Widening participation in postgraduate taught study

Widening participation in postgraduate taught study is an emerging area of work at The University of Manchester and across the sector.

Some cohorts of students continue to be under-represented in postgraduate taught (PGT) study and we are committed to addressing this imbalance.  

Over recent years there has been an increase in research in this area, in particular through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS).

The PSS found that lack of funding was a key consideration but that other factors also played a significant role, including the need for additional support to master the key skills and academic practices necessary for postgraduate study.

Building on these findings we are working to widen participation in PGT study in the following ways: 

  • Manchester Master’s Bursary: 100 bursaries of £3,000 each per year are made available to master’s students meeting a number of widening participation criteria
  • PGT progression project: We are participating in a HEFCE-funded project on widening participation in postgraduate taught study

PGT progression project

As part of a consortium including the universities of  Leeds, York, Sheffield and Warwick, we are taking part in a two-year funded project: Progression to, and success in postgraduate study, by students from BAME and POLAR 1 & 2 backgrounds. The project is targeting two groups with notably lower levels of progression to PGT study – Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students, and those whose home postcodes are in POLAR quintiles 1 and 2 (areas of low progression to HE).

There are two strands of activity:

  • Strand 1: a series of pre-course interventions for UG final-year students (both BAME and POLAR quintiles 1 and 2) in three subject areas. These include activities such as webinars, mentoring schemes, and academic skills sessions
  • Strand 2: a Blackboard course for PGT offer-holders (BAME only) across the University. The course will include units on topics such as time management, wellbeing, and academic writing

Find out more

To find out more about the project, please visit the Discover Postgrad website.