Durham University STEP
Our response to the Covid-19 infection
Durham University remains open and is responding to the COVID-19 virus with the health and wellbeing of our community and the communities of which we are part as our first priority. We are working hard across the University community to prepare for the possible spread of the virus, provide up to date information and advice and offer support as the situation develops.
In this period of change, the STEP applications decisions have been delayed. We will get these to you as soon as possible.
As it stands, we are planning as if the summer school will take place as usual at the end of July. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow direction given by the Government and University and will take whatever action is necessary to protect the health of our staff and students. However, unfortunately the STEP Welcome Event has now been cancelled. This decision has not been taken lightly and is similar to decisions taken at other universities. The reason for cancellation is to try and reduce the immediate risk of infection to you and everyone else involved in the event.
We are currently exploring a number of alternatives, including online sessions and resources, to ensure we are able to support you as you prepare for the university application process and the transition to university life. We will update you as and when these become available, via email and on our website.
As of 17th March 2020, the Access and Engagement team will be following the latest advice by working remotely from home.
If you have any questions or need to get in touch please email: email@example.com
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Durham University’s Space to Explore Potential (STEP) is a brand new programme for 2020. We are delighted to be working with Reach Society to make this programme happen and grateful for the Society's support.
STEP offers a dedicated space for young black students, who are typically underrepresented at Durham University, to explore not only their own potential, but all that Durham has to offer as a potential university destination.
Applications for 2020 are have now closed. The application deadline was 23:59 on 28 February 2020. If you are interested in applying for STEP 2021, please refer back to these pages in September 2020.
What is STEP?
STEP students will have the opportunity to stay in one of our 16 Colleges at a three day, two night residential summer school. On the summer school, STEP students will take part in a variety of sessions and activities that showcase the Durham experience, from academic taster sessions to social activities. STEP students will receive a comprehensive range of information, advice, and guidance (IAG) about UCAS, personal statements, and student finance. Additionally, the residential will provide STEP students with a safe space to network with current black students, staff, and academics at Durham, listening to their stories and asking any questions they may have about life at Durham University.
STEP is aimed at black students studying in Year 12 at a state school. In particular, we hope to offer places to those who will benefit most from the additional support available. To do this, we will give priority to applicants meeting the criteria here.
Benefits of STEP - Why should I apply?
As a STEP student, you will have a chance to come to Durham and take part in a residential summer school. Attendees of the residential will also have the opportunity to undertake a form of academic skills assessment. Students who pass the assessment could be eligible for a guaranteed conditional offer from Durham University, with alternative grade conditions (at least two grades lower than the prospectus offer i.e. ABB instead of AAA), should they apply to Durham in Year 13. Please understand that it is the offer that would be guaranteed not the place – you still have to get the grades for example! Naturally, there are a number of terms and conditions that apply to this. We will explain this in full if you are successful in gaining a place on the programme.
The 'S' in STEP stands for Space. We thought we'd expand a little on what this means and before you get excited, no we're not talking about rockets or anything extra-terrestrial. Rather, 'space' refers to both the physical space here at the University and the opportunity afforded to students who take part. STEP students will benefit from staying in one of our 16 colleges, experiencing university level teaching in our teaching facilities. We also intend to create a supportive and inclusive environment where students can take the time to learn about Durham and ask challenging questions. The overall aim of STEP is to provide students with an excellent insight into life at Durham University so that they may make a fully informed decision when choosing which universities to apply to in Year 13.
To Explore. There are two common definitions of 'explore' - to 'search and discover' and to 'think or talk about something in order to find out more about it'. STEP aims to give students an opportunity to do both. Whether you're taking part in a campus tour, visiting the city centre, using our facilities, or participating in workshops and activities, you will have a number of opportunities to learn more about Durham University. As a STEP student you will be encouraged to develop the key skills and knowledge you need to make a successful transition to university life. As part of the programme, you will have the opportunity to work on a range of skills from leadership, communication and teamwork, and of course key academic skills.
Potential. When it comes to university admissions, it is a two-way relationship. Student choice is arguably more important now than it has ever been. So when we think about your potential, we want to focus on what you could do at Durham and what Durham could do for you, not just your potential to come here in the first place. In this way, it is important that STEP students engage critically with the University and understand that the 'potential' we are giving you space to explore is the potential you could realise at Durham by taking advantage of the many opportunities available to you, should you choose to apply to study with us.