Interested in the financial sector but unsure what the career options are and how to access them?

Pathways to Banking and Finance is a programme that looks to inspire and support students to explore a range of careers in banking and finance. It was developed to widen access to the finance sector following research by the Sutton Trust showing that the top echelons of the professions were drawn from a narrow range of social backgrounds.

The programme aims to raise students’ aspirations and allow them to make informed decisions about their future career. The programme achieves this through work experience, skills workshops, mentoring as well as networking opportunities with those already in the industry. 

Launched in 2017, this is the latest addition to the Pathways to the Professions programmes at the Sutton Trust. The programme has been made possible by the generous support of Deutsche Bank.

Applications for 2019/20 are now closed. 


The Trust have teamed up with 2 universities to deliver the Pathways to Banking and Finance programme
Our first cohort of around 100 students is completing Pathways to Banking & Finance this year
300 students are set to benefit from the programme between now and summer 2020

Whilst each university has a unique way of delivering the programme, every Pathways to Banking and Finance student will be offered:

  • A one week work experience placement at a leading organisation in the finance sector

  • A programme of after-school and weekend events.

  • E-mentoring from finance focused undergraduate students

  • The chance to attend a residential conference packed with talks, activities and networking opportunities


Students applying to Pathways to Banking and Finance must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college

  • Be in Year 12 at the start of the programme (for post 16 2-year programme) 

    Be in year 11 (for pre 16 activities)

  • Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university to which they are applying. If you are unsure whether you live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university, please email [email protected]

In addition, we are looking for students who:

  • Students must have achieved five GCSEs at grades 9-6, including English and Mathematics. A minimum of two of these qualifications should be at grades 9 – 7. This is equivalent to five GCSEs at A* – B in the old system, with two grades at A* – A’

  • Would be the first generation in their family to attend university

  • Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school

  • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to higher education, or a higher than average proportion of students who qualify for Free School Meals

  • Have parent(s)/guardian(s) who qualify for means-tested benefits

  • Have been looked after or in care

*The more of these criteria you meet, the more likely it is that you will be offered a place on the programme.


Pathways to Banking and Finance universities run activities and workshops for students in Year 11 at local schools and at the universities. If you are in year 11 and interested in being involved please contact the universities directly to see how to get involved.

The Pathways to Banking and Finance programme runs for two academic years. It starts during the first term of Year 12 and finishes in the final term of Year 13. The programme is run in conjunction with the following universities:

London School of Economics

University of Warwick


Pre 16 activities – Students are unable to apply for this, please contact the university directly to see if/how you can get involved

Post 16 programme – Applications for Pathways to Banking and Finance are now open! Please click the link at the top of the page to visit our application website


The cost associated with being on the programme (travel and accommodation) are covered by the Sutton Trust and our partner universities.

All students are offered the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement appropriate to the Pathways programme that they are on.

No, you can apply to and attend one Sutton Trust programme. This is to make sure as many students as possible benefit from the programmes. Any duplicate applications will be deleted.

Applications for Pathways to Banking open on Friday 25th August 2017, and close on Sunday, October 15th.

All students are required to live within an hour’s commute from the delivery university in order to make involvement in the various sessions and activities manageable. If you are not within this proximity it might be worth considering the Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools which are national rather than regional programmes.

You can apply, but you should be aware that our Pathways programmes are often oversubscribed – If you do not meet the academic criteria your application is less likely to be successful.

If you do not meet the academic criteria but there are extenuating circumstances to explain this, please ask your teacher to provide details when they verify your application.

The Sutton Trust is not a grant / scholarship making charity. We cannot financially support our students following at Pathways Programme, though there are many other sources of financial support available, some of which may be specific to the university you go to and which your university may be able to advise on.

The Sutton Trust programmes are for highly able state school or college (non-fee-paying) students only. Applications from students studying at private/independent (fee-paying) schools will not be considered, even if you receive a scholarship or bursary in to cover the fees. Some universities will show flexibility if you are currently in or have been in care.

If you are unsure whether your school is eligible, please visit www.schoolguide.co.uk to check. If your school is listed as ‘Independent’, it is not eligible.

There is space on the UCAS form to indicate any involvement in a university access programme (which all the Sutton Trust programmes are). Some universities will give preference or reduced offers to students who have attended these, however this is not the case for all universities. We also stress that this should not be a determining factor for you to attend a Pathways programme. Your motivation for attending should be aligned to the aims and objectives of the programme.

Thank you for your interest!

Check that the programme is running in your area and then contact your closest university or Sutton Trust for more information

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