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Talented Athlete Entry Scheme

Did you know that Ulster University offers reduced grade requirements to talented athletes entering full-time undergraduate study?

The Talented Athlete Entry Scheme is designed to assist talented young sports performers in gaining access to a quality education at Ulster University whilst attaining success at the highest levels within their chosen sport.

The Scheme recognises the sacrifice in time, effort and crucially – in examination performance – which may result from taking part in sport at the highest level. Under the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme, Ulster University allows a reduction in the grades required for entry to full-time undergraduate courses.

For the academic year 2018-19, successful applicants to the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme will be offered a two grade reduction in entrance requirements or the equivalent in other accepted entrance qualifications.

Are you eligible to apply?

To be considered eligible to make an application to the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme you must:

  • Participate in a sport recognised by Student Sport Ireland (SSI) and / or British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) through which opportunities exist for students to compete at Intervarsity level for Ulster University.  A list detailing these sports is provided.
  • Have been selected within the last 18 months to compete as a minimum at age group international, age group interprovincial or age group county level or above in line with the competitive structure of your chosen sport.
  • Be entering Ulster University to study on a full-time undergraduate course from school leaver level.
  • Agree to represent Ulster University in your chosen sport throughout your undergraduate studies, subject to fitness and selection.

What does the Scheme offer?

Successful applicants to the Scheme can benefit from:

  • A two grade reduction in course entry requirements or the equivalent in other accepted entrance qualifications.
  • A Talent Squad Sport Scholarship offering access to performance sport support services valued at over £500 including musculo-skeletal screening, physiotherapy, strength & conditioning programmes, testing & supervision, performance skills workshops, merchandise and free membership of one Ulster University Sports Union Club.
  • Mentor support.
  • The opportunity to apply to the Ulster University Approved Absence and Independent Study Programme.

How do you submit an application?

It’s simple. Just complete and submit the online form via the link before the closing date of 15 January 2018. Please ensure that it is completed as fully and clearly as possible.  Please note:

  • Confirmation of information, advice and/or opinion may be sought from governing bodies of sport and may be used as part of the assessment process.  Applicants should ensure they provide details for an appropriate individual where requested in the Application Form.
  • The Assessment Panel will not consider applications received after the closing date of 15 January 2018.  An appeal against this decision may be submitted to the Head of Sports Services who may refer it to the Appeals Panel, should he decide there is a substantive case for an appeal against the application of the closing date.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their online Application Form is submitted by the closing date of 15 January 2018.

What happens next?

Once submitted, applications will be assessed in line with established criteria.  This process takes a number of weeks and once completed a moderation process is carried out.  Applicants will be notified in writing whether or not their application has been successful.  Unsuccessful candidates will have the opportunity to make a formal appeal in writing in accordance with appeal procedures that will be made available to them at the time of this notification.

If successful in your application, to be able to take advantage of being awarded Talented Athlete Entry Scheme status and have your associated grade reduction activated you must;

  • Satisfy the general and specific course requirements stipulated for admission (see online prospectus for details) and obtain an offer for a full-time undergraduate course at Ulster University.   Applicants to BSc Hons Dietetics, BSc Hons Occupational Therapy, BSc Hons Physiotherapy, BSc Hons Podiatry, BSc Hons Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging, BSc Hons Radiotherapy and Oncology, BSc Hons Speech & Language Therapy must, in addition to applying through UCAS in the normal way, register for HPAT–Ulster and take the test on Saturday 27 January 2018.  More information on the HPAT can be found at  Having a successful application to the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme will have no bearing on this basic course entry requirement.
  • Identify your ‘Firm’ course choice at Ulster University through the UCAS system.
  • Attend the TAES Information Evening on Wednesday 25 April to receive further information about the Scheme along with your Athlete Agreement form.
  • Sign and return your Athlete Agreement together with a copy/proof of your UCAS Track by 11 May 2018.
  • Utilise the offer in the year it is made, as it cannot be deferred.  A re-application may be submitted but it is not guaranteed to be successful based on a previous application.

What is expected of a Talented Athlete at Ulster University

  • You must have exemplary class attendance and maintain satisfactory academic and sporting progress to retain access to the allocated support services.
  • You must play a full part in sport and represent the University in Intervarsity competitions and championships, compatible with your training, competition and academic programmes.
  • You must display the highest standards of sporting commitment, attitude and conduct at all times.

Those failing to adhere to the conditions of the Scheme will have access to support services withdrawn.

If you have any questions or require any further information in relation to the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme, please contact the Scheme Administrator by email on

Hours of training, intense regimes and high level competition programmes can sometimes mean a sacrifice in examination performance.

The Scheme is designed to assist talented young athletes gain access to a quality education whilst attaining success at the highest levels within their chosen sport by reducing the entry grades required for full-time undergraduate courses.

A package of support services is also offered for students on entry to Ulster University to help develop their performance level. This includes access to screening, strength and conditioning, performance skills workshops, physiotherapy and merchandise.

Eligible Sports

The following sports are recognised by Student Sport Ireland (SSI) and / or British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) that offer Intervarsity competitive opportunities to students at Ulster University.

Aikido American Football Angling
Archery Athletics & Cross Country Badminton
Basketball Bowls - Lawn, Tenpin Boxing
Camogie Canoe Clay Pigeon Shooting
Climbing Cricket Cycling
Diving Equestrian Fencing
Football Futsal Gaelic Football
Golf Gymnastics Handball
Hockey Hurling Ju Jitsu
Judo Karate Karting
Life Saving                 Modern Pentathlon / Biathlon Netball
Orienteering Pool Rifle Shooting
Rowing Rugby Sailing
Snooker Snow Sports Squash
Surfing Swimming Synchronised Swimming
Table Tennis Taekwondo Tennis
Triathlon Trampolining Volleyball
Wake Boarding Water Polo Water Skiing
Weightlifting Wind Surfing Wrestling