Widening Participation

Get Involved

Would you like to work with local school students, raising aspirations, and promoting opportunities in Higher Education? Volunteering or working with us is an ideal opportunity to develop transferable skills, gain valuable extra curricular experience and support your local community.

Why Use Student Volunteers?

Many of the University’s Widening Participation activities involve using current undergraduate or postgraduate students as positive role models to increase awareness of higher education among school and college students and to raise their educational and career aspirations. To begin with some school students know very little about Higher Education, but with your help they can discover that if they work hard and get the right advice and support, they can achieve as much as you have.


All student volunteers and employees are given training prior to taking part in any WP activities. Activity travel costs are covered. Here is a list of some of the opportunities available:

Peer mentoring

An opportunity for 2nd to 4th year UG students to mentor a new first year student, aiding their transition into Higher Education. You will receive full training in how to approach your mentor/mentee relationship, how to best support your mentee and the sorts of questions they may ask, and the ways this will help you develop as a mentor.

Peer mentoring


LEAPS (Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools) require volunteers to help with the delivery of workshops and act as role models to raise aspirations for local schools with low progression into Higher Education. There are also opportunities for acting as a personal tutor during the LEAPS summer school, which takes place over 8 weeks in June-July. To find out more about becoming a LEAPS volunteer, contact LEAPS directly - link below.


Group Leader Positions

The Sutton Trust Summer School and Kickstart Summer School are both one week summer schools for S5 students from across the UK. As a Group Leader, you will have the opportunity to facilitate the delivery of a wide range of taster workshops and social activities, ensuring each student actively participates in and benefits from the experience.

The Sutton Trust Summer School

Kickstart Summer School

Law Pals

We work in collaboration with the Law school to offer a limited number of paid positions for current LLB students. In the role, you'll receive full training in order to be peer facilitators for first year law students.


Primary and Early Secondary school workshops

We visit various schools in the Edinburgh area to introduce pupils to the concept of university, and raise aspirations by encouraging them to think about university as a realistic goal. Volunteers will help to deliver various workshops by talking about their experiences of university life.

Primary and Early Secondary school workshops

How to Become a Volunteer

If you are a current student of the University of Edinburgh, you can contact us at wpteam@ed.ac.uk at any point in the year to volunteer with us, or to ask about applying for our paid positions.

Please note some of the activities require a disclosure check through the 'Protection of Vulnerable Groups' scheme.

PVG Scheme

If you have any questions about student volunteering opportunities, please get in touch.


Dr Neil Speirs

Widening Participation Manager

Contact details