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University Progression

The following is a list of ideas for summer schools, events, lectures, websites and reading which is aimed at supporting your application to university. Most of these opportunities cater for multiple subjects.

You will need to click through and research which links are relevant to you and to the courses that you want to apply to.

Although we have tried to list as many opportunities as we can, this is not an exhaustive list. You should look beyond it, particularly to individual university websites where you are interested in applying.

Single Day, Afternoon or Evening Events

Oxford University - Pathways Programme

The ‘Year 12 Study Days’ on the Pathways Programme offers you the chance to experience your chosen subject through a day of academic sessions run by Oxford tutors, in March of Year 12.

The aim of the day is to give you a taste of university-level study in a subject that you are interested in, as well as to give you an insight into life as a student, studying and living in the Oxford college setting.

Cambridge University - Subject Masterclasses

Cambridge Subject Masterclasses are subject-specific events that offer you a flavour of undergraduate study and an introduction to the University of Cambridge. Aimed at academically able Year 12 students from any school/college, the Masterclasses provide you with an opportunity to explore topics of interest beyond what is covered within the A Level syllabus and offer the chance to experience typical undergraduate teaching at Cambridge. A range of subjects is offered each year, which in the past has included Chemistry, Engineering, Genetics, Geography, History, Languages, Mathematics, Music and Psychology.

University College London (UCL) - Evening Masterclasses

In the spring and summer terms UCL hosts a range of subject-specific masterclasses that offer you a taste of learning at university level. They give you an insight in to your chosen subject, and provide you with an excellent example to include in your personal statement.

London School of Economics (LSE) -  LSE Choice

Summer schools and Saturday schools at LSE for ambitious students from low-income backgrounds, underrepresented communities, students in care and who have families with no experience of higher education. 

Highgate School Sessions - Oxbridge Maths, Physics and Economics preparation

These sessions take place in the afternoon at Highgate School. Ask Ms Sullivan, Mr Kenny or Ms Cunningham if you are interested – places are very limited

King’s College London - Kings College Medicine in Action and Medicine 101 lectures and workshops

A variety of lectures and workshops that will help you navigate your Medicine application.

King’s College London - King’s Factor Maths Programme 

This is a Maths club aimed at Y12 & Y13 students, which offers them challenging problems aimed at developing and enriching thinking

InvestIN Programmes at University College London (UCL)

The InvestIN one day programmes bring top professionals to UCL to give you insights into Medicine, Banking, Law and Business.

London School of Economics (LSE) Alison Wetherfield Law Programme (Year 12)

The Alison Wetherfield Law Programme is a LSE outreach initiative which aims to provide young people with an interest in law access to the legal profession.

Summer Schools

These are often applied for in February of Year 12 and are aimed at students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and from areas with low levels of progression to university. You do not have to be sure that you want to apply to this university to go to the summer school; it can be simply about getting a feel for the university experience. Attending a summer school can really make the difference and give you the confidence to make a successful university application.

Sutton Trust Summer Schools

Excellent summer schools at one of twelve partner universities (Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial, KCL, Nottingham, Oxford, St. Andrews, UCL, Warwick, Royal Veterinary College) for ambitious students from low or middle income families. These are some of the most prestigious summer schools in the UK.

Oxford University UNIQ Summer Schools

Oxford’s own summer school programme.

Cambridge University Summer Schools

Summer schools at Cambridge, (which are delivered via Sutton Trust).

Oxbridge individual colleges summer schools

Some Oxford and Cambridge colleges offer their own outreach summer programmes. Look for these via individual colleges, searching for ‘outreach’ or ‘widening participation’.

For example, Lady Margaret Hall is the link college for Haringey and they run some taster days in the summer. Explore more at the link here:

LSE Choice

Summer schools and Saturday schools at London School of Economics (LSE) for ambitious students from low-income backgrounds, under represented communities, students in care and who have families with no experience of higher education.

UCL Summer Schools

Summer schools at University College London (UCL) for ambitious students. Priority to state school students from outside London.

UCL Summer Challenge

Summer Challenge is a programme of subject specific courses for Year 12 students attending state schools in or near London, whose parents have not been to university, and who are academically high achieving.

KCL Summer Schools

Summer schools at Kings College London (KCL) for ambitious students. Open to all.

University of the Arts Summer Schools

See Ms Powell for more information

Various short courses at University of the Arts (including London College of Fashion and London College of Communication) to inform and prepare students for portfolios and future creative degrees. Search short courses- 11-19 year olds.

Queen Mary University of London Spring and Summer Schools

Summer schools for students in Engineering, Sciences, Medicine and Coding. Aimed at students who meet the ‘Widening Participation’ criteria.

Westminster University Skills Clubs

STEM, Film, Radio production and study skills summer schools at the University of Westminster. Free and open to all.

UCL Gateways – One day summer conferences

UCL is excited to hold a series of Year 12 conferences, each investigating a theme that's relevant to how we see the world today. These conferences are designed to give a taste of what studying at university is like, as well as encourage deeper insight into an interesting and current topic.

UCL Target Medicine – Mentoring, outreach and summer school

Target Medicine is a widening participation project delivered by medical students from UCL Medical School, with support from academic staff. The project aims to inspire students from non-selective state schools to consider a career in medicine and to mentor and support them through the process of applying to medical school.

University of Westminster Architecture Programme

Taster courses and portfolio presentation for architecture at the University of Westminster

Bursaries, Scholarships and Mentoring

Sutton Trust Pathways Programmes

The Sutton Trust Pathways programmes help young people from low or middle incomes to access careers in the leading professions. Each pathway offers a programme of support that may include careers events, mentoring, work experience placements and excursions. Particularly for students who are the first in their family to go to university.

Lloyds Scholars

A full package of support for students from low income families who have accepted offers from one of the scheme’s nine partner universities (Bath, Queens Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, UCL, Oxford, Sheffield and Warwick).

Social Mobility Foundation

APP City supports high achieving students from low income backgrounds across the UK from lower sixth/S6, into competitive universities, and the top professions. It’s open to motivated, ambitious students from less privileged backgrounds in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

UCL Target Medicine – Mentoring, outreach and summer school

Target Medicine is a widening participation project delivered by medical students from UCL Medical School, with support from academic staff. The project aims to inspire students from non-selective state schools to consider a career in medicine and to mentor and support them through the process of applying to medical school.

Individual Universities - Access Schemes e.g. ‘Access to Leeds’

Individual Universities will have their own admissions programmes, access schemes, widening participation offers. Search on individual university websites. For example, Access to Leeds:

Public Lectures

A really exciting way into thinking more deeply about your subject areas. Listen to leading academics and get involved in the conversation! You need to book in advance- they are popular!

LSE Public Lectures 2016-2017

There are numerous lectures open to the public which you can attend on weekday evenings – the full programme is available here

Kings College London Evening Physics Lectures

A range of free lectures are available at Kings College London.

Royal Festival Hall

Look out for the seasons they hold at the Southbank centre. Recent example was a series of performances and lectures about religion and belief.

The Royal Institution – Public Lectures

Free lectures and workshops on science and technology related subjects.

The Royal Society – Public Lectures

Science events and lectures.

Gresham College – Public Lectures

Free scientific lectures.

Conway Hall – Public Lectures

Free social, political, cultural and scientific lectures. Mainly on Sunday afternoons.

Super-Curricular Resources and Ideas


An interesting website where you can find out more information about subjects you may wish to study, links to further reading and websites and activities/ lessons you could do to get a feel for the subject

A website dedicated to help you ‘read around’ your subject and thus demonstrate your ability to extend your knowledge beyond the A level syllabus – there are different recommendations depending upon subject


Oxford University’s new website of ‘big ideas’ that will give you a taste of the kinds of topics studied at university across a huge range of subjects.

The Financial Times

Free access to this quality broadsheet from school computers. is normally behind a paywall but the school have negotiated free access from the site.

Edge Magazine 

Interviews, debates and features from “remarkable people and remarkable minds—scientists, artists, philosophers, technologists and entrepreneurs who are at the center of today's intellectual, technological, and scientific landscape”.

Wider reading suggestions form Trinity College, Cambridge


Remember this from when you were in Yr 8 posting pictures of Justin Bieber and your holiday pictures?  Get back on it- it is fantastic for resources and up-to-date research on all academic areas.

Search your subject on it and get following! If you need advice come and ask us.


There are lots of academic journals for different subjects. Subscribe or borrow from libraries. They will be really helpful for being able to extend answers and ideas in interviews

Radio programmes and podcasts


In Our Time

American National Public Radio

Study groups

Perhaps the best way to prepare for university applications is to form your own study groups with students from your subjects. These can be online or real life groups. You might use this forum to share resources, advice and experiences.