Frequently asked questions

Access Loughborough Contextual Offers

Do I need to submit any further information to be considered for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer?

No, eligibility for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer is determined by your home postcode and most recent school or college listed on your UCAS application. Whether or not you were known to be eligible for Free School Meals in the previous 6 years, at the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11), is also shared directly with us by UCAS. You do not need to provide us with any further information.

What will my Access Loughborough Contextual Offer be?

An Access Loughborough Contextual Offer will be up to two grades lower than the typical offers found on individual course listings.

I am eligible for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer. Am I guaranteed an offer?

Eligibility for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer means if you are successful in receiving an offer from Loughborough, this will be up to two grades lower than typical entry requirements for your chosen course.

However, meeting the eligibility criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer does not guarantee that you will be made an offer. When your application has been received it will be individually assessed, considering the full range of information presented in the application. This includes academic achievement demonstrated by predicted and achieved grades, qualification and subject combinations, your academic reference and your Personal Statement. Currently, Access Loughborough Contextual Offers are only open for applicants living in England who are studying three A Levels, or a combination of two A Levels and a BTEC/CTEC qualification.

I think I am eligible for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer, but I have received an offer which is the same as typical entry requirements.

If you have read the eligibility criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer and believe you meet this but your offer does not include ‘This is a contextual offer’, then please email the Undergraduate Admissions Office, including your full name and UCAS Personal ID Number, outlining how you meet the criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer.

How do I check if I am eligible to be considered for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer?

We have provided instructions on how to check your eligibility.

What qualifications are considered for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer?

Applicants with three A Levels or a combination of two A Levels and BTEC/CTEC qualification are currently considered for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer. If you are taking a different qualification or combination of qualifications, unfortunately you would not be considered for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer at this time. However, we are monitoring the scheme and seeking ways to include further qualifications for subsequent years.

Contextual information on your application will still be considered and may be given additional consideration when your application and results are received.

How have you determined the eligibility criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer?

Eligibility criteria have been carefully selected to identify those least likely to be represented in Higher Education. We have also chosen measures that are available to us at the point of application and can be easily verified.

We understand the challenges of using contextual information and will be continually monitoring and evaluating the information available to us to update our policy accordingly.

My home postcode is not in England. Would my application be considered for a reduced offer on the basis of contextual information?

The Access Loughborough Contextual Offer scheme is currently only applicable to residents of England who anticipate paying Home fees for University. The scheme is new for the 2022 admissions cycle. In our first year of making Access Loughborough Contextual Offers, we can only do so to applicants from England due to the contextual measures currently available. This may change in future application cycles as we continue to review our approach.

Whilst you would not be eligible for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer, further consideration of your application due to any other contextual information would not be affected if you do not live in England.

Someone else has been made a contextual offer in my school or college but I haven’t. Why is this?

Whilst the average QCA points achieved per A Level entry at your school or college can form part of the reason you may be eligible for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer, it is not the only contextual information considered and therefore your circumstances may be different to someone else in your school or college.

Contextual information

Is contextual information considered for everyone?

For all applicants, a range of information is considered to provide insight into the context in which academic qualifications have been achieved as part of a holistic assessment of an application. We provide further information on the contextual information used and where this information comes from here.  

Eligibility for the Access Loughborough Contextual Offer based on school attended cannot be considered for applicants who will be aged 21 or over at the start of their course.

Can I be made a reduced contextual offer with existing exam results?

Yes, if additional contextual information suggests you would be eligible for a reduced offer, and your grades already meet the requirements for the reduced offer, you may be made an unconditional offer.

Admissions selectors will consider additional contextual information as part of their assessment of an application. Additional contextual information does not guarantee an offer.

How will I know if I have been made a reduced contextual offer?

If you have been identified as eligible for a reduced offer, then your offer conditions will include ‘This is a contextual offer’ to make this clear to you. You can see how the conditions of your offer compare to typical entry requirements on individual course listings within the online prospectus.  

Additional contextual information does not always lead to a reduced offer. It may be that an offer has been made where it would not have been without the additional contextual information, or an alternative course offer has been made. Letting you know that ‘This is a contextual offer’ may help you to understand why a particular action has been taken.

I have been made a reduced contextual offer by another university. Why haven’t I been made a reduced contextual offer by Loughborough?

Universities will differ in the ways they use contextual information. We recommend you check how contextual information is used here at Loughborough.

Does the school/college I attend impact whether my application would be considered for a reduced contextual offer?

Much of the additional information we consider to provide the context in which qualifications are achieved remains applicable, no matter what school or college you attend.

The school you most recently attended is considered as one of the eligibility criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer. The full eligibility criteria is outlined here.

Is household income considered as contextual information?

We do not currently consider household income as additional contextual information as we are unable to verify this for everyone at the point of application. However, eligibility for free school meals (FSM) at the end of key stage four (Year 11), or in the six years prior to the end of key stage four, is a criteria for the Access Loughborough Contextual Offer scheme.

I am currently in receipt of Free Meals from my school/college. Am I eligible for a reduced contextual offer?

Receipt of Free Meals from your school or college beyond the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11) is not currently considered within the eligibility criteria for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer as we are not able to source this data directly from UCAS. However, if you are currently in receipt of Free Meals from your school or college, and if we receive this information from you, then it will be used to provide insight into the context in which your qualifications have been achieved and will mean that additional consideration will be given to your application, with the potential for a reduced offer. It will also be considered when we receive your results.

This information requires verification by the school/college you attend or attended whilst in receipt of Free School Meals and you will need to notify the Undergraduate Admissions Office as soon as possible after submitting your application, and before 30 June.

You should ask a member of staff at the school/college to confirm this information on official letter headed paper via email to admissions@lboro.ac.uk. This should include your name and UCAS Personal ID number. We can only accept this information if received directly from a school/college email address.

Can I be made a reduced offer if I am not eligible for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer?

Eligibility for an Access Loughborough Contextual Offer guarantees that if you are made an offer, it will be reduced by up to two grades. A reduced offer of up to one grade lower than typical entry requirements may occasionally be made due to other contextual information considered.

If I am eligible for a reduced contextual offer, can I defer my place for a year?

Opportunities sometimes arise for students to take a gap year, either to go travelling or gain work experience. We will always try to support students who want to defer for one year and this would not affect your eligibility a reduced contextual offer. If you have decided that you want to amend your year of entry, please email the Undergraduate Admissions Office, including your full name and UCAS Personal ID Number. We will usually be able to process this change fairly swiftly and you will see an amendment to your offer on your UCAS application and receive a new offer letter stating the updated year of entry.

Do I need to accept Loughborough as my firm or insurance offer to be eligible for a contextual offer?

No, you do not need to make Loughborough University your Firm or Insurance choice to be eligible for a contextual offer if you receive one.