School of Health in Social Science

Widening Participation

Find out more about widening participation, our inclusive curriculum and available learning resources.

Widening Participation (WP) to higher education is a strategic priority for the UK and Scottish governments, the higher education sector in general and the University of Edinburgh in particular.

WP aims to address the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between different social groups.

We therefore work to raise aspirations and educational attainment among prospective students from under-represented groups, to:

  • prepare them for higher education
  • ensure success on their programme of study
  • improve their employment prospects
  • open possibilities for postgraduate study
  • give them opportunities to return to learning throughout their lives


Who is it aimed at?

Under-represented groups:

  • lower socio-economic groups
  • low-participation schools and neighbourhoods

The University is engaged with prospective students, their families and advisers in a wide range of Widening Participation awareness and aspiration raising projects and activities aimed at students who are:

  • the first generation to consider higher education
  • from low socio-economic groups
  • attending schools of low progression
  • living in low-participation neighbourhoods
  • mature students from the above groups

The University of Edinburgh believes that diversity is educationally as well as socially desirable, enriching the educational experience for all.

We seek to attract a wide range of applicants from different social, cultural and educational backgrounds.


School of Health Widening Participation Internship 2019

In 2019 the School hired Kaseya Chisala as an intern focusing on Widening Participation for the School. It involved generating ideas and researching examples of best practice to inform the implementation of the new School strategy for widening participation.

A key output of the internship was the design and completion of a needs assessment, looking at how the School can widen access to our programmes, and strengthen our activities in implementing the other strands of the University Widening Participation strategy. Part of the work included identifying what the challenges are to carrying out this in the School work and how we could overcome some of these barriers.

The project is part of the School’s work in the area of Learning and Teaching, Kaseya worked closely with the Director of Learning and Teaching, Emily Taylor, and the Head of Student Administration, Emily Gribbin, in developing the strategy and action plan. The implementation will be delivered by the School as part of a three-year plan. 


Related links

University WP strategy

University WP Guiding Principles

University Widening Participation webpages

The Institute for Academic Development's (IAD) accessible & inclusive learning resources