Skip to main content

Pathway Opportunity Programme

Information for Students

Everything you need to know about applying to
the Pathway Opportunity Programme

Applications for the 2020 Programme are now closed. Applications for the 2021 Programme will open in October 2020.

What Pathways are available?

There are eight Pathways (subjects) in the 2020 Pathway Opportunity Programme:

  • AHSS Pathway (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) 
  • BioSci (Biological Sciences)
  • Business Pathway
  • Computer Science Pathway
  • Engineering Pathway
  • Law Pathway
  • Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science Pathway
  • Natural and Built Environment
    (including Architecture, Planning, Geography and Archaeology)

Each Pathway holds an opportunity to gain specific, valuable knowledge in that subject which in turn, allows you to transfer that knowledge to one of the available undergraduate courses available through your Pathway.

Click below to download a listing the various courses at Queen's University that are available within each of the Pathways:

Courses Available for Students 2020

Then, for more information on these courses and especially the academic entry requirements (GCSE's A-Levels or equivalents) for each course, please click here to be redirected to the Queen's University course finder.

More information is available in FAQs and Media.

 Events and Activities

Welcome and Orientation 28 January 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Subject Skills session 28 January 2020 - 23 February 2020 Online
Subject Specific Session 7 April 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Core Academic Skills 7 April - 30 April 2020 Online
University Information Session 8 June 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Residential Summer School No. 1 * 21 - 26 June 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Residential Summer School No. 2 * 19 - 24 July 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Next Steps Session 7 September 2020 Queen's University Belfast
Pathway Celebration Event 5 December 2020 Queen's University Belfast

* Residential No. 1 is for Students in the AHSS, BioSci, Medicine Dentistry & Biomedical Science and Natural & Built Envitronment Pathways. Residential No. 2 is for Students in the Engineering, Law, Business and Computer Science Pathways

Please note that all elements of the programme are compulsory. Please do not apply for the Pathway Opportunity Programme if you know you will not be available for all events including the Residential Summer School.


To be eligible for the Pathway Opportunity Programme, students must meet the all following Section A criteria:

Section A Criteria:

  • You must be ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland and be in full-time attendance at a school or college in Northern Ireland.
  • You must currently be in year 1 of an acceptable (to the University) two-year Level 3 qualification such as A-Levels, BTEC etc. **
  • Neither of your parents must have attended university nor obtained an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in the UK, Ireland or abroad. However if a parent is currently studying for their first degree or has graduated within the last 5 years your application will still be considered.
  • You must have at least 7 GCSEs (or equivalent acceptable to the University, such as BTEC) at grades A*-C, including English Language, of which 5 must be at grade B or above. (Students whose 5 best grades are ABBBC or AABCC should still apply and may be accepted on the programme.) **

In addition to the above criteria in section A, we are looking for students who meet at least one of the following Section B criteria: 

Section B criteria:

  • You are eligible or are currently receiving free school meals (FSM) and/or Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
  • You are the main carer for a family member or dependant.
  • Your permanent residence postcode is classified as being in a “disadvantaged neighbourhood” by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (To check for  postcodes that meet the critieria, click Postcode Checker 2020).
  • If you are care experienced or currently in the care of a Health and Social Care Trust, you are automatically offered a place on the programme provided you meet the academic requirements of Section A: Northern Ireland resident, 1st year of a 2 year Level 3 programme and GCSE (or equivalent) grades.

Queen's University welcomes applications from students with a disability or long-term condition.

* You are required to meet any specific subject requirements for the course you are applying to. We advise you to research course specific entry requirements via our Course Finder on our website ( prior to application. Click below to download a listing the various courses at Queen's University that are available within each of the Pathways:

Courses Available for Students 2020