Access and Widening Participation


Realising Opportunities

UCL is a member of Realising Opportunities (RO), a unique collaboration of leading, research intensive universities across the country, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from groups under-represented in higher education.

The RO Programme provides skills development opportunities and information to help students to make informed decisions about their future; supports students in their current work at school/college; and enables students to demonstrate their potential for success at a research-intensive university.


The structured and interactive Realising Opportunities (RO) Programme will help you to develop your academic skills, improve your awareness of higher education and your knowledge of how to apply to university. It will also give you increased access to the RO universities through events and activities.

Local Launch: Students on the programme will attend a launch event held at UCL which will fully introduce students to the programme. 

National Student Conference: Students attend skills based workshops and meet representatives from all the RO partner universities.

Skills4uni: This online study module and test helps to develop key academic skills that will be useful in both A Level work and at university.

Academic Element: The Academic Element demonstrates students have the ability to complete an independent piece of research. It is made up of either the EPQ or the RO Academic Assignment.

Events and Activities: Students have access to events and activities at all of the RO partner universities around the country as well as residential opportunities. 

Access to Professions: RO provides lots of great ways to find out more about professions and career options from meeting employers at the National Student Conference to following a dedicated coaching programme online.


For information about eligibility and applying for Realising Opportunities, please see this page of the RO website.

Programme benefits 

By completing the RO Programme you will benefit from the following:

Additional Consideration

  • All RO universities will give additional consideration to your UCAS application.

Alternative offer

  • The majority of RO universities will give you an alternative offer worth up to two A Level grades lower.
  • Please refer to the Recognition Guide on the Resources page of the RO website for more information about this.

Skills Development

  • You will develop a range of skills to help you with your current studies and for your future studies at university.
  • You will undertake an independent piece of research as part of the Programme which will develop your skills in researching, planning, critical thinking, analysis and referencing.

Advice for your future

  • You will gain an understanding of research intensive universities and have increased access to the RO partner universities, including the opportunity to attend events and activities such as masterclasses and residential visits.
  • You will have access to online support from current undergraduate students across the RO partner universities.

Access to careers information

  • You will have access to professionals who will offer you career advice and information.