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Access to Southampton (A2S)

Access to Southampton (A2S) is a programme of events and activities to give you an insight into studying at university. The scheme will support your university application and help develop the skills you need to reach your potential as an undergraduate. The programme includes a residential summer school, support with transition to university, a scholarship and potential eligibility for additional admissions consideration.

We are currently reviewing the content and mode of delivery for this programme, so please note that the below information may be subject to change.

The information below is for the programme for 2021 entry to the University.

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Access to Southampton (A2S) is open nationally to students living permanently in the UK. Students must apply to A2S when they are in Year 12 or the first year of A-Level (or equivalent) study. To be eligible for the A2S scheme, you should have the potential to study at the University of Southampton and meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

*Or for schools in Wales: Attended a secondary school where the percentage of Year 11 pupils who achieved the Level 2 inclusive threshold (Level 2 including a grade A*-C in English or Welsh first language and Mathematics) was below average

School performance tables can be accessed at for schools in England or for schools in Wales.

Eligibility for the POLAR4 measure can be checked at (Postcodes in the lowest 2 POLAR4 quintiles qualify).

Eligibility for the IMD measure can be checked at (Postcodes in the lowest 2 deciles qualify).


Participating subjects

A large number of our subject areas participate in the Access to Southampton scheme. 

Unfortunately, at this time the following disciplines are not available through the scheme: Ecology, Medicine, Midwifery, Natural Sciences,  Physiotherapy and programmes based at Winchester School of Art.

If you're unsure whether your subject of interest participates please contact us.

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What are the benefits of Access to Southampton?

Year 12 A2S Summer School

The Summer School will provide an opportunity to see what life is like as University of Southampton student. You will attend lectures and/or seminars organised by academic tutors in your chosen discipline or broader subject area, as well as spend time with current University of Southampton students. You will be given information and guidance about studying at University level, the UCAS application process and writing your personal statement. Students will also take part in evening activities to give you an insight into the social side of University life and help you to meet like minded people. You will also be set a subject-specific assignment which you will complete at home.

We aim to offer accommodation in our halls of residence to as many students attending the Summer School as possible. However, in the case that we have an overwhelming number of applications, priority will be given to those travelling from outside Hampshire. Transport costs can be reimbursed if required.

The Summer School will be taking place on either 6-7 or 9-10 July 2020, depending on the subject area you apply for. We aim for most essay-based disciplines to run on 6-7 July, and most science-based disciplines to run on 9-10 July. Please note that you must be able to attend both days of the Summer School for your chosen subject.

*Applicants to Engineering disciplines, Computer Science and Physics: Due to the diverse nature of these disciplines, the academic content of the Summer School will be theory-based, around a common theme within these different subject areas: the creative use and application of Mathematics and will not involve lab or practical work.

A2S assignment

We understand that the transition to Higher Education is a big step and the academic assignment is an opportunity for you to see what an undergraduate piece of work will be like in your chosen discipline. It will also allow our academics to assess your ability and potential. 

The piece of work set will be designed to test the skills necessary for your chosen degree. As such, the nature of the task will depend upon your subject. For example, for essay-based courses you will normally be required to submit a 1500 word essay. Whereas, for more Maths or Science based courses you may be required to complete problem-solving tasks or write up an experiment which you carried out during the Summer School.

Ongoing support

In addition to the support of the A2S Co-ordinator, upon successful completion of the academic assignment, you will receive online support from our current University of Southampton student mentors. They will give you further insight into what it's like to study at a research-intensive University by sharing articles and ideas related to their discipline. Your mentor will also be there to answer your questions about applying to University and student life.

Year 13 A2S transition and skills event

When students undergo the transition from school/college to University, they are faced with a range of new experiences and challenges, from being taught and learning in different way to becoming more independent. This day of workshops will help prepare you for the transition to University life by providing information and guidance on topics such as research skills, academic integrity, time management and budgeting.

A2S Scholarship

Those who successfully complete the A2S programme in full and within the required deadlines will receive a £1000 scholarship in their first year of study when they enrol at the University of Southampton. As a successful A2S student you may also be eligible for additional scholarships, programmes and opportunities whilst at the University of Southampton.

Eligibility for additional admissions consideration

Students who pass the academic assignment could be eligible for additional consideration in the admissions process when they apply to the University of Southampton. Depending on the course you are applying to, this could take the following forms:

a) an admissions offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme;

b) additional consideration and you will not be rejected solely on the basis of predicted (or actual) grades;

c) a guaranteed interview (or similar additional opportunity dependent upon the discipline).

Access to Southampton does not guarantee an offer from the University. Admissions decisions are based on a combination of your predicted grades, content of your UCAS personal statement, UCAS reference, interview (for some courses) and the additional information provided on the A2S application forms. You must meet any standard GCSE entry requirements for the course. Any alternative offer made through A2S will be conditional upon the applicant selecting the University of Southampton as their firm choice and completing all parts of the programme.

How to apply

Applications are via the online form below. Please read the below application guidelines before completing your application. You will be required to submit a reference from your school/college. We ask that your referee reads the below guidance for referees before providing you with a reference.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2020.

Frequently Asked QuestionsApply now
Application guidance documentReferee guidance document

Contact us

For further information on Access to Southampton, please contact the A2S Co-ordinator:

Telephone: 023 8059 5696


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