Access+

Eligible students can get extra support through Access+.

Discover our Access+ offer at the University of Sheffield.
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What support can Access+ students receive?

As an Access+ student, you’ll have access to support such as:

  • A dedicated team on hand to answer your questions
  • Expert online help and guidance sessions to support you in your journey to higher education
  • The opportunity to apply for an Access+ Transition Mentor
  • Our Access+ Travel Bursary
  • Our Access+ IT & Equipment Bursary

Access+ students will also be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.  You’ll need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

If you miss the conditions of your offer we'll still give your application additional consideration.

Access+ Travel Bursary 

Our Access+ Travel Bursary allows eligible students to claim back money spent on travel to undergraduate events such as open days, on-campus subject taster days, offer holder days and interviews.

Discover more about the bursary


Who is eligible for Access+?

You may be eligible for support if: 

  • You live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of participation in higher education
  • You’re care experienced
  • You're a care leaver
  • You're a carer
  • You’re estranged from family
  • You have parenting responsibilities 
  • You’re entitled to free school meals
  • You’re a forced migrant

Eligibility requirements and how to notify us

Residents of neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education

Eligibility

You should live in a postcode area with a POLAR4 ranking of Quintile 1. You can check your area by searching for your postcode on the Office For Students postcode look-up.

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

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

Students who are care experienced

Eligibility

You should’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:

  • Are recognised by your Local Authority as a 'care leaver' or were in the past
  • Were adopted from care or left care with a Special Guardianship Order before the age of 18
  • Lived with foster carers or 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 cover time spent in boarding schools, working in care or healthcare settings, or if you're a carer yourself (see below).

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

Please let us know that you're care experienced in your UCAS application.

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

We'd 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 contextual).

Discover further specialised support for care experienced students

Students who are care leavers

Eligibility

You should be recognised by your Local Authority as a 'care leaver' or were in the past. 

  • Have been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and
  • Were looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date

This doesn't cover time spent in boarding schools, working in care or healthcare settings, or if you're a carer yourself (see below).

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

Please let us know that you're a care leaver in your UCAS application.

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

We'd 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 contextual).

Discover further specialised support for care leavers

Students who are carers

Eligibility

You should be 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; or
  • Temporary care needs following, for example, an accident or operation

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

Please let us know that you're estranged from your family in your UCAS application.

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

We'd 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 contextual).

Discover further specialised support for students who are carers

Students who are estranged from their families

Eligibility

Estranged students have no relationship with, or support from, their parent(s) or carer(s). We'll consider you an estranged student 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

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

Please let us know that you're estranged from your family in your UCAS application.

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

We'd 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 contextual).

Discover further specialised support for estranged student

Students who have parenting responsibilities

Eligibility

You should be a parent of, or 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; or
  • Someone who provides kinship or other parental care to a child or a family member or friend

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

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

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration 

We'd 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 contextual).

Students entitled to Free School Meals

Eligibility

You should have been entitled to Free School Meals at some point during your secondary education.

School pupils in the UK are normally entitled to 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. You may also be entitled if you're paid qualifying benefits directly, instead of through your parent or carer.

To benefit from a contextual offer when exam results are released, you'll also need to make Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

Please let us know that you're entitled to Free School Meals in your UCAS application.

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

Students who are forced migrants

Eligibility

You should:

  • Have official refugee status or limited leave to remain; or
  • Be 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; or
  • You're currently seeking asylum in the UK

Additional consideration available

You’ll be eligible for a contextual offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

If you miss the conditions of your offer, we’ll give your application additional consideration to see whether you might still be sufficiently prepared for degree study with us.

How to notify us

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

If you haven’t done this, you can still tell us using our Access+ eligibility declaration.

We'd 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 contextual).


If you have any questions, get in touch with the team at access@sheffield.ac.uk.