If you’re a student in Year 10 or above and starting to think about life after school or college, Access Manchester is here to help.

What is Access Manchester?

Access Manchester covers a series of schemes run by The University of Manchester designed to support students in accessing higher education, regardless of background or personal circumstances.

Why does the University have access schemes?

We know that not every student has the same experiences growing up – differences in background can make someone more or less likely to consider university.

You might think university is only for certain people, from certain backgrounds, who go to certain schools. We’re here to tell you that is not the case – university is for everyone, whether you will be the first in your family to consider going, or if you’ve experienced living in Local Authority care. Every student has the potential to be a valuable addition to our University – access schemes help us provide a structured way to develop the skills and understanding of higher education.

What are the benefits of Access Manchester?

Our access schemes include activities, workshops, events and assignments designed to help you:

  • gain insight into the university experience;
  • build your confidence;
  • learn what undergraduate academic work involves;
  • get the chance to speak to current Manchester students and ask them questions;
  • learn about research and referencing methods used at university;
  • feel more connected to university before you make the jump from A-levels to first year study;
  • get the chance to receive a scholarship/bursary upon competition of certain schemes;
  • enjoy a reduced offer in the A-level grades required to study at The University of Manchester.
But don’t just take our word for it – check out this video from previous Access Manchester students to find out more about what our schemes are really like!

How do I get involved in Access Manchester?

Advice for Years 10 and 11 students

If you’re in Year 10 or Year 11, then you’re not quite eligible for our access schemes just yet. However, you can get to know the different access schemes we have available so that you’re prepared to apply as soon as you get your GCSE results or in your first term of college.

In the meantime, you can find out more about university life by:

Advice for Years 12 and 13 students

If you’re in Year 12 or Year 13, then you may be able to apply for some of our access schemes now.

Start by exploring the different access schemes we have available and make a note of the application deadlines for the ones that you’re interested in.

Next, use our eligibility quiz to see whether you meet our criteria in order to apply. In general, successful Access Manchester applicants meet one or more of the following:

  • from a low income background and low socioeconomic group;
  • home postcode where participation in higher education is low;
  • the first in their family to consider higher education;
  • attend a school and/or college where performance is below the national average;
  • have experienced living in care;
  • have a disability;
  • are a young carer;
  • estranged from your family;
  • from an under-represented ethnic background.

Unfortunately, you’re not eligible for any Access Manchester scheme if you are:

  • an international student;
  • attending or have attended an independent school.

Contextual data and contextual offers

Contextual data and contextual offers are two other terms you might come across when viewing our website. While these aren’t classed as access schemes specifically because you don’t have to ‘do’ anything to be eligible, they are another way that we try to gain a better understanding of your potential to succeed in the context of your background by looking at your home postcode and the school or college you attend. Find out more in this contextual data and offers blog post.

Still curious?

We ran an ‘Introduction to Access Manchester’ webinar in February 2021 to give students the opportunity to learn a bit more about Access Manchester, why it exists, and the schemes on offer. You can watch the recording below (skip to 00:01:30 for the start of the presentation).