Through UNIQ+ we want to encourage students from under-represented backgrounds to apply for postgraduate study, whether at the University of Oxford or any other institution.
To apply to UNIQ+, you must:
- be a current UK resident (see criteria below);
- be in your second, third or fourth year of your undergraduate degree (eg BA, BSc, etc.), or have completed it, in a relevant subject to UNIQ+, typically with a final or expected grade of a high 2:1 or more; and
- meet one of the eligibility criteria defined under Your background (below).
In order to qualify for the programme you’ll need to be ordinarily resident in the UK, meeting the following criteria:
- you must be settled in the UK at the time the programme starts (1 July 2019) with no restrictions on the period for which you can stay in the UK;
- you must have been ordinarily resident for the full three-year period before the programme starts on 1 July 2019;
- the main purpose for your residence in the UK must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of that three-year period.
Your undergraduate degree
UNIQ+ 2019 will be centred around scientific research. To apply, you must be studying/have studied at a UK university. Your undergraduate study should give you the right subject background to apply to a DPhil/PhD in one of the areas covered by our Medical Sciences division or MPLS Doctoral Training Programmes, or Mathematical Institute.
Broadly, this means you will usually need to have a biological, medical, chemical, mathematical, engineering, computer science, and/or physical sciences background. For a more detailed list of subjects, see our FAQs.
If you are currently studying for an undergraduate degree, you should be in the second, third or fourth year of your course, and typically be on track to achieve a final grade of a high 2:1 (upper second class) or first class degree. You can also apply if you have already graduated from an undergraduate course with at least a high 2:1 (upper second-class) final grade.
As UNIQ+ is aimed at those coming from a background which is under-represented at postgraduate level in UK universities, you’ll need to meet at least one of these eligibility criteria to apply:
- come from a neighbourhood which is classed as ACORN 4 or 5 and/or POLAR (4) Quintile 1 or 2 (see Using ACORN and POLAR to assess eligibility below) in the final calendar year of your secondary school education (this would normally be at age 18);
- were in care for at least three months;
- received free school meals while at school;
- have been a young carer;
- be in the first generation of your family to go to university.
ACORN and POLAR (Participation of Local Areas) are ways of assessing the levels of socio-economic wealth or participation in higher education in different areas of the UK.
Those eligible for UNIQ+ may have lived in an area of low socio-economic status background which is classed as either:
- ACORN Category 4 or 5
- POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2
Please use the postcode of your home address in the final year of your secondary education (usually in the final year of your Sixth Form/FE college at age 18).
You can check which ACORN category your home postcode comes under on the ACORN website. You will need to register with ACORN, which is free.
Once you have registered you can search for your home postcode, which will return a summary page with the ACORN Category in the top left corner. Your postcode will need to fall into Category 4 or 5 to be eligible.
You can check which POLAR4 quintile your home postcode comes under on the POLAR website. You do not need to register for POLAR.
Your postcode search will return a summary page with the POLAR quintiles (and other measures). Please check against the POLAR4 quintile which is the second column. Your postcode will need to fall into quintile 1 or 2 to be eligible.