St Louis Grammar School
Promoting Excellence, Endeavour and Empowerment

Niamh McMahon chosen by Queen's for Unique Opportunity

3 Mar 2020
This year I applied and was accepted onto a course that Queen’s University in Belfast offer. It is called the Pathways Opportunity Programme (POP). I am the only pupil from my class who applied and thankfully got accepted. POP is a programme for Year 13 students who may sometimes require additional support or encouragement when it comes to reaching their full potential. Due to my unique circumstances, I was eligible to apply for the programme. The programme offers 7 different ‘Pathways’ on it, offering a wide range of possibilities for young people across Ireland. The pathway that I choose was Engineering.

Throughout this year, I have to complete several assignments which are assigned to us and marked by Queen’s University Professors. I also have to take part in and attend several on-campus days at Queen’s and in July I will attend a week long residential where I will stay in Elms Village like a university student. On this residential I will take part in academic lessons during the day and have some relaxing fun times with activities in the evenings. If I complete the programme and final assessment on the last day of the residential, I will receive a guaranteed conditional offer to my Pathway Engineering specifically for myself Civil Engineering at Queen’s. I will also receive a £1,000 bursary and also up to a two grade reduction of my UCAS offer.

Up until this point, I have taken part in the induction day in Whitla Hall at Queen’s where I met students I’ll be working alongside from all over Northern Ireland. I have also completed my first assignment on different types of engineering, such a space, electrical, mechanical and more. This involved gaining provided knowledge on these topics and completing small quizzes on them. I am very excited to continue my assignments and on campus visits within my Pathway journey, and I look forward to the residential in Summer!
If you’d like to find out any more information on the Widening Participation Unit, and the Pathway Opportunity Programme, their website is:


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