Students playing table tennis

Each year in collaboration with King's College, Cambridge we host a programme for students who attend UK state schools in Year 12 England/Wales, Year 13 Northern Ireland and S5 in Scotland, to find out more about the University of Cambridge, student life and explore a variety of subjects through academic sessions.

Nominations will open later in 2022. If you are a teacher or student and think you or your students would meet the eligibility criteria set out below, you can register your interested today to be informed when nominations open for the 2023 event! Click here to register your interest. If you are not sure if a student meets the criteria, please get in touch with their GCSE and current school, and we can check this for you.

What's involved?

The programme will contain a range of academic sessions demonstrating the range of subjects on offer at the University of Cambridge, allowing students to both explore subjects familiar to them as well as those which will be new and perhaps more niche!

There are two streams to the programme: Arts & Humanities, and Sciences and Maths. Students on either stream should expect to attend sessions both specific to areas of interest as well as others they might not be considering for university (but still relevant to their stream).

Dates & Times

The programme will involve weekly online sessions, culminating in an overnight stay in Cambridge. This event is free to attend, and the in-person stay will include accommodation and meals. Travel costs are not included, but students for whom this would be a barrier to participation are encouraged to get in touch, as some financial assistance may be available. 

Online sessions will run weekly from the end of February through March, starting at 5pm and last for approximately 1 hour. Students must attend the online sessions in order to attend the in-person component. Online sessions will be held on the same day of the week (day TBC).

The overnight stay will be 29-30th March 2023 (one night).

Some example sessions from previous years included:

  • Thinking like an Anthropologist... about Somali Love Songs
  • Vision-based AI in Social Signal Processing (Computer Science)
  • God and the barbarians: a 'dark age' for Theology?
  • Symmetry: An Elegant Perspective of the Molecular World (Chemistry)
  • Criminalising Music: Youth, Racism and the Law

Who can nominate students?

This programme requires a teacher to nominate students for a place, rather than students completing applications themselves. Each school can nominate a maximum of two students per stream (four in total).

Please see below for eligibility criteria relating to school eligibility and academic requirements.

Nominating Students - Eligibility Criteria & Selection

There are two parts to being eligible - one relating to the school(s) attended by the student, and individual academic criteria. Students must meet all of the academic criteria and one of the school-related criteria. 

Schools are encouraged to select their most academically able students - those that they think could apply to Oxbridge and other top universities. Places for this event are limited and we anticipate that we will receive more nominations than we have places; selection will be made primarily on academic grounds, but widening participation criteria will also be considered, where relevant. We are not able to consider those who do not meet the criteria outlined below.

Teachers must obtain consent from the student(s) they nominate to do so, as you will need to provide information on their behalf. You must also check that the student would be able and willing to attend the event at the times and dates described above, if selected. Those selected are expected to attend all online sessions and the in-person component - not one or the other. 

Part 1: School Eligibility Criteria

This programme is open to all schools or colleges in the UK that do not charge fees. In order to be eligible for this programme, students must meet one of the following:

  • Currently attend a school or college that has had 5 or fewer successful applications to Oxford or Cambridge in the previous 5 years. By successful applications, this means students who received offers from Oxford or Cambridge (i.e. the school is averaging one offer or less per year across the previous 5 years from Oxbridge). The previous 5 years would be 2018-2022 entry years. 
  • AND/OR attended a GCSE school with lower average attainment:
    • England: mean ‘sum of best 8 GCSE score’ of below 40 (out of a maximum of 64). Click here to check the score for your school (PDF). Schools listed alphabetically – please double check the LAESTAB number in cases of schools with the same or similar names. 

    • Wales: Capped 9 score of below 340. Schools can be checked here:
    • Northern Ireland: Please get in touch directly
    • Scotland: N/A (we expect most schools to meet the above criteria on Oxbridge progression in any case)

Please get in touch if you wish to query or clarify if your school or college, or the student’s previous GCSE school, meets the above criteria as we will be very happy to check for you.

Part 2: Academic Eligibility Criteria

As well as meeting the above criteria relating to the school(s) attended by the student, nominees should also meet the following academic criteria:

  • they have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades 7,8 or 9, or A or A*, or at least 4 A grades in National 5 if in Scotland
  • For the Arts and Humanities stream: students must be on track to achieved at least A*AA at A-Level or 776 at Higher Level in the International Baccalaureate, or A grades in Scottish Highers
  • For the Sciences and Maths stream: Students must be on track to achieve at least A*A*A at A-Level, 776 at Higher Level in the International Baccalaureate, or A grades in Scottish Highers, AND must be studying at least three of the following subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths, Further Maths (A-Levels only).

*For IB students, these subjects must be at Higher Level and Maths must be 'Analysis and Approaches'.

Please note that Applied A-Levels and BTECs are generally not suitable qualifications for applying to Cambridge and therefore will not be accepted as suitable qualifications for this programme (if the student does not also study 3 A-Levels alongside these). You can find out more about entry requirements for Cambridge here

Further notes on the Sciences and Maths stream

Students who are not taking three science/maths subjects as outlined above will not be considered for a place on this stream; this is because the majority of applicants and those who receive an offer for Cambridge will have three or more of these subjects. We are also looking for nominees to be taking a suitable combination of Maths/Sciences for the university course they wish to pursue. Students who are interested in Mathematics, Computer Science or Engineering would generally be expected to be studying Further Maths if doing A-Levels and it is offered at the school, as it is required for Mathematics at Cambridge and very strongly encouraged for the other courses mentioned (the vast majority of successful A-Level applicants to these courses offer Further Maths). Where it is not offered, students are encouraged to self-study as much additional pure maths and mechanics, decision or statistics as relevant. 

Students interested in Economics at Cambridge are strongly encouraged to study Further Maths, and would be preferred for this programme. Depending on specific interests and subject combinations, those with an interest in Economics may be nominated in either stream. 

Schools unable to offer Further Maths teaching can access support through the Advanced Maths Support Programme to help offer this to their students. 

Teachers are also advised to consult with other staff members at their school to avoid duplication of nominations or exceeding the nomination limit.

How to Nominate 

Nominations are not yet open. If you are a teacher or student and think you or your students would meet the eligibility criteria set out below, you can register your interested today to be informed when nominations open for the 2023 event! Click here to register your interest.

Get in Touch

If you have questions about this programme or need to check eligibility, please email Ellie at

If you are a student who will be in Year 12 England/Wales, Year 13 Northern Ireland or S5 Scotland from September 2022 and aren't sure if your school is eligible it is generally best to ask your school directly, but you can also email us with the name and postcode of your school or college (both current and the one you were at up to GCSE/N5), and we will be able to advise.