Check if you're eligible

Check if you’re eligible for additional support under Access Sheffield, and how to access it.

On

Overview

We recognise that ability isn't always demonstrated through a standard set of qualifications. If you meet the Access Sheffield criteria below, you may be eligible for a reduction to the entry requirements for your course.

For a full explanation of the policy, visit: 

About Access Sheffield


If you’re a resident of a neighbourhood with low participation in higher education (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You can check to see if you live in an area that qualifies by searching for your postcode on the Office For Students postcode look-up.

If your POLAR4 ranking is Quintile 1, you're eligible for an alternative offer. 

How to access the alternative offer

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

We receive information about where you live directly from UCAS, so you don't need to do anything. We'll assess your eligibility automatically.


If you’re entitled to Free School Meals (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You’re eligible for our alternate offer if:

  • you’re currently receiving free school meals; or
  • you’ve received free school meals during your secondary education

You may also be eligible if you’re paid qualifying benefits directly, instead of through your parent or carer. 

Young people in the UK are usually eligible for free school meals if their parents or carers are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits. If you’re not sure, your school will be able to confirm this for you.

How to access the alternative offer 

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you were entitled to free school meals through your UCAS application. 

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration


If you’re care experienced (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you’ve lived in public care or as a looked-after child at any stage of your life up to the age of 18, including if you:

  • were recognised by your Local Authority as a ‘care leaver’ in the past
  • were adopted from care or left care with a Special Guardianship Order before the age of 18
  • lived with foster carers in a residential children’s home 
  • have been looked after under a supervision order; or 
  • have lived with friends or relatives in formal kinship care under a Local Authority but are not currently recognised by your Local Authority as a care leaver in receipt of statutory support

This doesn’t refer to time spent in boarding schools, working in care or healthcare settings, or if you’re a carer yourself. 

How to access the alternative offer 

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you're from a care background through your UCAS application. We’ll then contact you asking you to provide more information about your care background.  

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.


If you’re a care leaver (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you’re:

  • under 25; and 
  • currently recognised by your Local Authority as a care leaver under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 and eligible for statutory support

How to access the alternative offer 

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you're a care leaver through your UCAS application. We’ll then contact you asking you to provide more information about your care background.  

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.

For more information on the support we offer you, visit:

Support for care leavers and estranged students


If you’re estranged from your family (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you have no relationship with, or support from, your parent(s) or carer(s). 

You’ll be considered estranged if: 

  • you haven’t communicated with your parents for 12 months prior to the start of your degree course and the situation is irreconcilable; or
  • both your biological or adoptive parents are deceased; or
  • your parents can’t be traced or it isn’t practicable or safe for you to make contact with them

How to access the alternative offer 

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you're estranged from your family through your UCAS application. We’ll then contact you asking you to complete our declaration before confirming your eligibility.  

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.

For more information on the support we offer you, visit:

Support for care leavers and estranged students


If you’re a carer (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you're responsible for providing unpaid care to someone who has, for example:

  • a long-term illness
  • a physical or learning disability
  • a mental health condition 
  • an addiction
  • temporary care needs following, for example, an accident or operation

How to access the alternative offer

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you're a carer through your UCAS application. 

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.

For more information on the support we offer you, visit:

Support and guidance for carers


If you have parenting responsibilities (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you’re a parent

 or are responsible for the care and wellbeing of a child aged 17 or under. This includes being: 

  • a biological parent
  • a step parent
  • an adoptive or legal parent
  • a legally-appointed guardian
  • a foster carer
  • someone who provides kinship or other parental care to a child or a family member or friend 

How to access the alternative offer

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you have parenting responsibilities through your UCAS application. 

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.


If you’re a forced migrant (Access+)

Under Access+ you'll automatically qualify for a reduction in the entry requirements, equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirement for your course, if you meet our criteria.

Eligibility 

You’ll be eligible for our alternative offer if:

  • you have official refugee status or limited leave to remain; or
  • you’re seeking asylum

This includes if:

  • the UK government has granted you refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • you have limited or discretionary leave to remain in the UK
  • you’re currently seeking asylum in the UK

How to access the alternative offer

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must make Sheffield your firm choice with UCAS.

Please let us know that you're a forced migrant through your UCAS application. 

If you haven’t done this via UCAS, you can still tell us using the form below:

Access+ eligibility declaration

We also encourage you to complete our disrupted studies form, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). Please visit the section below on disrupted studies.


If you’re in our post-16 Discover programme

Eligibility 

You’ll be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for your course provided all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (e.g. required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements). 

How to access the alternative offer 

You don't need to do anything, our academic selectors will already be aware that you've participated in the programme.

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must have successfully completed the Discover programme.

For most courses, the alternative offer will apply regardless of whether you select Sheffield as your firm or your insurance choice. 

If you've applied for the MBChB Medicine (A100), the alternative offer will be conditional on you making Sheffield your firm choice.

Only Discover Medicine and Discover Dental Professions are eligible for alternative offers for our MBChB Medicine (A100) and BDS Dental Surgery (A200) courses respectively.

For more information on the Discover programme, visit:

Discover programme


If you’re in our post-16 US in Schools Mentoring programme

Eligibility

You’ll be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for your course provided all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (e.g. required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements). 

How to access the alternative offer 

You don’t need to do anything. Our academic selectors will already be aware that you’ve participated in the programme.

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must have successfully completed the US in Schools Mentoring programme.

For most courses, the alternative offer will apply regardless of whether you select Sheffield as your Firm or your Insurance choice. 

If you've applied for the MBChB Medicine (A100), the alternative offer will be conditional on you making Sheffield your Firm choice.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for our MBChB Medicine (A100) or BDS Dental Surgery (A200) courses, you must have participated in additional mandatory elements of the programme.

For more information on the US in Schools Mentoring programme, visit:

The US in Schools Mentoring Programme


If you’re in our National Discover Sheffield programme

Eligibility 

You’ll be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for your course provided all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (e.g. required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements). 

How to access the alternative offer

You don't need to do anything. Our academic selectors will already be aware that you've participated in the programme.

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must have successfully completed the Discover Sheffield programme.

For most courses, the alternative offer will apply regardless of whether you select Sheffield as your Firm or your Insurance choice. 

If you've applied for the MBChB Medicine (A100), the alternative offer will be conditional on you making Sheffield your Firm choice.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for our MBChB Medicine (A100) or BDS Dental Surgery (A200) courses, you must have participated in additional mandatory elements of the programme.

For more information about the Discover Sheffield programme, visit:

Discover Sheffield Programme


If you’re in the Realising Opportunities programme

Eligibility 

You’ll be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for your course, where all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (e.g. required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements). 

How to access the alternative offer

You don't need to do anything. Our academic selectors will already be aware that you've participated in the programme.

To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you must have successfully completed all elements of the Realising Opportunities programme.

For more information about Realising Opportunities, visit: 

Realising Opportunities


If you’re taking additional qualifications

If you're taking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), Core Maths or Further Maths we may be able to make you an alternative offer equivalent to one A-Level grade below the standard entry requirements for your course. This is subject to you achieving a specific grade in the additional qualification. 

You can check which courses make which alternative offers in our online prospectus.

Make sure any additional qualifications are included in your UCAS application, either as Completed/Certified qualifications with a final grade, or as Not Yet Completed qualifications with a predicted grade confirmed by your school or college.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you're taking an EPQ in a subject we consider to be relevant to your degree course, we may be able to make you an alternative offer on some courses. This is subject to you achieving a specific grade in the EPQ.

Core Maths

If we offer you a place on certain courses with a GCSE Maths requirement, and you're taking one of the following Core Maths qualifications, we'll make you an alternative offer, subject to you achieving a specific grade in Core Maths.

  • AQA Level 3 Certificate Mathematical Studies
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics
  • NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics for Everyday Life
  • OCR Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths A (MEI)
  • OCR Level 3 Certificate in Core Maths B (MEI)
  • Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Certificate in Mathematics in Context

Further Maths

If we offer you a place on certain courses with an A Level Maths requirement and you're taking AS or A Level Further Maths, we'll make you an alternative offer, subject to you achieving a specific grade in Further Maths.


If you’ve experienced Disrupted Studies

If you've experienced issues of a personal, social or domestic nature that have affected either your post-16 studies, or your performance in any GCSE subjects cited in our course entry requirements, please let us know by completing our Disrupted Studies form on the page below.

Disrupted Studies

If we accept your notification, we'll give your application additional consideration when we assess whether or not to make you an offer, and again when exam results are released.

If you're care experienced, estranged from your family or have caring responsibilities

We encourage you to complete our Disrupted Studies form too, particularly if you believe your circumstances may have affected, or go on to affect, your ability to meet our entry requirements (standard or alternative). 

This is especially important if you've been unable to meet the GCSE requirements of your chosen course, or you won't achieve three A Levels or equivalent.


If you’re a mature student

All of our courses welcome applications from mature students.

You’re classed as a mature student if you’ll be over the age of 21 when your course starts.

If you don't meet our standard entry requirements, we'll give your application additional consideration to see if you have alternative qualifications or experience that will have prepared you for your course.

If we're unable to make you an offer for direct entry to a degree course, one of our foundation courses may be suitable for you. If so, we'll refer your application to our Department for Lifelong Learning for further consideration.

Department for Lifelong Learning foundation courses

Students successfully completing a Department for Lifelong Learning foundation course are guaranteed progression to our standard degree courses.


Questions

If you have any questions, please contact our Access team at: access@sheffield.ac.uk.


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