Reach programme

Programme overview

Reach Scotland is a national programme, established through support from the Scottish Funding Council, with the overall aim of widening participation to high demand professions. Five universities facilitate Reach. Aside from the University of Glasgow, these are the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and St Andrew’s. Each university covers a different region of Scotland.

At the University of Glasgow, Reach supports access to four professional degrees offered by the University - Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. We work with pupils in all secondary schools in the West of Scotland who are interested in studying any of these subjects at university. 

Pupils’ participation in the programme takes place over the three years of their senior phase (S4 to S6), and we cover everything from introducing pupils to the four professional subject areas in S4 to supporting their applications to these degrees in S6.

Reach runs over three years. The S4 component is about giving pupils the relevant information about their subject of interest. The S5 year is the busiest and includes the bulk of the assessments and activities that pupils must complete. Finally, in the S6 year, we support pupils through the application process.

The broad structure of the programme is as follows:


  • An in-school or online session introducing the four Reach subjects, including information on entry requirements, skills development and career pathways


  • An in-school or online session introducing the subject-specific research assignments that pupils will need to complete as part of the programme
  • A week-long event at the University of Glasgow campus in the summer. This includes subject-specific activities such as lectures, seminars, workshops, and information sessions on UCAS, personal statements, and the UCAT and LNAT tests.
  • For the 2021-22 acdemic year the Reach Campus Week will be hosted online and run from Monday 20 June - Friday 24 June 2022. Information about the Campus Week will be emailed out to particpants to the email they registered with for the programme. 


  • Support and advice on the UCAS application process, including personal statement feedback
  • Subject-specific support for other stages of the application process.  

We are also available, via phone and email, to offer advice and support to Reach participants over the course of their time on the programme.


The Reach programme is credit-rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Successful completion earns 10 credit points at Level 7 on the SCQF. 

In order to earn those 10 credit points, you must successfully complete and pass each of the assessed elements of the programme. You are assessed throughout the Reach programme in the following ways:

  • A written assignment (50% of overall mark) 
  • Your contribution to group discussion during a seminar or equivalent exercise at the Reach campus week (25% of overall mark) 
  • Your participation and performance throughout the programme which is supplemented by a reflective essay (25% of overall mark) 


The Reach 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
  • Attend a school in the Western isles (only for pupils interested in Medicine and Veterinary Medicine)

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 Reach 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 Reach 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 four 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:

• Reach is accredited on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), and by completing the programme pupils receive 10 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:

For more resources and information about studying any of the professions, check out this page here.


Please see our testimonials page and watch the below video.


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 academic 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.

I am taking part in Reach. Should I take part in Top-Up/Summer School as well?

Successful completion of the Reach Programme will lead to an adjusted offer of entry to one of the four Reach professional degrees. If you apply to any other degree areas you will need to complete either the Top-Up programme or our Summer School programme.

For clarification of any terminology please consult our Glossary of Terms.

I'm not sure which of the Professions I'm interested in - I want to know more!

Check out some of our resources here which may help you decide!