Access Sheffield

We recognise that ability isn't always demonstrated through a standard set of A Level or equivalent qualifications. Our Access Sheffield policies help ensure that everyone who has the potential to succeed on our courses has the opportunity to do so.

Group of undergraduates

Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to give your application additional consideration when we receive it and when exam results are released. If we offer you a place, we may also be able to make you an alternative offer lower than our standard entry requirements for your course.

Some of our policies are activated automatically when we receive your application. For others, we'll need you to supply more information about your circumstances, to help us confirm your eligibility and apply the relevant policy to your application.

Expand the headings below to find out more, and check what you might be eligible for. If you're eligible for an alternative offer and taking A Levels, our alternative offer will be either one or two grades below the standard requirements. If you're taking other qualifications, we'll apply an equivalent reduction. In a small number of cases, we aren't able to issue an alternative offer to eligible applicants because of the combination of the qualifications they're taking and the entry requirements for their course, but we'll still be able to give your application additional consideration.

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

Students taking additional qualifications

Suitability for our courses is often reflected in achievement in additional qualifications. If you're taking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Core 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.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The EPQ will teach you study skills, referencing and critical thinking that will be invaluable to your Sheffield degree. If we offer you a place, and you're taking an EPQ in a subject we consider to be relevant to your degree course choice, we'll make you an alternative offer equivalent to one A Level grade below the standard entry requirements for your course, subject to you achieving a specific grade in the EPQ.

Make sure the EPQ and title of your research project 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.

Core Maths

Core Maths builds on mathematical understanding, fosters the ability to think mathematically and equips students with the quantitative and problem-solving skills that will help them to meet the real-life mathematical demands of a number of our courses where A Level or equivalent Maths isn't required.

From September 2019, if we offer you a place on a course with a GCSE Maths requirement, and you're taking one of the following Core Maths qualifications, we'll make you an alternative offer equivalent to one A Level grade below the standard entry requirements for your course, subject to you achieving a specific grade in Core Maths.

  • AQA Certificate Level 3 Mathematical Studies
  • City & Guilds Core Maths: Using and Applying Mathematics
  • Edexcel Mathematics in Context (Level 3 Core Maths)
  • Eduqas Level 3 Mathematics for Work and Life (Core Maths)
  • OCR Quantitative Reasoning (MEI) Level 3 Certificate
  • OCR Quantitative Problem Solving (MEI) Level 3 Certificate

Make sure your Core Maths is 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.

Residents of neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education (Access+)

If you live in an area with a low rate of participation in higher education, from September 2019 as part of our Access+ scheme you may be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

You can check to see if you live in an area that qualifies by searching for your postcode on the Office For Students website. If the first column shows a 1, you're eligible for our alternative offer.

Postcode look-up

This alternative offer will be subject to a commitment from you too. To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you'll need to have made 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.

Care Leavers (Access+)

If you've been in care, from September 2019 as part of our Access+ scheme you may be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you're aged 25 or under, you've been looked after for a period of at least 13 weeks since the age of 14.

This alternative offer will be subject to a commitment from you too. To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you'll need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

You should let us know that you're from a care background by completing our webform. Complete the form at the same time as you apply through UCAS, or as soon as possible afterwards:

Access+ eligibility declaration

See our Care Leavers webpage for more information on the support we offer you:

Care Leavers

Students who are estranged from their families (Access+)

If you're estranged from your family, from September 2019 as part of our Access+ scheme you may be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you have no relationship with, or support from, your parent(s) or carer(s). This situation must be permanent, and you must have had no contact with your parents/carers for at least a year.

This alternative offer will be subject to a commitment from you too. To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you'll need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

You should let us know that you're from a care background by completing our webform. Complete the form at the same time as you apply through UCAS, or as soon as possible afterwards:

Access+ eligibility declaration

Carers (Access+)

If you're a carer, from September 2019 as part of our Access+ scheme you may be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements for your course.

You're eligible for our alternative offer if you currently look after someone who is not your own child and who has a long-term physical illness, a physical or learning disability, mental health problems or drug/alcohol problems.

This alternative offer will be subject to a commitment from you too. To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you'll need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

You should let us know that you're from a care background by completing our webform. Complete the form at the same time as you apply through UCAS, or as soon as possible afterwards:

Access+ eligibility declaration

Participants in our post-16 Discover programme

Our post-16 Discover programme supports participants through Years 12 and 13 in raising aspirations and exploring opportunities in higher education.

Participants who have met the attendance benchmark on any of our post-16 Discover pathways are eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for their course, where all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (for example required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements).

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

This alternative offer will be subject to a commitment from you too. To benefit from the alternative offer when exam results are released, you will need to have made Sheffield your Firm choice with UCAS.

Please note that only SOAMS and ADOPT participants are eligible for alternative offers for our MBChB Medicine (A100) and BDS Dental Surgery (A200) courses respectively.

You can find more information about the Discover programme on our webpages:

The Discover programme

Participants in the Realising Opportunities programme

The Realising Opportunities (RO) programme is offered by a collaboration of research-intensive universities to pupils from schools and colleges attended by groups under-represented in higher education.

Participants are eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for their course, where all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (for example required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements). 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'll need to have successfully completed all elements of the Realising Opportunities programme.

You can find more information about Realising Opportunities on our webpages:

Realising Opportunities

Mature students

All our courses welcome applications from mature students. A mature student is defined as someone who will be over the age of 21 when their 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.

Students who have 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, you can let us know by completing our Disrupted Studies form:

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 leaving care, estranged from your family or have caring responsibilities, we would 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.