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Queen’s Pathway Opportunity Programme

29th September 2023


We would like your help in promoting the Queen’s Pathway Opportunity Programme to your young people (going into year 13 or equivalent at college). The Programme, in its 8th year, encourages and supports students from more disadvantaged backgrounds to come to Queen’s to study. We’re pleased that we’ve been able to grow the programme every year, starting with 3 Pathways and 60 students in 2017 to this year with 13 Pathways and 300 students.

In the Pathway Programme, young people benefit from a structured series of events designed to aid progression to Queen’s University Belfast including 6 one-day events, one session of self-paced coursework and a week-long summer school. Through this process they work within one of 13 Pathway subject areas, learning more about that subject and about university life in general. The subject Pathways are:

  • AHSS Pathway (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)

  • BioSci Pathway (Biological Sciences)

  • Business Pathway

  • Computer Science Pathway

  • Engineering Pathway

  • Law Pathway

  • MPS Pathway (Mathematics & Physical Sciences Pathway)

  • MDBS Pathway (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Pathway)

  • NBE Pathway (Natural and Built Environment Pathway covering Architecture, Planning, Geography and Archaeology)

  • Nursing and Midwifery Pathway

  • Pharmacy Pathway

  • Psychology Pathway

  • Social Work Pathway

Upon successful completion of the programme the young people will benefit from a guaranteed conditional offer or a guaranteed interview for a course at Queen’s within their Pathway subject area. They may also be eligible for a reduced offer of up to two A-level grades (or equivalent) below the standard entry offer to Queen’s (depending on performance on the programme and course selected). This along with a £1000 bursary, transition support and ongoing support while they are at Queen’s.

Students must meet eligibility criteria to apply to the programme and we would encourage that students state all areas of the criteria that they meet on their application. Again this year, our GCSE entry requirements state that students must now have at least: 6 GCSEs (or equivalent acceptable to the University, such as BTEC) at grades A*-C, including English Language, of which 5 GCSE grades must be at grade B or above. Queen’s accepts only one non-GCSE level 2 qualification towards these requirements and we can “average” A’s and C’s to get the 5 B’s: BBBBB, ABBBC, and AABCC (or better) are all acceptable. All GCSE grades need to satisfy any requirements for the course(s) on the chosen Pathway (for example, a grade B in Maths at GCSE to study Business courses). Again, students should ensure that they include all of the eligibility criteria they meet on the application form.

The applications will open (online) on Monday 2nd October 2023 and will close on Monday 30th October 2023 at noon. After receipt of the application, a teacher at your young person’s school/college, or member of your organisation (as nominated by the student) will be asked to complete a “technical” reference for the student, confirming information such as postcode, eligibility requirements and GCSE grades/A-Level subjects. Please note that this is NOT a “personal” reference and does not require a written personal recommendation, however, where there are any issues that should be taken into account (health issues, overcoming adversity, etc.) they may be noted in this reference. This year we will also request information on any additional support that the student normally would receive during exam and assessment conditions, such as additional time, or specific paper for dyslexia.

As part of our Green Initiative at Queen’s, we are not printing physical flyers but have numerous resources to promote the programme to the young people including a full digital flyer (and also short programme flyer which can be printed double sided and provided to eligible students or the link emailed to them), the listing of courses which are available at Queen’s within each pathway, the Postcode Checker which will allow you to check if a young person’s postcode meets that eligibility requirement, A3/A4 information posters for you to print and lastly, our Pathway Programme website. All of these materials are available below:

Pathway Presentation Video:

Short Pathway Flyer (for Printing doubles sided on an A4 and distributing):

Full PowerPoint Presentation with Speaker Notes:

PDF of the Presentation:

Listing of the Courses available to Pathway Students:

Key Dates Document:

Postcode checker:

POP 2024 Poster for printing in A4 or A3 size:

We look forward to hearing from you soon, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.

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