered at the discretion of the relevant admissions tutor, where these have not already been taken into account by the relevant examination board.

    4. The University’s Student Support and Careers Service offers pre- and post-application information, advice and guidance to students with additional learning needs. Further information is available https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/.

    5. The University’s policy on the admission of disabled students can be found in Appendix 2.