The Manchester Access Programme - Making a Difference During Lockdown

Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:34:00 BST

The Manchester Access Programme is the University's flagship widening participation scheme. Each year we help hundreds of local sixth form students from underrepresented backgrounds to prepare for Higher Education with a variety of engaging activities. Many go on to become University of Manchester undergraduates, as successful completion of MAP gives them access to a reduced grade offer, amongst other benefits.

The centrepiece of MAP is the completion of an academic assignment, supported by current academic staff and PhD students who act as MAP tutors. Tutors have been meeting their tutees via Zoom to offer guidance and help the young people to develop their academic skills from home.

The academic assignment is supported by a compulsory Research and Referencing skills webinar, which was developed and delivered by Charlotte Coull, a final year History PhD candidate.

Charlotte explains: "Delivering the researching and referencing lecture as a webinar brought unique challenges but it was ultimately a great success. The students responded extremely well. MAP gives students an opportunity to think critically and engage in research about a topic before they enter a university environment."

The MAP students really feel that taking part has made a positive impact on their progression to University, despite the challenges of life in lockdown.

One current MAP student said: "The academic writing skills presentation helped me to gain knowledge on how to write my academic assignment and how I can be successful in doing so. The Bright side mentoring programme through MAP allowed me to gain one-on-one advice from a current dental student and how I can improve myself for the application process."

Delivering the programme online has been a real challenge this year but the rewards for the participants are clear to see.

For more information about MAP please get in touch via