FAQs for undergraduate offer-holders | University of Oxford

FAQs for undergraduate offer-holders

Last updated: Thursday 4 February 2021

Congratulations to everyone who has received an offer.

(Please note the information below is also available on the Prospective Undergraduate webpage.) 

I am holding an offer to begin my undergraduate course at Oxford in the 2021/22 academic year. Where can I find more information?

Over the coming months, the college which made your offer will be in contact with you. You should also by now have started to receive our regular offer holder newsletters. These will give you tips and insights into student life at Oxford and let you know how to prepare for the start of your course next October. In addition, you can always look at our Oxford Students website for further information.

Will Oxford accept the grades which offer holders receive this year?

If you receive an offer but have not yet completed all your current qualifications, it is likely that this offer will be conditional. Normally, meeting these conditions involves achieving certain examination results and where examinations are going ahead as planned, we expect these conditions to be met. In countries where the normal examinations have been cancelled for 2021, we will expect the conditions of your offer to be met by the alternative assessment put in place by examination boards and examination regulators. While details of the assessment system that will replace summer examinations are still being finalised in England and some other countries, Oxford remains committed to a fair and flexible admissions process which will aim to ensure no students are disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular those from under-represented and less advantaged backgrounds. We are following government announcements closely and will provide more information as soon as we can. 

However, whatever changes occur, providing you meet all the conditions of your offer with us by the deadline stipulated by UCAS, your offer will be confirmed and you will be accepted by the University. This applies to all our offer holders, wherever you are currently studying in the world.

Do I have to pass the science practical component of any science A-levels I am taking in order to meet the conditions of my offer?

In normal circumstances, if you have taken any science A-levels, we would expect you to take and pass the practical component in addition to meeting any overall grade requirement. However, we are aware that students may not have had the chance to complete their practical tasks due to the pandemic. If this is the case, or you have other extenuating circumstances that mean you are not able to gain a pass grade for the endorsement, this requirement may be waived. As in other years, we will seek evidence of extenuating circumstances from your school. 

I am a private candidate* holding an offer to start studying in October. What are my options?

We realise that due to the situation with COVID-19, private candidates might be particularly concerned about the awarding of qualifications this year. We are waiting for guidance to be published by OfQual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) and encourage you to get in touch with your Examination Board(s) if you need further clarification at this time. We are monitoring OfQual's advice to private candidates and will publish any updates for offer holders or prospective applicants on this webpage as soon as we can. 

*Private candidates include those who may have been planning to sit exams at a school or college or other exam centre but who were being educated at home, by distance learning or studying independently. 

How will COVID-19 impact my time as a student?

We are fully committed to delivering an outstanding academic experience to our students, to maintaining our focus on personalised teaching, and to the safety and wellbeing of our entire community. It is too early to say exactly what the situation will be in September 2021. However, we will send regular updates on our plans in line with government guidance and health advice.

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