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Widening Participation
Realise your potential

If you want to study at university then we’ll do our absolute best to help you succeed regardless of your circumstances.

The University of Stirling is committed to enabling students from all backgrounds to achieve their full potential. We believe that everyone has the potential to succeed and actively encourage applications from non-traditional groups. The Widening Participation staff support a wide range of different students who can be considered as coming from a widening participation background.

We work with students, and their parents, guardians and advisers, to help find the right route into university for them. There are a number of different options available depending on your background and what you want to study. Use the links below to find out more about what we can do for you.

Prospective student speaking to student at open-day

Coming from college?

College students make up a significant part of the student population at Stirling.

Mature student with laptop

Mature students

Mature students have a wealth of valuable life and work experience that universities appreciate. 

Students walking next to loch

Care experienced young people

Our advisers are here to provide information, advice and guidance to anyone interested in applying to university.

 Students sitting on steps

Young and adult carers

We realise that the issues carers face can sometimes make the thought of coming to university daunting, but we're here to help make sure you're able to make the most of your time here.

Contextualised Admissions at Stirling

We select students based on both ability and potential. We don’t just look at grades – we look at the information provided across the application form to assess the potential of each student. There are certain circumstances we would give extra consideration to, including:

  • your school is part of the Schools for Higher Education Programme (SHEP)
  • you have experience of being in care
  • you are a young adult carer
  • you come from a priority postcode

If you're not sure if your school is a member of the Schools for Higher Education Programme, then just get in touch and we'll let you know. Email us at

Enter a postcode here to check eligibility:


Image of Shumela Ahmed

Shumela Ahmed, BA (Hons) Journalism and Politics

Shumela, 35, left school at the age of 14 with no formal qualifications and initially assumed that was the end of her academic journey.

“I always assumed an academic career was out of the question because of my lack of education. The University’s Access program significantly changed that and, once I had completed it, I chose to stay at Stirling for the duration of my undergraduate degree."

Read full story

Get in touch

Tracey Kerr

Widening Participation Manager
International and Student Recruitment
2C3, Cottrell Building, Stirling, FK9 4LA

+44 (0) 1786 467046

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