Contextual admissions policy

As part of our ongoing commitment to widening participation at the University of Kent, we have a contextual admissions policy for undergraduate admissions via UCAS. The use of data helps us to build a more rounded view of an applicant’s achievement and potential, we are keen to ensure that we identify talent using a range of applicant information in addition to prior attainment. We are also committed to ensuring that every applicant is assessed fairly based upon their merits and within the context of their experiences to date.

A number of contextual factors will be considered when assessing applications, these will help us to identify applicants who may not have reached their potential due to personal disadvantage or prior educational circumstances.

We use a range of the latest available datasets as of the 1st of October each year to inform this policy.  This data set will likely include the modernised contextualise data service provided by UCAS, Tundra and IMD data and data about schools and colleges in England and Wales. The University recognises that we are relying on readily available data to make contextual admissions decisions and we evaluate the reliability of this data annually.

UK domiciled applicants through the main UCAS cycle who meet the specified criteria will be eligible for contextual admissions offers. This will mean that eligible applicants will receive an adjusted conditional offer for the course(s) applied for. Course specific conditions will still apply, for example if the course requires you to have a minimum grade in a related subject, this subject grade will not be adjusted.


Contextual offers are up to 16 UCAS points lower than the University Standard Offer. Applicants domiciled in England or Wales will be eligible for a contextual offer, if they meet one or more of the following criteria:   

  • Live in Tundra Q1 or IMD Q1 area (or) 
  • A mature student, aged 21 or over on the 1st day of term (or) 
  • Free School Meals recipient (or) 
  • Have spent any time in Care under a Local Authority (or) 
  • Disabled students and those with long term health conditions (or) 
  • Young carers (or) 
  • Unaccompanied Minors, asylum seekers and refugees (or)

Flexible offers are up to 8 UCAS points lower than the University Standard Offer. Applicants with predicted grades 16 UCAS points lower than the university standard offer, will be eligible for a flexible offer if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Live in IMD Q2 area  
  • Attend an English school/college that is in the bottom 40% of KS5** results nationally (for at least two out of three previous years). We will identify this using the Applicant Centre or the Exam Institution recorded on the UCAS application.  
  • Documented mitigating circumstances
  • Demonstratable commitment to the course of study chosen
  • Applicants with significant, documented, education gaps
  • Applicants from Gypsy, Traveler, Roma and Showman Boater Communities 
  • Applicants from Military Families 
  • Applicants from the University of Kent Academics Trust 
  • Applicant from University of Kent outreach partner college:  
  • EKC Group (incorporating Canterbury and Ashford Colleges)  
  • Mid Kent College  
  • North Kent College (including West Kent College) 

Eligible qualifications 

Qualifications eligible for Contextual Admissions  

  • A Levels 
  • T Levels 
  • BTEC Extended Diploma  
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma  
  • International Baccalaureate  
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate  
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma  
  • Access to HE Diploma  
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma  

Considered alongside other qualifications

The University minimum level 3 requirement is 3 A Levels or equivalent, therefore the following qualifications may be considered for a lower offer, as part of a portfolio of other level 3 qualifications:  

  • AQA Level 3 Foundation Technical Level  
  • BTEC Diploma   
  • BTEC Certificate 
  • Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate  
  • Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma  
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Certificate  
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma  
  • LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies  
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma 

Contextual Admissions process:

Applicants entering a 3 or 4 year bachelor's degree course at year 1 will be considered for contextual admissions.

On application, the criteria will be applied, and an adjusted offer (below the published typical level) made through central admissions. 

  • Students will apply as normal through UCAS (Kent Institution code:K24), there is no need for additional information for contextual admissions: we have all the information through the existing system  
  • Applications will be assessed in the usual way, the only difference will be that applicants who meet the contextual admissions criteria will receive a conditional reduced offer  
  • Applicants who self-declare on the UCAS application that they have been a Local Authority Looked After Child will be eligible for a conditional reduced offer. Applicants will be expected to confirm their Care Status  
  • Applicants who self-declare on the UCAS application that they hold asylum seeker or refugee status will be eligible for a conditional reduced offer. Applicants will be expected to provide evidence of their status.
  • There may be other conditions attached to an offer but these will be set out separately at individual application level when the offer is made.
  • The University reserves the right to apply this process to applications using data available at that time. Where there is no data available in order to make a fair judgement, we will not apply the contextual admissions policy to the application.  

Other information 

Applicants entering 3 or 4 year bachelor's degree course at year 1 will be considered for contextual admissions. 

Applicants to the University of Kent International College are not eligible for Contextual Admissions. 

The Kent and Medway Medical School operate their own Contextual Admissions arrangement, which the University of Kent applies on their behalf. For more information please visit: Entry Requirements - Kent and Medway Medical School ( 

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