Applying for Pathway
What is the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
The Pathway Opportunity Programme is a programme designed to help students, like you, attend Queen’s University Belfast. It is currently a one year programme that helps support you academically as well as giving you an insight into student life at Queen’s. If you complete the programme, you will be eligible to receive a £1000 bursary, a guaranteed conditional offer (or guaranteed interview) and a potential grade reduction on your chosen course (where applicable).
- What will the Pathway Opportunity Programme involve?
The programme runs over one year, and involves a series of workshops and events, coursework and a week long summer school. These are spread evenly throughout the year. You will also receive lots of information about these events beforehand. The events and work are designed to prepare you for university life, giving you the opportunity to create a balance between the social and academic sides of university life, experience lectures and study like an undergraduate student.
- Am I eligible for a place on the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
If you’re interested in applying for the Pathway Opportunity Programme, it’s important to check your eligibility as there are certain criteria that need to be met. You can find out all the information on this here.
- How can I apply for a place on the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
To apply for a place on the programme, all you need to do is follow this link. It will take you to the online application portal. One thing to note is that you cannot save your application as you go, or come back to it later. It needs to be completed in one go – so make sure to have all your details beside you (grades, reference details, personal statement).
- Are the subjects I am studying accepted by my chosen course pathway?
Your programme offer will be decided in conjunction with the subjects you’re studying. Your offer will let you know what courses on your pathway you will be eligible to study at Queen’s. It is a good idea, however, to become familiar with the entrance requirements for any courses you are interested in. These can be found here.
Am I guaranteed a reduced offer upon successful completion of the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
If you successfully complete all elements of the Pathway Opportunity Programme, for most courses you will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for your chosen course within your Pathway. You may be eligible to receive a reduced offer based on your performance in an assessment during the Summer School. Depending on your assessment performance, you can receive a reduction of up to two A-Level grades (or equivalent) to the standard entrance requirement for your course.
Please note: Pathway Students applying to study Medicine or Dentistry will receive a guaranteed interview and, if successful at interview, will be eligible for up to a one grade reduced offer; Students applying to study a degree in Nursing (all fields) and/or Midwifery will receive a guaranteed interview and, if successful at interview, will receive an offer for their first choice in their chosen field but no grade reduction; Students applying to study Social Work will receive a guaranteed interview and, if successful at interview, will be eligible for up to a one grade reduced offer; Students applying to study the Pharmacy (MPharm) will be eligible for up to a one grade reduced offer.
- How many places are available on the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
There will be 300 places available for the 2023 Pathway Opportunity Programme, with approximately 20 – 25 places on each of the 13 Pathways.
- Will applying for the Pathway Opportunity Programme cost me anything?
No! There is no cost to apply for the Pathway Opportunity Programme.
- How much does it cost to be a part of the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
The entirety of the Pathway Opportunity Programme is free throughout, so you will not incur any costs while you are a part of the programme, with the possible exception of a little pocket money during the summer school.
- When is the deadline for submission of applications?
The deadline for applications for the 2023 programme is noon on Wednesday 2nd November 2021.
What if I have been offered a place, but I am no longer able to attend?
Unfortunately, we are unable to hold your place for you. Please contact the POP team at email@example.com or 028 9097 5020 to let us know and we will talk you through the next steps.
- Why are there only 13 subject Pathways accessible through the Pathway Opportunity Programme?
Those 13 Pathways offer you a route to just about every undergraduate course at Queen's. So find a Pathway with courses that meet your interests. For a list of courses available in each Pathway click
- I have already submitted my application, and need to make changes to it. What do I do?
If you need to make any changes to your application, please contact the Widening Participation team on 028 9097 5020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- What do I do if I am not successful in gaining a place on the Pathway opportunity Programme?
As there are a number of factors and criteria that influence how and to whom places on the programme are given, please do not let this discourage you from applying to the university. Even if you have not been successful in gaining a place on the Pathway Opportunity Programme, we strongly encourage you to apply to study at Queen's University through the UCAS system. Your application will be treated in the same way as all other UCAS applications. As there are a limited number of spaces on the programme, this decision will have no weight on whether or not you are accepted as an undergraduate on a course of your choice.
- What courses can I study at Queen's University within my chosen Pathway?
Pathway students may apply to study at Queen's University in a number of different courses within their Pathway. Please download the listing of courses for all of the Pathways below:
Other courses may be available in those subject areas and in all the other subject areas at Queen's and Pathway Students are not limited to only applying for courses within their Pathway.
Do I have to attend all events on the programme?
All of the events are compulsory and therefore it is important that you attend them - particularly the Summer School.
If you have an extenuating circumstance surrounding an event, please contact the Pathway team at email@example.com and we will do our best to accommodate and work with you.
Do I need to attend the entirety of the summer school?
This element of the programme helps us to facilitate certain aspects of the assessment. For this reason, it is compulsory that students attend the entire duration of the Summer School where possible. If you have exceptional circumstances that may prevent you from taking part of any aspect of the Summer School, please contact the Widening Participation Unit on 028 9097 5020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What will the assessment undertaken at the summer school involve?
The assessment will vary depending on your Pathway subject, and may involve undertaking research, reading articles, writing a report or essay, undertaking group work exercises, or delivering a presentation.
Completing the Programme
What happens if I decide that the Pathway I chose is not for me?
If you decide that your chosen Pathway isn’t the right one for you when it comes to choosing your final area of study at university – then that does not mean that all your hard work on the programme goes to waste. Your £1000 bursary is still available to you along with support from the Pathway Team, as long as you choose Queen’s University for your studies!
- Do I have to apply to Queen's University after doing this programme?
No – the programme does not limit you to applying for Queen’s University. You may decide that Queen's University is not for you after completing this programme and can apply to any university you choose. You will be given more in depth guidance about the UCAS process during the scheme.
- I am thinking of taking a year out between finishing school and starting University. Would this affect my grade reduction and/or my bursary?
No – once a Pathway Student, always a Pathway student! Your benefits like your guaranteed conditonal offer or guaranteed interview,any potential grade reduction, your bursary and the support of the Pathway Team will be here for you when you are ready to use it.