Contextual offers

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Contextual offers

When you apply to Hallam, we consider your personal circumstances as well as your grades, experience and personal statement. 

In some cases, we will make you a contextual offer. Contextual offers ensure that all applicants have a fair chance of getting a place, regardless of their background.

If you have a contextual offer you have access to our dedicated support scheme Access Hallam to help you on your journey to university, you may also qualify for our SHU Progress programme and/or our Black British Entrants Programme.

Who can receive a contextual offer

You will receive a contextual offer if you have declared any one of more of the following on your UCAS application:

  • You are a care leaver or have previous experience of being in care
  • You have a disability
  • You are over the age of 21
  • You are a refugee or have been granted Humanitarian Protection
  • You are a carer - providing unpaid care for a friend or family member who could not cope without your support
  • You are estranged from both your parents - you’re no longer in contact or on friendly terms with both of them, you are not supported by them, and this isn’t likely to change
  • You are from an armed forces family or you have experience of serving in the armed forces

You will also receive a contextual offer if you are a member of SHU Progress support programme and/or you:

  • are a Black British applicant
  • come from a household with an annual income of less than £25,000, or you are experiencing financial hardship which affects your choice of places to study
  • are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • have circumstances that mean you are unable to move away from home to go to university
  • have extenuating circumstances - experienced a recent, serious and unexpected event that has significantly affected your level 3 studies.

How to receive a contextual offer

We make contextual offers based on the information on your UCAS application form. All you need to do is apply through UCAS, and make sure you include any additional information about your circumstances.

You should provide these details on your UCAS application in the ‘more about you’ and/or ‘diversity and inclusion’ sections. 

If you do not meet the criteria to receive a contextual offer

You may still be eligible to be considered for a contextual offer by being accepted for our Access Programme SHU Progress.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for SHU Progress, you should apply as soon as possible. You can apply before you submit your UCAS application.

Once you are accepted onto SHU Progress, you do not need to do anything else. If you join SHU Progress after you’ve been made an offer, we will update your application and your offer will automatically be reviewed.

Find out more about SHU Progress.

Receiving a lower offer

Your offer may be lower depending on the course you applied for, your qualifications, and your circumstances. For example, if you've applied for a foundation year course, you won't be given a lower offer as they are not eligible courses.

If you believe you should have received a lower offer, it’s possible that your course or your qualifications don’t meet the requirements. If you are unsure, you can contact us.

Why your offer may look different to others

We may lower the entry requirements due to a student’s personal circumstances.

But if you're predicted higher or equal grades than the minimum entry requirements in your situation, you don’t need to be made a lower offer. This takes into consideration the hard work you’ve put into achieving those predicted grades.

If you don't get the grades to meet the offer

As a contextual offer holder, we will take your individual circumstances into consideration alongside your results. This may mean that we can be more flexible in confirming your place at Sheffield Hallam.

You can track the decision on your UCAS hub.

Get help

If you have any questions about your offer or any of the above, please contact our admissions enquiries team and they will be happy to help.

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Want to start uni in 2024? We've a huge variety of undergraduate courses available through clearing.

Apply through clearing

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