This article explains the different types of university offers you might receive after you submit your UCAS application.
If a university makes a conditional offer it means you have a place at that university on the condition that you meet the agreed entry requirements such as getting a specific grade combination or UCAS points. Universities will look at each application individually so offers may vary from university to university. There are often additional conditions to your grades, for example, you might be offered a conditional offer to study English Literature at university with the entry requirements of AAB, but you might have to get an ‘A’ in A-Level English Literature.
The next type of offer you may receive is an Unconditional Offer. If you receive an unconditional offer it means the university has offered you a place regardless of your final grades. This is typically awarded to mature students/students who’ve already received their grades rather than students applying with predicted grades. However, often students with very high predicted grades or ones with lots of relevant work experience and study are offered unconditionals. It’s important to remember that if you accept an unconditional offer you are committing to attend this university, you can’t add an insurance choice. If you change your mind you will need to ask the university to release you into Clearing where you can explore other options. Whilst the offer is valid regardless of the grades you get, it’s still really important to work hard as lots of employers do take A-Level grades into consideration when making hiring decisions.
Conditional Unconditional Offers
A conditional unconditional offer is an unconditional offer with some strings attached. Lots of universities offer students unconditional offers, but only if they put them as their firm choice. If you receive this type of offer and place the university as your insurance choice it will be conditional.
Another type of offer you may receive is a Contextual Offer. Contextual offers recognise that academic potential may not be indicated in grades, and instead takes into account how personal circumstances and backgrounds may have impacted achievement. If you receive a contextual offer you will be offered a grade or two below standard entry requirements for the course. For example, a standard offer for a Biology course may be AAB, but if a student had missed a considerable amount of time off school or is from a disadvantaged background, a contextual offer of BBB may be made.
Eligibility varies with each university, but typically you will have to meet one or more of the following criteria:
- First generation higher education students (the first in their immediate family to attend university)
- Students from low socio-economic groups
- Students from schools or colleges with low higher education progression
- Students living in low-participation neighbourhoods
- Students who have spent time in care or are young carers
- Students who are refugees or asylum seekers
- Students who have participated in Access to University/Widening Participation programmes
Unsuccessful or Withdrawn Choices
If a university decideds not to offer you a place, it will say 'unsuccessful' on UCAS Track. In some cases the university will provide a reason, if they haven't you can try to contact them for feedback.A Withdrawn choice means that either you or the university has withdrawn your application. A university will withdraw if you haven’t replied by the deadline.