Routes to the Professions

The Routes to Professions (R2P) programme offers a unique opportunity for Year 12 students to gain a real insight into university study. It focuses on specific vocational courses and provides students with tailored support through the university application process. Year 12 students should apply if they have an interest in learning more about careers in Dentistry, Engineering, Finance, Law or Medicine.

At the heart of the R2P programme is the experience of being mentored by a current student at the University of Birmingham. Pupils taking part in R2P will be partnered with a University student who is studying a degree related to their R2P academic stream, offering access to tailored advice and support throughout the programme.

During the programme, pupils will engage in activities and receive support from professional and academic staff at the University, and will interact with external professionals, helping to inform their choices about future educational and career pathways.

Applications for Routes to the Professions 2020/21 are closed.

Read our COVID-19 FAQs for future students

Opportunities within the Routes to the Professions programme

Here is a brief overview of the programme, including compulsory events and key dates.

Virtual launch event

Compulsory activity taking place Saturday 13 February 2021

During this session, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage with their University R2P Mentor, their personal contact at the University, who studies a degree related to their academic stream

  • Meet the R2P team who will support them while on programme

  • Build skills needed for their professional career of choice

  • Learn more about Pathways to Birmingham and the benefits of successful completion

  • Interact with other students looking to pursue a similar career pathway

Virtual student shadow experience

Online workshop taking place in spring 2021

This workshop is designed to help students to prepare for their UCAS applications. Students will receive advice on different routes and careers in their chosen profession, support in developing their UCAS personal statements, and guidance on admission tests. 

Becoming a professional

Academic stream event

Participants will be able to:

  • Learn what it takes to become a professional from our award winning Careers Network Team
  • Hear from our admissions teams and subject staff about educational pathways available to you at the University of Birmingham
  • Ask academic staff for tips to strengthen their university application to ensure it stands out from the crowd

Your next step event

This session is designed to help students:

  • Prepare for their UCAS applications including admissions tests, interviews and personal statements
  • Learn more about the Pathways to Birmingham Reflective Assignment
  • Learn about Skills4Uni and its accompanying assessment

Industry insight events

Spring and summer 2021

COVID-19 allowing, students will be able to access industry insight events where they will be able to learn more about their profession of choice. They will have the opportunity to interact with external professionals and discuss what it is like to work in the sector, the challenges involved and the career paths available. These events will provide students with an invaluable insight into their chosen profession and aim to help them make important decisions about their future.

Benefits of Routes to the Professions

Students who successfully complete the Routes to the Professions programme and apply to the University of Birmingham will receive special consideration from admissions tutors. If their application is successful, they will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard offer and a Pathways to Birmingham offer. The Pathways to Birmingham offer is typically a two grade reduction.

As well as the Pathways to Birmingham offer, students will also be eligible for financial support.

This programme will provide students with valuable experience as well as:

  • Guaranteed interview on our Medicine and Surgery MBChB or Dental Surgery BDS course for students who successfully complete the R2P: Medicine/Dentistry programme and meet the following criteria:

      • Minimum GCSE threshold and have the required predicted A level grades
      • Have a strong personal statement with evidence for motivation for Medicine/Dentistry and involvement in society and,
      • Have taken the UCAT
  • Insight into university study and exposure to experiences that will support their applications
  • Support to help students to prepare and make successful applications to competitive university courses
  • Developing transferable skills required to enter elite professions
  • Gaining insight into professional careers and studying at university
  • A rare opportunity to shadow a current student during lectures
  • Opportunities for work experience/shadowing
  • Mentoring from current students 

Interview preparation session (Medicine and Dentistry only)

Students who successfully complete R2P will be invited to participate in an interview preparation session prior to their actual interview for the course. This session is for students to find out more about medical/dentistry interviews and get tips on how to prepare and be successful.

What is successful completion of Routes to the Professions?

In order to successfully complete Routes to the Professions, and be eligible for a Pathways to Birmingham offer, students are required to:

  • Attend a minimum of three of the five events hosted by the University of Birmingham (including the compulsory virtual launch event on Saturday 13 February 2021)
  • Engage with your student mentor
  • Pass Skills4Uni, an online study skills quiz
  • Successfully complete the P2B reflective assignment

 More information about each of these aspects of the programme will be provided once places are confirmed.

Application criteria

The Routes to the Professions programme is suitable for Year 12 students who have a strong commitment to study at the University of Birmingham and who are studying A Level, IB or a relevant BTEC course. Applications are open to students who meet the Pathways to Birmingham criteria - check if you are eligible.

Academic entry criteria

As well as meeting the eligibility criteria, we also require students to have the academic potential for studies and careers in the five vocational streams. The academic criteria, as used by the University of Birmingham admissions team, is listed below:

Medicine and Dentistry

  • A level: predicted grades BBB (including Chemistry and Biology)
  • Have a minimum of seven GCSEs including English Language, Maths, Chemistry and Biology (or Double Award Science) at grades AABB or 7755 in any order


  • Have a minimum of grade C/4 in GCSE Maths and English
  • Predicted grades of ABB at A-level or D*DD BTEC in a relevant subject (Law and Business), or Access to Higher Education in relevant subject –  60 credits overall to include at least 45 credits at level 3. This must include 21 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit.

Accounting and Finance

  • A minimum of grade B/6 in GCSE Maths and grade C/4 in English
  • Predicted grades BBB at A Level or equivalent in other qualification


  • A minimum of seven GCSEs at grade A*/9-C/4 including English, Maths and Physics/Double Science
  • Predicted grades BBB at A level including Maths or DDD at BTEC Extended Diploma with sufficient Maths content/BTEC Diploma with A level Maths

How to apply

Applications for the Routes to the Professions 2020/21 programme are closed.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Routes to the Professions programme, please email

What do our students think?

“Without Routes to the Professions I wouldn’t have got into university to study medicine. The support from my mentors and the events the programme provided prepared me for everything from interviews to personal statements.”

“Experiencing a lecture with my student mentor was not only great fun, but provided insight into what exactly the degree would be like, and what studying law would entail.”