Irvine Royal Academy works in partnership with Strathclyde University and the University of Glasgow to deliver widening access programmes for current pupils considering/applying to study at university. The following programmes are currently offered:



FOCUS on 4 is a workshop targeted and delivered to S4 pupils. During 2020 and 2021, this workshop was delivered virtually via two online sessions, however on Tuesday 6th December 2022, twenty-five S4 pupils were invited to Strathclyde University to complete the session on campus.

Throughout the course of the day, pupils had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that provided them an insight into student life and speak with current students/staff about their own experiences at university.

“Visiting university was a fun experience, I liked getting to talk to current students to help decide if its something I want to do one day. Touring the campus was cool, I didn’t realise there was so much going on. I can see why so many people go now.”




S3 pupils visited Strathclyde University to complete a campus tour and chat with university staff in May 2022. Pupils completed a series of activities that surrounded goal mapping and how to plan their next steps beyond Irvine Royal Academy.

“I never really thought about going to uni but after going I’ve realised it might be something I could see myself doing. The tutor was really funny and showed us around. I’m glad I went and am looking forwarding to going up again next year”

Current S3 pupils will have the same opportunity on Wednesday 17th May 2023. Miss McNeil will share more information about how pupils can get involved nearer the date.



‘REACH Programme’ is offered to senior pupils who are making an application to the following courses:

o   Law

o   Medicine

o   Veterinary Medicine

o   Dentistry

Any senior pupils who are interested in applying to any of the above courses should make themselves known to Miss McNeil at their earliest convenience so opportunities to complete online modules can be arranged. S5/6 pupils who are completing a UCAS application to any of the aforementioned courses will be enrolled to the course specific to their future plans and will complete a series of assignments organised by university tutors. Pupils participating will also have the opportunity to gain interview experience and tips which will support them to secure a placing at university.

“I took part in the Reach Programme as I aspire to study Law at university. My experience with this has granted me a great insight into what work at university is like, the lifestyle of a student and what awaits me in my dream career. I got the opportunity to hear from professional lawyers and discuss their careers. Different students also got to voice their opinions and I also got to experience a Law lecture which was so interesting. Miss McNeil and Miss Leitch supported me all the way with the assignments – so don’t worry about the essay! To anyone considering this, I would certainly recommend it. It has prepared me for the future beyond Irvine Royal. Plus, its always fun to learn more about your dream job!”

-          Ryan Wheildon, 2022 Law applicant



‘Top-Up Programme’ is completed by S5/6 pupils who are completing a UCAS application to study any course at university. Pupils participating are expected to engage in a series of six online sessions facilitated by university tutors and complete a written assignment to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their selected theme. The final component of the programme is participation in a virtual seminar alongside other pupils within Scotland completing the course. Successful completion of the programme (BBB minimum) will award students with adjusted entry requirements to university.

Online sessions for this years cohort were completed between November and December 2022. With coursework essays being submitted for Sunday 8th January 2023.

Pupils will finalise the programme by attending a campus session on Monday 27th March 2023.




For all the latest information and advice on how Irvine Royal Academy is adapting to deal with Covid-19, including school social distancing measures, home learning during lockdown, symptoms, testing and self-isolating, please click the link below.

Latest Covid-19 Information & Advice


P7/S1 Welcome Videos

The different departments have created short welcome videos to introduce the staff and the subjects taught in them. Have a look and see who your teacher could be.