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UniTracks: The Warwick Young Achievers' Programme

About the programme

UniTracks is unique to Warwick.

Our outreach programme aims to:

  • break down any perceived barriers your students may have about accessing Higher Education (HE) and about subjects in Arts/Humanities Disciplines
  • encourage your students to apply for, and be successful in gaining, a place at a leading research intensive university
  • inspire your students to access different learning opportunities at leading research intensive universities


Catherine McNicholl

Outreach Officer (UniTracks)


Key Information

How UniTracks works:
    Each year has a different focus that form a series of stepping stones on the participant's journey to Higher Education: Explore, Develop, Equip and Attain

      Teachers in the UniTracks partner schools nominate five Year 8 and Year 10 pupils who meet our eligibility criteria (see section below) to join this cohort. We then work with them through from Year 8 right up until they have completed their GCSEs.
        Participants join our programme to learn all about university life, the benefits of pursuing university studies, and how to make an application to the best universities in the country. UniTracks members are supported in this work through events and workshops designed to build their skills, confidence, and academic attainment.
          Our aim is that, by the end of their commitment to the programme, UniTracks participants will be in a position to make informed choices about their future and have the necessary qualifications, skills, and attributes to achieve the next step in their journey.
          UniTracks is designed for students who meet the following criteria:
            Academic Criteria
            Students should meet one or more from the following:
            • Top 10% of year group
            • Has an interest in humanities based subjects
            • Has the potential to achieve 6-9 at GCSE or equivalent
              Social Criteria
              Students must meet at least two of the following criteria:
              • First in their immediate family to go to university (excluding siblings)
              • From an area in which there is traditionally low participation in Higher Education
              • In receipt of, or has within the last six years been eligible for, free school meals
              • In receipt of or entitled to Pupil Premium

              Where a student is, or has ever been, in the care of the local authority, they need only meet the academic criteria.

                •Year 8: Explore– Exploring the HE environment, learning about university and campus life.
                  •Year 9: Develop – Skills development, such as teamwork and communication. Experiencing subjects outside those which your students are already familiar with

                    •Year 10: EquipFocussing on the individual skills needed for the participants to do well in this next part of their academic journey (e.g., revision, study skills, work experience), as well as continuing to develop teamwork skills in a project format.
                      •Year 11: Attain Tailored core-curriculum revision through the 3-day residential Bootcamp over Easter; additional support throughout the year (e.g., half-termly study skills sessions), making use of new learning technologies to reach as many of our participants as possible.
                      “Our invaluable relationship with the University of Warwick through the UniTracks Programme has offered our high achievers (from low socio-economic backgrounds) a comprehensive and personalised support package to take them through those demanding 4 years of secondary school and onto pursuing university courses at leading institutions.This programme has been a life changing experience for Year 10-13 students and I recommend it unreservedly”
                        Mr Moloney, Head of Sixth Form
                        Barking Abbey School “ Joining the UniTracks programme was one of the best choices I could have made for my future. Now, 5 years on, I can still see the positive influence the programme has made in my life. Not only did I get academic guidance but I gained the confidence to believe in myself and my potential. I developed skills that have stayed with me and the programme gave me the knowledge that I could do anything I set my mind to”
                          Christiana, Biodmedical Science Graduate
                          •Why has my child been selected?
                          Your child has been selected to be a part of UniTracks because we feel that they will benefit greatly from the opportunities available. All the young people involved have the ability and potential to gain a place at one of the UK’s leading universities.
                          Participants will be encouraged to choose the best university course for their interests and abilities. Former UniTracks participants have gone on study at universities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Leicester, University College London and Warwick!
                          We recognise, however, that university might not be the right option for everyone. By working with the participants over four years, we hope that we will have given them the confidence in themselves and all the information possible to make the right decision for their future.
                            •What does this mean for me?
                            We ask that you support the young person's participation in the various opportunities open to them as a member of UniTracks. This could include attending the initial launch event; giving consent to them taking part in a group challenge or participating in other activities such as a residential event, and talking with them about their decisions for their future.
                              What does the programme involve and how often will my son/daughter have to come to Warwick?
                              Please download the Student and Parents' Guide for full details of the programme.
                              We hold our main events on Saturdays or sometime during school holidays in order that the participants are not missing out on school. On average, each year the participants will visit campus 3-4 times..
                                •What are the costs involved?
                                There are no costs involved to participating in this programme. We will reimburse parents/guardians/carers for costs relating travelling to one of the UniTracks events on campus.
                                  •Will they have to wear school uniform when attending events?
                                  Most UniTracks events have a casual dress-code so no uniform necessary!
                                    •Is transport to and from Warwick provided? What about other resources?
                                    Transport should never be a barrier to a participant attending a UniTracks event. We will offer support either through reimbursing mileage or public transport costs, or by arranging travel with a coach or minibus.
                                    Regarding resources, unless specified otherwise, we would provide these for the participants. However, there are no specific resources required to be a participant in UniTracks.
                                    All UniTracks events are catered and we can cater for special dietary requirements, provided we know in advance.
                                      •Who will be supervising at these events?
                                      Events are supervised by staff from the University of Warwick’s Outreach team and academic departments, and current undergraduates who work as Student Ambassadors. All staff and students who will be working with the UniTracks participants in an unsupervised capacity undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in line with current regulations.
                                        • Will UniTracks participants get special consideration if they apply to Warwick in the future?
                                        Former UniTracks participants who are planning to apply to Warwick for their undergraduate studies may be eligible to apply for our Warwick Scholars access programme. Further details about Warwick Scholars can be found here Warwick Scholars

                                        UniTracks Guides