See my course is quite competitive, well I think it is. Its a combined course for English and History at Sussex. I had a good personal statement and reference which was good because my predicted grades werent the best - B (ENG), A/B (HIST), A/B(GEOG). But despite this, sussex still gave me a conditional offer of AAB - With one of the As having to be in English. But I dont think I got the A in English, and so I'm worried incase they wont except me.
Got into PPE at Oxford despite falling a grade short.
It's not always to do with a uni being desperate for people. It can be to do with the popularity of the course, or them having less combined honours students doing 1 subject so they can afford to have more single honours students, or them having a high drop out rate/people deciding uni isn't for them after results etc...a number of reasons.
There are people who do get rejected from their firm if they miss a grade, they won't let everyone in...so it's not great to rely on the fact you are "safe" even if you don't get the correct grades.