Next Step York supports sixth form and college students to progress to higher education through a tailored programme of activities.
Next Step York is a personalised two year programme, starting in Year 12 for 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.
Applications for Next Step York are now open - apply now
Next Step York Hub
Already part of the Next Step York programme?
Log in to our online interactive hub to book events, take part in online activities and meet your student supporter.
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 and university in general.
It all kicks off with our virtual induction 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. The programme offers both virtual and face-to-face opportunities to ensure you can attend more events.
Sign up to find out more about the Next Step York programme and to hear about upcoming promotional events.
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 Supporter who will offer guidance and insight throughout the programme.
Each activity or event is worth credits (5 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 in the second year of the programme.
You can choose activities from four modules of activity to build your personalised Next Step York programme in the first year of the programme.
Start thinking about your university course. Explore a range of degree subjects through immersive online sessions and taster days, take part in academic projects 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.
In the first year of the programme you will be invited to apply to attend a Campus Conference and a Summer Residential.
October to December 2022
Applications open in October and close at 23:59 on Thursday 1 December.
We are running two Discover Next Step York events where you will meet current University of York students who participated in the programme and have all of your questions answered.
Next Step York Winter Gathering
Join us online for our first event of the year, we can’t wait to meet our new Next Step York participants!
Next Step York Launch Event
Activities begin and you can select which to attend based on your personal preference.
|March to June 2023||
Our four branches of activities continue...
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.
Our Campus Conference will take place in March, giving you the chance to explore York’s scenic campus and take part in interactive events of your choice to build up your credits.
Encompassing all four branches, our summer residential experience is planned to take place on the University of York campus.
September 2023 to January 2024
We’re here to support you through the process of applying to university and preparing for your final exams.
February to April 2024
Receive support on the important decisions. From choosing where to study, to applying for Student Finance - we are here to help.
May to August 2024
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 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
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.
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 module, which comes with a whole host of additional benefits that will support your transition to university life.
Financial Support - York Opportunity Scholarship
New entrants to the University of York who successfully complete YorWay and YorJourney will be considered for a York Opportunity Scholarship. The York Opportunity Scholarship is worth £3,300 paid over three years (paid in instalments of £1,100 a year) and is funded by philanthropic donations to York Unlimited campaign.
If your household income is below £35,000, you could also be eligible for a Progression Bursary of £1,000 in your first year and the York Bursary which is up to £4,200 over three years.
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.
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.
* 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.
Applications for Next Step York are open and will close at 11:59pm on Thursday 1 December.
Please note, applications will only be considered if they are supported by both a parent/carer/guardian and a teacher/adviser supporting statement.
Parent/carer/guardians have until Sunday 4 December at 11:59pm to submit their supporting statement and teacher/advisers will have until Tuesday 6 December at 11:59pm to submit their supporting statement.
By clicking the apply now button you will be taken to the Access and Outreach Portal where you will need to register to create an account to apply.
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.’
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