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Chances of getting contextual offer

Hi I have been predicted BBC (biology,chemistry,computer science) and I am applying to Warwick, Loughborough, Queen Mary, Uni of Leicester and Birkbeck university for Biomed/Biological sciences
I am eligible for contextual offers but I was wondering what are the chances I would get into those Unis with my predicted, my personal statement and references are very strong as I have been told by UCAS advisors but it is really just my grades holding me back. I was thinking if I apply now I might have a better chance at getting in?
Reply 1
Birkbeck honestly lets anybody in (I am doing the Biomedicine BSc now, 3rd year). Genuinely, I applied as a mature student and they accepted my application and gave me a place the same day. You will almost definitely get in, no qs asked.
There are people on the course who shouldn't be - the drop-out rate is pretty high. Even in first year, a lot of people were struggling with very basic scientific concepts. If you can achieve Bs in Biology and chemistry at A-level, you will be one of the higher achieving students on the course.
Original post by ElizaS
Birkbeck honestly lets anybody in (I am doing the Biomedicine BSc now, 3rd year). Genuinely, I applied as a mature student and they accepted my application and gave me a place the same day. You will almost definitely get in, no qs asked.
There are people on the course who shouldn't be - the drop-out rate is pretty high. Even in first year, a lot of people were struggling with very basic scientific concepts. If you can achieve Bs in Biology and chemistry at A-level, you will be one of the higher achieving students on the course.

Thank you for replying! How are you finding the course? I am applying to birkbeck sort of as a safety net as their entry requirements aren't too high so I feel like I will get in there, it's really just the rest that I'm worried about.
Reply 3
How far off the entry requirements are you?
Do you meet the eligibility criteria for each Uni's contextual offer?
Reply 4
Original post by unknown12687878
Thank you for replying! How are you finding the course? I am applying to birkbeck sort of as a safety net as their entry requirements aren't too high so I feel like I will get in there, it's really just the rest that I'm worried about.

The course is great for me as I work full-time during the day (9-5 office job) and lectures/labs are from 6-9. I think from next autumn, they are changing the course so you can choose from attending lectures in the day or in the evening.
Some pros to the course:

The uni is right next to UCL and shares labs/some teaching staff, so if you ask your tutor or the lab instructor they can often help you to get lab placements during the summers at labs in UCL. I couldn't do this kind of thing because of my job, but if I wasn't working I would have.

If you're good at self-study, Birkbeck is ideal as your days are pretty much completely free. The course doesn't have seminars, only lectures, unlike most other unis where the contact hours are far higher.

As I mentioned before, the course has a massive range of students in terms of ability and academic strength, so it doesn't feel competitive really. I did my first undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester and that was far tougher in terms of competition to stand out/do well. At Birkbeck, if you just show up and actually do the reading/engage with the teaching staff during lectures, you will stand out and have a good chance of being remembered by the staff. Most of the staff are really nice.


Cons:

Don't expect to get a "uni experience" at Birkbeck. Even though it is expanding so some of its courses are offered during the daytime in 2024, it is primarily still an evening university. You don't really get that campus life like at other unis, and there is very little hands-on lab time. If you're into sports/societies, Birkbeck is not the place to go.

You can't choose any modules, they are all compulsory. You don't even get to choose the subject of your final-year research project, which is a HUGE downside, because at most other unis you would get to pick and choose which modules you want to take. It means that if you hate a certain subject (for me, biochem), you still have to do it. I would have loved to do more genetics/human disease/biomed ethics type modules but the course just doesn't offer much range or choice at all. A lot of the modules are focused on cells, protein structure and molecular biology.

The years are relatively long compared to other unis. You don't finish exams for the summer until the first or second week of July. Most other unis finish in May or June at the very latest.

You also get very little time for revision - usually only 1-2 weeks max after the end of term before exam week. At Manchester, I recall having at least 3 weeks of revision time before exams, although I'm not sure what other unis are like.


Overall, it's an amazing uni if you have a full-time job, or have kids to look after, and want to still get a degree. But if you're younger and going off to uni for the full experience, go somewhere else if you can :smile:
Original post by McGinger
How far off the entry requirements are you?
Do you meet the eligibility criteria for each Uni's contextual offer?

Yes I meet the eligibility criteria for each Uni's contextual offer!
For Warwick the contextual requirement is BBB
For Loughborough the contextual requirement is BBC
For Queen Mary the contextual requirement is BBB
For Leicester the contextual requirement is BBB-BBC
And Birkbecks standard offer is CCC-BBB

The standard offers without contextual for the first 4 are mostly AAB or ABB
Original post by ElizaS
The course is great for me as I work full-time during the day (9-5 office job) and lectures/labs are from 6-9. I think from next autumn, they are changing the course so you can choose from attending lectures in the day or in the evening.
Some pros to the course:

The uni is right next to UCL and shares labs/some teaching staff, so if you ask your tutor or the lab instructor they can often help you to get lab placements during the summers at labs in UCL. I couldn't do this kind of thing because of my job, but if I wasn't working I would have.

If you're good at self-study, Birkbeck is ideal as your days are pretty much completely free. The course doesn't have seminars, only lectures, unlike most other unis where the contact hours are far higher.

As I mentioned before, the course has a massive range of students in terms of ability and academic strength, so it doesn't feel competitive really. I did my first undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester and that was far tougher in terms of competition to stand out/do well. At Birkbeck, if you just show up and actually do the reading/engage with the teaching staff during lectures, you will stand out and have a good chance of being remembered by the staff. Most of the staff are really nice.


Cons:

Don't expect to get a "uni experience" at Birkbeck. Even though it is expanding so some of its courses are offered during the daytime in 2024, it is primarily still an evening university. You don't really get that campus life like at other unis, and there is very little hands-on lab time. If you're into sports/societies, Birkbeck is not the place to go.

You can't choose any modules, they are all compulsory. You don't even get to choose the subject of your final-year research project, which is a HUGE downside, because at most other unis you would get to pick and choose which modules you want to take. It means that if you hate a certain subject (for me, biochem), you still have to do it. I would have loved to do more genetics/human disease/biomed ethics type modules but the course just doesn't offer much range or choice at all. A lot of the modules are focused on cells, protein structure and molecular biology.

The years are relatively long compared to other unis. You don't finish exams for the summer until the first or second week of July. Most other unis finish in May or June at the very latest.

You also get very little time for revision - usually only 1-2 weeks max after the end of term before exam week. At Manchester, I recall having at least 3 weeks of revision time before exams, although I'm not sure what other unis are like.


Overall, it's an amazing uni if you have a full-time job, or have kids to look after, and want to still get a degree. But if you're younger and going off to uni for the full experience, go somewhere else if you can :smile:

Thank you so much for your reply! The cons are making me rethink whether I should put down Birkbeck as I am younger and its disappointing that summer starts in July and that you can't pick a module.
Reply 7
Original post by unknown12687878
Yes I meet the eligibility criteria for each Uni's contextual offer!
For Warwick the contextual requirement is BBB
For Loughborough the contextual requirement is BBC
For Queen Mary the contextual requirement is BBB
For Leicester the contextual requirement is BBB-BBC
And Birkbecks standard offer is CCC-BBB

The standard offers without contextual for the first 4 are mostly AAB or ABB

You will probably get offers for those - Bio Sci isnt a mega-popular subject and Unis may expect enough spaces to fill with taking those with grades just below the requirements. The only exception is Warwick which is competitive for all courses - but having one 'risky' choice like this is fine. Birkbeck is 'different' - it was set up for mature students and therefore it isnt quite the same as other Unis. Only apply if you dont want the 'student experience'. Alternative choice suggestions - Brighton BBB/BCC (with Foundation CDD).
Original post by McGinger
You will probably get offers for those - Bio Sci isnt a mega-popular subject and Unis may expect enough spaces to fill with taking those with grades just below the requirements. The only exception is Warwick which is competitive for all courses - but having one 'risky' choice like this is fine. Birkbeck is 'different' - it was set up for mature students and therefore it isnt quite the same as other Unis. Only apply if you dont want the 'student experience'. Alternative choice suggestions - Brighton BBB/BCC (with Foundation CDD).

Thank you for reassuring me, Warwick is my top choice but I know it will be hard to get in to. Loughborough is probably my second choice. And for Birkbeck if I ended up going I would be commuting from home so I'm not sure if I should still swap it or not but if I did it would be another London Uni.
Original post by unknown12687878

Thank you for reassuring me, Warwick is my top choice but I know it will be hard to get in to. Loughborough is probably my second choice. And for Birkbeck if I ended up going I would be commuting from home so I'm not sure if I should still swap it or not but if I did it would be another London Uni.


Hi, I dont do biomed or biosci but I've applied for comp sci and two of my unis I applied to, I only meet the contextual, one of them being Loughborough and I got a place. Considering comp sci is fairly competitive and Loughborough is decent ranking, I'm sure you will also get a place as long as you meet the contextual requirements
Original post by lamia12

That’s amazing! I was honestly worried about getting into Loughborough too because I’m applying with the contextual requirement only aswell. I think computer science is definitely more competitive than Biosci so that’s amazing that you got in! How long did it take you to get an offer?


Thank youu, yeah I think you only need to meet the contextual requirements to get an offer if your contextual since that's what contextual offers are for ig so you should be fine. And for Loughborough it took 3 weeks so not too long either.
Original post by shadowblades
Thank youu, yeah I think you only need to meet the contextual requirements to get an offer if your contextual since that's what contextual offers are for ig so you should be fine. And for Loughborough it took 3 weeks so not too long either.

Yeah I was just worried because people were telling me I shouldn't be reliant on contextual offers. My postcode meets the requirements and I have been getting free school meals too but Loughborough says they need an official letter from the school confirming this but I'm worried that might school might take too long to send it and I'll be rejected.
Original post by unknown12687878

Yeah I was just worried because people were telling me I shouldn't be reliant on contextual offers. My postcode meets the requirements and I have been getting free school meals too but Loughborough says they need an official letter from the school confirming this but I'm worried that might school might take too long to send it and I'll be rejected.


Ofc you shouldn't be reliant on them and defo have at least one uni you meet the normal requirements for just in case but contextual offers are there to help contextual people get into uni and since your postcode and free school meals are contextual, you should be fine.

Yep I had my careers advisor send in an email confirming my contextual status and I'm pretty sure even if they reject you, they are obliged to reconsider once your school sends in an email as you would have different circumstances in that case. I think it says this information in the website for Loughborough so you can go check it out yourself asw.
Original post by shadowblades
Ofc you shouldn't be reliant on them and defo have at least one uni you meet the normal requirements for just in case but contextual offers are there to help contextual people get into uni and since your postcode and free school meals are contextual, you should be fine.

Yep I had my careers advisor send in an email confirming my contextual status and I'm pretty sure even if they reject you, they are obliged to reconsider once your school sends in an email as you would have different circumstances in that case. I think it says this information in the website for Loughborough so you can go check it out yourself asw.

Yes I meet the standard entry for Birkbeck which is CCC-BBB but ideally I would want to get into the other Unis that I am applying for which I meet the contextual requirements.

Oh yes I did see that in the website but I emailed my UCAS advisor and my schools admission to see if they would be able to send the email this week as I’m submitting tomorrow so hopefully it should be fine! I’m pretty sure Loughborough is the only uni that accepts free school meals so do you think I shouldn’t bother contacting the other Unis?
Original post by unknown12687878
Original post by shadowblades
Ofc you shouldn't be reliant on them and defo have at least one uni you meet the normal requirements for just in case but contextual offers are there to help contextual people get into uni and since your postcode and free school meals are contextual, you should be fine.

Yep I had my careers advisor send in an email confirming my contextual status and I'm pretty sure even if they reject you, they are obliged to reconsider once your school sends in an email as you would have different circumstances in that case. I think it says this information in the website for Loughborough so you can go check it out yourself asw.

Yes I meet the standard entry for Birkbeck which is CCC-BBB but ideally I would want to get into the other Unis that I am applying for which I meet the contextual requirements.

Oh yes I did see that in the website but I emailed my UCAS advisor and my schools admission to see if they would be able to send the email this week as I’m submitting tomorrow so hopefully it should be fine! I’m pretty sure Loughborough is the only uni that accepts free school meals so do you think I shouldn’t bother contacting the other Unis?


Yeah and you probably should get into the others and birkbeck is a good safety uni. That's good you've already emailed so that should be fine too.

Also Idk if you wanna go Sheffield and Southampton or if you meet the contextual grades for them as they also accept free school meals as a single requirement.

In terms of contacting the unis, my careers advisor said he would just contact all the unis anyway just in case but most of the unis will see your information on your application and they will say on the website whether you need to contact them or not.
Original post by shadowblades
Original post by unknown12687878
Original post by shadowblades
Ofc you shouldn't be reliant on them and defo have at least one uni you meet the normal requirements for just in case but contextual offers are there to help contextual people get into uni and since your postcode and free school meals are contextual, you should be fine.

Yep I had my careers advisor send in an email confirming my contextual status and I'm pretty sure even if they reject you, they are obliged to reconsider once your school sends in an email as you would have different circumstances in that case. I think it says this information in the website for Loughborough so you can go check it out yourself asw.

Yes I meet the standard entry for Birkbeck which is CCC-BBB but ideally I would want to get into the other Unis that I am applying for which I meet the contextual requirements.

Oh yes I did see that in the website but I emailed my UCAS advisor and my schools admission to see if they would be able to send the email this week as I’m submitting tomorrow so hopefully it should be fine! I’m pretty sure Loughborough is the only uni that accepts free school meals so do you think I shouldn’t bother contacting the other Unis?


Yeah and you probably should get into the others and birkbeck is a good safety uni. That's good you've already emailed so that should be fine too.

Also Idk if you wanna go Sheffield and Southampton or if you meet the contextual grades for them as they also accept free school meals as a single requirement.

In terms of contacting the unis, my careers advisor said he would just contact all the unis anyway just in case but most of the unis will see your information on your application and they will say on the website whether you need to contact them or not.


Actually Sheffield does need the postcode but I think your postcode already applies so that is fine too
Original post by shadowblades
Yes I meet the standard entry for Birkbeck which is CCC-BBB but ideally I would want to get into the other Unis that I am applying for which I meet the contextual requirements.

Oh yes I did see that in the website but I emailed my UCAS advisor and my schools admission to see if they would be able to send the email this week as I’m submitting tomorrow so hopefully it should be fine! I’m pretty sure Loughborough is the only uni that accepts free school meals so do you think I shouldn’t bother contacting the other Unis?


Yeah and you probably should get into the others and birkbeck is a good safety uni. That's good you've already emailed so that should be fine too.

Also Idk if you wanna go Sheffield and Southampton or if you meet the contextual grades for them as they also accept free school meals as a single requirement.

In terms of contacting the unis, my careers advisor said he would just contact all the unis anyway just in case but most of the unis will see your information on your application and they will say on the website whether you need to contact them or not.
Yes that’s true I’ll ask them to email all the Unis too just incase! I haven’t applied to many further Unis otherwise I would’ve looked into Southampton too because I want to commute from home so Warwick would be the only one if I got in that I would be staying at accom. Also thank you for replying you’ve helped me a lot!
Original post by unknown12687878
Original post by shadowblades
Yes I meet the standard entry for Birkbeck which is CCC-BBB but ideally I would want to get into the other Unis that I am applying for which I meet the contextual requirements.

Oh yes I did see that in the website but I emailed my UCAS advisor and my schools admission to see if they would be able to send the email this week as I’m submitting tomorrow so hopefully it should be fine! I’m pretty sure Loughborough is the only uni that accepts free school meals so do you think I shouldn’t bother contacting the other Unis?


Yeah and you probably should get into the others and birkbeck is a good safety uni. That's good you've already emailed so that should be fine too.

Also Idk if you wanna go Sheffield and Southampton or if you meet the contextual grades for them as they also accept free school meals as a single requirement.

In terms of contacting the unis, my careers advisor said he would just contact all the unis anyway just in case but most of the unis will see your information on your application and they will say on the website whether you need to contact them or not.

Yes that’s true I’ll ask them to email all the Unis too just incase! I haven’t applied to many further Unis otherwise I would’ve looked into Southampton too because I want to commute from home so Warwick would be the only one if I got in that I would be staying at accom. Also thank you for replying you’ve helped me a lot!

Sounds like a plan and yeah no worries man happy to help
Original post by unknown12687878
Hi I have been predicted BBC (biology,chemistry,computer science) and I am applying to Warwick, Loughborough, Queen Mary, Uni of Leicester and Birkbeck university for Biomed/Biological sciences
I am eligible for contextual offers but I was wondering what are the chances I would get into those Unis with my predicted, my personal statement and references are very strong as I have been told by UCAS advisors but it is really just my grades holding me back. I was thinking if I apply now I might have a better chance at getting in?

Hi @unknown12687878

It's great to hear you're thinking about coming to Loughborough! You can find our typical A level offer on our Biological Sciences course page. If you want to get a better idea about your application and the grades that are required I would get in touch with admissions ([email protected]) and they will be able to help you.

I hope this helped and let us know if you have any other questions :smile:

Jess

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