Our partner organisations

At Manchester, we work to improve educational opportunities for young people.

To ensure our work is as impactful as possible, we have partnered with several educational charities in the north-west.

The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club works to widen access to highly-selective universities within the UK for students from underrepresented backgrounds. It achieves this through The Scholars Programme. The programme involves the recruitment, training and placing of doctoral researchers in non-selective state schools and college, providing students in Year 6, right the way up to Year 12, with the knowledge, skills and ambition to be able to gain a place in a leading university.

Feedback from teachers: 

“The students developed their subject knowledge, confidence, research and presentation skills as well as academic writing. These were skills previously untouched before the programme so all the students involved made exceptional progress in common skills required to be successful at further or higher education.” - Able and Talented Coordinator, The Cooperative Academy of Manchester

The University of Manchester has partnered with The Brilliant Club to run programmes within the region, to enable our researchers to communicate their research to students and help develop students’ research skills.

Through The Scholars Programme, students to take part in university-style tutorials and undertake a project assignment with doctoral researchers. Over a period of several months this is completed in-school. Through the programme students visit two universities, for their launch and graduation trip.

The Brilliant Club has recently released the findings of an independent control group evaluation by UCAS. Data from the most recent cohort of pupils shows that 58% of pupils eligible for Free School Meals secured a place at a highly-selective university, compared to a national average of 11%. Further, when compared to a control group with matched characteristics including gender, ethnicity and prior attainment, UCAS reported that pupils who completed the programme were “significantly more likely to secure a place at a highly-selective university”. Feedback from teachers, researchers, and students has also been overwhelming positive. 

Please visit The Brilliant Club website to find out how to get involved.


IntoUniversity began in 2002 and currently operates in 30 centres in 12 locations across the UK. 74% of students who engage with IntoUniversity progress to higher education compared with 24% of students from similar backgrounds nationally. In 2018-19 more than 35,000 children and young people were supported across its national network of centres. 

The University of Manchester decided to partner with IntoUniversity as it provides an opportunity to engage with a community’s young people and families in a sustained and meaningful way. This has been made possible through the generous funding of donors who, with the University, are committed to making a difference in our local community. 

IntoUniversity Manchester North, based in Blackley, north Manchester, opened its doors to students in November 2018. In its first year the centre has worked with 1,241 individual students. Within the ward that Blackley is in, the proportion of the population with Level 4 qualifications or higher is 16% in comparison to 34% in Manchester as a city. 

IntoUniversity centres work with 7-18 year olds across three main programmes:  

  • Academic – Support Academic Support sessions take place after school and help young people to become curious, independent and successful learners. The centre provides a quiet and safe place to study, as well as skilled tutors, volunteers and educational resources which many students do not have access to at home. Many of the volunteers are current University of Manchester students and so can offer information and advice about higher education pathways. Primary students enjoy learning about different degrees each term, which covers English and Maths National Curriculum goals. Secondary students come to complete their homework and revision or complete the Future Readiness Award. This award is designed to build the skills necessary to be a more independent learner and prepare students for university or any other chosen future path.
  • FOCUS  Through a range of workshops, study weeks and career engagement activities young people’s minds are opened to the transformative power of education. Students have the opportunity to find out about the world of work and the many different careers which will be available to them in the future. Focus weeks involve a visit to the University involving workshops and a tour of the campus.
  • Mentoring – Students are paired with University of Manchester students and young professionals who provide one-to-one academic and pastoral support. Mentors are motivating role models and help students to develop confidence and other soft skills.

To learn more and to get involved, please visit the IntoUniversity website.

North West Gifted and Talented

We work with NWGT to provide support for able learners and their teachers, parents and carers. NWGT works alongside HE institutions to enrich, extend and challenge the abilities of gifted and talented young people, aiming to improve the attainment, aspirations and motivation of these bright young learners.

To find out more about the work of NWGT, please visit the NGWT website.

Access All Areas

The Access All Areas (AAA) programme is a student-led initiative coordinated by the Students’ Union, and part-funded by the University, that seeks to tackle educational barriers facing students from WP backgrounds. Our students work with a range of schools, colleges and organisations across Greater Manchester and run projects to improve widening participation in higher education. The programme aims to tackle educational inequalities within local communities, whilst simultaneously providing our students with valuable volunteering experience, development for teachers and activities for targeted learners (care leavers, disabled learners and young carers). 

Access All Areas’ success centres on its student-led approach which allows our students to deliver the projects they’ve created and developed. Examples of projects include:

  • Code Club – Students volunteer weekly in an after school club at a primary school, teaching children coding using the programming language ‘Scratch’
  • Consider Postgrad – An annual event at the Students’ Union to encourage students to consider a postgraduate course
  • Reading Mentors – Students volunteer in local primary schools to support pupils with their reading confidence and skills
  • Medics in Primary Schools – Students deliver weekly lessons at local primary schools in targeted areas of Greater Manchester, focusing on subjects such as ‘Antibiotic Awareness’
  • Primary Fair (FunFair) – Children attend STEM workshops in the Students’ Union, and then go on a campus tour.

Find out more on the Students’ Union website.

Nuffield research placements

Nuffield research placements are funded by the Nuffield Foundation and delivered by STEM Learning. They are engaging, hands-on research projects, where Year 12 students have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards the work of a host organisation. They offer the opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge learned at school and work alongside researchers and industry professionals to:

  • develop subject understanding alongside research and quantitative skills to expand career prospects;
  • enhance UCAS personal statements and applications to university. An independent evaluation has shown Nuffield research placements increase access to university courses in STEM subjects;
  • learn more about higher education and different career paths;
  • apply for a Gold CREST Award or the Big Bang Competition

Every summer we're pleased to host a large number of placement students at The University of Manchester across a range of our research areas in science, quantitative social science, business, computing, technology, engineering and maths.