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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

Contextual offers

We’re dedicated to making an excellent university education available to everyone, whatever their background.

That’s why we offer contextual admissions – these are special offers that take into account your personal challenges, background, and achievements.

These offers are designed to help students who might have faced difficulties in the past. They make it possible for those who might otherwise struggle to attend university to reach their goals.

We also have a scholarship specifically for those who receive contextual offers. This scholarship can help with the costs of university life.

Solent students walking in The Spark

What information is used?

Our contextual admissions process looks at things like if someone is a young carer, where they live, what school they went to, and more.

This helps us find students who might have faced challenges but still have what it takes to do well in university. We allow them to go to come to Solent and succeed.

Who is eligible?

Our contextual offers are open to UK applicants (studying UK qualifications) applying for three- or four-year undergraduate degree courses (without a foundation year) who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Students from areas with low income or high deprivation, according to the UK: Index of Multiple Deprivation (quintile 1 and 2)
  • Those from areas where not many people go to university, according to the Office for Students' Participation of Local Areas data (POLAR 4, quintile 1)
  • Care leavers/looked-after children. Please note applicants must have declared this in their UCAS application.
  • Disabled, having declared one of the following:
    • Social or communication conditions such as autism/autistic spectrum condition.
    • Blindness or serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses.
    • Deafness or serious hearing impediment.
    • Long-term or chronic health condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, or cancer.
    • A mental health condition such as depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder.
    • Physical impairment or mobility issues.

Please note - if you feel you have a disability that is not listed above, but that you would benefit from a contextual offer, please complete and submit the self-declaration form.

If you feel you meet any of the following additional criteria, we recommend you complete and submit our self-declaration form as this information is not included in your UCAS application, and will help us provide the best possible contextual offer:

  • Have attended a low-performing secondary school, according to DfE data (Progress 8 score - below average or well below average).
  • Are a young carer.
  • Are a refugee.
  • Are from gypsy, Roma and traveller communities.
  • Are from a military family.
  • Are estranged from your family.
  • Are a current/former participant in Step into Success activities, specifically Head Start mentoring and residential visits.

Contextual offers are not available through Clearing.

How to apply

Our admissions team can then assess your eligibility for a contextual offer, and support you with any mitigating circumstances.

What you get:

  • You'll get extra consideration, even if your grades aren't perfect.
  • You might be offered an interview.
  • Your offer might be lower than the usual requirements.

How offers are calculated

  • If an applicant meets one of the above eligibility criteria, the UCAS points needed for your course will be reduced by a minimum of 16 points.
  • If an applicant meets two or more criteria, the UCAS points needed for your course will be reduced by a minimum of 32 points.

Lower offers will be dependent on the qualification(s) the applicant is either currently studying for, or has already achieved.

Contextual offer scholarship

Find out more about the contextual offer scholarship. This £500 scholarship aims to support eligible students with the cost of student living or course tuition fees.

Find out more

If you are assessed as eligible for a contextual offer and offered a place at Solent, your contextual offer will show up on UCAS Hub once your offer is made by the University.

You will receive an offer letter via the Solent University applicant portal, which will confirm your contextual offer.