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Frequently asked questions

What is 'contextual admissions'?

'Contextual admissions' is a term used to describe the use of additional information, principally school performance data and socioeconomic markers, to provide context for individual applicants’ university applications and achievement, with the aim of better identifying an individual applicant’s potential and mitigating any social and educational disadvantage.

Why is the University using contextual data?

Cardiff University is committed to widening participation and fair access and ensuring that all those with the potential to succeed at this University can be considered, irrespective of background. The use of contextual admissions is being introduced at Cardiff University to give admissions tutors a greater understanding of applicants' social backgrounds to provide a more complete overview of an applicant’s potential to succeed at Cardiff University in the context of barriers they may have encountered.

Who will benefit from the use of contextual data?

The use of contextual data will benefit those students who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage and/or adverse individual circumstance, including time spent in care.

Will you be lowering grades?

Cardiff University does not make lower or differential offers to any particular group of students.

Will I need to submit more information?

No, applicants will not need to submit any additional data to the University. All the contextual data is supplied by independent sources namely UCAS, the Higher Education Council Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Welsh Government and ACORN. None of the data is produced by Cardiff University.

Will contextual admissions apply to me?

Contextual data will be considered for all UK domiciled Home (by fee status) applicants who have applied for full-time undergraduate programmes, with the exception of EU domiciled applicants and applicants who have already completed a first degree (with some exceptions). If you are a UK domiciled Home applicant who has applied for a full-time undergraduate programme and live in one of the specified postcode areas or have spent time in care (and positively indicated this on your UCAS form), the University will give your application additional consideration.

As comparable contextual data is not available for non-UK domiciled students, EU applicants and their referees are advised to highlight any relevant socioeconomic factors or individual adversity in their UCAS personal statements and references.

What does ‘additional consideration’ mean?

‘Additional consideration’ will not mean that you receive a lower offer than other applicants. You will also still be required to meet the academic and non-academic admissions criteria for the degree programme for which you are applying.

However, it will be taken into account when making offers or deciding whom to call for interview (if applicable). Likewise, if a student is eligible for ‘additional consideration’ but fails to meet the terms of their offer they may have their application form reconsidered following the publication of the summer examination results. More information about what ‘additional consideration’ means for individual degree programmes will be published in the Admissions and Selection criteria for each School.

How can I find out more?

This series of web pages will give you an overview of how contextual admissions is being implemented at Cardiff University. You can also contact the Admissions Office for more information:
Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 9999


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