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Durham University

Supported Progression

Supported Progression

COMING SOON: Our team is working very hard to plan the next year of Supported Progression. We are excited for the year ahead; more information about the 2019-20 programme will be available here in October 2019 and we will be open for SP applications in November 2019, so please come back soon!

Please note we are making some changes for the coming year. The content on these pages refers to our 2018-19 programme (last year!) so, while we hope you find it interesting, we would encourage you to read the new information thoroughly once it is available in October 2019.

About Supported Progression

What is Supported Progression?

Supported Progression is a programme for talented students studying in the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire who have the potential to study at a university like Durham and who will benefit from additional help and support to reach their full potential. Supported Progression offers a two-year coherent, structured programme of events and information. Events include a full day for you and a parent/carer, a two night residential event, and a five night residential summer school, which is assessed. Information provided throughout the event includes topics such as applying to university and UCAS, student finance, studying abroad, and a variety of skills workshops such as presentation skills, teamwork, time-management.

If you are a student interested in applying to SP - you can find out more about the programme here.

Why apply to Supported Progression?

Guaranteed, conditional offer -

In addition to the opportunities and information above, those who successfully complete the programme and perform to the required standard in the assessed summer school project at the end of Year 12 will be recognised as having achieved a qualification equivalent to 16-32 UCAS tariff points. This will contribute towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme of study within the academic department with which they completed their assessment at Durham University. Students will then receive a guaranteed, conditional offer for that particular course should they apply to Durham University during Year 13. Offer conditions usually stipulate the grades that must be achieved, including any subject specific requirements. You can find out more about how SP offers work, which subjects are available (and their respective entry requirements) by reading the additional subject information.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Please find the criteria for the 2018-19 programme, below.

Essential criteria:

·applicants must be in Year 12 or equivalent.

·applicants must be attending a state school or college in the North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire and London.

·applicants must be currently living in the UK and have been for a minimum of three years prior to the time of application as well as having UK or EU nationality or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, except where residence in the UK is wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.

·applicants must be taking subjects in relation to the subject stream they are applying for (we advise students to research subject specific entry requirements on our website (below) prior to application)

Additionally, we typically look for applicants meeting some of these criteria:

·have achieved at least five GCSEs or equivalent at grade 7 or above (or e.g. A, A* or Distinction), including a strong level of achievement at GCSE for relevant subjects.

·come from neighbourhoods with low overall progression rates to higher education or high levels of financial, economic or social deprivation*

·are in receipt of, or entitled to, Free School Meals, Pupil Premium funding and/or discretionary school/college payments, which are directly linked to financial hardship

·will be the first generation in their family to attend university

·attend schools or colleges with a low overall GCSE and/or A-Level, Higher/Advanced Higher (or equivalent) point score and/or schools or colleges with low progression rates to higher education**

These criteria are used to identify students with merit and potential who are currently under represented in higher education. Additionally, as black and minority ethnic (BAME) applicants are underrepresented at Durham University, we particularly welcome applications to Supported Progression from BAME students.

Durham University is proud to hold the Buttle UK Quality Mark in recognition of our support and commitment to care leavers. We welcome applications from care leavers and those who have had experience of care. Durham University have a designated care leaver co-ordinator, Jordan Donohue, who can offer advice and guidance relating to support on offer at Durham University. To contact Jordan or to find out more, please head over to our webpage for care leavers.

Supported Progression also welcomes applications from disabled students and makes reasonable adjustments to facilitate access to all Supported Progression events and the University.

Further details can be found on our website:

* Determined using POLAR3 and/or POLAR4 data, using quintiles 1 and 2; and/or ACORN categories 4 or 5; and/or an IMD score of 30 or less. See further:

** Please see

Apply for Supported Progression 2018-19

Applications for the 2018-19 programme are now closed! Thank you to all those who applied. We will be making some very difficult decisions over the next few weeks and will communicate outcomes on 18 December 2018.

Information for Teachers

This year the SP programme will have an online application form. This also means that there is no requirement for teachers to supply a reference in the same way that you may have done in previous years. You may, however, be required to provide a form of verification in the event that any successful students from your school name you as a contact. This will not be until January or February 2019 and more guidance on this will be available soon. We hope that this change will make it less complex for applicants and less time consuming for teachers.

We are also developing more up to date resources for SP teachers and we would be glad to hear from you if there are any resources you feel would be of particular use to you or your students. If you would like to get in touch with the team about this or if you have any other SP related queries, please contact us on 0191 334 9126 during office hours or email

Thank you for your patience as we develop the revised content.

SP Talks in School

Thank you to all the schools who accomodated the SP Team as we promoted the 2017/18 programme. For requests to visit the school in the autumn to promote the 2018/19 programme, please email


Contact the SP Team

To get in touch with the Supported Progression Team please contact:


Tel: 0191 334 9126

Access and Student Recruitment Office

Durham University
The Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Please note that if you wish to make a complaint to or about any decision or action related to Supported Progression, you should use the procedures set out in the documents below. If you cannot see the documents under "Resources" below or for any other reason you are unable to access the procedure, please contact us using the details above and we will make arrangement for you to receive this procedure through another medium.


We appreciate that you may have many questions about Supported Progression. You are more than welcome to contact us but you may find the answer you are looking for in the FAQs.

Contact us


Access and Student Recruitment Office, The Palatine Building, Durham University, Stockton Road, Durham DH1 3LE