DMU Widening access and participation

Empowering your students

We know education has the power to transform lives and that’s why DMU’s Widening Access Team are committed to helping develop and support raising aspirations and attainment – to ensure all learners have the opportunity to go on to higher education, whatever their background.

The team offer stand-alone activities or longer-term projects, to support widening participation students up to the age of 16 years. These are delivered either in the school setting, or at DMU’s award winning, Leicester campus.

All activities are designed to enhance learning, skills and higher education awareness, to be enable students in making decisions and choices about their furture. 


We prioritise students from widening participation backgrounds, for example;

  • Pupil Premium students, students in receipt of free school meals (FSM)
  • Some ethnic sub-groups, including young people from Black and Asian communities, and White males from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Young people in local authority care (LAC) or care experienced students, students who live within the 40% most deprived wards based on IMD postcode data
  • Those from Young Participation Rate quintile 1 and 2 based on POLAR4 postcode data


With more than 100 primary and secondary schools working with DMU in and around Leicester, and the number steadily increasing, the team are keen to continue to offer more opportunities and to support you in meeting all of your widening and participation needs.

I have felt this year we have gained so much from the partnership between our school and the university. Thank you again for organising all the different opportunities and offering all the volunteers: it has made a profound impact on the quality of education our pupils have received. Looking forward to building on this year’s success in the new term.

Mr Shaffi, a teacher at Shaftesbury Junior School



Learning for life

We offer both on campus and in school activity to prepare students for life beyond school. All sessions can be adapted to suit the needs of your students and visit.

Please find out more about our offer using the dropdown menu below:

  1. Primary schools

    • Inspire Day: An interactive session that will introduce university to year 6 pupils in a fun and exciting way.
    • Character Education: Interactive session covering Character Education themes, positive attributes and higher education.
  2. Secondary school

    • Problem Solving: Aimed at year 7, a hands-on session developing skills in problem solving, team work and communication.
    • Life Skills: Aimed at year 8, practical, interactive activities designed to give students a hands-on experience of the essential life skills that university students need during their time at university.
    • Visual CV: Aimed at year 9, a series of interactive activities based on values and beliefs, teamworking skills and goal setting. Pupils will be encouraged to examine their personal skills and natural abilities and consider future ambitions.
    • Campus Life: Aimed at year 10, students are introduced to the different teaching and learning styles at undergraduate level. Then, the focus switches to the extra-curricular side of university life, with an introduction to the concept of university clubs and societies. 
    • My Future Career: This is aimed at any year group/any size. This talk focuses on future pathways & careers, enterprise and developing positive skills.
    • Skills for Success: Aimed at year 9, in this interactive session, students will assess their existing strengths, skills and ambitions, will link key strengths and skills with what employers are looking for, and will identify new skills to develop - to help with their future career goals.
    • Thinking about my future: Aimed at year 10, students will learn how to access and use career information to plan for their future, research and identify opportunities open to them and translate their skills, strengths, and ambitions into a career goal - with an action plan.
    • Student Life – what’s it really like?!: Aimed at any year group. This is an in-school talk. The class will hear from a current DMU student about what studying at university is really like. The students will find out about wider aspects of university life – living away, eating well, having fun, while studying effectively.
  3. Post 16

    • The Widening Access Team is committed to supporting young people in partner schools to access information, advice, and guidance that will support them to make a well-informed decision regarding their future progression post-16 and post-18. Alongside our widening participation activities, the team is happy to support you with parents evenings, careers fairs, mock interview events, options evenings, and explore subject-specific requests..
  4. School holiday and weekend activities

    • DMU Inspire: DMU Inspire is a four-day activity running during the Easter holidays for year 10 students. There are ten subject streams for students to choose from. Students will join academics and experts in these areas to develop skills that will help them in their future education and with their college/sixth form and university personal statements.  
    • DMU Aspire: DMU Aspire is a five-day, non-residential summer school which gives year 12 students a complete university experience in a week of engaging activities. Students sign up as individuals and upon successful completion of DMU Aspire, students will be eligible for a reduction of (an equivalent to) 16 UCAS points towards an undergraduate degree at DMU.
    • CyberFirst Trailblazers: a free half day event created for year 8 students. The event is designed to showcase the varied opportunities that can be achieved through the understanding of how technology is used in the workplace. This is the first in a series of CyberFirst events which will start each student on the exciting path of considering which GCSE’s they will take and how Computer Science can play a key role in future career prospects. We will be running each session alongside a DMU open day, so the whole family can enjoy the day.

      Book Trailblazers session

    • CyberFirst Adventurers: a free half day event created for Year 9 students. This is the second in a series of events which has been created, to highlight the varied roles and jobs that both exist and involve technology in the workplace. This will excite and enthuse students with an interest in technology, both in what we use now and in the future. It has also been designed to counter the stereotype that computer science is a subject that only leads to jobs in programming and coding. The course is aimed at students who have not yet made their GCSE choices, so that they get the opportunity to see how studying computer science could potentially augment and enhance their future career paths.We will be running each session alongside a DMU open day, so the whole family can enjoy the day.

      Book Adventurers session

  5. All ages

    • Bespoke projects/activities– we can run workshops, assemblies and talks on any themes requested by your school. If you have an idea, get in touch and we can talk through the options together.
  6. In-school or after school skills sessions

    • DMU’s Den – Aimed at year 9 and year 10 learners. An innovative in-school after-schools skills session for learners to explore the subjects related to Business. This activity will help learners to use communication skills, team work skills, creativity and many more. Not only is this going to be a fun activity but will also help them to choose their subjects for GCSE (for Year 9s) and enhance transferable skills.
    • DMU Detectives - Aimed at year 8 to year 10 learners. A practical session that encourages learners to solve mysteries. This activity will challenge learners to do their best improving skills such as decoding, memory, use of resources, team work, determination, organization, recognising problems and asking for help, time management, and communication.
    • I disagree! – Aimed at year 6 to year 10 learners. This challenging classroom debate activity will enhance students’ communication skills, critical thinking, reflection, engagement, leadership skills. It will also help them to focus on a topic (the topic of debate will vary depending on the year group).


If you are interested in booking an activity, would like to know more or would like something you don’t see listed here, please email

Please note: all activities are subject to availability.

Partnerships with purpose

Uniconnect - Pathways

Pathways is the collaborative partnership of higher education providers in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland as part of the Office for Students Uni Connect programme.

Pathways work with schools and colleges to offer a number of activities and interventions in their local areas. Pupils who take part in Pathways events can experience life at university, develop new skills, explore future careers and more. Pathways website also hosts a range of resources from virtual tours to student blogs.


Essential to our work in Leicester's communities, we partner with IntoUniversity to support young people to achieve their potential.

At our local centre, Barley Croft Primary School & community centre,  IntoUniversity offers an innovative programme that supports young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods to attain their chosen aspiration, including further and higher education, employment and work-based training.

Their mission is to provide local support that can break cycles of disadvantage and open up new opportunities for young people. We believe in the talent of every young person. We believe that, with support, every young person can progress to an excellent post-school destination and are committed to helping them on this journey.


Universities Partnership

A partnership for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

This Civic Agreement is a commitment between De Montfort University, Loughborough University, University of Leicester, and the city and counties of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to work together for the benefit of local people and the prosperity of our places. ‘Universities Partnership’ combines the collective strengths of our universities and civic institutions to make a greater impact through collaboration for, with and among our communities.

Through widening participation partnerships, we deliver targeted outreach programmes across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to raise aspirations and ensure that every local child who has the ability to succeed at university is afforded the opportunity.

Our shared mission is to provide inclusive and evidence-based educational opportunities, tailored to our local region, that both transform our students’ lives and equip them with the skills and competencies to change the lives of many others.

Together we will:

a. Work in partnership with our local schools and colleges to create an inclusive educational system that improves outcomes for those facing educational barriers and supports the most disadvantaged young people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to succeed in their lives.

b. Create pathways and support programmes to increase higher education participation for local people facing barriers to entering university.

c. Equip our education system with the best possible talent by partnering with schools and colleges to train new teachers, develop their staff and nurture their professional development.


Contacting the DMU Widening Access team

University is a new beginning – it's where you can find your people, your purpose, your place in the world. At DMU, it's our goal to help every student reach their goal, whatever that might be.

Please contact for more information, to book an activity or to sign up to our DMU Widening Participation newsletter.