The Realising Opportunities (RO) Programme has been designed to support students through their post 16 studies, to help them develop academic skills as well as offering them information and guidance about higher education to help them to make informed decisions about their future.

By successfully completely the RO Programme students will demonstrate that they have the potential to study at a research intensive university. Students must complete all elements of the Programme in order to meet the requirements of any alternative offers they may receive.

  • The Launch Event introduces students to the RO Programme and gives them the opportunity to meet staff from their host university who will be their main point of contact for RO.
  • Students will learn more about what they have to do for RO and the recognition they can receive from the RO universities. They will also receive their Student Information folder and Programme Guide at this event.

Each student is allocated to a dedicated ementor who is a current student at one the RO universities.

  • Ementors lead students through a structured programme of activity which supports the rest of the RO programme as well as students’ current studies.
  • Ementoring is designed to help students find out more information about higher education from choosing a course and university to writing their personal statement and applying.
  • Ementors are also there to offer support and guidance to students through their A levels, revision and exams.
  • The Ementoring portal also offers a wide range of resources and activities to help students to develop their skills and to find out more information.

Ementoring takes place using a secure online portal that is fully monitored to provide a safe environment for discussions to take place. All discussions on the site are monitored and moderated by the Central Team and there are safety checks in place to ensure no personal details including phone numbers and email addresses are passed through the site.
All ementors receive an Enhanced Criminal Record check from the Disclosure and barring service (DBS) and they receive full training from the RO Central Team.

To find out more about our ementors please go to the Ementor page.

The National Student Conference is a large national event attended by RO students from around the country.

  • Students will have the opportunity to take part in a range of skills based workshops designed to enhance their academic skills, knowledge about university and information about how to make a successful UCAS application.
  • Students will get to meet representatives from all the RO universities at the exhibition and to find out more about the courses and facilities they offer.
  • The National Student Conferences is also and opportunity for students to meet their ementor in person and get to know them better.
All travel expenses to the National Student Conference are paid for by RO and food is provided on the day.

Skills4uni is an online study module and a multiple choice test. The online module has been deigned by the University of Birmingham to help students in their current studies and to support the work they do for the academic element of the RO Programme.
Overall the module aims to help students:

  • Develop key skills for independent learning such as planning, research and referencing
  • Increase their confidence in developing their own research based project
  • Gain a greater understanding of the academic skills and ability required at university.

The online module

The multiple choice test

  • The skills4uni multiple choice test is delivered through the ementoring site.
  • It consists of 36 multiple choice questions based on the information in the online study module.
  • Students must achieve 75% or above to pass the test and they are given more than 1 attempt

Students must pass the skills4uni test in order to pass this part of the RO programme, failure to do so will mean they cannot meet the conditions of any alternative offers given to them by RO universities

Students must complete an academic element of the RO Programme to demonstrate they have the ability to study at university level.

For this students will either take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or the RO Academic Assignment.


  • The EPQ will only be an option if it is offered through the student’s school/college and does not form part of their core studies.
  • The EPQ can be taken in either year 12 or year 13 for RO
  • Students must achieve a grade C or above to pass the RO Programme

Academic Assignment

  • The Academic Assignment is delivered through your local RO university and students will be supported by an academic tutor to help them develop their research topic.
  • The assignment is marked by the university and students must achieve a score of 3.5 our of 5 to pass.
  • Students must meet with their tutor at least twice to discuss their research and gain advice and guidance on developing it.
  • The Academic Assignment is marked against an assessment matrix which will be given to the students along with more information about the assignment.
  • Students must achieve a score of 3.5 out of 5 to pass.

RO Universities offer a wide range of events and activities to students.

  • This allows students to spend time at the universities, meet staff and current students and get a hands-on experience of higher education.
  • The events vary from subject specific sessions, masterclasses and subject taster days to skills based sessions and big events such as Open Days.
  • Students are also given the opportunity to take part in residential summer schools which provide them with a real taste of life as a university student.
  • With prior arrangement with the university hosting the event, travel costs may be reimbursed

RO students must attend at least one event in addition to the Local Launch event and National Student Conference, but they are welcome to attend as many as they wish.

RO gives students direct access to professionals and employee organisations through a number of ways

Ask the Expert: every month we feature a professional on the site to whom students can ask questions about their career and educational journey.

National Student Conference: At the conference students will be able to speak to employee organisations and find out more about the career opportunities they have. In previous years we have hosted Teach First, Institution of Civil Engineers and the Nuffield Foundation.