Parents & Carers

Realising Opportunities (RO) is an innovative national programme designed for students in Year 12 and 13 to gain increased access to some of the country’s leading research intensive universities.

RO students will benefit from increased information, advice and access to the RO universities. The Programme they follow will ensure they are better equipped for university life and understand what research intensive universities can offer.

  • Advice on time management skills has helped a lot over the years

    RO student, 2011-2013

  • Being part of a research intensive university involves me in the most recent research in my subject area… which is crucial for a job market that constantly demands you to be up to date

    Nicola, RO Student 2010-2011

  • I feel more assured of my choice and confident in myself and my abilities

    RO student, 2012-2014

  • Any questions I had about university were answered

    Krupa, RO student 2010-2011

  • RO has encouraged me to work harder to achieve the grades I want so I can get into a research intensive university

    RO student, 2012-2014

  • RO has exposed me to a wider range of universities, and built my confidence

    RO student, 2012-2014

The Benefits

By taking part in the RO Programme students will benefit from the following:

Additional Consideration

When students apply to any of the RO universities, their UCAS application will be given additional consideration.

Alternative offer

Many of the RO universities also give alternative offers worth up to two grades lower than the standard offer to students who successfully complete the programme. All alternative offers given through UCAS are dependent on the university and course students apply for and it is recommended that students contact the university before they apply.

For more information about the recognition offered by the RO universities please refer to the Recognition Guide.

Skills Development

Students will learn and develop key skills that will help them to be successful in their current studies and also at university.

Students must complete an independent piece of research as part of the programme as well as an online study module giving them skills in researching, planning, critical thinking, analysis, and referencing.

Advice for the Future

Students will gain an understanding of what a research intensive university is and the benefits of studying at one. Through events and activities such as masterclasses and residential visits they will learn more about university life and their subject choices. Students are also allocated a dedicated ementor from one of the RO universities who will guide them through an interactive support programme and students will have access to a wide range of resources and activities on the ementoring site.

Access to Professional Careers Information

Students will have access to information and advice from a range of professionals and employee organisations, in the past we have worked with UKCAT, The Nuffield Foundation and Teach First. Please see the Organisations We Work With page for more information.

The Programme


You can watch a 5 minute video which explains more about the Realising Opportunities programme, or you can scroll down to read more below.

Taking part in RO will give students access to:

A local launch event at their host university to get them started with RO and to meet university representatives.

Experiences and support to help you make an informed choice about higher education and research intensive universities.

A chance to develop your skills in analysis, critical thinking, evaluation and research through taking either the Extended Project Qualification (if offered at their school/college) or the RO Academic Assignment.

A dedicated ementor who is a current university student and will guide them through an interactive support programme. They will also have full use of our ementoring portal and Bright Knowledge which is packed full of useful resources!

A National Student Conference where they will get the chance to meet students from across the country taking part in RO as well as representatives from all of the RO universities.

A wide range of events and activities at the RO universities. Support for travel costs may be available with prior arrangement.

Skills4uni - an online study skills module which will help them to develop their planning and independent research skills.