Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Access to the Professions

Access to the Professions is a Widening Participation project for eligible secondary state school students in S4-S6 in the south east of Scotland who are interested in studying law, medicine or veterinary medicine at university.

Law, medicine and veterinary medicine are all very popular subject areas. We receive a lot more applications for these degree programmes than we have places available, which means the application process is very competitive.

To be successful, you will not only need to be academically well qualified, but you will also benefit from extensive research into the courses and careers. The best-prepared applicants are able to show that they have a realistic view of the life, skills and qualities of a lawyer, doctor or vet.

Access to the Professions will give you opportunities, encouragement and detailed advice about these careers, as well as guidance on school course choices and all aspects of the UCAS application process.

I’ve developed my confidence, broadened my understanding of the legal profession greatly, and made a new group of friends within both the Access to the Professions team and amongst the other students. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am that this project was there to support me.

Law studentPreviously a member of Access to the Professions

What's involved?

We will support you throughout all stages of the pre-application and application process for law, medicine or veterinary medicine. We also run career exploration events, which allow you to gain a valuable insight into your chosen subject area.

Over S4, S5 and S6, the Access to the Professions programme provides activities and events relevant to your area of interest and the stage you are at in the UCAS application process.

Our activities include:

  • One-to-one pre-application guidance for prospective students, their families and advisers
  • Guidance to help you choose your subjects in S5 and S6
  • Information on academic courses and extracurricular requirements
  • Workshops on personal statements, interview techniques and the UKCAT
  • Work experience placements
  • On-campus career exploration workshops and events, including lectures and workshops
  • Higher revision classes
  • Opportunities to meet and shadow current students
  • Information sessions for parents

My favourite part of the week was the clinical skills we learned with the staff at Easter Bush because we learned things that are taught to current Vet students. This gave me a really good insight to some of the things that I will need to do at university but also as a qualified Vet.

Access to the Professions Vet student, Langhill Farm Work Experience Placement participant

Can I join?

You can join the Access to the Professions project if you are an S4, S5 or S6 student in one of the following schools*:

City of Edinburgh East Lothian Midlothian West Lothian
  • Broughton High School
  • Castlebrae Community High School
  • Craigroyston Community High School
  • Drummond High School
  • Forrester High School
  • Gracemount High School
  • Holy Rood RC High School
  • Leith Academy
  • Liberton High School
  • St Augustine's RC High School
  • Trinity Academy
  • Tynecastle High School
  • Wester Hailes Education Centre
  • Musselburgh Grammar School
  • Preston Lodge High School
  • Ross High School
  • Beeslack High School
  • Dalkeith High School
  • Lasswade High School Centre
  • Newbattle High School
  • St David's RC High School
  • Armadale Academy
  • Bathgate Academy
  • Deans Community High School
  • Inveralmond Community High School
  • Whitburn Academy
Clackmannanshire Falkirk Scottish Borders Stirling
  • Alloa Academy
  • Alva Academy
  • Lornshill Academy
  • Bo'ness Academy
  • Braes High School
  • Denny High School
  • Falkirk High School
  • Graeme High School
  • Grangemouth High School
  • Eyemouth High School
  • Galashiels Academy
  • Hawick High School
  • Jedburgh Grammar School
  • Bannockburn High School
  • Wallace High Schoo

*Access to the Professions is aimed at students who attend a high school where students don’t usually go on to attend university. (These schools have a three-year average of less than 35% of students going straight on to higher education.) Eligible schools are reviewed every three years; the next review will take place in 2021.

I don't attend one of these schools

You may still be able to join the project if you attend a state school in Edinburgh, the Lothians, the Forth Valley or the Scottish Borders and:

  • you are care experienced; or
  • you live in a postcode area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20) or 40% (SIMD40); or
  • you are a young carer (by this we mean a young person who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support); or
  • you are estranged from your family (estranged students are usually without the financial or emotional support of their family due to a breakdown in the relationship); or
  • you are a refugee or asylum seeker; or
  • you are entitled to or are in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM)

We can help confirm whether you meet any of these criteria. Please contact us directly by phone or email and we can process your registration if you are eligible to join.

How do I join?

You can register to join the Access to the Professions project by completing our online form:

Register to join Access to the Professions

Any questions? Contact us

Access to the Professions (with Reach: Scotland)

Contact details



Student Recruitment and Admissions
The University of Edinburgh
33 Buccleuch Place


Access to the Professions is run in collaboration with Reach: Scotland, a project managed by five universities throughout Scotland (the University of Aberdeen; the University of Dundee; the University of Edinburgh; the University of Glasgow; and the University of St Andrews), and funded by the Scottish Funding Council. The University of Edinburgh is responsible for the delivery of Reach in the south east of Scotland.