ACCESS RGU is Robert Gordon University’s widening participation initiative.

The initiative is coordinated by the university’s Access and Articulation Team. Working in partnership across the University and with external partners, the team promotes the greater uptake of higher education among groups that are traditionally under-represented at university.

ACCESS RGU delivers outreach activities with schools and communities, coordinates on-campus learning opportunities for prospective students and provides advice and guidance for applicants and enrolling students. The programme of activities is committed to delivering the University's strategy to extend access to learning and enable talented individuals from under-represented groups, particularly those from deprived areas, to achieve their ambitions through higher education, whatever their circumstances.

ACCESS RGU’s strategic aims are to:

  • Build Ambition: raise aspirations and develop ambition,
  • Enable Access: mitigate barriers and create student-centred access pathways, and
  • Support Achievement: support the development of skills-enriched graduates with the confidence and capacity to achieve their ambitions, whatever their circumstances.

For more information on ACCESS RGU, please contact the team on 01224 263048 or email access@rgu.ac.uk

Care Leavers

Robert Gordon University is dedicated to providing an accessible student environment for all students, including those who have been looked after at home, in residential care, foster care or kinship care.

Students talkingGoing to university can be a daunting prospect and many prospective students will look to previous experiences or family for support in getting through new challenges. In many cases, a disrupted education or lack of family support may make the transition to university study a more intimidating experience for care leavers.

We are also proud to have been awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark, which requires us to demonstrate that we have a robust strategy in place to ensure that students from a care background can access a package of support, be it pastoral, educational or financial.

Our dedicated Care Leaver Adviser can guide you through the wide range of student services available, helping you make the most of life at university and your successful future career. In addition, students and applicants from Scotland may also be entitled to the Care Leavers Grant through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), which can assist with paying for accommodation costs during the vacation period.

  1. Care Leaver Brochure

    Care Leaver Brochure

    View online or download a PDF

  2. Care Leaver Enquiry Form

    Application Form Completion

    Complete the online form to discuss your support needs.

  3. Corporate Parenting Plan (PDF 409KB)

    The university's Corporate Parenting Plan sets out our commitment to developing and implementing our ambition for care experienced students.

Get in touch

Contact us to discuss your support needs further:

  • Gary Dawson

    Gary Dawson

    Schools Engagement Lead  

  • Access To

    If you are currently in S5 or S6 and are aspiring to study at university then ‘Access To’ at RGU could be for you.

    What is 'Access To?'

    'Access To' seeks to widen participation in Higher Education for students who are often under-represented in universities.

    Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, RGU has developed a suite of programmes designed to support talented and committed S5 and S6 pupils who aim to study at degree level, either via a college route or by direct entry to the university. The programmes offer S5 and S6 pupils an opportunity to get first-hand experience of undergraduate degree study courses and student life on campus via twilight sessions held after school.

    Delivered by course tutors and coordinated by the ACCESS RGU, participants are given a unique opportunity to find out more about degree course options, entry requirements, study pathways and the key skills required to be successful at university.

    Applications for 2018 open on Monday 4th of June and will close on Friday 6th of July

    Applications for 2019-20 Access To programmes is now open

    Find out more

    Our ‘Access To’ programmes provides pupils with opportunities to further their interest in a chosen subject area whilst also benefiting from tailored support from the university’s study skills and access unit.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Access To programmes are aimed at S5 and S6 pupils who are under-represented in higher education. To be eligible for selection, you must meet at least one of the following criteria.

    The places will be allocated based on the level and number of criteria met. Those meeting a priority criteria will be given first consideration, thereafter those who meet the additional criteria will be considered. If the programmes are heavily over-subscribed the priority will be given to pupils attending the partner schools with the lowest progression rate to higher education and to applicants residing in the lower quintile postcode areas (based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation).

    Priority criteria

    • Be based in Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire, living permanently in an area identified as most-deprived (referred to as MD20/MD40 or quintiles 1 & 2 through the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, SIMD)
    • Have spent time as a Looked After Child and/or Accommodated Child

    Additional criteria

    • Attend one of the following target schools as agreed in partnership with the Local Authority – Northfield, St Machar, Kincorth, Torry, Hazlehead, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Mintlaw or Lochside Academy.
    • Be in the first generation of your family to go to university
    • Experienced a disruption to studies based on personal circumstances
    • Be in the minority gender at subject level. This criteria applies to Access to Nursing & Midwifery, Computing and Engineering programmes.
    • Be in receipt of Educational Maintenance Allowance or free school meals
    • Have a significant role looking after someone else who is experiencing illness or disability

     Applications for 2018 open on Monday 4th of June and will close on Friday 6th of July.

     For more information on Access To programmes please email access@rgu.ac.uk or call 01224 263032.


    At ACCESS RGU we offer a comprehensive programme of workshops to our partner schools, designed to enrich students’ current timetables and enable them to make informed decisions in regards to their future.

    Working with S1 and S2 pupils to explore further and higher education opportunities and study pathways by delivering a range of presentations and workshop sessions designed to benefit senior pupils including:

    • How to choose a University and student life
    • Confidence and communication
    • UCAS and personal statements
    • Note taking 

    Workshops can be tailored specifically toward students’ needs. If you would like more information, please email access@rgu.ac.uk or phone 01224 263098

    Schools from across the city can also get in touch with the Schools Liaison Team for input, support and advice.

    1. Northern Lights Programme

      Northern Lights Logo

      Working with S1 and S2 pupils to explore further and higher education opportunities and study pathways


    ACCESS RGU coordinates a range of activities that provide support and guidance for applicants from under-represented groups.

    This includes 1-1 advice and guidance by phone and email, facilitating Access To study guides and resources throughout the application stage through to enrolment.

    The enrolment support pack has been extremely popular with enrolling students in previous years. We are delighted to be able to offer the pack to wider access students enrolling in September 2018.

    RGU is committed to widening participation to extend access to learning and enable talented individuals from under-represented groups, particularly those from deprived areas, to achieve their ambitions through higher education, whatever their circumstances.

    Find out more about Clearing and Late Applications

    Applicant Resources and Travel Support

    Applicants from under-represented groups who attend Applicant Days, Visit Afternoons or Selection Visits are eligible to claim back a proportion of their travel costs from the ACCESS RGU Travel Support Fund.

    Eligible applicants are contacted at the point of their application and provided with information on how to make a claim

    The Wider Access and Outreach Team also distribute free ACCESS RGU Enrolment Support Packs at the start of the first semester to eligible students.  Eligible students will be contacted in advance of enrolment with detailed information on where and when the pack can be collected on campus. Packs are typically distributed during enrolment week.

    For more information, please contact the Team on 01224 263048 or email access@rgu.ac.uk.

    Degree Prep

    The Study Skills and Access Unit operate a free two-day DegreePrep Access programme for new eligible university entrants.

    Our programme is specifically designed to ease your pathway into the Higher Education environment and to help you feel confident and excited about studying here at the Robert Gordon University. The programme will cover:

    • Essential study skills for university
    • Exploring your expectations about university
    • Practical guidance on using the various services within the university
    • Life as a student and how you can best manage the move to Higher Education

    We want you to feel confident about coming to study at RGU and this programme is an excellent step in helping you on your journey into Higher Education.

    Eligible applicants will be identified by the university and contacted with further information prior to enrolment in their chosen degree.

    Give yourself a step up and start university with confidence.

    Make friends before you start and get a feel for student life.

    94% of students felt more confident in continuing their studies at university level after participating in DegreePrep programmes.

    Help yourself to reach your full academic potential.


    How to get here - transport information

    How to find us

    Financial Assistance for travel
    If you have to travel a considerable distance to attend this programme i.e. outwith Aberdeen City, or if you have to make additional arrangements concerning accommodation and/or childcare, financial support is available.

    Contact us for further information on financial support - phone 01224 263048 or email: access@rgu.ac.uk


    Registration has now closed and all places have been filled.


    1. Open Days

      Garthdee campus with students 6.4i 67

      The Open Day is your chance to visit our superb facilities and learn about student life.

    2. Visit Afternoons


      Visit Afternoons give you the opportunity to tour the campus, meet with academic staff and ask questions to staff and current students.