School of English and Drama

Outstanding Potential Award

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is committed to providing an outstanding learning experience for students of all backgrounds. We aim to recruit students of the highest intrinsic talent and potential and to give you educational opportunities that will prepare you for the future, whether you choose a career, further study or another individual path to attaining your goals. Our admissions process is designed to identify students who demonstrate potential, motivation and commitment to joining our diverse community of staff and students.

Our Outstanding Potential Award scheme has been introduced to provide students with the opportunity to secure a place at Queen Mary before they have completed their sixth form studies. Selected applicants, identified as having outstanding potential through a rigorous assessment process, are invited to attend an interview with one our academic staff during the admissions process and are offered an OPA if they choose to attend and do well in the interview.

How does the OPA scheme work?

  1. You apply to Queen Mary through UCAS as usual
  2. If you meet our general criteria for admission, we make you a conditional offer
  3. We review your application against specific OPA scheme criteria and if you meet these, we invite you for an interview with one of our academic staff
  4. You attend the interview and perform well
  5. We make you an offer of an OPA
  6. If you accept your conditional offer firmly by the relevant UCAS deadline, we will make your offer unconditional

Who is the OPA scheme for?

If you are a UK or EU applicant applying for any programme in the following subjects we will automatically consider you under our OPA scheme in 2019/20:

  • Drama
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics

Our OPA criteria are designed to identify students who are high performers as well students who have the potential to be high performers on our programmes. We understand that not all learners have the same opportunities to excel in their sixth form education. This may be for a variety of reasons relating to the personal and educational context in which you are studying. Some of our students experience disruption to their A level or other level 3 studies for reasons beyond their control, for example because of problems with their health, their family situation, or because of unexpected changes to  teaching arrangements in their school or college. Our OPA scheme is designed to be inclusive and when selecting you for interview, we will take into account not only your academic attainment so far, your predicted grades, but also factors which may affect your ability to get the best possible grades.

If you would like more information about the OPA, please contact We are always happy to answer any questions you or your teachers might have about the scheme.