Pathways to STEM

Pathways to STEM is a two-year programme designed to support talented sixth form students achieve their aim of studying science, technology, engineering or maths at university. It's an exciting new initiative which has been generously funded by the Sutton Trust and Kusuma Trust.

The programme offers a range of opportunities to engage with STEM. It aims to help students successfully prepare for a university degree while learning about the fantastic career opportunities on offer in STEM. We work with targeted schools and colleges to recruit talented students for this programme.


By taking part in Pathways to STEM, students will be able to:

  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of careers in STEM and increase their confidence in applying to university
  • Visit the York campus and attend subject conferences and STEM days, where they'll be able to learn from our academic staff
  • Work with an undergraduate e-mentor to support them through the UCAS decision-making process
  • Benefit from online study skills support
  • Improve their academic and transition skills and benefit from revision sessions for their science and maths A Levels
  • Understand more about STEM career pathways through access to work exposure opportunities in STEM working environments, or at the University
  • Have the opportunity to attend a five-day residential summer school with a STEM focus at the end of Year 12.

If they complete this two year programme, students will have the opportunity to work with a York academic to complete a subject-focused academic assignment. This could be used as an alternative offer for entry to an undergraduate degree at the York which is equivalent to:

  • up to an equivalent of two A level grades below the normal offer
  • 2 points below in the International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • 1 grade below in a BTEC National Diploma.

Students will need to make York their firm choice in order to access the alternative offer.


Students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have achieved at least five GCSEs at grades A*- A
  • Be studying in Year 12 from September 2017
  • Be studying 3 or more A Levels (or equivalent) with at least two in STEM subject areas
  • Have the potential to be an applicant to a research-intensive university.

And meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be from the first generation in their family to enter higher education (excluding siblings who have already progressed onto higher education)
  • Have been eligible, or be in receipt of, free school meals during secondary school and/or the 16 – 19 bursary in England and/or the Pupil Premium
  • Live in an area with low progression to higher education
  • Have experienced living in local authority care for more than six months.

Students who do not meet all of these criteria may still be eligible if they have faced challenging circumstances which may have affected their performance in education. Their application may still be considered on an individual basis.

How to apply

For more information about Pathways to STEM please email

Information sessions take place in targeted schools and colleges at the start of the academic year. After this interested students are invited to submit an online application.

Contact us

Widening Participation team

Related links

Contact us

Widening Participation team

Related links