Discover Sheffield

Discover Sheffield is our national sustained engagement programme for students living outside the Sheffield City Region.


Discover Sheffield has been tailor made to give you the knowledge and support to help you to make an informed decision about whether university is right for you. You will find out about our fantastic city and experience what it is like to be a student at the University of Sheffield. 

There will be lots of opportunities throughout the programme to explore the range of subjects on offer here at the University of Sheffield. You’ll have the opportunity to have academic tutoring, attend helpful study skills workshops, UCAS and student finance guidance sessions and much more. These sessions are delivered online via evening events to fit in with your current studies. You’ll also get a feel for what it’s like to be a student at the University of Sheffield through an exciting residential summer school. You’ll get to explore our campus, stay in our modern student accommodation, and learn about university life from our current undergraduates.

Programme structure

Year 12
  • Join us for an online welcome event where we’ll tell you all about the programme
  • Explore the range of subjects that the University of Sheffield offers through interactive online subject taster sessions
  • Chat to our current students through ‘Ask an Ambassador’ events
  • Receive expert guidance on applying to university and the UCAS process
  • Experience a three-day, two-night, residential summer school giving you a taste of life as a Sheffield student
Year 13
  • Receive guidance from our team on how to write your UCAS personal statement
  • Attend study skills workshops to help with current study and exam preparation
  • Find out more about life and careers beyond University from our Alumni
  • Receive guidance on the support available to you through student finance and how to apply
  • Join us for a celebration event to recognise your success

Programme outcomes

Adjusted offers

Students who successfully complete the programme will be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to one or two A Level grades below the standard entry requirements for their course, where all other requirements for the course have been or can be met (for example required subjects, GCSE requirements, pre-entry tests, and portfolio requirements).

To qualify for an adjusted offer for Medicine or Dental Surgery you must have participated in additional mandatory elements of the programme.

If you wanted to take a 1 x year gap break before applying to The University of Sheffield or need to re-sit A Levels to achieve a higher grade, the adjusted offer would be made available in the following year only.


How to apply

Applications are now closed for Y12 students. Applications usually open in September each year.

To apply for Discover Sheffield, your sixth form/college will need to be registered with our team. To find out if your school is registered, please complete the enquiry form below and we will get in touch with you:

Discover Sheffield - Individual Enquiry Form

Once your school is registered, they will tell you if you are eligible to apply based upon the criteria and information we have provided for them. You will then need to complete the online application form, via your registered school/college coordinator. The link to the application form is usually made available in September each year.

Taking part in the Discover Sheffield programme shows commitment and could enhance your university application. However, it does not guarantee you a place at university. Places are subject to availability and you can only be registered on one sustained Outreach pathway at the University of Sheffield at any one time.

Eligibility requirements

This programme is for students who meet specific academic and widening participation criteria from identified state schools. 

Please note that Discover Sheffield is separate from our Discover Pathways, which are aimed at students more local to the University. If you’re not sure which programme to apply for, please complete the enquiry form in the ‘how to apply’ section and we will get in touch with you.

Academic requirements

GCSE requirements

Minimum 5 GCSEs grade 9-6, plus a minimum grade 4 English and Maths if not already included.

A Level requirements

There are no specific subject requirements, but you should be studying a minimum of 3 A Levels or relevant equivalent and at least 2 should be on the University’s acceptable subject list.

Widening access criteria
  • Live in a neighbourhood which has a low progression rate to Higher Education. This is defined by home postcode.
  • Live in an area which has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation. This is defined by home postcode.
  • Are currently or have previously been in receipt of free school meals
  • Are a Looked After Child, Young Carer or estranged from their family
  • Are a student with a declared disability
  • Are a forced migrant

Prioritisation is then given to students who:

  • Are from a certain gender, ethnic or socio-economic group which is currently under-represented in HE
  • Have individual circumstances meaning they will need to overcome other barriers to learning/progression

Each application will be considered individually. Exceptional circumstances stated by the students and/or school (such as family upheaval or disrupted schooling for example) will provide additional context to their application. 

Information for schools and colleges 

Discover Sheffield - School Enquiry Form

Applications for Discover Sheffield open for Y12 students in September each year. In order for individuals from your school/college to apply for the programme, you will need to be registered with our team.

If you are interested in offering this opportunity to your Y12 students in September, please complete the short enquiry form below:

Discover Sheffield - School Enquiry Form

On completion of the enquiry form, we will contact you to let you know if your school is eligible to take part and how to register for the programme. Sixth forms and colleges with a significant number of students who meet the above criteria will be prioritised. 

Once your school/college is registered, individual Y12 students will be able to apply for the programme. This will be an online application supported by a short school reference.

Discover Sheffield is completely free of charge. Successful applicants will take part in online sessions, access virtual tutoring, attend an on-campus summer school and can apply for an Experience Sheffield Scholarship of up to £3600. You will be able to see updates on students’ progress throughout the programme. 

On completion of the programme in Year 13, students will also be eligible for an alternative offer equivalent to up to two A Level grades lower than the standard entry requirements for their course.

Contact us


Phone: 0114 222 1027

Follow us on Instagram for an insight into our Discover Sheffield Programme.


Discover Sheffield programme (PDF)

The expansion of this widening participation programme has been made possible following a very generous donation made by the Law Family Charitable Foundation (LFCF). For further information please click here.

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