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Our offer scheme

Helping you find your place at university

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. 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 your academic potential and we also look at factors that prove to be barriers preventing students from attending university. We get this information from your UCAS application. We look at your age, whether you declare a disability, whether you have spent time in care, the area in which you live and the relative performance of the school you attend.

Through this additional assessment, we will assign you points that may reduce the offer we give you, bringing university within closer reach.

How we assign points:

Where you live - 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


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.


How we make offers:

Firstly, not all of our courses are included in the offer scheme. Our Foundation Year courses, Teacher Training, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are not included and some other courses like Art & Design, Journalism and our Maths and Biosciences courses are dealt with slightly differently. For more information see Courses excluded from our inclusive offers programme below.

For all other courses, applications are looked at by the admissions team in the normal way. We consider the grades that you have achieved so far and your predicted grades as well as your personal statement and reference. We need all applicants to have achieved English Language GCSE at C or above (grade 4 in the new system).

  • For applicants who are predicted between 80 and 120 UCAS points, we will look at the factors that affect entry to higher education and use a points system. See The full details below.
  • Applicants who are predicted to achieve at least 120 but less than 144 UCAS points will be made a reduced offer of 80 points.
  • Applicants who are predicted to receive 144 tariff points (all tariff points will be included) will be made an unconditional offer. This decision will be based on our confidence in your success.
  • Applicants who receive 2 or 3 points will receive a reduced offer of 80 points.
  • Applicants who receive 4 or more points will receive an unconditional offer.
  • Applicants who don’t receive a reduced or unconditional offer should be assured that this will not put them at a disadvantage in terms of receiving an offer. This system is designed so that it will NOT put people at a disadvantage.

When we make you an offer of any type, it's an upfront offer. Unlike some other universities, we don’t ask applicants to pick us as their firm choice for their offer to be reduced or become unconditional. You will be free to pick our offer as an insurance offer if you wish.

Courses excluded from our Opportunity and Excellence offer scheme:

At present, ITE Primary, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Biomedical Science are not offered as part of our offer scheme. This is because they are all accredited by professional bodies that have strict requirements for entry.

It works a bit differently for Biology, Biochemistry, Maths and Data Science, Art & Design, Media Production: Journalism. Each has its own assessment criteria:

Art & Design

If you are applying to one of our Art & 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 where 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

If you are applying to Media Production: Journalism, 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.

STEM Courses

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


64 points with a C at Biology (or equivalent)


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)


64 points with a C at Maths or Further Maths (or equivalent)


64 points with a C in Science (or equivalent)


The full details

How the points work

We want to make our process for making offers 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. Our assessment includes the criteria below:

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 and 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%) and 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.

UCAS define a mature student as ‘anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college.’ Applicants who will be over 21 on entry to their course will be allocated one point. Age on entry to the course is taken from the UCAS application data that is received.

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, particularly when helping applicants with no experience of applying through UCAS.

Disability (1 point)

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

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

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 University has a comprehensive package of support for care leavers once they register with us.

School data (1 or 2 points)

When applying through UCAS, applicants are asked to provide details of the school or college that they attend (or attended). 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 comes directly through UCAS.

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.

Have questions about our offers?

If you have any questions about our offers, you are very welcome to contact the admissions team:

+44(0)1904 876598


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