Skip to Content

Information for Parents/Guardians

Welcome to the Parent/Guardian section of the Pathway Opportunity Programme.

Here, you will find materials and information designed to support your young person - whether they are applying for the Pathway Opportunity Programme, currently taking part in the Pathway Programme, or applying for University.

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents/Guardians

Click on the link below to see a list of questions frequently asked by parents/guardians

This page contains questions and answers about the programme, university applications, accommodation and other common queries.

FAQs for Parents/Guardians
Support Materials and Resources

Click on the link below for support materials and resources

This section provides support materials for parents with students currently on the Pathway Programme or applying to university.

Key Dates and Helpful Resources
  • The Pathway Programme

    The Pathway Programme is a year-long programme designed to assist young people starting in the first year of their Sixth Form studies (or other 2-year level 3 qualification) to adapt and transition to university life.  The Widening Participation Unit at Queen's University aims to support those students that are most able, but least likely to attend university.  The Pathway Programme aims to support these students through a range of academic workshops, support resources, bursary awards and a potential grade reduction off their offer for specific courses at Queen's University Belfast.  The programme is focused around 10 subject specific Pathwaysthat eligible students can choose from.  

    For the full list of benefits, eligibility criteria and Pathways available, please visit the Student Information section linked here.

  • Applying for University and UCAS

    Students applying for university must do so through UCAS.  UCAS is an application service through which students are able to apply for universities across the United Kingdom.  It allows students to choose a number of courses at various universities, before making a 'firm' and 'insurance' choice (essentially a first and second choice of courses at the same university or two different universities).


    UCAS provide a number of support documents, which can be found on the Parental Support section of their website.

    Additionally, a Parent, Guaradian and Carer support document is also downloadable.

    They also provide a 90-second guide to applying video which talks you through the application process, along with a number of other topics such as clearing and open days.

  • Student Finance

    Student Finance is the most popular form of payment for university.  When applying for university, students also need to apply separately for Student Finance (through Student Finance NI), and can receive support for living expences (which they call "maintenance" grants and loans) and tuition fees (loans).  Tuition loans are paid directly to the university and maintenance grants/loans are paid three times per academic year, directly to the student's bank account, so students should budget in order to use it most effectively.  You can find more information on Student Finance through our helpful Information about Finance section and on the website for Student Finance Northern Ireland, located here.

  • Accommodation

    Whether your young person wants to live at home, on-campus or in private accommodation, there are a number of things that should be considered when deciding on accommodation. 

    At Queen's University Belfast, students have the option to stay in modern Queen's Elms accommodation located on-campus and in the city centre.  Here, students will avail of a number of on-site amenities, such as study areas, social spaces and a welcome desk with staff present to help and support them.  Students will also enjoy the close proximity to campus that Queen's accommodation offers, meaning easier access to the library, study spaces, the Student's Union and to their classes.


    You can watch online tours of Elms BT1Elms BT2 and Elms BT9 now, to see what it is like to live in university provided accommodation at Queen's.

PHOTO: Michelle Edwards
Overall, the experience of being on the Pathway Opportunity Programme was amazing. I was able to experience student life and study some of the material that is covered in first year. It also enabled me to meet loads of new people and make friends. This has meant that my transition to student life was not as hard as I was expecting as I was less nervous of what was to come and I already knew people in my course! Michelle Edwards