Widening participation in postgraduate study

The University is taking part in a research project, involving a number of UK universities brought together by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), to find out more about the background of the students that are progressing into postgraduate study.

Students outside the union

The research project is designed to provide more information about which groups are typically under-represented in postgraduate education nationally, to enable the participating institutions to address barriers and put in place appropriate support, with a view to widening access to postgraduate taught study and doctoral research.

All applicants to postgraduate courses with a fee status of Home will be invited to help with the project by completing a short survey about their background and experiences, for example whether they've been in care. The project is entirely separate from our admissions process, and an applicant's decision to participate or not won't affect our consideration of their application either way.

Responses are anonymised at the University of Sheffield, forwarded to a co-ordinating team based at the University of Leeds for collation with anonymised responses from 11 other institutions, then passed to a research team based at the University of York for analysis. The research team are looking for patterns in applications for postgraduate study. Individual students will not be identifiable in any findings published.

You can find out more about the Widening Participation in Postgraduate Study research project, and what the National Education Opportunities Network is doing to improve access to higher education, on the NEON website:

NEON – the National Education Opportunities Network

By completing the survey, you'll be supporting us to better understand who applies for postgraduate courses. The findings will then enable us, and other universities, to improve access in the future, and ensure that future students feel postgraduate study is something they can reasonably aspire to, whatever their background.

If you have any questions about the project, or any thoughts you would like to contribute, please get in touch with our team at access@sheffield.ac.uk address.

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