FAQs for undergraduate offer-holders

Last updated: Tuesday, 25 May 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, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland 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.

If I miss my undergraduate offer, can I meet my offer grades by taking exams at the next opportunity, and be offered a deferred place?

If you do not achieve your conditional offer when results are released this summer, please get in touch with your Oxford college to discuss this. If your place is not confirmed by your college, your offer will cease. It will not normally be possible to offer you a deferred place (for 2022-entry) even if you go on to achieve our minimum entry requirements, for example in the autumn series of A-level exams.

You would be welcome to reapply for an undergraduate place in the autumn but you would need to complete the full application process and your application would be assessed in the regular way, alongside all other undergraduate applications submitted that year. Any exams you choose to take in the meantime (e.g. the autumn series of A-level exams) would not be considered as retakes and so would not disadvantage any reapplication. You would still need to declare the results of all official or public examinations, including the grades awarded in the summer 2021, in the 'Education' section of your UCAS form.

I am holding an offer to begin my undergraduate course in 2021 and am unsure of my fee status. What shall I do?

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has recently published Guidance to support the new fee status regulations. The University is therefore now in the process of completing fee status assessments for offer holders who we were unable to process prior to the release of the guidance. Affected students will receive confirmation of their fee status via email in the coming weeks.

If you have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme (EUSS) and the Student Fees team has not already contacted you about this directly, please email the team. Please note that the deadline for applications to the EUSS is 30 June 2021. 

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. 

I am holding an offer for undergraduate study beginning in October 2021 which includes meeting an English language requirement. How do I fulfil this condition if my usual test centres are currently closed?

If you already hold an English language certificate that meets our English language requirements, please send it to the college that made you an offer. The alternative options set out below only apply to offer holders who have not yet taken the required English language test and their usual centre is closed due to COVID-19. 

  • If normal testing arrangements are available in your country and you will be able to meet our deadline of 31 July, then you should take a recognised English language test and send evidence of certification to the college that made you an offer.
  • If normal testing arrangements are suspended in your country then, where possible, you should take the TOEFL iBT (Home Edition). You will need to achieve the same scores as for the standard IBT.
  • If you are unable to take the TOEFL iBT and you require an English language certificate for visa purposes, please contact the college who you made you an offer.
  • If you are unable to take the TOEFL iBT and you do not require an English language certificate for visa purposes, you have the following three options:  
  1. We will accept English language certificates taken within three years of the start of your academic course and ask you to take a compulsory in-term Academic English course.
  2. We will accept Standard Level scores for courses requiring Higher Level and ask you to take a compulsory in-term Academic English course.
  3. We will consider waiving your English language requirement and ask you to take a compulsory in-term Academic English course. If you think this is your only option, please contact the college who made you an offer.

You can also view the information above as a chart (Undergraduate English language requirements PDF).

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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