Admissions Team

Meet the Admissions Team at York St John University

Admissions is responsible for managing and maintaining the University's central admissions systems, policies and procedures. We process applications and deal with enquiries for study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and provide support and advice to applicants and staff. As such it is a useful starting point for prospective students wishing to obtain information about the courses available, entry requirements, and the application.

Opportunity and Excellence Offer Scheme

University can be life-changing for people from every background. It gives you access to transformative ideas and experiences and can enhance your career and earning potential.

York St John University was founded on the belief that helping more people from a wide mix of backgrounds to access education contributes positively to individuals and society.  Our mission to do that is as important today as it has been throughout our 177-year history.

To support this, we take several factors into account when we make an offer of a place on one of our courses. We look at both your academic potential and your personal circumstances and background, based on the information available to us through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Once we have considered all of these things we take a balanced view to make either a standard conditional offer, a reduced-points offer, or an unconditional offer. We only make offers to applicants who meet specific requirements and where we are confident that through your academic efforts and our support you can realise your full potential whilst studying with us.

How does our offer scheme work? And what courses are covered?

We assess your potential to study with us by looking at your predicted grades, reference and personal statement. To support our mission around increasing opportunity for people from all backgrounds, we e also take into account other information from your UCAS form, which includes whether you declare a disability, whether you have spent time in care and the relative performance of the school you attend

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study will not be considered in this scheme.

Not all of our courses are covered by this scheme. The courses that are not covered are:

  • ITE Primary
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Biomedical Science
  • Courses offered ‘with foundation year’
  • Art and Design – see below for details of the Art and Design offer scheme.
  • Media Production: Journalism

Art and Design Offer Scheme

If you are applying to one of our Art and Design courses, you’ll be assessed against published entry requirements and made a conditional offer. When you receive this offer, you’ll be invited to visit us for a portfolio day when you’ll be interviewed and have your portfolio assessed. You may receive an unconditional offer as a result.

Please see here for more information about portfolio days.

Media Production: Journalism Offer Scheme

If you are applying to one of our Media Production: Journalism course, you’ll be assessed against published entry requirements and made a conditional offer. When you receive this offer, you’ll be invited to visit us for interview and activity day when you’ll be interviewed and have relevant work and opinions assessed. You may receive an unconditional offer as a result.

Please see here for more information about portfolio days.

Why do we make offers this way?

Our opportunity and Excellence offer scheme is based on research and feedback from applicants and current students. York St John University is committed to academic excellence and providing opportunities for people who want to learn and contribute, from every background and beginning. We want to remove barriers to higher education and support you by reducing the stress of applying to university and allowing you to work hard and achieve your maximum potential.

Our offers are made to give you the confidence that comes with knowing that you have a clear route to university so that you can concentrate on your current studies.

We won’t put pressure on you to select us as your first choice, so you’re free to accept an unconditional or reduced offer as your firm or insurance choice.  We believe this demonstrates our commitment to you and enables you to make the right decision for your future.

We know that when you visit us, you’ll be better equipped to decide that we are the right place to study.

For applicants predicted less than 144 tariff points

If you are predicted less than 144 but more than 80 points, we will look at contextual criteria on your UCAS form, including:

  • Where you live – based on a government measure that shows areas with levels of deprivation in terms of income, employment, health, crime and housing
  • Which school or college you attend – based on the tariff points achievement rate for your school or college
  • Whether you are the first in your family to attend university
  • Whether you declared a disability on your UCAS form
  • If you’ve spent time in care
  • If you’ll be classed as a mature student when you start the course

The factors above are proven barriers which can prevent applicants from attending university. When we make an offer, our admissions team consider your individual circumstances, as well as your predicted grades, personal statement and reference to make one of the following decisions:

Standard Conditional Offer

We’ll make you a standard conditional offer reflecting the published entry requirements for the course that you have applied for.

Reduced Conditional Offer

We’ll make you a reduced conditional offer of 80 points.

Unconditional Offer

We’ll make you an unconditional offer. We won’t put pressure on you to choose us as your first choice, so you’re free to accept this unconditional offer as a firm or insurance choice.

You’ll need a GCSE Grade C in English Language (Grade 4 in the new marking system) for all our courses.

If you’re predicted 120 tariff points or more:

We’ll make you a reduced conditional offer of 80 points if the contextual information above doesn’t apply to you.


For applicants predicted more than 144 tariff points

We’ll make you an unconditional offer based on our confidence in your success, after considering your full application and personal statement.

Your 144 tariff points can be made up of any qualification on the UCAS tariff and this is not limited to A Levels.

We won’t put pressure on you to choose us as your first choice, so you’re free to accept this unconditional offer as a firm or insurance choice. 


What if I don’t receive a reduced or unconditional offer?

If you are predicted less than 120 tariff points and don’t qualify for the UCAS contextual criteria, you won’t receive an unconditional or reduced offer. This will NOT put anyone with a standard conditional offer at a disadvantage – we are not making offers to some at the expense of others.

We are able to increase resources to take a flexible approach if applications to popular courses are higher than anticipated, without reducing the quality of your student experience. 

No matter what offer we make you, we want you to feel welcome, visit us, experience our campus and choose to study at York St John University.

If I receive an unconditional offer, do I need to worry about my grades?

Yes! An unconditional offer guarantees you entry to university, but it’s vital that you aspire to reach or exceed your predicted grades.

Doing well in your current qualifications is essential for two reasons:

  • Achieving good grades prepares you for studying your chosen subject at university level, giving you the momentum to reach your potential as soon as you start your degree.
  • Many employers take A level grades (or equivalent qualifications) into account as well as your degree outcome, so it’s important to demonstrate your achievements at every level of study.

Our research shows that students who came to us with unconditional offers do just as well as those with conditional offers in terms of achievement. So please work hard and give yourself the best possible prospects for your degree and beyond.

More info on contextual criteria

If you are predicted less than 144 tariff points, but more than 80 tariff points, we will look at the following factors to help us make you the right offer:

Index of Multiple Deprivation (1 point for the second lowest quintile and 2 points for the lowest.) 
Age (over 21 years old)   (1 point)
First in your family to study at university   (1 point)
Disability  (1 point)
Time in care      (3 points)
School or college performance data (1 point for the second lowest quintile and 2 points for the lowest.)

Applicants with two or three points will receive a reduced offer based on achieving at least 80 UCAS tariff points.

Applicants with four or more points would receive an unconditional offer. We won’t put pressure on you to select us as your first choice, so you’re free to accept an unconditional or reduced offer as your firm or insurance choice. 


Aspire Card

We offer scholarships to all first year entrants for degree level study. 

All students will receive £100 in each year of study with us. These funds can be spent on a variety of things, ranging from books and study materials through to membership fees for our many clubs and societies.

Students who have a family income of less than £25,000 will receive £500 per year of study. 

You will not need to apply for these funds. Please see here for more details.

Academic Excellence Entry Scholarship

We will be offering 50 scholarships of £1000 to the first year entrants with the highest UCAS tariff score.

You will not need to apply for these funds.

Detailed information about offer scheme including contributory factors

Offer Scheme - Detailed Information

We want to make our scheme for making offers for 2019 as transparent as possible.

There are a number of factors that research has shown can make an individual less likely to attend higher education. This can be especially true in cases where an individual is affected by a number of different contributory factors.

Please see below for further detailed information:

Index of Multiple Deprivation (1 or 2 points)

The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas (or neighbourhoods) in England. There are separate indexes for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we use all of these indexes in our scheme in order to provide the greatest possible coverage.

In the case of England, the IMD uses data collected in 2015 and ranks each small area of England from 1 (most deprived) to 32,844 (least deprived).

The IMD combines information about seven factors within each area to determine the overall score. Each factor is weighted to give the overall outcome. The factors and weightings are as follows:

  • Income Deprivation (22.5%)
  • Employment Deprivation (22.5%)
  • Education, Skills and Training Deprivation (13.5%)
  • Health Deprivation and Disability (13.5%)
  • Crime (9.3%)
  • Barriers to Housing and Services (9.3%)

If you are interested in finding out more about the methodology for IMD and the way that they are formed, this FAQ document would be a good place to start.

From our UCAS applications, we take the postcode that an applicant gives us when they apply.

At a national level the IMD results are put into ten groups (deciles). For the purposes of our scheme, we convert this into five groups (quintiles) and look to see which group an applicant’s postcode falls into. If the applicant’s postcode falls into the lowest quintile (1) then two points are allocated. If the postcode falls into the second lowest (2) then one point is allocated.

If you are interested in finding out which IMD group your postcode falls into, there is a lookup tool for English IMD values:

EnglandScotlandWalesNorthern Ireland

Maturity (1 point)

Research has shown the participation levels for students who wish to study later in their lives has significantly dropped in recent years. The recently established Office for Students has asked universities to work towards addressing this.

Age on entry to the course is taken from the UCAS application data that is received.

Applicants who will be over 21 on entry to their course will be allocated one point.

UCAS define a mature student as ‘anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college.’

First in Family (1 point)

Research shows that parental education can be important in determining the likelihood of individuals attending university, although usually when combined with other factors.

This data comes from UCAS applications and the question where applicants are asked about their parental education and whether parents or guardians have attended higher education.

It is possible to answer this question YES, NO (in which case one point would be allocated) or to not answer the question.

We offer comprehensive support for all applicants and particularly with helping applicants with no experience of applying through UCAS through the process

Disability (1 point)

Disabled applicants are always encouraged by universities to disclose their disability at the point of application, in order that an adjustments or support requirements can be put in place before studies commence.

Where applicants declare a disability on their UCAS form, one point will be allocated.

It is recognised that different disabilities will potentially affect access to Higher Education in different ways, but it is not possible to fairly establish a hierarchy based on disability and to allocate different point levels for different disabilities.

York St John University has a comprehensive package of support that is offered to students with disabilities.

Time in care (3 points)

Applicants who have spent time in care are encouraged to disclose this on their UCAS forms. York St John has a comprehensive package of support for care leavers once they register with us.

School Data

When applying through UCAS, applicants are asked to provide details of the school or college that they are currently or previously studying at.

This information is cross checked with a list of schools, provided by UCAS that shows average tariff points per entry at that school, which is a useful measure of past school performance. The data is taken from 2016/17 and comes directly through UCAS this is the latest available data set).

An average points score per entry is calculated by dividing the total number of points achieved by students in particular qualifications by the total number of entries in those qualifications. To calculate the average point score per entry for the same set of students, the value used to calculate the size of qualifications is the same for the examination entry for each qualification. Eg, an A Level and a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma are each equal to one entry.

We look at the national data for schools and split it into five groups (quintiles). The quintile of schools with the lowest average are awarded two points and the group with the second lowest are awarded one point.

Please see the website for information about school performance.

STEM Offer Scheme

Applicants for Biology, Biochemistry, Data Science, Maths and Nutrition who are allocated four points or more according to the contextual criteria set out about will receive a reduced offer for their course:


Biology 64 points with a C at Biology (or equivalent)
Biochemistry 64 points with a C at Biology or Chemistry (or equivalent)
Data Science 64 points with a C at Maths or Further Maths (or equivalent)
Mathematics 64 points with a C at Maths or Further Maths (or equivalent)
Nutrition 64 points with a C in Science (or equivalent)

Admissions: 01904 809700

An Introduction with Matthew Taylor, Head of Admissions

I am the Head of Admissions and I look after the admissions process for the University as well as the student visa process. I am lucky to have a dynamic hard working team and we work very hard to make the admissions process as smooth and as user friendly as possible. We make a high proportion of our admissions decisions centrally within our team and the team members are well trained and have a good understanding of their subject areas.

I have been working in Higher Education since 1998 and have worked at a number of universities, mainly in London. I am very happy to be at York St John University as I really believe in this institution and I am proud of what we achieve in terms of our intake levels and the work that we do to successfully encourage people from backgrounds where university participation is low to apply and come here to study. I genuinely believe in the power of Higher Education to transform people’s lives.


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