What does the programme involve?

The Preparing for Social Sciences programme is an exciting opportunity that involves a collection of events for students in year 12-13, L3 Y1-2 and on access courses, across 16 months. The aim of the programme is to allow you to experience of what it might be like to study in one of the social science subjects below, in order to explore their future options. 


Programme Length: 16 Months

Application Deadline: 23 April 2021



  • Business
    The subject is broad in nature, encompassing a range of areas relating to business and markets. It includes the study of organisation, marketing, accountancy, finance and human resource, amongst others. This subject is often both practical and theoretical in nature.
  • Economics
    Economics is the study of how people/governments/firms behave and how they make choices. Often these choices are constrained by limited resources, so economics studies what determines what choices are made and what are the impact of these choices on society. Economics helps you to understand the world around you and is at the centre of understanding current social problems, including climate change, inequality, aging population....
  • Education
    Education considers the lifelong opportunities for learning available throughout society. Explore how policies affect education, different learning environments, how education reacts to societal change including the advancement of digital literacy and the different needs that exist within society. With elements of politics, psychology and sociology - this is a great option for students interested in a range of social sciences.
  • International Development
    International development is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding issues which are prevalent in areas of development, such as human rights, inequality & poverty, and many more. This subject is truly global and will examine issue at the regional, national and international level using tool from different disciplines.
  • Law
    Law affects all aspects of life and society and therefore is a great subject to study for those interested in the world around them. Explore a range of areas including criminal, contract and family. As well as preparing students for a possible career in the legal profession, law students gain a range of employability skills suitable for all careers such as reasoning, writing for clients and negotiation.
  • Physical Education, Sport and Health


  • Psychology


  • Sociology


  • Social Work


 You will get involved in various activities across the duration of the programme, such as:

  • Taster sessions for various subjects
  • Employability and skills building
  • On-campus visits and shadowing (Covid-10 permissions permitting)
  • Mentoring from a current UEA student

The programme is delivered by our staff and current students and is designed to benefit those who are from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in higher education. Eligibility Criteria applies (see criteria below).


Why should I join?

  • You get to ‘try before you buy’, test out a course that you are interested in before you make that final decision next year
  • Get a taste of what uni life could be like without the commitment
  • Hands on experience – see it for yourself, don’t just take our word for it!
  • You will have access to your own personal mentor to work with
  • Meet like-minded people, share the experience together and make friends

"I took part in UEAs preparing for law program when I hadn’t yet made a decision as to what university I wanted to attend. I enjoyed every day spent on the program! It allowed an insight into the course content, structure, teaching style, and extracurricular activities available within the law school! Fantastic opportunity!" 

Meghan, 2019 - 2020 attendee

How to apply

Are you interested, or know someone that might be?


If you have any questions, please email us at ssf.outreach@uea.ac.uk

Deadline to apply is Friday 23rd April 2021.


Am I eligible?


To take part in Preparing for Social Sciences, there are a few eligibility criteria you have to meet. 

Participants must meet all of the following criteria: 

  1. Live in Norfolk, north Suffolk (IP postcode) or Cambridgeshire (PE postcode) 
  2. Be currently studying for a level 3 qualification. It is expected that students will be in the first year of study and will therefore be continuing with the qualification in the 2021/22 academic year 
  3. Have the academic capability to achieve 5 GCSE between grades A*-C/9-4 (including English, Maths and Science). 

Priority will be given to students who also meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  1. Students from low participation neighbourhoods - POLAR Quintile 1 or 2. This may be checked here.
  2. Students eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) within last 5 years 
  3. Students currently in local authority care ('looked after') and students who have previously been in local authority care ('care leaver') 
  4. Young carers and young adult carers - Young carers have caring responsibilities for a family member with any type of illness, disability or addiction, who cannot manage without the young carer's support 
  5. Estranged students - Students who are irreconcilably estranged from their parents, meaning that they have not had verbal or written contact with any living biological or adoptive parents for a significant period, usually 12 months or more 
  6. Students from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities 
  7. Refugee and asylum seekers. Students with refugee status, and those seeking sanctuary 
  8. Mature students. Prospective students aged 21 or over, with no previous university experience 
  9. Students with a disability, including people with specific learning difficulties and mental health problems as defined by UCAS 
  10. Black or Ethnic Minority students 
  11. Students attending alternative or therapeutic education provision 


Not sure if you're eligible or want more information? Please email ssf.outreach@uea.ac.uk and chat to one of our team. 

Not eligible? Why not take a look at our programme of open access online taster lectures.

How will participants be selected?

Applications will be screened for eligibility in line with the guidance shown on this page. Eligible applications will be scored on the statement of interest. The panel will consider the motivation for application and the ability to commit to the programme. 

What does the programme look like?


The below is an idea of the programme agenda for 2021 – 2022, the final programme will be shared with you once finalised.



19th May 2021

Project Launch and Welcome Event

16th June 2021

Choosing a course and exploring UCAS

w/c 5th July 2021

Discover Social Science week – academic taster sessions

July 2021

Academic skills sessions related to Social Science subjects

September 2021

Preparing for year 13/2

Oct/Nov/Dec 2021

Mentor shadowing

Autumn 2021

UCAS support sessions

January 2022

Next steps to becoming a student

March 2022

Careers sessions with employers

Easter 2022

Revision tips/signposting – exam stress etc

July/August 2022

Getting results, clearing etc

September 2022

Celebration event

Do I need to pay anything to take part?

No. All costs including transport (if required) and catering will be met by UEA. All activity so far is being planned for online delivery until we receive government guidance that it is safe to do so in person. 

How will transport be arranged?

If transport is required, participants will be contacted individually to make arrangements. Depending on home address, transport will be either by taxi or public transport. 

Do I have to attend all sessions?

Yes you'll be expected to attend all compulsory sessions. Where the dates are to be confirmed, participants will be consulted as to prior commitments, such as exams. The other activities are entirely optional and can be attended on an individual basis; you do not need to attend all of these.