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Post-16 programmes

Our programmes are designed to help sixth form and college students prepare for university.

Our two main programmes are Access to Professions and Step Up.

The Step Up Programme is a free, two-year, academic programme for college and sixth form students that offers the fantastic opportunity to experience university life through academic masterclasses and a university summer festival.

Students on the programme will take part in an academic Masterclasses programme in one of the following subject areas:

  • expressive arts
  • health and wellbeing
  • humanities and social sciences
  • languages, literacy and communication
  • mathematics and numeracy
  • science and technology.

The programme aims to equip students with the right skills and knowledge to successfully negotiate the application process and thrive at university.

Highlights of the scheme

  • Take part in specially designed academic short courses, designed to prepare students for studying in a university environment.
  • Exclusive invitations to tailored events, such as open day briefings and personal statement workshops.
  • Exclusive access to a Year 12 residential summer festival.
  • Students are allocated an academic tutor.
  • Meet current university students who were previously part of the programme.
  • A means-tested bursary for students who go on to study at Cardiff University (subject to terms and conditions).

Eligibility criteria

In order to become a member of the programme, students must identify with one of the following groups:

  • live in an area of socio-economic deprivation (Communities First, Low Participation Neighbourhoods or eligible for Free School Meals)
  • first in family to attend higher education
  • asylum seeker
  • young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • estranged students
  • experience of being in care
  • young people with caring responsibilities.

In addition to supporting the groups listed above, we are committed to supporting all students who have experienced educational disadvantage or disruption. Please contact us to discuss any specific circumstances.

Contact us

Please email Carolyn McKenzie in our Widening Participation team to find out more about the Step Up to Uni programme.

The Access to Professions programme is focused on providing students with opportunities to get more information, advice and guidance about university courses that lead on to specific professions.

The programme consists of a series of hands-on, practical events led by practitioners and researchers who are experts in their field. Each event aims to give students the necessary skills and experience to make a successful application for these traditionally competitive courses.

The programme focuses on the following subject areas:

  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Healthcare
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related subjects
  • Journalism
  • Law.

The Access to Professions programme is completely free. It is open to all students currently attending a Welsh Sixth form or college.

Priority is given to students who have experienced educational disadvantage or disruption and those who come from groups that are under-represented in higher education.

Events will be taking place throughout the year and will be listed on our school engagement search page - just search Access to Professions.

Contact us

Please email our Widening Participation team to find out more about Access to Professions.

Our experienced team offer a range of information sessions that can be delivered to sixth form and college students, in small or whole year groups, as well as to parents. We tailor presentations to best suit the needs of your students and aim to deliver interactive sessions where possible.

Talks include:

  • A Parent’s Guide to Higher Education
  • Applying to Medicine and Dentistry
  • Choosing your Course and University
  • Why choose to study at a Russell Group University?
  • Healthcare Sciences
  • Interview Techniques
  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Student Finance
  • Student Life
  • Study Skills
  • UCAS and Applying to University
  • Welsh in the Capital
  • Why study at Cardiff University?

Find out more and book.

In addition to attending numerous UCAS fairs across the UK, we are also available to attend career and higher education fairs at schools and colleges throughout the year.

We will be happy to:

  • Answer students’ and parents’ enquiries
  • Offer advice and guidance on higher education options
  • Bring along our most up-to-date literature

Contact us

Email our Schools and Colleges Liaison team to find out more.

At Cardiff University we recognise there are many questions that need answers when you are considering studying in higher education.  These concerns include questions on study skills, accommodation and social aspects of university life.

From this, we have created a tailored transition programme, not only to answer your questions but to also help you gain a deep understanding of what to expect when you attend university for the first time.

Our Evolve Transition programme includes:

Discover Cardiff – Available to all offer holders - A series of webinars delivered by our professional services teams that include Advice & Money, Careers, University Library Services, Students Union representatives and Blended / Digital Learning Technologists as well as many more.  These webinars are also delivered and co-delivered by our existing student ambassadors to share with you their true to life student experiences.

Evolve – A virtual and interactive programme for confirmed WP offer holders – Provision is a fun and interactive programme that will provide detailed transition support to help prepare students weeks before they start at Cardiff University

Evolve Connected – A tailored programme where confirmed WP offer holders will work closely with Evolve Student Guides where together they will create action plans which will be reviewed during the first semester to make sure that there are no questions unanswered and any study or pastoral issues can be identified and resolved

Contact us

Email our Widening Participation team to find out more.

Get in touch

Widening participation and outreach team