Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

 

Conditional Offer Making

5.1 Making Offers in Terms of Grades

Conditional offers requiring the achievement of specific grades in Advanced VCE and GCE subjects are inflexible, but easily understood by the applicant.

Offers will be conveyed to applicants as follows:

  • C    BBB grades BBB in your GCE Advanced Level subjects;
  • C    BBB from 3 AGCES grades BBB from three GCE Advanced Level subjects;
  • C    B(History)CC grades BCC in your GCE Advanced Level subjects, to include grade B in GCE Advanced Level History.

Grade offers automatically exclude the inclusion of Key Skills in the fulfilment of the offer.

GCE Advanced Level General Studies will be included in the fulfilment of a grade offer unless its exclusion is specified.

One criticism often levied in relation to grade offers is that they do not reflect the variety of subjects offered by an applicant and do not value the effort made by an applicant pursuing GCE Advanced Subsidiary subjects and Key Skills qualifications in addition to the GCE Advanced Level subjects.

5.2       Making Offers Using the UCAS Tariff System

The UCAS Tariff was introduced with effect from the 2001/2002 entry cycle and replaced the old points system.

It is designed to allow institutions to make flexible conditional offers to students without necessarily demanding grade achievement in specific types of qualification.

Every grade achievable via pursuit of the qualifications included in the UCAS Tariff is allocated a numerical value or tariff score.  When mapped onto the UCAS Tariff, this score also allows different types of qualification to be compared against each other.  For example a grade C at Advanced GCE would be comparable to Grade C in an Advanced Scottish Higher or Grade C in the VCE A level (all are worth 80 Tariff points).

A copy of the UCAS Tariff  may be downloaded from the UCAS website at http://www.ucas.com/.

New qualifications were included in the tariff with effect from 2005/6 entry, namely the newly specified BTEC National Award, Certificate and Diploma, the Institute of Financial Studies (CeFS), THE advanced Welsh Baccalaureate and the Rockschool Music Awards. 

Additional qualifications have been included in the tariff published for 2006/7 entry.  These are the Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design, the Irish Leaving Certificate Higher and Ordinary Levels and Advanced Extension Awards.  Whilst Tutors are not able to make tariff offers to applicants offering these qualifications, their inclusion in the tariff will enable Tutors to determine equivalencies between these qualifications and the Advanced GCE and VCE awards.

Some of the qualifications used in the UCAS Tariff have a unit equivalent, enabling offers to be made without reference to a specific type of qualification. Units are assigned to the following qualifications:

  • Advanced Subsidiary (AS)                      3 units
  • Advanced GCE (AGCE)                          6 units
  • VCE Advanced Subsidiary                      3 units
  • VCE Advanced Level                              6 units
  • VCE Double Award                                12 units

Every qualification completed by a student in the post —16 phase of their learning can contribute to their final tariff points score if it is mapped onto the UCAS Tariff System and valid for the current year of entry.

Some examples of how tariff points scores may be aggregated are given below:

 

2004/2005French AS

English ASHistory ASMaths ASKey Skills Level 3 Communication
2005/2006French A2

English A2History A2Key Skills Level 3 IT 
Units achieved66641
Grade AchievedBAB

B (Maths AS)

A (KSU)

B (KSU)
Tariff Points Achieved10012010050
20
17

The applicant is offering:

  • x3 GCE Advanced Level subjects;
  • x1 GCE Advanced Subsidiary subject;
  • x2 Key Skills subjects at level 3.

The total tariff points score for this applicant, including Key Skills Units would be 407.

The total tariff points score for this applicant, excluding Key Skills Units would be 370.

The total number of units achieved, including Key Skills would be 23.

The total number of units achieved, excluding Key Skills would be 21.

 

2004/2005Travel and Tourism VCE A Level (Double Award)Maths AS
2005/2006Travel and Tourism VCE A Level (Double Award)Law AS
Units achieved126
Grade AchievedBCA & C
Tariff Points Achieved180100

This applicant is offering:

  • x1 VCE Advanced Level Double Award;
  • x2 GCE Advanced Subsidiary subjects.

The total tariff points score for this applicant would be 280.

The total number of units achieved would be 18.

 

2004/2005Sociology AS

English ASMaths AS
2005/2006Sociology A2English A2Chemistry AS
Units achieved666
Grade AchievedBD

B (Maths AS)

C (Chem AS)

Tariff Points Achieved1006050
40

The applicant is offering:

  • x2 GCE Advanced Level subjects;
  • x2 GCE Advanced Subsidiary subjects.

The total tariff points score for this applicant would be 250.

The total number of units achieved would be 18.

 

2004/2005Welsh Bacc Core

Maths ASChemistry AS
2005/2006Welsh Bacc CoreMaths A2Chemistry A2
Units achieved066
Grade AchievedPassAB
Tariff Points Achieved120220 in total for both Level subjectsGCE Advanced

This applicant is offering:

  • The Welsh Baccalaureate with two Advanced GCE subjects.

The total tariff points score for this applicant would be 340.

The total number of units achieved would be 12.

Types of Offer Available When Using the Tariff

A Basic UCAS Tariff Points Offer 280 UCAS Tariff Points

This is the most flexible type of offer.  Any post-16 qualification mapped onto the UCAS Tariff and pursued by the applicant since September 2000, can contribute to the accumulation of this total, regardless of when the qualification was completed.

Specifying Depth within a UCAS Tariff Points Offer

Offer One:         280 UCAS Tariff points from your Advanced GCE subjects;

Offer Two:         280 UCAS Tariff points from 3 Advanced GCE subjects.

Either offer would allow the applicant a little more flexibility than a standard grade offer.  To satisfy the conditions of either offer, s/he would have successfully to complete a minimum of three Advanced GCE subjects.  An applicant pursuing three Advanced GCE subjects would need a minimum of BBC to satisfy the conditions of offer one, but someone pursuing four Advanced GCE subjects would need CCCD.  Offer two would be satisfied by a minimum of BBC, but combinations such as AAE and ABD would also be acceptable for entry.

Achievement of a specific standard in a particular type of qualification:

280 UCAS Tariff points, to include 100 tariff points in Advanced GCE History.

The applicant is free to make up the aggregate total from any type of qualification included in the Tariff, but s/he must achieve at least grade B in Advanced GCE History;

280 UCAS Tariff points, to include grades BC from two Advanced GCE subjects.

The applicant is free to make up the aggregate total from any type of qualification included in the tariff, but s/he must achieve at least a grade B and a grade C at Advanced GCE level.

280 UCAS Tariff points, to include a minimum of 180 UCAS Tariff points from Advanced GCE French and Spanish combined, with no less than 80 UCAS Tariff points in either language.

The applicant is free to make up the aggregate total from any type of qualification included in the tariff, but s/he must achieve grade B/C in Advanced GCE French and grade B/C in Advanced GCE Spanish.

Making Tariff Offers in Terms of Units

Making an offer based on units, rather than specific qualification types, can result in greater flexibility and simplicity.

An offer made in solely in terms of units (for example 180 UCAS Tariff points from 18 units) indicates that any of the qualifications with a unit equivalent may contribute to the aggregate points total (in any combination), but none of the qualifications have had to be specified individually.

Level of achievement in a particular qualification can also be specified within the framework of a unit-based offer, for example 280 UCAS Tariff points from 18 units, with a minimum of 12 units at Advanced GCE.  It is clear that the applicant must have a minimum of two Advanced GCE subjects, but s/he may make up the remaining 6 units from two Advanced Subsidiaries, one Advanced GCE, two VCE Advanced Subsidiaries or one VCE A Level.  Making an offer in this way is particularly useful if any of the unit related qualifications are accepted in conjunction with a specified one.

Beware of common pitfalls when making offers using the tariff:

  • mixing points and grades within the confines of a single offer, for example 280 UCAS Tariff points, to include at least grade B in GCE Advanced Level French.  UCAS advise that best practice would be to phrase the offer in terms of points alone, e.g. 280 UCAS Tariff points, to include a minimum of 100 UCAS Tariff points in GCE Advanced Level French.
  • making UCAS Tariff points offers to applicants offering qualifications that are not mapped onto the Tariff;
  • making UCAS Tariff points offers in terms of units to applicants offering qualifications that do not have a unit equivalent, e.g. Scottish Highers;
  • making UCAS Tariff points offers in terms of units, when the total number of units required cannot be achieved by the applicant;
  • making offers that require a specific level of achievement at Advanced GCE level when the applicant is offering VCE A Level;
  • making offers that make reference to the exclusion of General Studies and/or Key Skills when the applicant has not offered either;
  • making offers using the UCAS Tariff but not making reference to the exclusion of General Studies and/or Key Skills, when neither qualification would form an acceptable part of an offer;
  • conflicting offers from each half of a Joint Honours combination.  Usually the conflict arises from two offers, one made in terms of grades, the other in points. Sometimes both offers outline the same entrance requirement in different terminology, but in other cases they do not.

5.3       Non Standard Qualifications

Applicants offering qualifications other than those cited in the UCAS Tariff for 2006/7 entry may be made conditional offers.

Qualifications may include International Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate, BTEC, Irish Highers, IELTS and qualifications indigenous to the applicant’s country of education.

The standards of achievement normally expected for entry to higher education are outlined in the UCAS publications " UK Qualifications " and " International Qualifications ".

Information about international equivalencies and the suitability of qualifications for entry to higher education may also be obtained from the NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) website. This information is password protected. Access details can be obtained from Sally Duval in REGIS. 

Information about past precedent may be obtained from Sally Duval, REGIS (in the case of UK or EU qualifications) or from the International Development Division (in the case of OS qualifications). 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide evidence that the qualifications have been obtained by 31 August.  The applicant is informed of this by means of the official offer letter despatched by UCAS.