Access and participation

Providing equal opportunity for everyone.

We believe that there should be an even playing field, no matter who you are. That’s why we are wholeheartedly committed to widening access and participation from underrepresented groups in higher education. Whether you’re an applicant or a current student, we strive to improve the equality of opportunity for all.

What is access and participation?

Access and participation supports specific groups of students to access higher education, improve their success and support career development where there might have been past challenges. In particular, we’re encouraging and supporting applications from underrepresented groups, such as Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities; students from lower-income backgrounds and areas of low participation in higher education; students with disabilities; care-leavers; and mature students.

We’re dedicated to making higher education more equal and fair. It’s something we passionately believe in – and it’s why our Access and Participation (AP) Department exists. As a team, we constantly review and evaluate our initiatives and progress against the targets in our approved Access and Participation Plan. That way, we can iron out any inequalities and make ourselves as diverse and inclusive as possible.

Our Access and Participation Plan sets out our commitment to remove any gaps or hurdles that might be in place for someone when it comes to access, success and progression.

Our initiatives and support schemes

As part of our commitment, we’ve developed several targeted initiatives and activities to help you thrive throughout your time with us.

Each of these initiatives provides you with the best possible opportunity to succeed and progress to a sustainable career in the creative industries.

'Working as part of the Access & Participation Team has allowed me to make a real impact here at BIMM Institute. Making education more accessible and supportive for all students is something we feel really strongly about as an Institution, which is why I study here.’
Frankie Icarus Day, Personal Tutor and MA Student- BIMM Institute Bristol.

We have a package of bursaries and scholarships to help students from low-income households, care backgrounds, and those with disabilities. These are to help remove any financial barriers when it comes to access and are within the Fair Access Fund.

Our bursaries include:

  • Low-Income Household, Care-experienced, and Disabled Student Bursaries

Further Education students can also access additional financial support via New College Swindon, our partner college.

Their range of financial support includes a Learner Support Fund and a Bursary for Vulnerable Groups. We can help support your application to these support funds as soon as you have accepted your place with us.

We aim to make sure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling educational experience that enriches their lives and careers. However, as a student from a care background, we understand you may need additional support when studying with us.

The Access and Participation team are here to help you with the transition into BIMM life. You may also be eligible for one of our Care Leaver bursaries, which are part of the Fair Access Fund. You can register your interest here.

Supporting you before and during your studies

If you have highlighted that you’re a Care Leaver on your UCAS application form or during the enrolment process, we will contact you directly. Someone from our Student Services team will be in touch to help you complete your application for the Fair Access Fund if required and offer support throughout your time studying with us.

We also have dedicated Student Support Officers in every college available to support you. These Student Support Officers offer advice and a helping hand on a whole range of issues during confidential tutorials.

At BIMM Institute, we consider a care leaver to be someone who has been in the care of their local authority for 13 weeks or more around their 16th birthday. For example, you could have been living in foster care or living in residential accommodation. If you fit this definition, you should receive support, including financial help, from your local authority.

Someone who is care-experienced means any person who has experienced care under the age of 18. We recognise many care-experienced people face the same challenges as care leavers but rarely receive local authority support. We will include care-experienced students for bursary allocation if they fit the care leaver criteria.

The BIMM Care Leaver Bursary

The Care Leaver Bursary is to help support your learning and living costs. It is available to UK full-time undergraduate students verified as care leavers or care-experienced and under the age of 26 when starting their course. You can check your eligibility via ‘Am I a care leaver?’ on Coram Voice.

We also support estranged students under our Care Leaver Bursary. estrangement is a term to describe a student who has no relationship with, or support from, their parents. To be considered as an estranged student, this situation must be permanent, and you must have had no contact with your parents for at least a year.

If eligible, you can register your interest in our exclusive bursaries.


Our AP Coordinators work within our fantastic and friendly college Student Support teams on initiatives such as the Fair Access Fund, Personal Tutor Scheme, and helping students transition into higher education.

You may have met your AP Coordinator already at an open day. They can help with any arrangements you may need to make before starting your course, like disability support and applications to the Disabled Students Allowance.

Our AP Coordinators are here to help you get everything in place before you start your course, so drop them a line if you have any queries or concerns. They can help get you up to speed and ready to go.

New student representatives are elected every year. These students are your voice and a crucial part of the student feedback process. Whatever changes you’d like to see, they can help make them happen.

Our representatives are elected students from each course and college. It is their role to monitor and review the progress of our Access and Participation Plan.

In each college, the reps are part of the Academic Board of Studies. At these meetings, they can be part of developing and implementing the initiatives and activities from the AP Plan that most support you. They’ll also have the chance to attend Academic Board meetings, which work across all the colleges. Here, they can contribute to the Board’s consideration of the progress of the Plan’s delivery and make sure that your voice is heard.

Our Access and Participation Student Group means that students can review and provide feedback on all our initiatives. This group of volunteer students meets every term to discuss progress against the targets in the Access and Participation Plan.

This student-led meeting feeds into the Access and Participation Committee, which creates and oversees new proposals and works with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion student group.

Our personal tutors are all trained graduates who will be around to offer a friendly face as you transition into BIMM life.

Our BIMM personal tutors have been in your shoes. Many have been through the audition process, accepted their place, stepped through BIMM’s doors and graduated into the music industry. We have thoroughly vetted and trained each one so they can guide you with whatever you need.

Look out for them at Freshers’ and Induction; they’ll know everything from the best watering holes in town to how to start with that first assignment.

You may be offered practitioners support at your audition. This is simply to help you achieve your best by supporting you in areas you might struggle in, such as music theory or essay writing. We’ll make sure you have everything you need to thrive during your studies.

Run by students, for the students, the BIMM Student Association (BSA) is here to help you connect with like-minded people. With exclusive societies and events, you’ll have endless opportunities to find your tribe.

If you don’t feel like your passions, beliefs, or interests are represented, you can start your own group with the BSA’s help, as funding and support are available. We will introduce you to your BSA President over Freshers’ and induction so you can get involved. Find out more about our BIMM Student Association.

Any questions?

For any questions relating to Access and Participation – or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Institute – please contact our Admissions Team on 0344 2 646 666 or email [email protected].


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