ACCESS RGU is Robert Gordon University’s widening participation initiative.

The initiative is coordinated by the university’s Wider Access and Outreach Team, based within the Study Skills and Access Unit. Working in partnership across the University and with external partners, the team promotes the greater uptake of higher education among groups that are traditionally under-represented at university.

ACCESS RGU delivers outreach activities with schools and communities, coordinates on-campus learning opportunities for prospective students and provides advice and guidance for applicants and enrolling students. The programme of activities is committed to delivering the University's strategy to extend access to learning and enable talented individuals from under-represented groups, particularly those from deprived areas, to achieve their ambitions through higher education, whatever their circumstances.

ACCESS RGU’s strategic aims are to:

  • Build Ambition: raise aspirations and develop ambition,
  • Enable Access: mitigate barriers and create student-centred access pathways, and
  • Support Achievement: support the development of skills-enriched graduates with the confidence and capacity to achieve their ambitions, whatever their circumstances.

For more information on ACCESS RGU, please contact the team on 01224 263048 or email access@rgu.ac.uk

  1. ACCESS RGU Reference Guide for Teachers

    Access Reference Guide for Teachers

    Introducing the range of established outreach activities ACCESS RGU can offer.

  2. ACCESS RGU Newsletter

    ACCESS RGU Partner-Schools-Newsletter

    The latest news from the ACCESS RGU team.

Care Leavers

Robert Gordon University is dedicated to providing an accessible student environment for all students, including those who have been looked after at home, in residential care, foster care or kinship care.

Students talkingGoing to university can be a daunting prospect and many prospective students will look to previous experiences or family for support in getting through new challenges. In many cases, a disrupted education or lack of family support may make the transition to university study a more intimidating experience for care leavers.

We are also proud to have been awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark, which requires us to demonstrate that we have a robust strategy in place to ensure that students from a care background can access a package of support, be it pastoral, educational or financial.

Our dedicated Care Leaver Adviser can guide you through the wide range of student services available, helping you make the most of life at university and your successful future career. In addition, students and applicants from Scotland may also be entitled to the Care Leavers Grant through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), which can assist with paying for accommodation costs during the vacation period.

  1. Care Leaver Enquiry Form

    Application Form Completion

    Complete the online form to discuss your support needs.

Get in touch

Contact the Care Leaver Adviser to discuss your support needs further:

  • Charley Buchan

    Charley Buchan

    Project Officer  

  • Access To

    If you are currently in S5 or S6 and are aspiring to study at university then ‘Access To’ at RGU could be for you.

    What is 'Access To?'

    'Access To' seeks to widen participation in Higher Education for students who are often under-represented in universities.

    Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, RGU has developed a suite of programmes designed to support talented and committed S5 and S6 pupils who aim to study at degree level, either via a college route or by direct entry to the university. The programmes offer S5 and S6 pupils an opportunity to get first-hand experience of undergraduate degree study courses and student life on campus via twilight sessions held after school.

    Delivered by course tutors and coordinated by the Study Skills and Access Unit, participants are given a unique opportunity to find out more about degree course options, entry requirements, study pathways and the key skills required to be successful at university.

    The application period for ‘Access To’ 2016-17 programme has finished. The applications for the ‘Access To’ 2017-18 will open in June 2017.

    For more information on Access To programmes please contact Rhona McComiskie on 01224 263 095, r.mccomiskie@rgu.ac.uk or Kaisa Macdonald on 01224 263 045, k.e.macdonald@rgu.ac.uk.

    1. Find out more

      ACCESS RGU Find out more

      Find out if you’re eligible, what's involved, the benefits and how to register for the Access To programmes at RGU.

    2. Access To Pocket Guide

      Access To Pocket Guide

      View online or download a PDF

    Contact Access To

    If you are interested in receiving additional information about any of the 'Access To' programmes, please contact:

  • Rhona McComiskie

    Rhona McComiskie

    Acting Senior Project Coordinator  

  • Kaisa Macdonald

    Kaisa Macdonald

    Assistant Project Officer  

  • Outreach

    At ACCESS RGU we offer a comprehensive programme of workshops to our partner schools, designed to enrich students’ current timetables and enable them to make informed decisions in regards to their future.

    We currently work with St Machar, Northfield, Torry, Kincorth and Hazlehead Academies in Aberdeen City, delivering a range of presentations and workshop sessions designed to benefit senior pupils including:

    • How to choose a University and student life
    • Confidence and communication
    • UCAS and personal statements
    • Note taking 

    Workshops can be tailored specifically toward students’ needs. If you would like more information, please email access@rgu.ac.uk or phone 01224 263098

    Schools from across the city can also get in touch with the Schools Liaison Team for input, support and advice.

    1. Northern Lights Programme

      Northfield Academy

      ACCESS RGU project in collaboration with Aberdeen City Council’s Northfield Academy for S1 pupils to explore further and higher education opportunities and study pathways.

    2. DELTA Student Ambassadors


      DELTA is looking for undergraduate students to work as Student Ambassadors on a variety of programmes with school pupils from low attainment schools. Find out how you can take part.

    3. ACCESS RGU Reference Guide for Teachers

      Access Reference Guide for Teachers

      Introducing the range of established outreach activities ACCESS RGU can offer.


    The Wider Access and Outreach Team coordinate a range of activities that provide support and guidance for applicants from under-represented groups.

    This includes 1-1 advice and guidance by phone and email, facilitating Access To study guides and resources throughout the application stage through to enrolment.

    The enrolment support pack has been extremely popular with enrolling students in previous years. We are delighted to be able to offer the pack to wider access students enrolling in September 2017.

    RGU is committed to widening participation to extend access to learning and enable talented individuals from under-represented groups, particularly those from deprived areas, to achieve their ambitions through higher education, whatever their circumstances.

    Complete the late application form

    Applicant Resources and Travel Support

    Applicants from under-represented groups who attend Applicant Days, Visit Afternoons or Selection Visits are eligible to claim back a proportion of their travel costs from the ACCESS RGU Travel Support Fund.

    Eligible applicants are contacted at the point of their application and provided with information on how to make a claim

    The Wider Access and Outreach Team also distribute free ACCESS RGU Enrolment Support Packs at the start of the first semester to eligible students. The enrolment support pack was extremely popular with enrolling students in 2013 and we are delighted to be able to offer the pack to wider access students enrolling in September 2014.  Eligible students will be contacted in advance of enrolment with detailed information on where and when the pack can be collected on campus. Packs are typically distributed during enrolment week.

    This year, the pack will include travel support in the form of 12 week bus passes or travel vouchers, an academic planner, a course text book voucher, a grocery voucher and stationary essentials. Students enrolling with Grays School of Art or the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment will be provided with a materials voucher for the Grays Art Shop on campus.

    For more information, please contact the Wider Access and Outreach Team on 01224 263048 or email access@rgu.ac.uk.

    Degree Prep

    The Study Skills and Access Unit operate a free two-day DegreePrep Access programme for new eligible university entrants.

    Our programme is specifically designed to ease your pathway into the Higher Education environment and to help you feel confident and excited about studying here at the Robert Gordon University. The programme will cover:

    • Essential study skills for university
    • Exploring your expectations about university
    • Practical guidance on using the various services within the university
    • Life as a student and how you can best manage the move to Higher Education

    We want you to feel confident about coming to study at RGU and this programme is an excellent step in helping you on your journey into Higher Education.

    Eligible applicants will be identified by the university and contacted with further information prior to enrolment in their chosen degree.

    Give yourself a step up and start university with confidence.

    Make friends before you start and get a feel for student life.

    94% of students felt more confident in continuing their studies at university level after participating in DegreePrep programmes.

    Help yourself to reach your full academic potential.


    How to get here - transport information

    How to find us

    Financial Assistance for travel
    If you have to travel a considerable distance to attend this programme i.e. outwith Aberdeen City, or if you have to make additional arrangements concerning accommodation and/or childcare, financial support is available.

    Contact us for further information on financial support - phone 01224 263048 or email: access@rgu.ac.uk


    Registration has now closed and all places have been filled.


    1. 04, November, 2015 ACCESS RGU UCAS Conference

      UCAS Logo

      This is an afternoon event designed to improve your confidence and help you to create a positive mind-set in preparation for applying to UCAS and writing your personal statement.  

    2. Open Days

      Garthdee campus with students 6.4i 67

      The Open Day is your chance to visit our superb facilities and learn about student life.

    3. Visit Afternoons


      Visit Afternoons give you the opportunity to tour the campus, meet with academic staff and ask questions to staff and current students.


    Contact one of the team if you would be interested in additional information about ACCESS RGU.

  • Charley Buchan

    Charley Buchan

    Project Officer  

  • Geraldine Lynch

    Geraldine Lynch

    Project Officer  

  • Kaisa Macdonald

    Kaisa Macdonald

    Assistant Project Officer  

  • Rhona McComiskie

    Rhona McComiskie

    Acting Senior Project Coordinator