Next Step York supports Year 12 students to progress to higher education through a tailored programme of activities.

During 2020/21, our Access and Outreach programmes will be delivered virtually with some face-to-face events. We will be guided by government guidelines and University policy. We will work directly with programme participants and our school and college partners to keep you informed of progress.

Next Step York is a personalised activity programme for Year 12 students in the north of England, providing an opportunity to explore university options and receive specialist support with their current studies. It 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.

See eligibility criteria.

What's involved

Your programme, your future, your choice

As a Next Step York participant, you'll be welcomed to join our community as a pre-entry student. This means you'll have the opportunity to experience what life and learning are really like at York.

It all kicks off with our virtual launch event in December. This will prepare you to make the most of our wide range of virtual and face-to-face* opportunities between January and July.

Design your personalised programme

We believe you should take the lead in deciding what will be most useful for your next steps. You will have the freedom to design your own Next Step York programme and will have the opportunity to work with a Student Assistant who will offer guidance and insight throughout the programme.

Each activity or event is worth credits (20 to 60 each) and you will be encouraged to build a complete programme of activities that totals 100 credits. A complete programme unlocks lots of additional benefits.

You can choose from four branches of activity to build your personalised Next Step York programme.

Contact us

If you have any questions about Next Step York please feel free to get in touch with:

Heather Lysiak
nextstepyork@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 324712

Start thinking about your university course. Explore a range of degree subjects through immersive online sessions and taster days, receive course consultancy appointments for tailored information and advice and meet staff and students from academic departments at York.

Get support with your current studies and help with upcoming exams, including revision and study skills sessions. Find out more about personal skills through wellbeing workshops. Develop ‘uni skills’ to get ahead preparing for, adjusting to and making the most of university life.

Get a real taste of university life by trying out a student society, exploring the campus and city of York, meeting current university students and discovering more about living on campus or commuting. This branch also provides support with your UCAS application and personal statement.

 Get a real taste of university life by trying out a student society, exploring the campus and city of York, meeting current university students and discovering more about living on campus or commuting. This branch also provides support with your UCAS application and personal statement.

*Please note, depending on the current Covid-19 situation, face-to-face events may be delivered virtually in line with public health advice if required.

When does it all happen?

October to December 2020

Applications open!

Don’t forget you can join us for a live chat in October and November to meet the team and find out more about Next Step York (more details to follow, check back soon)

December 2020

Next Step York Virtual Launch

Join us online for our first event of the year, we can’t wait to meet our new Next Step York participants!

January to June 2021

Our four branches of activities begin...

With over 20 activities, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Each month will include opportunities from each branch, open for you to register through the Next Step York hub.

July 2021

Summer Residential

Encompassing all four branches, our summer residential experience is planned to take place virtually and on the University of York campus

August to September 2021

We’re here for you

As you begin to make university applications and prepare for final exams, we will be here with online chats, activities and support sessions.

May to August 2022

YorJourney to York

If you decide to apply to York and receive an alternative Widening Participation offer, you’ll move onto the YorJourney programme that will support your transition to university study here at York.

What do our participants think?

"The process of applying to university no longer seems as daunting as I previously thought."

"I was anxious about meeting new people but Next Step York has made me feel better about it. It also gave me the motivation to do well in my A-levels and to revise."

"Next Step York has given me the confidence to apply to a top university."

“It made me realise that people from all backgrounds can come to university and it’s not just students from well-off backgrounds… it just made me realise that university was an option that I could do.”

Next Step York graduate

“Before coming on the residential, I’d say I was definitely nervous – it was my first university experience. I’d already started coming out of my shell a bit in sixth form, but this was a really good next step for me and definitely prepared me more for going to university”

Next Step York graduate

Watch https://youtu.be/FU_VbdHQNJg on YouTube

Rich, Economics and Finance graduate and Next Step York graduate

Rich was one of our fantastic first Next Step York students, he came to study at York and graduated in 2017.

He is now training to be an accountant.

Benefits of completing Next Step York

By completing the Next Step York programme, students unlock exclusive access to a range of additional benefits. 

Guaranteed interview or offer

Participants who successfully complete the Next Step York programme could be considered for a guaranteed interview or offer to study at York.

Alternative Widening Participation offer

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.

Transition support - YorJourney

The alternative Widening Participation offer is conditional on the completion of our YorJourney programme, which comes with a whole host of additional benefits that will support your transition to university life.

Financial Support 

See all scholarship and bursary opportunities

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 enroll onto a confirmed place for study at the University of York.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility for Next Step York depends on a number of factors. Our eligibility criteria allows us to allocate places where it will have the greatest impact. Our selection process and criteria are based on research and guidance relevant to under-representation in higher education. 

When selecting participants for the Next Step York programme, we will use the following criteria:

Part 1: You should have:

  • achieved 8 A*-C/9-4 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**

Part 2: In addition, you should meet at least two of the following:

  • You are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background ✝
  • You have experience of Public Care ✝
  • You are seeking asylum in the UK or have been granted refugee status ✝
  • Your parent/s did not go to university or they went to university as a mature student during your secondary education
  • You have a household income below £42,875 (priority will be given to applicants who were entitled to, or were in receipt of, free school meals or discretionary payments at school or sixth form)
  • You live in a neighbourhood with a low progression rate to higher education (check your postcode)
  • You attended a school or college at key stage 4 or key stage 5 that achieved below the national average
  • You have a disability or long term health condition
  • You are from a military of service family
  • You are estranged
  • You are a 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. 

If we’re unable to accept you on Next Step York, we’ll consider you for another Access and Outreach programme or activity, such as our York Experience Hub.

* 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. 

How to apply

Online applications will be open between 5 October and 1 December.

You will be able to access the application form from this page, so check back to find out more. 

To complete the application form you will need:

  • Your parent/guardian’s email address
  • An email address for a member of staff from your sixth form/college

A parent or supporter and a member of staff from your sixth form or college will need to complete a short form to support your application to Next Step York. This will be automatically emailed to them when you submit your completed application.

Postcode checker

The postcode checker is used in order to assess whether you meet the Next Step York criteria ‘lives in a neighbourhood with low participation to higher education.’

Invalid postcode.

We don’t recognise that as a UK postcode. Please enter a valid UK postcode.

Unrecognised postcode.

We don’t have that postcode on record, are you sure you entered it correctly? If it is correct, then please email nextstepyork@york.ac.uk for help.

Sorry, you are not eligible to participate.

Thank you for your interest in the Next Step York programme.

You are not eligible to participate in Next Step York based on your postcode. However, you may still be eligible based on other criteria.

You are eligible to participate.

Thank you for your interest in the Next Step York programme.

You are eligible to participate in Next Step York based on your postcode. Before submitting your application read the eligibility criteria.

Sorry, there was a problem with the postcode checker service.

Please email nextstepyork@york.ac.uk for help.

Contact us

If you have any questions about Next Step York please feel free to get in touch with:

Heather Lysiak
nextstepyork@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 324712