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.

  • For me, the most important part was knowing that I had a support network at RO

    Jessica, Former RO student

  • 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, Former RO student

  • RO has made me become a more independent learner and the experience was amazing

    Shih hung, Former RO student

  • Any questions I had about university were answered

    Krupa, Former RO student

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

    Former RO student

  • RO gave me the drive to do well in my exams and push for the better grades

    Anna, Former RO student

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 on the Current Student page.

Skills Development

Students must complete the Academic Skills Module which has been developed to give students an authentic experience of academic work at university 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

Taking part in RO will give students access to:

A local launch virtual event at their host university to celebrate their place on the RO programme, get them started, and meet university representatives and other students taking part in the RO programme.

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

A chance to develop their skills in analysis, critical thinking, evaluation and research through taking the RO Academic Skills Module.

Online support through which students can get answers to their questions from both current university students who have been in their shoes and staff from the RO universities.

A virtual student conference where students have the chance to meet others from across the country taking part in RO and representatives from all of the RO universities.

A wide range of online events and activities at the RO Partner universities.

skills4uni An online study skills challenge and multiple choice quiz which will help them develop their planning and independent research skills, as well as providing an insight into studying at university.

Additional consideration when students make an application to an RO university through UCAS.

Alternative offers from the Partner RO universities^

Careers information from employer organisations to help them make informed choices about their future.

^please see the Recognition Guides on the RO student resources page for examples of course exemptions.