Next Step York supports sixth form and college students to make informed decisions about higher education through a tailored programme of activities.
What is Next Step York?
Next Step York is a personalised two year programme for Year 12 students in England.
- Explore university options
- Receive specialist support with your current studies
- Experience what life is like at York
Next Step York is aimed at pupils who have the potential to progress to university but have experienced barriers that may prevent them from accessing higher education.
We welcome applications from students living in the region who meet the programme criteria and believe they will benefit from our support.
Are you currently in Year 11? Sign up to be notified when applications open in Autumn 2024 when you begin Year 12.
About the programme
You’ll design your own Next Step York programme, choosing activities from three modules in your 1st year. You'll also work with a Student Supporter, a current University of York student, who will offer guidance and insight throughout the programme.
Each activity or event is worth credits and you will be encouraged to build a complete programme of activities that totals 100 credits. Students must achieve a minimum of 100 credits to progress onto the 2nd year of the programme, where they’ll have the opportunity to unlock additional benefits.
There are three YorModules spread across the first year of Next Step York, and you select which activities you'd like to attend.
Throughout January and February, you’ll take part in sessions that will support you with your current and future studies, and start helping you think about your chosen course at university. There is also the chance to take part in our Academic Conference.
In March and April, you’ll develop skills to help you thrive at university, learning ways to manage your wellbeing and finances, as well as how to find your people at university.
During May, June and July, it’s all about finding the right university for you, as well as thinking about your next steps after you have completed your university experience. Our Summer Residential will also be held in July.
Applications open on 11 September and close on 27 November.
The programme kicks off in December with a virtual induction. You’ll then attend a range of virtual and in-person events between January and July.
During these events, you’ll meet other students on the programme, as well as current students at the University of York!
- Sept to Nov 2023 | Applications open on 11 September and close at 9am on 27 November.
- Dec 2023 | Next Step York Launch (online)
- Jan to Feb 2024 | YorSkills Module. Activities begin and you can select which to attend based on your personal preference. Activities will focus on supporting your current and future studies. There will also be a chance to attend our in-person Academic Conference.
- Mar to Apr 2024 | YorUni Module. Take part in activities which will support you in learning about managing your wellbeing and finances at university.
- Apr to Aug 2024 | YorDecision Module. Participate in activities to help you start thinking about which university or whether university is right for you. You will also have the opportunity to apply for and attend our Summer Residential. You will need to have gained 100 credits by the end of August to pass the first year of the programme.
- Sep 2024 to Jan 2025 | YorApplication Module. We’ll support you through the process of applying to university and preparing for your final exams.
- Feb to Apr 2025 | YorChoice Module. From choosing where to study, to applying for Student Finance - we are here to help.
- May to Aug 2025 | YorJourney Module. If you decide to apply to York and receive an alternative Widening Participation offer, you will move onto the YorJourney module which will support your transition to university.
Hear from our students
To say NSY changed the trajectory of my life, may sound like a bold statement, but it is wholeheartedly true. Being part of NSY gave me such a boost of confidence to aim high, and that stuck with me throughout my studies and time at York as a student.
Having the opportunity to be part of it, push myself, and learn more about the options that were available to me, allowed me to take up more opportunities that would have never crossed my mind. I am so glad that I took the chance whilst it was there and would encourage you to push yourself and gain as much as possible as you can out of NSY, you won’t regret it!
Henna, Next Step York Alum
Benefits of completing Next Step York
Participants who successfully complete the Next Step York programme could be considered for a guaranteed interview or offer to study at York.
If you receive an offer to study at the University of York, you will receive two offers: the standard offer and the alternative Widening Participation alternative offer which is up to three grades below the standard offer published in our prospectus.
The alternative Widening Participation offer is conditional on the completion of our YorJourney module, which comes with a whole host of additional benefits that will support your transition to university life.
To be eligible for the above benefits, you must:
- Meet the Next Step York eligibility criteria
- Successfully complete the Next Step York programme
- Submit an on-time UCAS application to study an undergraduate degree at University of York
- Meet the relevant subject requirements as outlined in the prospectus
- Receive an alternative Widening Participation offer
- Successfully complete the YorJourney module
- Achieve and enrol onto a confirmed place for study at the University of York
How to apply
Applications for Next Step York are closed.
- Achieved eight A* to C, or 9 to 4, grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English Language and Mathematics*
- The potential to achieve BCC or above at A Level (or equivalent)
- Attended a state school at Key Stage 3 and 4
- Completed Key Stage 4 (GCSEs or equivalent) in a UK school or college**
You should also meet two or more of the additional criteria:
- Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background ✝
- Experience of Public Care ✝
- You are seeking asylum in the UK or granted refugee status ✝
- Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen or Boater background ✝
- Parent/s didn’t go to university or went as a mature student during your secondary education
- Household income below £42,875
- Entitled to, or were in receipt of, free school meals or discretionary payments at school/college
- You live in a neighbourhood with a low progression rate to uni
- School/college achieved below the national average
- Have a disability or long term health condition
- From a military or service family
- Estranged from parent/s
- Young carer
✝ indicates our priority criteria. If you meet any of the criteria marked ✝, you do not need to meet any other criteria to be eligible for the Next Step York programme.
Places on the Next Step York programme will be limited and we usually receive far more applications than we can accept. We will prioritise places based on our priority criteria (marked ✝) and the number of criteria met.
* We understand that grades alone do not reflect a person’s full potential. We will consider additional circumstances that adversely affected your personal life or education which impacted on your ability to achieve our GCSE criteria. Your school/college referee should reference this in support of your application. Please continue to submit an application or contact the Next Step York team if you wish to discuss further.
** We understand circumstances may prevent some students from completing all of their Key Stage 4 studies in a UK school or college (particularly for pupils seeking asylum in the UK). We may be able to offer some flexibility on this criterion. Your school/college referee should reference this in support of your application. Please continue to submit an application or contact the Next Step York team if you wish to discuss further.
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