Contextual offers

What is a contextual offer?

At Bristol we want to attract students from all backgrounds because we believe a student community that reflects our society will benefit everyone.

Our contextual offer is a grade reduction of up to two grades below the standard entry requirements and is made to those from backgrounds who, generally, are less likely to come here. Once here, data shows that our contextual offer students achieve above average academically.

Details of our standard and contextual offer entry requirements are available on course pages. Use our course search tool to search our courses. 

Could I get a contextual offer?

You may be eligible for a contextual offer if one of the following statements applies to you.

Life at Bristol

Bristol is one of the best student cities in the UK. Find out more about the people you'll meet and the clubs and societies you can join while you're here.

Financial support

Check whether you are eligible for the University of Bristol Bursary or our Accommodation Bursary. For a full list of funding support visit our funding undergraduate study page.

Visit us

Get a feel for life at Bristol at an undergraduate open day, an open afternoon or a campus tour. If you receive an offer, you’ll also be invited to join other offer holders on your programme for a post offer visit day to find out more about your course.

The University currently makes contextual offers to applicants who meet one or more of these criteria and are taking A-levels or the International Baccalaureate diploma. Contextual offer levels for these qualifications are stated on each course entry in our course finder.

What is the University doing to help applicants whose schooling has been disrupted by Covid-19?

We recognise that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on schools and colleges across the country and many applicants for 2021 entry will have missed up to six months of A level (or equivalent) teaching.

To make sure that we continue to attract the brightest and best students and do not disadvantage those whose grades may be impacted as a result of the pandemic, we encourage students whose predicted grades may not meet our standard/contextual offer level to apply. We cannot guarantee that these students will be made an offer, but we have employed an aspirational offer system for a number of years and will continue to do so for 2021.

We encourage any applicant who believes that they have been disadvantaged by Covid-19 to tell us about this by filling in an extenuating circumstances form. Without this we will not know about your circumstances and will be unable to take them into consideration.

At confirmation 2021 when we receive students' results, we will refer to the information we have about Covid-19 disadvantaged students. This will be considered in our process to allocate places to students who have achieved their offer terms, or narrowly missed them. We cannot guarantee that any student who misses the terms of their offer will be accepted, but we will prioritise them where possible.

How do I apply?

Apply to us through UCAS and if you meet any of the criteria you’ll be automatically considered.   

What next?

Check if you are eligible for other kinds of support. We offer a wide range of bursaries and scholarships, accommodation and student support to ensure you get the most out of your time with us.

If we make you an offer, we’ll invite you to a visit day with all other offer holders. Here you’ll meet academics, current students and future potential course mates to find out more about your course and life at Bristol. Contact us for more information about the visit day travel bursary.

If you accept your offer at Bristol as your firm choice you can benefit from the accommodation guarantee.

If you have any queries relating to contextual offers, please contact the Enquiries Team on +44 (0) 117 394 1649 or

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