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Unveiling Potential: Information on Contextual Offers (March 2024)

Content type



Teacher training resource


Click here to download the presentation slides. 


Join this session to find out what contextual offers are and why they exist. Experts will share tips on how you can best inform your students on the process and what support they can access with a contextual offer.


How do admissions processes work?

Information sheets

Admissions processes - myth-busting
Admissions glossary
Contextual admissions processes at Russell Group universities
Top tips for supporting students who do not have a confirmed place
Alternative routes into competitive universities


Presentation notes - Supporting students through the application process
Presentation slides - supporting students through the application process

Activity sheets

Responding to university decisions - worksheet A
Responding to university decisions - worksheet B
Responding to university decisions - activity instructions

Teacher and adviser reflection sheets

Teacher and adviser reflection - understanding admissions processes


UCAS Update: Supporting student applications for 2024 and 2025 entry (March 2024)
Results Day Resilience: Preparing Students for Clearing (March 2024)
Unveiling Potential: Information on Contextual Offers (March 2024)
Understanding contextual admissions policies (October 2021)
UCAS update: supporting student applications for 2022 and 2023 entry (March 2022)
UCAS for beginners: Top tips and insight into university admissions and the UCAS application process (June 2021)
Supporting students to prepare for online Oxbridge interviews (October 2021)
Understanding admissions at university (May 2020)
General alternative routes in Higher Education (May 2020)
An overview of contextual offers (May 2020)

Conference presentations

Russell Group Teachers' Conference 2018 - Routes into University


Every university publishes an Access and Participation Plans which sets out what they are doing to reduce inequalities. Here you can find out more about the plans and look up the plan for a particular institution.

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Carers Trust is a charity which works to improve support for those who are unpaid carers for family members or friends. Their website contains resources on the subject of Higher Education

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This article from the Complete University Guide provides a checklist for teachers to get their students ready for Clearing.

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This report from the Fair Education Alliance published in 2018 examines the current use of contextual data in the university admissions process.

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NNECL provides Higher Education activities and resources for care leavers, children in care and those who support them.

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The Office for Students is the regulator for the Higher Education sector in England.

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This website provides a guide for teachers to support them in encouraging care leavers to consider college or university as an option. 

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The Russell Group's Pathways For Potential report sets out a roadmap for tacking educational inequality and improving access to Higher Education.

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Standalone supports those who have been estranged from their family. Their website provides information about support, financing studies and accommodation options as an estranged student.

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The UCAS website allows applicants to follow the progress of their applications online. They will receive university decisions through this website.

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This useful UCAS webpage provides information on entering Clearing.

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This UCAS webpage offers information on their Extra service, for students who have received decisions from all five universities or colleges and weren't accepted, or if they declined the offers they received.

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This is a useful UCAS webpage summarising all the key dates relevant to undergraduate university applications.

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This UCAS webpage provides useful advice for care leavers applying to higher education.

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A code of practice for undergraduate admissions published by Universities UK which universities have agreed to follow.

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