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Use of contextual data

If you are a UK applicant under the age of 21, we may use contextual data alongside your undergraduate application in order to build up a full and rounded view of your achievement and potential.

What constitutes contextual data

Contextual data is simply additional information considered by our admissions decision-makers alongside your UCAS form. We do not make decisions on the basis of this information alone, and you must meet our standard academic criteria to be considered for entry.

We use four pieces of contextual information, where available. They are drawn from your UCAS application form and used alongside publicly available datasets to provide the following information:

  1. The postcode that you have provided as your home address, using the HEFCE POLAR3 Low Participation Neighbourhood (LPN) data and ACORN information (a system that assigns specific geo-demographic profiles to individual UK postcodes).*
  2. Whether you have been looked after or in care for more than three months.
  3. The performance of the school or college where you took your GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.**
  4. The performance of the school or college where you took your A-levels or equivalent qualifications.**

* You meet the Geo-demographic indicator if your postcode falls into ACORN categories 4 or 5, or POLAR3 LPN category 1.

** You meet an Education indicator if your school or college has performed below the national average across multiple years.

Explaining contextual flags

If you meet the Geo-demographic indicator, or if you have been in care for more than three months, your application will receive a WP Flag, or Widening Participation Flag.

An additional flag is produced if you also meet at least one of the Education indicators. This is known as the WP Plus Flag.

If you receive a flag and meet our standard academic entry criteria, we recommend your application for further consideration by admissions tutors. This further consideration will not result in either an automatic offer or a lower offer, but can include, among other things:

  • additional examination of your personal statement;
  • making interviewers aware of your background;
  • further consideration of your application after the confirmation of exam results.

You can check whether your application will receive a WP Flag based on your home postcode, and whether it will also receive a WP Plus Flag based on the schools you attended, here:

Please note that these outcomes are only applicable for 2018 entry. This is because the classification of your postcode and the performance of the schools you have attended may change from year to year.

More about how we use contextual data

For detailed information about the use of contextual data at Manchester, download the following documents:

More information on the additional consideration given to WP and/or WP Plus Flagged applicants is available below, by selecting the academic School you are applying to from the list.

If you would like further clarification please contact the academic School directly. For further information about our use of contextual data more generally, please email contextualdata@manchester.ac.uk

You can find additional information for care leavers on our How to apply page.

Alliance Manchester Business School

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing academic criteria; applicants whose predicted grades are lower than our entry requirements may still be made a standard conditional offer if they hold a WP or WP Plus flag. We may also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required.

Arts, Languages and Cultures

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Biological Sciences

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Chemistry

We make our assessors and interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their written application and interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. Applicants holding a WP or WP Plus Flag will be invited to take part in our Manchester Distance Access Scheme

Computer Science

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Earth and Environmental Sciences

We consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. In addition to this, applicants holding a WP or WP Plus Flag will be invited to take part in our Manchester Distance Access Scheme

Environment, Education and Development

We consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. In addition to this applicants holding a WP or WP Plus flag are offered  financial assistance to support their attendance at post offer visit days. 

Health Sciences: Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work, and Speech and Hearing

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required.

Health Sciences: Pharmacy and Optometry

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. Detailed information for WP Plus applicants to our Pharmacy with Foundation Year (five-year) course is available on the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health website

Health Sciences: Psychology

We consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Law

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. 

Materials

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Mathematics

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required.

Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

We consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required.

Medical Sciences: Dentistry

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We give additional consideration to Widening Participation indicators at the interview stage and may also do so upon results confirmation. 

Medical Sciences: Medicine

To help identify talented students from all backgrounds, UKCAT scores from UK candidates who hold a WP Plus Flag, or who have experienced local authority care, are considered against each other. We give additional consideration to Widening Participation indicators at the interview stage and may also do so upon results confirmation. 

Physics and Astronomy

We make our interviewers aware of which applicants hold a WP or WP Plus Flag and what impact this could potentially have on their interview performance. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required. 

Science or Engineering with foundation year

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. 

Social Sciences

We consider the Widening Participation status of applicants while assessing applications; borderline candidates holding a WP or WP Plus flag are given further consideration. We also consider the Widening Participation status of an applicant after the confirmation of exam results, and may offer a place on the course to an applicant holding a WP or WP Plus Flag who has narrowly missed the grades required.