St Louis Grammar School
Promoting Excellence, Endeavour and Empowerment

Pathway Opportunity Programme

14 Oct 2019

This Academic Year 2018/19, I applied and was accepted onto a course at Queen’s University, Belfast called the Pathway Opportunity Programme (POP). Eoin Marr and Leona O’Kane were also successful in gaining places on the programme. POP is for young people currently in Year 13 who may require additional support or encouragement to reach their full potential. Due to certain circumstances, I was eligible to apply for the programme. The programme has seven ‘pathways’ on it, and the pathway that I have chosen is the Food Microbiology and Environment.


On the programme, I have to complete several assignments throughout the year which are given and marked by Queen’s University Academics. I also have to attend several on-campus days at Queen’s University and in July, I get to take part in a week long residential at Queen’s, where I will stay in Elms Village like a University student; take part in academic lessons during the day and have some relaxing and fun times with activities in the evening.


If I complete the programme and final assessment on the last day of the residential, I will receive a guaranteed conditional offer in my Pathway (Microbiology) at Queen’s, a £1,000 bursary and also up to a two-grade

reduction on my UCAS offer. So far, I have taken part in an Induction day in Whitla Hall at Queen’s where I met the students I’ll be working with (from all over Northern Ireland) and my academics. I have also completed my first assignment on a Virtual Learning Environment which involved a quiz and a 500-word essay. I am very excited to continue my assignments and on campus visits, and I look forward to the Summer Residential! If you’d like to find out any more information on the Widening Participation Unit, and the Pathway Opportunity Programme, their website is:


By Alex Caldwell, Year 13


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