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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 2024-25, 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.

  • Eligibility

    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 24 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.
    • Choose Ulster University as your ‘Firm’ course choice when making your application through the UCAS system.
    • Agree to represent Ulster University in your chosen sport throughout your undergraduate studies, subject to fitness and selection.
  • Scheme Benefits

    Successful applicants to the Scheme can benefit from:

    • A two grade reduction in course entry requirements (or grade range CCC; whichever is lower) or the equivalent in other accepted entrance qualifications. Please note that CCC is the lowest course offer that can be made through the Scheme.
    • Access to performance sport support services, fitness programmes, performance skills workshops, merchandise and sports club / Sports Centre membership deals.
    • Mentor support.
    • The opportunity to apply to the Ulster University Dual Career Programme.
  • Submit an Application

    It’s simple.

    Just complete and submit the online form before the closing date of 31 January 2024.

    This closing date aligns with the UCAS deadline for on-time applications.

    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 to act as their referee where requested in the Application Form.
    • The Assessment Panel will not consider applications received after the closing date of 31 January 2024.  A complaint regarding the decision-making process may be submitted to the Head of Sports Services who may refer it to a Complaints  Panel, should s/he decide there is a substantive case for a reconsideration of an application beyond the closing date.
    • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their online Application Form is submitted by 11:59 pm on the closing date of 31 January 2024.
    • Once your form is submitted, applicants will get an email of confirmation that it has been received.  This will go to the email address that the application was sent from and should reflect the email address provided on the application, so please ensure it is correct.
  • Assessment Process

    Applications will be assessed in line with established criteria.


    This process takes a number of weeks, followed by a moderation process to ensure fairness and consistency of approach.


    The number of successful applicants entering Ulster University through the Scheme from team sports will be capped at a level equal to the official size of an Intervarsity squad for that particular sport as established by the Colleges and Universities Sports Association of Ireland / British University and Colleges Sport.

    A list of these team sports caps is provided.

    Individual sports will not be capped.

    As in previous years in order to be successful applicants must achieve an assessment score above an established threshold.

    If within any team sport, the process of application form assessment cannot satisfactorily distinguish the successful applicants in line with the identified cap, a process of interviews may be used.


    If you are applying for the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme as a team sport player, please be prepared to be interviewed as part of the selection process.  We will let you know if we need to hold interviews and the date/venue as soon as possible.

    Essential Criteria

    Successful applicants to the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme must;

    • Satisfy the general and specific conditions for the offer, including completing any additional selection methods used on their chosen programme (see the online prospectus for details) and obtaining an offer of a place on an undergraduate course at Ulster University.
    • Be prepared to choose Ulster University as your ‘Firm’ course choice via the UCAS system.  Please be aware, the offer of a place on Ulster University’s Talented Athlete Entry Scheme will be forfeited by any applicant who does not choose Ulster University as their ‘Firm’ choice when the time comes to do so in the UCAS admission process.
    • Sign and return your Athlete Agreement by the specified date.  Thereafter, the offer may be withdrawn.
    • Utilise the offer in the year it is made, as it cannot be deferred.  Applicants are welcome to reapply the following year but success in the following year is not guaranteed based on a previously successful application. Each year the pool of applicants compete for a place on the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme anew.
  • Standards and Expectations
    • 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.

  • Eligible Sports

    List of sports 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
    • Cheerleading
    • Climbing
    • Cricket
    • Cycling
    • Diving
    • Equestrian
    • Fencing
    • Football
    • Futsal
    • Gaelic Football
    • Golf
    • Gymnastics
    • Handball
    • Hockey
    • Hurling
    • Ju Jitsu
    • Judo
    • Karate
    • Karting
    • Modern Pentathlon / Biathlon
    • Netball
    • Orienteering
    • Pool
    • Rowing
    • Rugby
    • Sailing
    • Shooting (Clay Pigeon & Rifle)
    • Snooker
    • Snow Sports
    • Squash
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Synchronised Swimming
    • Table Tennis
    • Taekwondo
    • Tennis
    • Trampolining
    • Triathlon
    • Ultimate Frisbee
    • Volleyball
    • Wakeboarding
    • Water Polo
    • Water Skiing
    • Weightlifting
    • Wind Surfing
    • Wrestling
  • Team Sport Caps

    MAXIMUM Number of Applicants for Team Sports to enter Ulster University through the Talented Athlete Entry Scheme

    Team Sport Caps









    Gaelic Football












    Water Polo


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 at