The eligibility criteria outlined on this page relates to 2024 entry. The eligibility criteria for 2025 entry will be made available on this page before applications can be submitted in September 2024.

Within admissions for the Astrophoria Foundation Year we will look at an individuals academic suitability for the programme, alongside the educational disruption they have experienced. The courses aim to provide a year of intensive academic study that will help students transition to their chosen undergraduate course.

Currently the programme is open to UK state school students who are ordinarily resident in the UK and have Home Fee Status, who also meet the academic requirements and eligibility criteria.

Evidence of meeting the eligibility criteria is required during the application process and can be supplied by applicants via the Foundation Year Additional Application Questionnaire.


Checking your eligibility 

Applicants should have Home Fee Status and:

  • Meet the criteria outlined in Categories 1, 2 and 3

  • Or meet the criterion of Category 4

Higher education providers in England, including the University of Oxford, allocate their students ‘home’ or ‘overseas/international’ fee status.

Currently the Astrophoria Foundation Year programme is open to UK state school students who are ordinarily resident in the UK and eligible for 'home' fees.

You must meet at least one of the following criteria to meet Category 1:

  • Your home postcode falls into POLAR4 Quintile 1

  • Your home postcode falls into ACORN Category 4, 5 or 6 (classifications found on the ACORN website changed recently and are now divided into 6 categories instead of 5)

  • You have been eligible for Free School Meals at any point in the last six years

Useful tools:

You will have attended, normally for all compulsory education (usually between the ages of 11-18), non-selective state-funded UK secondary schools/colleges.

If any of the following statements apply to you then you meet Category 3:

  • I have been eligible for Free School Meals at some point in the last six years
  • I have refugee status or humanitarian protection
  • I have been on a child in need and/or have had a child protection plan
  • I have had care responsibilities for a sustained period of time
  • I have been pregnant or had parental responsibilities whilst in education
  • I have a medical or health issue that has resulted in long absences from school or college (more than six months)
  • I am from a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma, Showman or Boater (GTRSB) background
  • I am a child of a military family
  • I am a service leaver or veteran
  • I am from a household with an income of less than £25,000
  • I have experienced bereavement of a close family member (such as a sibling, parent or carer/guardian) during secondary education
  • I am an estranged student
  • I became homeless whilst in education
  • I experienced time out of secondary school or college education (over one year)
  • I have had a late diagnosis of Special Educational Needs (within the past two years)

If you feel there is something not included in this list that has disrupted your education please contact the Foundation Year Team at admissions@foundationyear.ox.ac.uk


If you have spent any length of time in local authority care and have been at UK state schools throughout your education you are eligible for the programme.

For the foundation year courses, we consider an applicant to be ‘care experienced’ if they have been in the care of their local authority for any length of time at any point in their lives.

Types of care experience may include:

  • Living with foster carers under local authority care
  • Living in a residential children's home
  • Being 'looked after at home' under a supervision order
  • Living with friends or relatives in kinship care through a formal arrangement

If you meet Category 4 you are eligible for the programme. You do not need to meet Category 1, 2 and 3.

If you struggle to determine your eligibility please reach out to us via email at admissions@foundationyear.ox.ac.uk