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Access to Harper

Harper Adams University is committed to bringing fresh talent into the industries we serve, regardless of background.

As a result, we have developed a range of measures and initiatives to give everyone the best chance to access our undergraduate degree programmes. The main feature of Access to Harper is our contextualised offer scheme. A contextualised offer is an offer which is reduced, by one grade or more from the standard entry requirement and is made to those applicants who may have experienced personal circumstances which might have hampered their education, such as attending a low achieving, target school and also living in an area where it is unusual to go to university or which is disadvantaged or being a Care Leaver. The aim of the scheme is to make the University more accessible for those applicants who may not have previously thought that they were eligible to apply. We have also introduced reduced entry requirements for those applicants who are over 21 years of age and further initiatives to make the application process easier for those applicants who need it. Candidates who think they qualify under the Access to Harper scheme can request that their eligibility be checked by completing this online form. Our admissions team is happy to discuss an individual's situation in confidence, on 01952 815 000 or by emailing

We are also able to provide financial support towards the costs of attending an interview if you are a UK resident, who is in receipt of free school meals or has been a care leaver, where you have applied for one of our courses that require an interview (a standard requirement for Agriculture, Engineering, Veterinary Physiotherapy and the Extended Degree Programmes).

Contact us

Faccenda (Student Centre)
+44 (0)1952 81 5000

Access to Harper

To be eligible for a contextualised offer you:

  • live in an area where it is either unusual to go to university, using a government database which determines Participation of Local Areas in higher education (POLAR 4) or it is socially or economically disadvantaged, using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), for each postcode.



  • Identify as a Care Leaver as indicated on your UCAS form. For more information about this, please contact Kimberley Chadwick

Your application will routinely be checked to see if you qualify for a contextualised offer and you will be advised if this is the case in our offer communications. If you would like a member of our Access team to advise you on your eligibility before you make an application, please complete this online form, by providing your home postcode and that of your school or college. We endeavour to complete the eligibility check and confirm the result by the next working day. You can also ask them any other questions about our work to support applicants and students from a wide range of backgrounds to make a successful application and maximise their potential once on-course.

Access to Harper is for Harper Adams degrees only, including the Extended Degree in Veterinary Bioscience. The 5 year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery degree at Harper Keele Vet School is not included for this scheme.

How do the entry requirements change if I am eligible?

All course areas1 grade drop from level 3 standard entry requirements
Extended Degree Programmereduction of 1 GCSE grade from standard requirements (so 4 GCSEs at grade C/4 alongside Level 3 qualifications and 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 for those without level 3) must include English Language, Maths and a Science.
Veterinary Physiotherapyin addition to the 1 grade drop, will reduce GCSE requirements for those with Extended Diplomas to 2 at grade B/5 and 3 at grade C/4 (must include English Language, Maths and a Science.)
Bioveterinary Science and Animal Production Science2 grade drop from standard requirements
Agriculturein addition to the 1 grade drop, will reduce GCSE requirements to 4 GCSEs at grade C/4 for Extended Diploma applicants (in line with standard A level requirements) (must include English Language, Maths and a Science.)

Mature Students (over 21 years of age)

As a mature student we expect:

All courses except EDP

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English Language, Maths and where required Science. (If Science is not required for the course then any third subject would be acceptable) Level 3 requirements must still be met.

Extended Degree Programme

4 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including in English Language, Maths and Science for those with a level 3 qualification

Financial support towards attending and interview session costs

Financial support for advice and interview sessions - A small number of our courses (Agriculture, Engineering and Veterinary Physiotherapy and the Extended Degree Programmes) require applicants to participate in an advice and interview session. These events aim to ensure that the course you have chosen is absolutely right for you and your career ambitions. To help towards the costs of attending in person, which we believe is the best way to see the place and meet with staff and students already on the course, we offer financial support if you are in receipt of free school meals. When you are invited for an advice and interview session, you will also be invited to contact the Admissions team if you are in receipt of free school meals and confirm with the team the financial contribution that you will receive, based on your distance from the university campus. We also arrange to collect all applicants from Stafford train station, free of charge.

Further initiatives to help all students access study at Harper Adams

  • Access to Agriculture Programme - available for Extended Degree Programme as well as BSc Agriculture courses. Recognising the difficulty that some applicants may have in obtaining the 10 weeks practical work experience required for entry to Agriculture courses, Harper Adams are able to offer a point of contact to provide general advice and guidance on how to obtain relevant work experience. Please contact
  • The Engineering team will make more telephone advice and interview sessions available, as an alternative to in-person sessions.
  • Care Leavers - upon offer they will receive details of a named contact person to help with their transition to Harper Adams and they will be provided with details of the Care Leavers Covenant
  • Disrupted Studies Policy - this will provide applicants who have faced additional problems during the course of their studies, to submit information to help to make additional considerations at confirmation if they miss their offer. This would be beyond any extenuating circumstances submitted to the exam board by their school/college.
  • All applicants with a strong application will receive additional consideration at confirmation if they do not exactly meet the conditions of their offer. (subject to places being available)

Contact us

For more information about support with interview costs, or any of our further initiatives please contact:

Faccenda (Student Centre)
+44 (0)1952 81 5000

Care leavers

Hear about a care leavers' experiences of going to university and the support available to care leavers.

Watch video

Access and Participation Plan

Collectively, these initiatives form just a small part of our Access and Participation Plan. Through this Plan we have identified that we need to do more to actively encourage those from areas which are disadvantaged or where it is unusual to go to University, as well as those from a Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage, to study with us. In doing so, we hope to enrich the graduate Talent Pool for the industries we serve, as we have recently identified that students from these groups are not as well represented in the Harper Adams’ student community as we would like. Historic data is summarised below and provides the driver for us to ensure that, whatever their background, every applicant and every student who joins us is supported to succeed and reach their full potential. Our Access and Participation Plan 2020-25 sets out how we will achieve this.

Transparency Information

The information below shows:

  • The number of applications for admission on to recognised, undergraduate higher education courses that we have received from UK domiciled applicants.
  • The number of offers we have made in relation to those applications.
  • The number of those offers accepted and the number of those who have registered with us.
  • The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It also shows these numbers by reference to:

  • The gender of the individuals to which they relate
  • Their ethnicity
  • Their socio-economic background.

It is important to note that the data presented has not been contextualised. This means, for example, that you will not be able to see from this data how many of those applying to courses met the entry criteria. It is also the case that universities and colleges will often receive many more applications than they have spaces on courses and so offer rates will necessarily be lower than application rates in those circumstances. This contextual data is included in our Access and Participation Plan 2020-25.

The full report is available for you to download in Microsoft Excel format, should you wish to see more granular detail.

Download report

Table 1a

Summary of applications, offers, acceptances and registrations for 2018/19 entrants.

Mode of StudyCharacteristicCharacteristic splitNumber of applicationsPercentage of applications that received an offerPercentage of applications that accepted an offerPercentage of applications that led to a registration
Full Time Ethnicity BAME 100 42% 14% 13%
White 2,570 66% 24% 22%
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 440 53% 16% 15%
3 to 5 1,810 67% 26% 24%
Gender Female 1,770 61% 22% 19%
Male 900 74% 28% 26%
Other N N N N
Part Time Ethnicity BAME N N N N
White 40 DP DP DP
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 N N N N
3 to 5 N N N N
Gender Female N N N N
Male 30 DP DP DP
Other N N N N
Apprenticeships Ethnicity BAME N N N N
White N N N N
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 N N N N
3 to 5 N N N N
Gender Female N N N N
Male N N N N
Other N N N N

Table 2a

Percentage of first degrees at grade 2:1 or above by characteristic for 2017-18 qualifiers:

CharacteristicCharacteristic splitPercentage
Ethnicity BAME N
White 76%
EIMD quintile 1 and 2 75%
3 to 5 80%
Gender Female 81%
Male 70%
Other N

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