Students outside Engineering building

Lancaster Success Programme


The Student Success Team at Lancaster University offers a programme of activities to enable students from widening participation backgrounds to thrive during their studies and successfully progress into graduate employment or postgraduate study. The Lancaster Success Programme (LSP) is designed to support students from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented at university, who may not always be aware of the breadth of support and opportunities available to them.

To be eligible to join this programme, students must satisfy one of the following criteria:

All eligible prospective students will be invited onto the programme in the summer (around mid June) before starting, via the email address that you provided when you applied for your place at Lancaster University. Current students can also be referred by members of staff during their studies.

Please contact: if either of the following apply to you:

  • you are a prospective student and think you are eligible to join the LSP but haven't heard from us yet
  • you are a current student and think you might be eligible to join the programme

What to expect from the LSP

Students stay with the LSP for the duration of their degree, and by taking up a place, you will join a growing, supportive community of students and have access to a range of bespoke support. We work closely with other departments and support services across the University such as Careers; Transitions; Learning Development; Global Futures; Counselling and Disability. By getting to know you as an individual, we can help you to access the right opportunities to enable you to get the most out of every stage of your university journey. Find out more below:

What to expect from the LSP (Accordion) Accordion

Application timeline

Here is the timeline for applications for the 2022/23 intake to the Lancaster Success Programme:

Students who are eligible to apply for a place on the Lancaster Success Programme will be contacted by email in June 2022 and invited to complete a short online application form. You will also get the chance to register for an information event. Several online information events will take place between June 2022 and July 2022 which will explain in detail about what to expect from the LSP. You can attend one of these either before or after applying for a place.

Applications to the Lancaster Success Programme close in July 2022. You will be informed by email about the outcome of your application shortly afterwards. If your place is confirmed, you will be invited to join the LSP Teams space where you can begin to connect with other LSP students straight away. The Student Success team will keep in contact with you by email over summer.

Eligible clearing and confirmation offer holders will be contacted in September 2022 with an invitation to apply for a place on the LSP. Places will be confirmed by email no later than the end of September 2022.

All students accepted on to the LSP will receive an invitation to attend a "Prepare for Lancaster" orientation event. We are offering an event on campus in September 2022. This day will introduce you to the University, the LSP, your department and the range of services available to Lancaster University students. There will also be the chance for participants to get to know each other.  

Your induction to the LSP will take place in the first two weeks of term; the emphasis will be on getting to know LSP staff and students. Our LSP welcome event gives you an opportunity to meet other students on the LSP, Student Advocates and staff in an informal setting. Pizza is usually involved!

Student stories

LSP student feedback

"The LSP has been a fantastic source of support since I started at Lancaster University. My Success Advisor has advised me brilliantly as to the avenues of support tailored to my personal situation."

"The one-to-one meetings are great, the enrichment fund is very helpful, the communication between the staff members and the students in the LSP through newsletter, social media or Microsoft Teams is great too."

"During meetings it helped me realise that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling."

"Supporting, helped with the transition into university, informative."

The LSP and lockdown

These videos were recorded by LSP students studying remotely during the lockdown in Lent term 2021.

Meet LSP student Emily

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m in Cartmel college. I am studying Sports and Exercise Science and I love playing netball and can’t wait to get back to playing matches! Before starting university, I was worried about how the pandemic would affect my experience on campus which encouraged my decision to join the LSP. Although it has been different this year, it’s been great to have a Student Success Advisor to discuss things with, especially at the start of the year when I knew little about the University and what to expect. Your Success Advisor can offer support, answer questions and help you access additional opportunities to help you progress in your degree and employability skills. In addition to this one-to-one support, there are also several workshops held throughout the year that you can opt into for support in anything from maths to tips for progressing to year 2.

Aside from the additional support, the LSP has benefitted me in other ways as it has given me the opportunity to become a Student Advocate, and the funding available to all LSP students has allowed me to purchase materials such as textbooks to support my course as well as my netball kit!

The LSP enrichment fund contributed towards Emily's purchase of text books and netball kit.

My advice to anyone joining university would be to grab every opportunity that you can. The Lancaster Success Programme is a great opportunity for anyone joining university who is eligible.

A quote from LSP student, 2021

Opportunities for LSP Students

Undergraduate Research Internships - The Research Internships are paid work experience opportunities for Lancaster University undergraduate students who meet widening participation criteria.

GROW Your Future - Offers you the opportunity to take part in activities that support the development of key employability skills, professional networks and guided careers support.

Undergraduate Research Conference - Each year we host a conference where undergraduates from across all Lancaster Partners and all disciplines come together to showcase and celebrate their research.

Meet the Student Success team

Kate Dunbavan, Student Success Manager

I’ve worked in Higher Education for over 12 years in various roles, supporting students to succeed and have a positive experience whilst they’re at university. I have managed the Lancaster Success Programme since it started, working with a team of Student Success Officers to shape and develop the programme and I also have a small cohort of LSP students who I support.

I love to see students do well; essentially that’s what drives me to do the work that I do! Helping students to find mechanisms to overcome obstacles, however small or otherwise, is very satisfying. To then watch students learn from their experiences and develop in their confidence, knowledge and skills is inspiring to see.

In my spare time I make the most of the beautiful countryside we have on our doorstep and will mostly be found outside!

Josh Cooper, Student Success Officer

I’ve been working with Lancaster Success programme students since October 2020. I think university is a real opportunity for growth and development for students, not just academically but in lots of different aspects of life. It is always a real pleasure to get to know students and hopefully contribute to their experience at Lancaster. I really value the huge range of conversations I have with LSP students reaching from really personal aspirations or career goals, useful academic books, through to where to get the best chips in Lancaster and the best bass guitar players.

I have a background working with younger students aged 14 – 18 before they enter university. It is great to now be involved in the university experience because higher education isn’t just a destination - it is a launch pad! It is always a privilege to gain a glimpse into someone else’s experience and hopefully give them the space and tools they need to take on whatever they want to do.

I am also on the welfare team for County College which means I am often the first point of call for students who reach out for help or support. We are really lucky at Lancaster to be part of such a great community.

In my own time, adventure is my biggest passion so I love rock climbing, mountaineering, journeys on my bike and going anywhere I’ve not been before.

Kate Usher, Student Success Officer

I joined Lancaster University in 2013 and have been working as a Student Success Officer on the Lancaster Success Programme since March 2020. My passion is to enable students to get the very best out of their university experience and to connect with others in a mutually supportive way. I do this by using a variety of coaching-led approaches through one-to-one personal development sessions and with small groups of students in Action Learning Sets. I enjoy finding out what makes each individual student tick and encouraging them to work towards their personal goals, whether that is finding a dream placement, developing good revision techniques or starting a new pastime. Students bring whatever they want to the session and we take it from there. I feel lucky to be in a role where I get to work long term with students and really get to know them -supporting when things are challenging and also celebrating and building on their successes. The self-confidence which emerges in students through reflecting on and learning from all experiences is inspiring!

My background is varied: I've previously worked in export sales and marketing and as a secondary school teacher of German and French. I was also employed in a learning and teaching development centre at another university and during the past 9 years at Lancaster University I have held a number of student facing roles.

In my free time you will usually find me outside – fell walking, cycling, and swimming in cold water in all weathers! When indoors I prefer calmer activities, such as yoga and reading.

Joanna Gray, Student Success Officer

I joined the friendly community at Lancaster in June 2020 and spent a rewarding year supporting prospective students with their plans for when they leave school or college. I’m delighted to now be part of the Lancaster Success team, supporting current Lancaster students to positively engage with their education and wider experiences at university.

I strive to facilitate students in building positive relationships with their peers, teachers and support staff, and their own self-chatter; this is one way to help students notice, explore and challenge the way they think about themselves and the world. I’ve seen students build self-confidence and make fantastic progress towards a life they love, by making friends with the processes of reaching out, critically observing their feelings and thoughts and taking advantage of the resources around them, including other people, who can listen, ask questions and share experience.

I am personally and professionally always close to some form of learning; I’m currently completing an apprenticeship in coaching, I’ve worked as a tutor and lecturer at universities and performing arts schools, taught English language abroad, and even taught Yoga for a spell! It’s a real privilege for me to work with, and learn from, people from diverse, global backgrounds.

Things that get me out of bed, aside from my work, include spending time with friends and family, moving my body in all kinds of ungraceful ways (I’m currently loving being back at the gym!), music, theatre, audiobooks, film and tv, and food!

Get in touch:

Student Success, University House, Lancaster University LA1 4YW