The Realising Opportunities programme is designed to support students through their post-16 studies with skills development and guidance, as well as allowing students to demonstrate their potential to study at a research intensive university. The programme enables students to make informed decisions about their future.

Students must complete all elements of the programme in order to benefit from alternative offers or additional consideration from RO Partner universities.



The RO Programme involves:

Launch event

This event launches the RO programme for students and gives them the opportunity to meet representatives from their local Partner university.  They will find out more about the RO programme and what it means for them, as well as hearing about the support they can expect to receive as they work through RO.

Ementoring programme

Students are allocated a current undergraduate student from one of the RO Partner universities to be their ementor for the duration of their involvement in the programme. Ementors lead students through a structured programme of activity which supports all their work on the RO Programme, and gives them information on key elements of higher education and the UCAS process. Ementoring is done through the secure online RO ementoring portal. Ementoring gives students:

  • Key guidance at key times, for example exam time and when preparing a UCAS application.
  • Advice and guidance in an interactive format, and allows them to ask questions of someone with firsthand, current knowledge of a research intensive university.

Realising Opportunities ementoring is delivered in a safe, secure environment. All staff and ementors receive an Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau and will be given comprehensive training. All students and ementors have their own unique username and password. The website is designed to automatically identify inappropriate language and ensures that no personal details are exchanged. Conversations are frequently monitored and multiple levels of physical and software protection, including firewalls and encrypted communication, protect the system from outside intrusion.

 National Student Conference

The National Student Conference provides students with an excellent opportunity to take part in a range of skills based workshops that will provide practical support for their post-16 studies and preparations for university.  They will also meet their ementor and representatives from all the RO Partner universities.

 The skills4uni online study skills module

The skills4uni online study skills module gives students vital preparation and support for their EPQ or Academic Assignment, as well as allowing students to:

  • Develop key skills for independent learning, such as planning, research and referencing.
  • Increase their confidence in research based projects.
  • Gain a greater understanding of what to expect of university level study.

 The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Realising Opportunities Academic Assignment

The EPQ is a qualification that students complete in school or college. If a student’s school does not offer the EPQ then they may complete the RO Academic Assignment instead. This is a piece of independent research work that the student undertakes supported by one of the RO Partner universities. Both the EPQ and the Academic Assignment will allow students to:

  • Experience independent learning by researching an area that interests them.
  • Demonstrate their potential.
  • Increase their preparation for higher education level study.
  • Develop and acquire new skills such as analysis, evaluation and critical thinking.
  • Explore new areas of knowledge.

 Events and activities at RO Partner universities

RO Partners offer a wide range of events and activities to students on the RO programme. This allows students to spend time at the universities, meet staff and students and get a hands-on experience of higher education. The events vary from subject specific sessions such as masterclasses and subject taster days to skills based sessions and more generic events such as Open Days.  There is also the opportunity to take part in residential events such as summer schools which provide students with a real taste of life as a university student.  RO students are provided with a full calendar of activities and must attend at least one event in addition to the launch event and National Student Conference, but they are welcome to attend as many as they wish. With prior arrangement with the university hosting the event, travel costs may be reimbursed.