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Manchester Access Programme students

Eligibility criteria

Greater Manchester pupils wishing to join the Manchester Access Programme (MAP) must meet all of the essential criteria and one of the priority criteria at the point of application.

Applications for MAP 2019 will open on Monday, 5 November 2018 and close at 5pm on Monday, 17 December 2018.

If you have any queries, please contact

The Manchester Access Programme (MAP) welcomes applications from students with experience in local authority care, young carers, students with disabilities, estranged students, sanctuary seekers (asylum seekers and refugees). If you're from any of these groups, and you do not meet all of the essential criteria, please contact the MAP team to discuss your application.

If you're not eligible for MAP there may be other schemes available to you. Please visit our Access Manchester website to find out more.

Essential criteria

You must:

  • be in a state-maintained post-16 institution and are studying a two-year Level 3 qualification (eg A-levels, a BTEC qualification, etc). Applicants need to be in Year 12 (lower sixth) at the point of application;
  • have achieved at least five grade A*–B (9–6) at GCSE (or equivalent, e.g. GNVQ, BTEC certificate) at the point of application; if this does not include English Language and Mathematics you must have achieved at least a grade C (4) in these subjects. Please note: the ECDL will not be considered as a GCSE equivalent;
  • live in Greater Manchester or study at an institution in Greater Manchester;
  • have attended a state-maintained secondary school (ie you did not have to pay for your education);
  • come from a home where neither parent obtained a university-level degree or equivalent in the UK or abroad (if one or more parent is currently studying their first degree, or graduated from their first degree within the last ten years, an application will still be considered);
  • expect to be a UK national or have settled status by the time you would start a university degree. 

Medicine and Dentistry

For these strands you must meet all of the essential criteria for MAP. There will also be additional GCSE and A-level requirements for the medicine and dentistry strands that are still to be confirmed. 

Priority criteria

Applicants will need to fulfil at least one of the following:

  • living in a neighbourhood which has a low progression rate to higher education; or
  • living in an area which has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation
    • This is defined by home postcode. If you would like to check whether a postcode is in a neighbourhood which has a low progression rate to higher education or an area which has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation, then please enter your postcode in our checker;
  • living in, or have lived in, local authority care (have experienced a period of three months in the care of the local authority within the last ten years);
  • is a young carer (under the age of 18 who helps look after someone in their family who is ill or disabled above and beyond what is normally expected);
  • is an estranged student (irreconcilably estranged from biological, adoptive or only living parents);
  • is a sanctuary seeker (for example, an asylum seeker or refugee);
  • is in receipt of, or entitled to, discretionary learner payments/16–19 bursary/free school meals (FSM) at their current college;
  • received, or was entitled to, free school meals (FSM) at secondary school;
  • attended a high school where the average Key Stage 4 performance is lower than the national average;
  • attend an institution where Key Stage 5 performance is lower than the national average;
  • have a disability and be in receipt of, or are entitled to, a personal independence payment or disability living allowance

When we assess your application, we will look at your performance in your GCSE and/or equivalent level qualifications, your post-16 Level 3 subject(s) of study and the number of priority criteria you meet.

You only need to meet one of the priority criteria, as well as all of the essential criteria, to be considered for MAP. However, the number and nature of your priority criteria will be considered as part of your application.

If you're invited to the next stage in the selection process (the selection and introduction day), you'll need to bring evidence related to the information you provided on your application form (for example, evidence of your free school meal entitlement).

Please be aware, applications will close at 5pm on Monday, 17 December 2018. Due to the volume of applications that we receive, we will only consider completed applications submitted before this deadline. We will begin to contact applicants in February 2019.

Extenuating circumstances

If students do not meet the prior attainment outlined above but have experienced difficult family or individual circumstances that may affect their performance in exams or the likelihood of them going to university, their application may still be considered on an individual basis. Circumstances considered include, but are not limited to, students who live independently from their families, those experiencing significant family issues or those students who have a disability/health condition which may have affected their educational achievements.

Please discuss extenuating circumstances with your MAP Link Coordinator (the teacher who coordinates MAP at your school or college) and ensure that you include some brief details on the application form.

Not eligible for MAP?

If you're not eligible for MAP Access Manchester allows you to view all the different access schemes on offer at The University of Manchester and check eligibility.