An image of students sitting at tables in the Learning Lounge, studying.

Realising Opportunities

The University of Birmingham is part of the Realising Opportunities (RO) partnership. Realising Opportunities is a unique collaboration of leading universities that have made a long-term commitment to, and demonstrated impact in widening participation, fair access, and social mobility.

At the University of Birmingham, we host a selected group of high-achieving Year 12 students from our established Realising Opportunities partner schools. We have supported thousands of students in achieving their goals of attending Research-Intensive Universities (RIUs) through this scheme since it began in 2009. It’s a great opportunity for you to experience RIUs across the country, so we encourage you to consider applying. 

Applications will open for Year 12 students from September to November 2023. Please speak with your school Realising Opportunities coordinator for more information.   

Benefits of completing Realising Opportunities

By taking part in the programme, you benefit from:

  • Alternative offers from the RO partner universities which are typically two grades lower than the standard offer
  • Additional consideration when applying to RO partner universities through UCAS
  • Online support from university students and staff at the RO partner universities
  • A wide range of events and activities at the RO Partner universities. Travel costs may be supported
  • Experiences and support to help you make informed decisions about higher education and research-intensive universities
  • Skills development in planning, analysis, critical thinking, evaluation, and independent research

Eligibility criteria

To apply for RO, you must meet the eligibility criteria. 

What Realising Opportunities involves

To be entitled to the Realising Opportunities offer, you must complete you RO programme which is designed to help you make the transition from school to university. The RO programme consists of three mandatory elements: 

  • Attend your RO launch event at the University of Birmingham campus
    • Attend a minimum of 2 RO events/activities at partner universities; this should include the National Student Conference
  • Complete Skills4Uni (an online study support module) to help you identify and build the skills you need to be a successful university student
  • Academic Skills Module – take notes in a live undergraduate level university lecture and write a short reflection on your experience

Aims of Realising Opportunities 

  • Increase your knowledge about RIUs and what they can offer you.
  • Give you access to the RO Partner universities
  • Develop your understanding and confidence in higher education skills, such as academic note-taking, critical thinking, evaluation, researching, and referencing
  • Increase your understanding of how to apply through UCAS
  • Give you online support from current university students and enhance your understanding of university life
  • Provide real-life insights into different career paths, and encourage you to think about your options

Contact us