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Table 1 Summary of key RO programme elements

Programme elements


Students undertake an assessed piece of independent

research in an area of their own interest. This can either

take the form of the Realising Opportunities Academic

Assignment, supported by a university tutor, or the

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in conjunction

with their school/college.

Students are able to demonstrate their potential to

be successful at a RIU. They undertake independent

research in an area of personal interest to them, and

they develop analytical, critical thinking, and academic

skills including research and referencing.

Students work through an online study skills module

provided by the University of Birmingham. The skills4uni

module has interactive tasks, videos and information

designed to build students’ awareness of RIUs and

increase their skills levels.

skills4uni offers students invaluable insight into the

vibrant teaching and learning on offer at RIUs and

helps students develop skills to be successful at


Students attend a range of events and activities including

the RO Local Launch at their host university and the

RO National Student Conference where students meet

representatives from all Partner universities. Students

are also offered a wide range of events and activities

across the Partnership such as subject taster days,

residential summer schools, master classes and

open days.

The range of events and activities aims to promote

the national feel of RO, and encourage geographic

mobility. Together they are designed to build students’

confidence, foster a sense of belonging to RO, upskill

students, encourage informed choices and raise

awareness of RIUs. Students can attend as many

events as they like. This is a unique opportunity to

visit RIUs across England.

Students have access to a wide range of online

support during their time on RO including access to

RO Ambassadors, regular online chat sessions with

representatives from across the Partnership and, in

Year 13, the opportunity to be linked with a current

undergraduate at one of the RO Partner universities

to provide support and subject insight.

The online support provides students with structured

support covering key topics at key times - such as

student finance, higher education research and UCAS

applications.This support offers students access to the

RO Central Team, host Partner universities and access

to someone with first hand experience of studying at an

RIU and who can answer their questions and offer a

peer perspective and be a positive role model.


Academic element


Online student support

Events and activities