How to apply for MAP

Practical information on applications to the Manchester Access Programme.

2022 applications opening soon

The entry criteria, application form and applications will be available and open online in early November 2021.

MAP 2021 applications

Applications for the Manchester Access Programme are now closed and we're unable to accept late applications for any reason.

We will review completed applications in January 2021 and will get in touch with applications to verify qualifications and other information in February.

Places on the programme will be confirmed in March 2021.

COVID-19 statement

Unfortunately, we’re unable to consider the general disruption caused by the pandemic as personal extenuating circumstances. This is recognising that all students across the country have been affected by this.

However, if you consider the impact of COVID-19 on your personal circumstances to be extreme, then we may be able to make an exception.

Circumstances we would consider extreme include the following:

  • you have experienced serious illness and spent a prolonged period in hospital as a result of COVID-19;
  • you have suffered a close family bereavement due to COVID-19;
  • you have significant caring responsibilities as a result of COVID-19 (eg caring for someone extremely clinically vulnerable/shielding);
  • it has created or exacerbated a very difficult or dangerous living situation;
  • it has created or exacerbated a mental health condition as diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

Please indicate on your application form if any of these circumstances apply to you and provide any further details as requested. We’ll consider circumstances on a case by case basis and as such, we may get in touch to ask for further information and evidence to support your application.

MAP timeline 2020-21

November 2020 Applications open
December Applications close
January–March 2021 Applications reviewed and places confirmed
April Launch Event
April Meeting with Academic Tutor to discuss academic assignment
April–May Research and referencing workshops
July University Life Conferences
August Submit Academic Assignment
September–December Decision Manchester
October MAP completed



Can I apply for MAP if I am taking the autumn GCSE exams?

We will consider your application if you are taking the GCSE exams in the autumn exam series and if you receive your results by Thursday, 11 February 2021. If results are delayed beyond this point we may prioritise those applicants who already meet the essential criteria.

Autumn exams are GCSE examinations undertaken before the end of 2020 by students who are unhappy with their Centre Assessed Grades. These are considered as a first attempt rather than a resit.

Centre Assessed Grades are grades awarded by the exam board based upon the school or college's assessment of a pupil's performance and must be provided on the application form.

You must indicate on your application form each subject for which you have registered for an autumn exam.

Can I apply for MAP in year 13?

No. To complete MAP students are required to attend a number of events and workshops and complete a demanding academic assignment. We do not take students on to MAP in year 13 as the intensive programme of activities and academic work may interfere with your A-level studies. 

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.

Can I apply for MAP if I resit year 12?

MAP is a highly competitive scheme and there is no guarantee that you would be successful in gaining a place next year therefore we would not recommend that you resit year 12 solely for the purposes of applying to MAP.

If you are considering resitting year 12 for other reasons, we would advise that you contact the admissions office for any courses that you are planning to apply for, for guidance on how they will view this decision, as some courses may make higher offers to students who have repeated year 12 and some may not consider you at all.

You can find contact details for all admissions offices at the University of Manchester through the course profiles on our website.

I have alternative or foreign qualifications. Can I still apply to MAP?

Students with appropriate equivalent qualifications to GCSEs are encouraged to make an application and these qualifications will be considered during the assessment of their application.