Foreword from Stephanie Lee - Head of Widening Participation and Outreach

The Manchester Access Programme (MAP) is the University’s flagship widening access programme, supporting the progression of young people living and studying in Greater Manchester into the University. Targeted at students in their first year of sixth form from backgrounds under-represented in higher education, the programme develops their preparedness for studying in a research-intensive institution by giving them first-hand experience of student life.

The first MAP students joined the programme in 2006 and since then the cohort has grown from 100 participants to over 600 students in 2015. The growth of the programme has been made possible by all the different people who support it and their contributions are recognised through the case studies that are featured on this website.

1,344 MAP students have entered the University between 2007 and 2015 and many of these students have now graduated and are employed in a range of professions or undertaking further study. The impact of the programme on participants and the benefits it has brought are shared by the students themselves in the ‘What MAP means to me’ section of this website.

The programme embodies the University’s goal of delivering an outstanding learning and student experience, with no boundaries or barriers. It also epitomises the University’s goal to be a socially responsible institution, making a difference to the communities around it. I hope that during the next 10 years we will continue to see the life-changing impact of the Manchester Access Programme, as more and more young people experience its benefits and take advantage of the opportunities the programme opens up to them. 

What does MAP mean to you?

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MAP is one of the best opportunities offered by any university for college students.


I’ve been supporting MAP students for 10 yrs

Kate Scott

MAP prepared me so well for studying at university. Having graduated in 2015, I’m proud to say I was a MAP student! Thank you MAP!

Maheen Hussain

MAP helped me to make my dream university course a more realistic option. Long may it continue for other students!

C Mellor

MAP is very helpful and provides skills which will also be useful in later life


MAP has given me an opportunity to achieve my goals.

Laiba Jamil

I applied to MAP because it supports students with difficult backgrounds and gives them support to get into University.

Ali Riaz

I applied to MAP because Manchester has one of the leading optometry courses.

Dilprit Randhawa

I am aspiring to be a lawyer and hope that Map would enable me to know more about the course and I look forward to meeting new people

Sana Akhtar

I applied to MAP as I hope to gain new skills which will help me to venture forward into University, such as referencing and researching.

Shayna Mardenborough

Map is an excellent way of reaching your potential and would definitely recommend it. 🙂


I applied to Map as it was a great opportunity for me and was beneficial in many ways


I completed MAP in 2009-2010. I can’t thank MAP enough for the support, impact on my university career and for the community of Manchester!

Jessica Nightingale

MAP gave me the opportunity to study to be a doctor, instilled the passion of teaching within me and helped to shape me into who I am today.

Valeed Ghafoor

Map is love map is life


As Head of Widening Access in 2005/06, I developed and launched MAP with Stephanie Lee. Its growing impact since then makes me so proud.

Dr Julian Skyrme

Working as a MAP Ambassador was one of the best things I did whilst at university. Students get to ask lots of questions in an informal environment. As I come from a similar background it was easy for the MAP students to relate to me and I was able to help them make one of the most important decisions of their life.

Rehan Shahid, Former MAP Ambassador, Chemical Engineering Graduate

My favourite part of MAP has been the University Life Conference. I got to know lots of new people and the residential was amazing as it gave me a real insight in to living in university halls of residence.

Shafia Begum, current MAP student, General strand.

MAP has opened me up to new opportunities and given me confidence. I feel like I’m ready to go to university and I feel more prepared to study at a higher level.

Alaina Iqbal, current MAP student, Dentistry strand.

I decided to apply to MAP as it’s a great opportunity that can’t be missed. It will benefit me and give me a head start in University, for example now when I enter university I will know how to reference, how to use google scholar and journals and I’ll be able to get on with it straight away.”

Iman Abdul-Ramen, current MAP student Medicine strand.