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The Queen's Potential Programme was established in 1999 to raise awareness and aspirations, thereby promoting engagement with potential applicants from low participation backgrounds.

The work has developed over the years and we now offer a range of activities, both school and campus based, to raise awareness of Higher Education, enrich the existing school curriculum, and support attainment.

As part of this work, we deliver workshops in secondary schools to year 9s about higher education, motivation and goal setting. 

Queen's Potential has evolved into the Junior Academy Programme, a new project that targets pupils who are “most able but least likely” to attend Higher Education. We offer a programme that gives pupils and their parents/carers insight into university life and the various opportunities available.

 For more information please contact the WPU team - 028 9097 5020

The Programme

The Senior Academy has been set up to support Year 13 pupils in developing their potential to progress to Higher Education, including Queen's University Belfast. Fifty pupils from across Northern Ireland will be nominated by their schools to participate in a programme of activities and events between February and August.

The Senior Academy aims to support attainment in examinations via delivery of a range of school and University campus-based activities.

As part of the programme participants will have the opportunity to:

  • develop personal and academic skills - to build academic and personal confidence
  • develop career management skills - to widen career choices
  • develop enterprise skills - via an entrepreneurial master class
  • tailor the programme of activities to individual learning needs

Who is eligible?

Pupils who:

  • are currently attending a school eligible to participate in the Academy
  • are in Year 13 completing a minimum of three AS-levels or acceptable equivalent BTEC/OCR Level 3 qualifications
  • intend to progress to A2 study or acceptable equivalent study in 2014/15
  • are considered to have the potential to attain a minimum of BBC at AS-level or acceptable equivalent and be able to satisfy specific subject and course requirements as contained in the online prospectus/entry profile in year of entry
  • are interested in finding out more about third-level education
  • meet one or more of the following Access criteria:
    • first in their family to attend Higher Education
    • family income is below £19,203
    • in receipt of benefits, free school meals, uniform allowance or Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
    • main carer for a family member or dependant
    • have experience of care
    • considered to have a disability

School nominations

Eligible schools will be invited to nominate up to five pupils for participation in the programme. Nominated pupils will then complete a short online application form including a brief personal statement. Nominating teachers will also be asked to complete a school reference for each nominee.

What can academy participants expect?

  • the opportunity to participate in a residential activity
  • access to master classes and workshops to develop skills
  • an opportunity to meet like-minded pupils
  • assistance with individual learning plans and career development planning
  • the chance to participate in fun educational activities
  • the opportunity to gain an insight into life at Queen's University Belfast
  • access to a Queen's University 'buddy'
  • information to parents/guardians

Success in the Academy requires:

  • motivation to attend and engage in school activities, willingness to attend workshops at Queen's University Belfast and take part in residential activity.

Interested school?

If you are interested and want to check eligibility, please contact the Academy Team at or call 028 9097 5020.

Interested pupil?

If your School is taking part, talk to the Head of Sixth Form or Head of Careers about becoming a nominee. If you are nominated please click the below link and complete the application form

The Queen's Academy application form

P‌lease click here to download the information leaflet

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Senior Academy Leaflet
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2015 Senior Academy application form coming soon... 

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Senior Academy Notes

There are many different ways of getting involved with the Widening Participation Unit.

Find out more about the work that our Tutors and Mentors do. Recruitment for these areas has currently closed for this academic year but will be re-opening for the 2015-16 Academic Year.

We are currently not recruiting for any more , but there will be some vacancies coming up. Keep an eye on QUB Jobshop for upcoming opportunities.

Please click on the links to find out further information on each role.

Getting Involved

To discuss any of the roles or find out more details please contact WPU: or 028 9097 5020.

Please note:

Each of these roles requires an Access NI Check, as the young people you will be working with are under 18.

This form can be found here.

For guidance and details about required ID please see here. The fees associated with the Access NI check will be paid by QUB.



To keep up to date with all the opportunities to get involved you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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The Widening Participation Unit aims to increase applications from under represented groups.

Click on the links below for further insight into what we do.

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  Get in touch with WPU by emailing or calling 028 9097 5020. See Contact Us.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! You can also follow Professor Fluffy on Twitter!

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Click here to continue to the site

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Information for Care Experienced Young People

If you have been in the care of a Health and Social Care Trust for more than three months of your secondary school years, Queen’s University can offer you a range of additional support.

This support is designed to ensure that your learning experience is an enjoyable one and you are able to realise the same learning opportunities as your peers. 

You can contact Deirdre Lynskey to find out the support available to you. Her email address is, and her telephone number is 028 9097 1567.

This leaflet also outlines the support available to care leavers at Queen's Univeristy, Belfast.

Financial support

Queen’s are introducing a new Care Leaver Bursary in the academic year 2015-16. If you would like to know if you are eligible for a Care Leaver Bursary, and also how to claim your bursary, click here

To find out more about the financial support offered by Queen’s, click here. If you have any specific financial concerns you can contact Connie Craig, Student Financial Adviser at

Are you planning to progress to further or higher education in the academic year 15/16? This Pathways Document provides lots of information including the contact details of the people in both further and higher education that you can talk to or email with any questions that you might have. 

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Tutor Application Form 2015-16 pdf
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