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Student Services

Ignite Programme

Our Ignite Programme enables undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds to make the most of their studies.

If you have any questions about the Ignite Programme please get in touch.

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The Widening Participation Directorate at the University of Southampton is delighted to offer our unique undergraduate Ignite Programme.

Applications for the Ignite Programme 2021/22 have now closed. Details about applications for 2022/23 will be available later in the year. 

This extensive 3-year, Alumni funded programme is available to students from underrepresented backgrounds and offers a blend of financial, academic, career, and personal opportunities to ensure you reach your full potential.

Key elements of the programme include structured outcome-based workshops, tailored mentoring schemes, guaranteed internships and international hackathon opportunities, all underpinned by a range of £3,000 awards & £10,000 bursaries.

The programme maximises your university experience by supporting you to:

Alongside Ignite Staff, content is delivered by a range of contributors, including key University of Southampton Alumni, sourced specifically to match your needs.

Members of University of Southampton's Professional Services, such as the Careers and Employability Service, The Academic Skills Hub, and the Student Wellbeing Team are involved to enrich the programme and provide relevant and engaging context on the wider support available. The programme includes representation from current students and recent graduates, many of whom are from a Widening Participation’ background.

The Ignite Programme awards will be available to new, undergraduate students. The programme will offer a number of £3,000 awards and £10,000 bursaries across 3 years of study to support students from underrepresented backgrounds, so you can focus on your studies.

Alongside receiving your award, you will take part in a series of exclusive workshops designed to support and empower you to make the absolute most of your time of university. You will also be part of the Wider Ignite community where you and your peers will support and encourage each other, while helpful information is shared with you by the Ignite team. 

You will have the opportunity to be mentored in each of the programmes 3 years, as well have having the opportunity to gain international experience through partnership with Study abroad. 
 
To boost your employability, as well as workshop content from the Careers and Employability Service, we will guarantee you a paid internship within your first year of study, not only further supporting you financially but also setting you off on a great path to secure future work experience opportunities throughout the remainder of your time at university.  
 
There will also be content delivered by the Academic Skills hub to ensure you truly thrive in your studies while you are with us in Southampton.  

The Ignite Programme has been made possible thanks to generous donations of university alumni and supporters.

Award details

Award details

To those receiving the Ignite Programme Bursary from 21/22, they will be awarded £10,000 over 3 years of study, as follows:

Year of StudyAward Amount
Year 01 £3,300
Year 02 £3,300
Year 03 £3,400

 

To those receiving the Ignite Programme Award from 21/22, they will be awarded £3,000 over 3 years of study, as follows:

Year of StudyAward Amount
Year 01 £1,000
Year 02 £1,000
Year 03 £1,000


Payment dates will be confirmed at the start of each academic year to award recipients.

Eligibility criteria

Eligbility criteria is as follows:

  • You must have a place to study on an undergraduate course at the University of Southampton starting in the 2022/23 academic year
  • Be studying for your first undergraduate degree
  • Be a EU or UK student

and, meet at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Been in local authority care or looked after for three months or more
  • Have a home address in an IMDQ1 (indicies of multiple deprivation, lowest 20%) neighbourhood

Please note: Eligible students will be invited to apply for the Ignite Programme via a direct email.

How to apply

To apply for the Ignite Programme you will need to complete an online application form. 

Once submitted, eligible students applications will be shortlisted by a panel before successful students are invited to a selection interview.

At the interview, you will be asked a series of questions around your application by the panel. Following the interview, the panel will deliberate, taking into account your answers from both your application and interview.

Successful students will be notified directly following the interviews.

Applications for the Ignite Programme 2021/22 have now closed. Details about applications for 2022/23 will be available later in the year. 

The Ignite Team 

Vicki Finch: Student Success & Inclusion Coordinator 

 
Vicki has been at the University for eight years supporting students, initially in University halls and the Student Hub before joining the Student Inclusion Team when it was established in 2018.  
 
She is passionate about supporting students on their University journey and excited to be part of the Ignite Programme as it continues to grow.   
 
At the weekend she enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as watching a good film.

 

Roshana Wickremasinghe: Student Success Manager 
 
Having recently joined the University, Roshana will be supporting the ongoing development of provision for specific student groups including mature students, Care Leavers and Living at Home students.   
 
Before joining the team, Roshana trained as an English teacher and is passionate about addressing educational inequality. She is currently completing her PhD in the language used by government and teachers to talk about aspiration to university.  
 
In her spare time, Roshana runs a women’s cycling group where she leads bike rides, workshops and events.

Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Ignite Programme here.

What will it entail for me to be involved in the Ignite Programme?

Alongside receiving your bursary, you will take part in a series of exclusive workshops designed to support and empower you to make the absolute most of your time at university. You will also be part of the wider Ignite community where you and your peers will support and encourage each other, while helpful information is shared with you by the Ignite team.

You will have the opportunity to be mentored in each of the programmes 3 years, as well have having the opportunity to gain international experience through partnership with Study abroad.

To boost your employability, as well as workshop content from the Careers and Employability Service, we will guarantee you an internship within your first year of study, not only further supporting you financially but also setting you off on a great path to secure future work experience opportunities throughout the remainder of your time at university.

There will also be content delivered by the Academic Skills hub to ensure you truly thrive in your studies while you are with us in Southampton.

Are there any restrictions on the courses you are studying?

You can apply for the Ignite Programme if you are in the first year of study on any undergraduate course at the University of Southampton; however, the funding and programme are only for three years.   

If you are studying for an undergraduate course for more than 3 years, you can still apply and be part of the Ignite Programme. Please note, the funding available is for 3 years only and there will be no further workshops past year three.   

You can find information on the funding options available on our Fees and funding webpage. 

What if I am already receiving funding from elsewhere (Cash Bursary, University of Southampton Bursary, Access to Southampton Bursary or any other grants)?

No matter what other funds you are eligible to receive, if you meet our eligibility criteria you are welcome to apply for the Ignite Programme.

If you are successful in being accepted onto The Ignite Programme and receive funds from it, you will still be eligible to receive all other funding you do currently.

 

What if I cannot attend the workshops?

We expect a level of commitment should you take part in the programme, 80% attendance should be regarded as a minimum, however we also realise there can be many logistical and sometimes unexpected challenges to participating in university life, especially extracurricular activities.

If you cannot attend a workshop, activity or event for any reason, please do let us know. 

What happens if I leave the university before completing my degree, will I need to pay the funds back?

If you leave university, all funding for any of the Ignite Programme will stop and you will receive no further payments. You would not need to pay back the money you had already been awarded

How will you make the decision on who is offered a place on the Ignite Programme?

The applications for all Ignite Programme places and awards will be assessed based on your application answers which include questions on your course, why you have chosen to come to Southampton and the impact the programme will have on your life. A panel will assess your application and produce a shortlist of students.

At the interview, the panel will ask you further questions around the answers you gave in your application. Following the interviews, the panel will review your answers from your application and during your interview before making a decision on the successful students. 

 

How will I receive the bursary?

Any Ignite Programme award due to be paid to you will be paid directly into your bank account. To ensure all payments are made directly to you and on time, please make sure your bank account details are up to date. You can check your bank account details via ‘My student record (Self Service)’ on SUSSED.  

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