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School of Social Sciences

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Pre-university courses

Are your Year 12 or Year 13 students eligible for our social science courses for schools?

This scheme is funded by the Office of Fair Access (OFFA). It is designed to promote fair access to higher education and is for state funded schools only.

We offer courses in economics, social anthropology, politics, sociology and philosophy.

Eligible students must meet one of the following criteria.

  • Live in a neighbourhood which has a low progression rate to higher education or an area which has a high level of deprivation. Use this online tool to check your students’ home postcodes.
  • Come from a home where neither parent attended university in the UK or abroad.
  • Be in receipt of or entitled to discretionary payments/16-19 bursary/Pupil Premium at school/college.
  • Be in receipt of or entitled to free school meals.
  • Be living in, or have lived in, local authority care.

No charge

The courses are free of charge and there may also be help towards travel costs. All academic materials required for the courses are provided.

How it works

Eligible students who successfully complete the course will:

  • receive a one A-level grade reduction in the standard entry requirements for students who successfully complete* any of the pre-university courses;
  • only be allowed to attend one pre-university course; 
  • only get their one A-level grade reduction if they apply for an undergraduate degree run by the School of Social Sciences.

Additional point reduction

Any student taking the Manchester Access Programme (MAP) and a pre-university course will receive a maximum of a two A-level grade reduction in the standard entry requirements.

Passing the course *

Students must pass 50 units across the following activities. NB Some activities are compulsory.

ActivityActivity detailsCriteria for completion

Subject specific skill workshops (10  units each)

Workshops focus on key skills required for successful undergraduate academic study of a chosen discipline within the school social sciences. All sessions are designed and taught by a University lecturer. Each student will receive a free first year undergraduate academic textbook and relevant undergraduate readings.

Attendance / active class participation / delivery of group and individual presentations

Introductory event (5 units) compulsory

Introductory session including a library induction, information about their academic assignment and admissions talk.

Attendance at session

Academic  assignment preparation (10 units) compulsory

Based on attendance of subject specific skills workshops – students’ construct an essay plan related to a current first year social science undergraduate essay question.

Attendance at a sufficient number of workshops in order to construct a comprehensive and detailed essay plan

Academic  assignment  completion (20 units)

After the course is completed students will write the above essay. It will be marked at first year undergraduate level.

The essay will be marked against standard first year undergraduate criteria

Pre-university guidance session (5 units) compulsory

Session delivered by Admission tutor / University lecturer in conjunction with sixth form college tutors to discuss students’ potential suitability for specific undergraduate programmes of study within the School of Social Sciences.

Attendance at session