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Contextual Offers

A contextual offer approach means that when reviewing your application, we consider both academic information alongside personal information to allow our admissions team to fully understand an applicant's true potential.

We understand in some cases, that your personal social or socio-economic circumstances can have an impact on the grades you receive or may prevent you from accessing extra curricular activities or work experience to contribute to their profile. A contextualised approach allows us to review holistically all aspects of an applicant's profile and to make an appropriate offer based on this information.

What does a contextual offer look like?

If you are eligible for a contextual offer, you would be made a reduced UCAS tariff point offer which is 8 points less than our standard entry criteria. This typically equates to a one grade drop at A level or other common qualifications. You would receive an offer as below:

  • 128-point course > 120-point offer
  • 120-point course > 112-point offer 
  • 112-point course > 104-point offer 
  • 96 point course > 88 point offer
  • 80-point course > 72-point offer


The information we require is automatically provided on your application form in most cases

Our contextual offers are open to applicants studying Level 3 qualifications that attract UCAS tariff points, if they meet one of the below criteria:

You have spent time in care: You must complete the care questions in your UCAS form. If this is not also identified in your reference, we may ask you to provide evidence from your local authority, school or college or another relevant organisation.

Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic Origin: As an underrepresented group here at Northumbria, applicants from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic origin will be eligible for a contextual offer.

Free School Meals: If you're eligible for free school meals.

Adult Learners: If you are over 21 years of age at the start of your programme.

Unpaid Caring Responsibilities:
You have listed on your UCAS form that you have unpaid caring responsibilities (not including parenting); we may ask you to provide evidence.

Estranged from Parents: You are not in contact with or supported by parents

Physical and/or mental health condition, long term illness or learning difference 


To qualify for a contextual offer, you must also meet the following terms and conditions:

  • You must be eligible for home fees. 
  • You must apply through UCAS, and information must be entered on your UCAS application. 
  • A contextual offer cannot be used in conjunction with any reduced over obtaining through our other Supported Entry Scheme or Extenuating Circumstances.
  • Other non-academic requirements such as Interview, Portfolio still apply.

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