Widening Access Accelerate

What is Accelerate?

Accelerate is a one-week programme, run by the University of Strathclyde, for pupils who have just gone into S5 or S6 and are thinking about going to university. It aims to provide a targeted focus on the pupils' chosen area of academic interest, giving them a head start on the road to their chosen career.

Taking place at the University of Strathclyde’s Glasgow city centre campus, the 2023 programme has seven subject areas that pupils can choose from, depending on their career aspirations:

Running from 19th to 23rd June:

Running from 26th to 30th June:

Teams of academic experts have put together week-long Challenges in each of these subjects to allow pupils to find out all about their area of interest and the career opportunities open to them. Led by undergraduate and postgraduate student mentors from the relevant fields, pupils will undertake a variety of group challenges, as well as attending  careers and industry presentations.

 If you would like to find out more about the individual Challenges, please click on the links above.

 Please note that Accelerate is not a residential course.

 Information on Funded Places

All places on the programme are fully funded and awarded to pupils based on five Widening Access criteria. These are:

  • Attendance at one of the University’s target schools. For a list of target schools, please see Strathclyde Target Schools List
  • If your home postcode is in Quintile 1 or 2 based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. You can check your postcode here: SIMD Postcode Look Up
  • Young Carer
  • Care-Experienced
  • Free School Meals

There are two ways that pupils can apply for a funded place, through their parent/guardian or through their school:  

1) Applying for a Funded Place: Info for Parents/Guardians

2) Applying for a Funded Place: Info for Teachers




Accelerate 2022 Review

2022 saw the 13th year of the Accelerate programme, run by the Access, Equality & Inclusion Service at the University of Strathclyde. 90 pupils, from 33 schools and 7 local authorities across Scotland, completed the Accelerate 2022 programme. Here you can read the Accelerate 2022 Programme Report and here is what some of them had to say about it:

 Useful Information

I thought the Accelerate programme was very educational and enjoyable.

It was a very good experience and helped me find out a lot more information than I thought I was going to find out.

I loved exploring the university and living life like a uni student.

The programme is very useful for people to connect and experience what University may be like in the future.

I thought it was a great experience and helped me learn more about what it’s like being a university student.

Student Mentors

Mentors and staff were excellent, very friendly and helpful. They made this week a very fun experience.

The mentors and leaders of the programme were funny, friendly and knew how to engage people well.

The mentors were extremely helpful and were good guides and gave different information.

The mentors were really nice and friendly too.

Developing Skills

It has allowed me to also improve my social skills and the ability to establish good relationships with others. It has also allowed me to become better at thinking about different ideas and then developing them to make them better. It was also good as it overall helped my confidence, especially when doing presentations.

I enjoyed doing things that I would never have done before, enjoying being in the lab and making paracetamol, learning and growing as a person from the challenge, having a lot of fun along the way, doing something I never thought I could have done, learning a lot. Really good programme to build confidence. I will take these new skills and knowledge with me and always appreciate this challenge.

The programme helped me improve my communication and leadership skills as I worked with a team to create a project.

At first, I wasn’t sure I’d be good at working in a team but as we went on, I found it to be much easier than expected.

The Accelerate challenge was a great opportunity for me. It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone in many aspects and gave me experience in a lab, etc that I wouldn’t have gotten in school.

I also developed many skills such as lab skills and communication skills, which are necessary to learn for the degree I want to pursue.

Meeting Other People

This programme allowed me to meet new friends and connections that would have been impossible to make without this programme.

It gave me the chance to meet new friends. I liked working as part of a group on a really cool project.

I enjoyed meeting new friends and people from different schools.

I also met lots of new people who I never would have met if it wasn't for the programme.

I feel like this programme was a great opportunity to meet new people.

… meeting many new people that I have made good friends with.


I thought it was an amazing opportunity and it honestly couldn’t have been more enjoyable.

It was my first time being part of such a programme and I want to thank all my mentors and the organisers. The Accelerate EEE programme was amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Accelerate Chemical Engineering challenge and thought it was an amazing opportunity which I would like to take part in again.

It was amazingly interesting and fun to do.

Very fun. An extremely good programme to take part in.

Great opportunity – I absolutely enjoyed everything about it.