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Manchester Access Programme activities and tasks

If you are interested in applying for our Manchester Access Programme (MAP), you'll want to know exactly what it involves. All the activities are designed to complement your Year 12 studies, fit around your college schedules and boost your chances of securing a university education.

How MAP works

To be successful, you will need to complete 100 MAP units. You receive MAP units by attending MAP activities on our campus and carrying out your MAP academic assignment.

Some MAP elements will be compulsory. For the others, you will be able to choose from a menu of activities to match your interests and the skills you want to develop.

All activities take place on campus, which means that you will become very familiar with our different University buildings. Many activities will involve the support of students who are currently studying here, giving you the opportunity to get a real insight into student life at Manchester.

An example of some of the activities you can take part in is given in the table below.

Academic assignment

(April to August)
Compulsory The academic assignment is 1,500 words on a topic of your choice and will help you develop the essential research and academic writing skills needed to be a successful university student. You will be supported in this work by a member of University staff or postgraduate researcher. You will start the assignment in April and will have until August to complete it.
University Life Conference Compulsory The University Life Conference is a two-day event with the option of staying overnight in one of the University's halls of residence. The Conference will develop your communication, research, presentation and team-working skills through the completion of a group project that is designed to encourage enquiry-based learning. You will also find out what it's like to be a university student.
Skills workshops Optional The skills workshops cover a variety of different themes and are delivered by current University students. The aim of these workshops is to develop your skills in preparation for university study and life. The workshop themes are likely to include:
  • Self-marketing
  • Academic writing and research
  • Student finance and budgeting skills
  • Presentation skills
Masterclasses Optional You can choose from a range of subject-specific masterclasses and workshops delivered by University academics through our Discover Days Programme.
Guidance workshops Optional These workshops focus on preparing you for the application process, and cover personal statement writing and interview technique.


All compulsory activities take place between February of Year 12 and September of Year 13. Additional Personal Statement and Interview Skills sessions take place at the start of Year 13.

You will visit the University around once a month; there are, however, no activities during exam time. We estimate that the MAP takes around 50 hours to complete.