Widening Participation

Excellence for All

What does the term 'Widening Participation' mean?

It is used by universities in the UK to describe the activities they are running to help students who come from backgrounds where they are less likely to choose a university education. These students may live in a low participation area, have attended a school deemed below average for results and/or have parents who did not go to university. The idea behind WP schemes is to allow a wider diversity of students to attend university.

Should I take part in WP opportunities?

If you meet the eligibility criteria for a WP scheme, then you should give it a go. You will receive advice, mentoring and sometimes even a financial bursary. Many schemes will help you during university and beyond - providing career advice and helping you get your first job. Why not take advantage of such great schemes and get a headstart on your future!

 

What schemes are available?

Every university will have an 'Access programme', so if you search on individual university websites, this is a good start. There are also organisations including The Sutton Trust and The Social Mobility Foundation that are not linked to a particular university. Another, for anyone interested in STEM careers is In2ScienceUK. You can also sign up for The Nuffield Foundation internships. You will find more online.

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The Sutton Trust

The Sutton Trust is a charity that runs over 40 different Summer Schools at 13 top UK universities. The programme is completely free of charge and aims to help students explore their university options.

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Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people. We now work with young people from all across the UK in the years prior to and during university, and our Aspiring Professionals Programme offers tailored support across 11 career sectors: Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Digital, Engineering & Physics, Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, and Politics.

Manchester Access Programme (MAP)

Manchester Access Programme (MAP) is the University’s central widening participation scheme for local Year 12 students in Greater Manchester. Through this programme, we aim to help students who meet specific academic and background criteria achieve entry to The University of Manchester, or another research-intensive university, through participation in our online events and workshops and completion of an academic assignment.

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MMU First Generation Scholarship Programme

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people. We now work with young people from all across the UK in the years prior to and during university, and our Aspiring Professionals Programme offers tailored support across 11 career sectors: Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Digital, Engineering & Physics, Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, and Politics.

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University of Leeds Access Programme

We have a number of programmes that help students from underrepresented groups to get a place on an undergraduate degree at Leeds. We welcome talented students who have the potential to succeed at university regardless of educational or personal background.

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Edge Hill Widening Access to Medicine

Edge Hill University Medical School (EHUMS) is committed to enabling fair access to our courses. Our Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) programme is a series of free events designed to support local students, from diverse backgrounds, who have the ability and personal attributes to be successful in their application for a place in medical school. The WAM programme supports application to both the Foundation Year for Medicine and the undergraduate medical programme (MBChB) at Edge Hill University.

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University of Sheffield Widening Access to Medicine

The Medical School participates in the University's Access Sheffield scheme. Depending on their circumstances, MBChB Medicine (A100) applicants who are residents of neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education, care leavers, students who are estranged from their families and carers may be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one grade below the standard A Level entry requirements provided they make Sheffield their Firm choice with UCAS.

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Newcastle University Partners Programme

The PARTNERS Programme has been running since the year 2000 and is one of the most well-established supported entry routes to Higher Education of its kind. Over 5000 students have studied at Newcastle University via the PARTNERS Programme. It offers a range of support and opportunities to help you make a successful application to Newcastle University.

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Durham University Supported Progression

All applicants should be interested in exploring Durham University and finding out about what the University has to offer. As places are limited and highly sought after, we will use the eligibility and selection criteria to help us identify those applicants who we feel will benefit the most from the programme.

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Zero Gravity

Talent is spread evenly but opportunity is not. We’re changing that.  We propel state school students into the UK’s best universities, powered by free support from the country’s leading undergraduates. Our digital platform transforms mentoring sessions into top university offers, developing the knowledge and confidence you need to realise your potential.

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In2scienceUK empowers young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their potential through life changing opportunities that give them insights into STEM careers and research and boosts their skills and confidence.

OxNet

OxNet is an Access initiative run collaboratively between participating colleges at the University of Oxford, led by Pembroke College, other HE institutions across the United Kingdom, and secondary schools acting as "hubs" in London, the North West and the North East of England. 

In2ScienceUK

Nuffield Research Placements