Pre-university courses

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

The scheme 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.


Course assessment is based on the following criteria:

  • attendance
  • active class participation
  • delivery of group and individual presentations
  • essay planning