Manchester Distance Access Scheme

The Manchester Distance Access Scheme (MDAS) is a national online access scheme for students who are currently holding an offer from The University of Manchester for a place on a selection of courses.

The scheme consists of two elements, a study skills module to help you develop university style learning skills and an academic assignment to help you prepare for studying your course. This will include regular communication with an academic tutor or member of staff; research and reading; the submission of an initial draft, detailed plan or test on which you’ll receive feedback for future improvement prior to final submission.


Benefits of participating in MDAS include:

  • An opportunity to receive university teaching before starting your course;
  • A chance to improve your academic skills in preparation for university study;
  • Upon successful completion of the scheme you’ll receive a one-grade reduction in your current offer from The University of Manchester (made at the discretion of your Academic School).

How do I apply?

If you have received an offer on a course participating in MDAS then you will be contacted by your Academic School (the department that ‘owns’ your degree programme) with information on how to sign up to take part in the scheme. Depending on the course you have applied for, your Academic School should be in contact with you either at the beginning of April or the end of May.

Please note; the deadline for applying to MDAS 2022 is Monday 13th June.

Further information on the MDAS 2023 application process will be provided in the Autumn of 2022.


To participate in the Manchester Distance Access Scheme you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a conditional offer to study at The University of Manchester;
  • Permanently reside in the UK;
  • Live in an area with low progression into higher education, or postcode that is indicated as a less advantaged neighbourhood;
  • Attend a state maintained school (i.e. you have never paid for your education);
  • Not previously completed the Manchester Access Programme;
  • Not already hold a higher education qualification;
  • Not be taking the Access to Higher Education qualification.

In order to participate you must also:

  • Select a University of Manchester MDAS course as your Firm choice;
  • Be available to complete online work from June through to the beginning of August 2022.
Please note: This information is accurate for MDAS 2022 and is subject to change for MDAS 2023. 

Find out more

To find out more about MDAS, including which degree courses are participating in the scheme this year, please visit the MDAS website.

If you have any further questions, please contact the MDAS team by email at

This information is accurate as of May 2022 and is subject to change.