Widening participation

We believe that students should have the opportunity to realise their potential, regardless of their background. We actively engage with schools, partner institutions and community groups to help support people from a range of backgrounds and all ages gain access to higher education. We work to raise aspirations, bring pupils onto campus to experience university and support student volunteers going into schools.

We know that A-level grades alone cannot tell us everything about a candidate’s abilities and the Access to Leeds scheme helps identify and support people with the potential to succeed at Leeds. We also offer alternative entry routes and recognise prior learning. 

The Access to Leeds scheme has helped more than 4,000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds study at the University

We offer specialist support for people wanting to return to education. Our Lifelong Learning Centre helps people wanting to study full-time or part-time at undergraduate and postgraduate level and provides a large range of courses, including foundation degrees.

We continue to support our students throughout their course and on to postgraduate study or into the world of work through our innovative Plus Programme scheme. The scheme has supported more than 2,000 students who progressed through Access to Leeds or other routes, providing opportunities to develop new skills, develop networks with potential employers and gain a taste of the world of work or further study.

Online courses

Leeds is the first Russell Group university to offer credit-bearing courses on the FutureLearn platform, opening up the possibility that in the future online courses will contribute directly to degrees. The online courses open up access for a range of groups including those who have been excluded from higher education because of their life circumstances, those who want to get a head start in their university application.