As part of our commitment to improving social mobility and widening access to higher education for all, we take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and aim to understand our applicants' circumstances and potential as much as possible. The information on this page is relevant to the 2024 entry.
contextual offer accordion Accordion
What is the Contextual Offer Scheme?
Our Contextual Offer Scheme aims to identify the potential of applicants whose personal circumstances may have impacted their achievement in education.
If you're applying to start your degree at Lancaster University, you could be eligible to receive our contextual offer in place of our typical offer. Your contextual offer will be two A level grades (or equivalent) lower than the typical offer shown on our course pages and prospectus. For example, a standard offer of AAB, would become BBB.
In addition, students eligible for the Contextual Offer Scheme will also receive the Lancaster Opportunity Scholarship of £1,000 per annum.
Who is eligible?
For 2024 entry, we will take into account additional contextual information when reviewing applications from UK students, if either:
- You live in a low participation neighbourhood (POLAR4 Quintile 1 postcode checker)
- You are care experienced.
Eligible students, who apply through the main UCAS cycle, will qualify for the Contextual Offer Scheme, that is two A level grades (or equivalent) below our published entry grades.
How do I apply for the Contextual Offer Scheme?
There is no additional application process. Once we receive your application from UCAS, we will automatically make an adjusted offer to all qualifying students and this will appear in UCAS.
Is every subject included?
Applicants interested in MBChB Medicine and Surgery, or the Medicine and Surgery with a Gateway Year course, should review the admissions information on the Medical School website. All other subjects are included.
Do you make contextual offers for postgraduate study?
At the moment contextual offers are only considered for applicants applying to study at undergraduate level.
If I qualify for the Lancaster Opportunity Scholarship do I also qualify for other scholarships and bursaries?
The Lancaster Opportunity Scholarship can be combined with the Lancaster Scholarship and the Lancaster Bursary, if you meet the required criteria. For example, someone who qualifies for the Contextual Offer Scheme, and who meets the requirements of the Lancaster Scholarship, and the Lancaster Bursary could receive up to £4,000 in the first year.
I don’t qualify for the Contextual Offer Scheme using the criteria above. Are there other programmes I can get involved in?
We have a range of widening participation programmes to support students from underrepresented backgrounds to access higher education, including our Lancaster Access Programme. We are also a member of Realising Opportunities, a national access programme. For more information about our widening participation programmes, please visit our Outreach and Access pages, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I be eligible for the Contextual Offer Scheme and also take part in the Lancaster Access Programme or Realising Opportunities?
The Contextual Offer Scheme will not affect any application to the Lancaster Access Programme or Realising Opportunities. Upon successful completion of the Lancaster Access Programme or Realising Opportunities, you will receive an alternative lower offer, typically up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our published entry grades.
If you are part of the Lancaster Access Programme or Realising Opportunities, and you also qualify for the Contextual Offer Scheme, you will receive whichever offer is to your best advantage.
Students on the Lancaster Access Programme or Realising Opportunities programme are also eligible for the Lancaster Opportunity Scholarship.
What support is in place for students on the Contextual Offer Scheme once they get to Lancaster?
At Lancaster, we have a range of support to ensure you are supported through every stage of your journey. For students who are part of our Contextual Offer Scheme, you will have the chance to join our Lancaster Success Programme. The programme helps you prepare for and succeed at Lancaster through a mix of support from a Success Advisor, workshops and student-led events.
- Who can I contact for more information about Lancaster’s Contextual Offer Scheme?