Get Involved



January 24, 2022
Author: Scott McKenzie


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.

‘The Step-Up scheme has been fantastic, especially the support I received during the Step-Up Summer programme. ‘ - Henna Ahmed, a graduate of the Step-Up Programme, now studying Pharmacy at Cardiff University

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