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Space to Explore Potential (STEP)

Durham University’s Space to Explore Potential (STEP) is a new programme introduced in 2020. We are delighted to be working with Reach Society to make this programme happen and grateful for the Society'ssupport.

STEP offers a dedicated space for young black students, who are typically underrepresented at Durham University, to explore not only their own potential but all that Durham has to offer as a potential university destination.

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Contact the STEP team.
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The 'S' in STEP stands for Space. We thought we'd expand a little on what this means and before you get excited, no we're not talking about rockets or anything extra-terrestrial. Rather, 'space' refers to both the physical space here at the university and the opportunity afforded to students who take part. STEP students will benefit from staying in one of our 17 colleges, experiencing university-level teaching in our teaching facilities. We also intend to create a supportive and inclusive environment where students can take the time to learn about Durham and ask challenging questions. The overall aim of STEP is to provide students with an excellent insight into life at Durham University so that they may make a fully informed decision when choosing which universities to apply to in Year 13.

To Explore

To Explore. There are two common definitions of 'explore' - to 'search and discover' and to 'think or talk about something in order to find out more about it'. STEP aims to give students an opportunity to do both. Whether you're taking part in a campus tour, visiting the city centre, using our facilities, or participating in workshops and activities, you will have a number of opportunities to learn more about Durham University. As a STEP student, you will be encouraged to develop the key skills and knowledge you need to make a successful transition to university life. As part of the programme, you will have the opportunity to work on a range of skills from leadership, communication and teamwork, and of course key academic skills.


Potential. When it comes to university admissions, it is a two-way relationship. Student choice is arguably more important now than it has ever been. So when we think about your potential, we want to focus on what you could do at Durham and what Durham could do for you, not just your potential to come here in the first place. In this way, it is important that STEP students engage critically with the University and understand that the 'potential' we are giving you space to explore is the potential you could realise at Durham by taking advantage of the many opportunities available to you, should you choose to apply to study with us.

Applications for the 2022 cohort will open in the new year. Please check back on our website pages in autumn, for more information. If you would like to register your interest, and to be added to our mailing list to receive further information, please complete the short webform here. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team at