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Offer schemes

Opportunity and Excellence Scheme

Our offer scheme looks at more than your academic qualifications to make sure you get the opportunity you deserve.

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

For each of the factors we look at on your application, we assign a number of points which are then used to calculate a total. We assign points based on the following factors:

FactorPoints assigned
Where you live (Index of Multiple Deprivation) 1 point for the second lowest quintile; 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; 2 points for the lowest.

How we make offers

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 and Design, Journalism and Biosciences are dealt with slightly differently. More information is available below on applications for these courses.

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) and to be predicted 80 UCAS tariff points or above. 

Once we have assessed your application and made a total of points based on the factors in our offer scheme, you may be made an offer. Your points affect your offer as follows:

  • 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 you at a disadvantage in terms of receiving an offer. This system is designed so that it will not put anyone 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 the offer scheme

Our offer scheme works a bit differently for some subject areas. Each has its own assesesment criteria. You can find details in the menu below.

If you are applying to one of our Art and Design courses, you will be assessed against the published entry requirements for your course and made a conditional offer. When you receive your 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.

Find out more information about our Art and Design portfolio days.

Applicants for Biosciences who are allocated 4 points or more according to the contextual criteria will receive a reduced offer for their course, as follows:

CourseReduced offer
Applied Biosciences 80 UCAS points with a B in Biology (or equivalent)
Biomedical Science 80 UCAS points with a B in Biology or Chemistry (or equivalent)

If you are applying to Journalism, you will be assessed against the published entry requirements for the course and made a conditional offer. When you receive this offer, you'll be invited to visit us for an interview and activity day when you'll be interviewed and have relevant work assessed. You may receive an unconditional offer as a result.

Find out more about our Journalism interview days.

If you apply for Physiotherapy you will be initially assessed against the published entry requirements for the course. If you meet these requirements, we will invite you to an interview.

Following the interview, if successful, applicants who are allocated 4 points or more according to the contextual criteria will receive a reduced offer for their course of BBC (112 UCAS points from a minimum of three level 3 qualifications). Applicants will also require a satisfactory Enhanced DBS and Medical.

If you apply for Primary Education you will be initially assessed against the published entry requirements for the course. If you meet these requirements, we will invite you to an interview.

Following the interview, if successful, applicants who are allocated 4 points or more according to the contextual criteria will receive a reduced offer for their course of 96 UCAS points. Applicants will also require a satisfactory Enhanced DBS and Medical.

Details of our points system

We want to make our offer process as transparent as possible.

Research has shown that many factors can make an individual less likely to attend higher education. This is especially true in cases where an individual is affected by multiple different contributing factors.

More detail about each of our assessment criteria is available in the menu below.

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 7 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, their Frequently Asked Questions document is available to download: Department for Communities and Local Government - English Indices of Deprivation 2015 Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 0.6MB)

To make our assessment, we take the postcode that an applicant gives us when they apply through UCAS.

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 2 points are allocated. If the postcode falls into the second lowest (2) then 1 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:

Research has shown the participation levels for students who wish to study later in their lives has significantly dropped in recent years. The 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 1 point. Age on entry to the course is taken from the UCAS application data that is received.

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 1 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.

Where applicants declare a disability on their UCAS form, 1 point will be allocated.

Applicants with disabilities are always encouraged by universities to disclose their disability at the point of application, so 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.

Applicants who have spent time in care are encouraged to disclose this on their UCAS forms and will be allocated 3 points if they do so. York St John University has a comprehensive package of support for care leavers once they register with us.

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 5 groups (quintiles). The quintile of schools with the lowest average are awarded 2 points and the group with the second lowest are awarded 1 point. Please see the gov.uk website for information about school performance.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our offer process, please contact our Admissions team and we will be happy to help.

Email: admissions@yorksj.ac.uk

Phone: 01904 876 598

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