Step-Up Programme


The Step-Up to University Programme aims to raise aspirations, raise attainment and provide support for secondary aged pupils from disadvantaged areas to continue their studies post 16. The programme is a core part of Cardiff University's Widening Access Programme. It develops a three-year relationship with pupils in schools from which there have traditionally been low rates of progression to university.

University staff visit target schools and speak to pupils when they are in Year 11. They promote the benefits of joining the programme to pupils who can then apply to enrol on the programme. Once accepted, pupils have access to newsletters, e-mentoring and both general and subject specific events during Years 11/12. In Year 13, pupils have access to specialist information, advice and guidance during the application process. Those applying for healthcare courses are also guaranteed interviews, subject to academic ability.

In addition, all Step-Up members have reserved places for other University events such as public lectures, MedWales and Open Day.

Pupils' progress is monitored and tracked throughout the three-year period. Typically, there are c3,000 pupils (in Years 11, 12 and 13) on the programme at any one time and all of the University's academic schools contribute to the programme which is primarily focussed on Communities First areas of South East Wales, but health elements of the programme are also available in parts of mid and north Wales.

The Step-Up Programme is managed and delivered by the Undergraduate Recruitment and Widening Access Team in partnership with the University's academic schools and with the support of a variety of external organisations.

Further information

You can find out more about the Step-Up to University Programme by contacting the Senior Widening Access Officer.

The Step-Up scheme has been fantastic especially the support I received during the Step-Up Summer programme. I think the work they [the University] do is fantastic and very important especially targeting students entering Year 11 as it motivates and interests them to do better and aim for something.

Henna Ahmed, a graduate of the Step-Up Programme, now studying Pharmacy at Cardiff University