Access to a Career Programme

Programme overview

The Access to a Career programme at the University of Glasgow works with pupils interested in the following degrees:

  • Engineering
  • Accountancy and Finance
  • Teaching (Primary, Technological and Religious, Moral and Philosophical)

The programme works with pupils from S4 through to S6 who have the interest, potential and ability to study one of the target professional degrees.

The Access to a Career programme is delivered by trained postgraduate tutors who work across a variety of other widening participation programmes and consists of in-school, and on-campus events, as well as online intervention. The campus events also benefit from input from current students and staff from each of the four professional degrees.

The Access to a Career programme runs alongside the Reach programme in schools, and is similar in format.

The programme is a mix of in-school sessions and University of Glasgow campus events, and is structured in the following way:


In school/online sessions: late January - late March

  • In-school/online sessions commence late February and we aim to deliver the S4 school workshop to all schools/clusters by the end of March.
  • These are one-off sessions and last approximately 2hrs.
  • This session introduces the three Access professions and includes information on entry requirements, skills development and career pathways.
  • These sessions are also available as an online module.


In school sessions: late October – mid-December

  • In-school sessions commence late October and we aim to deliver the S5 school workshop to all schools/clusters by mid-December.
  • These sessions last approximately 3hrs.
  • They are an introduction to the subject-specific research assignments set by the three Professional Subject Schools.

S5 Campus Day: beginning of June

  • A campus day takes place at the University of Glasgow campus and includes subject-specific activities such as lectures and seminars or workshops with current students and staff.*


Support and advice on the UCAS application process including personal statement feedback.

S6 interview workshop: mid-November - applicants to Teaching are invited to participate in an interview preparation workshop at the University of Glasgow campus.


The school sessions for both S4 and S5 can also be delivered online.

Because of the number of schools the programme works with we often have to deliver school sessions on a cluster basis. This means that you may have to send your pupils to a neighbouring school or host pupils from near-by schools.

*Please note that for the 2020-21 academic year the Access to a Career Campus Day has been postponed. Further information will be communicated in due course. 


The Access to a Career Programme works with all the Secondary Schools in the West of Scotland and is available for pupils who meet any of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Live in an SIMD decile 1-4 (SIMD 20/40)
  • Are care experienced
  • Are estranged from family and living without family support
  • Are a carer (provide unpaid care)
  • Are seeking asylum in the UK
  • Have refugee status

We may also consider those learners whose education or exam performance has been impacted upon by extenuating circumstances. If you do not meet any of the above criteria, but think you should be considered please speak to your pastoral care teacher in the first place. 

How to apply

Pupils’ participation in the Access to a Career Programme needs to be approved by teachers at their school. We have one or more contact teachers in each of the schools we work with and, once a pupil has been nominated or approved by them, we will invite the pupil to fill in an online registration form.

The best way to start this process is to speak to your Pastoral Care teacher. If they are not the contact themselves, they will know who is and will be able to direct you to the right person. 

Why take part

Throughout the programme pupils will build up a wealth of knowledge and experience, both academic and practical, which they can draw on if they decide to apply to one of the three professions. Research conducted on entrants to the University who have completed similar programmes also show that they are well prepared and are more able to successfully negotiate the transition to University.

Other benefits include:

  • Access to a Career is accredited on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), and by completing the programme, alongside our Top-Up Programme or Summer School, pupils receive 15 credits at SCQF level 7
  • Contact with current staff and students in the relevant subject areas
  • Assistance during the application process, including help with the personal statement and admissions interview.
  • Successful completion of the programme can also lead to adjusted entry requirements to the University of Glasgow.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email:


Please see our testimonials page.

Frequently asked questions

How do I find out if I can take part in the programme?

Please check the eligibility criteria and speak to your pastoral care or guidance teacher. They will be able to confirm whether or not your school takes part in the programme and if you can take part.

You do not work with my school, but I meet the eligibility criteria, can I still take part?

Unfortunately, if we do not run the programme in your school you will not be able to take part. However, you may be eligible for our Summer School or Sutton Trust Programme.

Will I be required to do any work?

Yes. The reason that our pre-entry programmes can lead to adjusted offers on entry is because they are academically rigorous. Throughout the programmes you will complete university level (SCQF Level 7) work with the support of our widening participation tutors and staff.

I do not meet any of the eligibility criteria but have had adverse circumstances impact on my exam results/education. Can I take part?

Speak to your pastoral care teacher in the first instance. Alternatively, you may wish to consult our Extenuating Circumstances policy.

For clarification of any terminology please consult our glossary of terms.