Skip to main content

Access and Participation


Access and Participation

‌‌The Office for Students (OfS) has approved the University’s Access and Participation Plan  for 2020-21 to 2024-25. See our Access and Participation Plan Summary.

This Plan outlines the University’s commitment to widening participation at Newcastle University. It provides equality of opportunity across the entire student lifecycle, and ensures continued commitment to improving fair access to higher education in general.

Embedded within the Plan is the University’s commitment to the North East, working in partnership with:

  • local authorities
  • enterprise partnerships
  • businesses
  • schools, colleges, universities and other educational trusts and partnerships

The Plan focusses on improving access and outcomes for specific groups of students because there is evidence that some outcomes can be lower for certain groups at Newcastle University compared with their peers . This includes:

  • Students from areas where participation in HE is low
  • Students from Black heritage backgrounds
  • Other underrepresented student groups (ie care experienced students, students with disabilities, White working-class male students, carers and mature students).

An approved Plan must comply with Sections 30 to 32 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) and be published on the University’s website for transparency.  Access and participation impact reports will be published here annually from 2022 onwards.

See our summary of 2023-24 course fees and our summary of 2024-25 course feesFind out more about our Approved Access and Participation Plans/Access Agreements for previous years.

You can also read our provider impact report. This summarises the progress we have made against targets, objectives and written commitments set out in our 2019-20 access and participation plan.

Read more information about our transparency data.

Application monitoring and tracking

Over the past three years, the University has introduced a new Admission system, Microsoft Dynamics, which has brought positive improvements to the processing of applications. In the 22/23 cycle, the University began to use the new data fields provided by UCAS for 2023 entry. These are collected as part of the UCAS process and then shared with all University providers, and feed into the Dynamics system. The data fields include:

  • Refugee/Asylum seeker status
  • Estranged students
  • caring responsibilities
  • parenting responsibilities
  • parent/carer in armed forces
  • served in Armed Forces
  • Free School Meals
  • Care leavers
  • Disability

The University uses this information for the following purpose:

  • To assess whether applicants are eligible for an alternative offer to the standard entry requirements (eg contextual offer)
  • As applicants are asked to provide the information to UCAS, assumptions are made by applicants that this information is used by the University to make adjustments at interview or assessment as part of the admissions process