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Academic Enrichment Programme Logo

Lucy Cavendish College is the most diverse College in Cambridge, admitting over 90% of our UK students from state schools. As part of our commitment to widening participation, we are delighted to launch our flagship virtual outreach programme, the Lucy Cavendish College Academic Enrichment Programme. The programme will provide over 700 high-achieving state school students with comprehensive supplementary academic support tailored to their stage in the curriculum, giving them the best chance of achieving their full potential. 

Following last year’s pilot programme, 86% of participants agree that their subject-specific knowledge and skills were strengthened, and 98% of participants feel confident that they now know how to make a competitive application to Cambridge and other top universities.


What does the programme involve?

Students will attend weekly online subject-specific enrichment classes from November 2022 to March 2022, which will strengthen students’ skills and knowledge with the aim of raising attainment and confidence in their current studies. A range of additional subject taster sessions, alongside the completion of a Supracurricular Enrichment Project in May, will allow students to explore their subject interests further and think more seriously about possible degree choices. Throughout, students will also receive advice from our Admissions Team on every stage of the application process so that they can make their university applications as competitive as possible.

Find out more about each aspect of the programme by exploring the dropdown boxes below.

An Enrichment Curriculum is a series of four, linked, 90-minute academic sessions on a particular subject area. Each Enrichment Curriculum has been developed by subject experts to strengthen students' skills and knowledge, to enrich and extend A-Level (or equivalent) content, and to provide a launchpad for independent supracurricular exploration. As part of the programme, students will enroll on up to four Enrichment Curriculums, from their choice of the following subjects: 

Maths English Literature
Further Maths History
Biology Economics
Chemistry Politics
Physics Geography

Students will complete preparatory work for each session and will also have the chance to do follow-up extension work after the session.

Alongside these fortnightly subject-specific sessions, students will benefit from monthly peer discussion groups. These sessions are modeled around the discussion-based teaching which is at the heart of Cambridge

Students will complete a short reading before the session, on which they will share their ideas with the group. Students will have the opportunity to build their confidence, sample the discussion-based teaching which is at the heart of Cambridge and build a network of peers with shared interests and aspirations. 

Students' academic enrichment will be supplemented by monthly practical university readiness sessions, which will provide information and guidance on how to make a competitive application to Cambridge and other top universities. This will then culminate in an intensive university application 'bootcamp' over the Summer holidays, where students will be able to work on making their university applications as competitive as possible with the guidance of the Lucy Cavendish College Admissions team. Students will benefit from comprehensive guidance on writing a competitive personal statement, preparing for interviews, and preparing for admissions assessments.

During the February half-term, students will be able to take part in taster sessions in a range of subjects, to explore the wide range of subjects available and to start thinking more seriously about their future university choices. Subject-specific sessions may include:

Architecture Anthropology
Computer Science Classics
Engineering Linguistics
Medicine Law
Psychology Philosophy
Veterinary Medicine Sociology

In May half-term, students will be assigned a project related to their subject interests to complete independently. Students will be able to choose between writing an essay, preparing and delivering a presentation, or creating an academic poster. A series of skills and guidance sessions conducted by the Admissions & Outreach team will be available to support them through this process.

Students will submit their projects at the start of the Summer holidays, and a series of sessions will be held for students to share and discuss their projects. 


Important Practical Information

Academic commitment

The programme will involve at least one 90-minute session each week from November 2022 to March 2023, in addition to the project to be completed in the second half of Summer term. 

We do not expect students to be able to attend every session, but we do hope that students will commit to attending the programme as fully as they are able to. For some sessions, students will need to complete preparatory work so they are able to make the most of the session. There will also be an option to complete some extension follow-up work if students wish to deepen their knowledge of a particular subject after the live online session has taken place.

Accessing the online programme

All live sessions will be taking place over Zoom. Session recordings and resources for all sessions will be uploaded to a webpage, which will be made accessible to students on the programme. Students will therefore need a reliable internet connection, a working webcam (if they wish to turn their camera on) and a pen/paper to take notes with and complete work. 


Who is eligible for the programme?

In order to be eligible for the programme students need to be:

  • In Year 12 in England or Wales, S5 in Scotland, or Year 13 in Northern Ireland in the academic year 2022-23
  • Attending a non-fee paying school in the United Kingdom
  • Achieved at least 5 grades 8-9 in their GCSEs (or equivalent, such as A grades in National 5s)
  • Studying post-16 academic qualifications (A-Levels, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers, or equivalent)

We hope to support as many eligible students as possible through the programme. However, if the programme is oversubscribed, we will prioritise students based on a combination of academic merit and the following Widening Participation priority criteria:

  • In care or care-experienced
  • Eligible for free school meals
  • Belonging to an underrepresented ethnic group:
    • Black African or Black Caribbean
    • Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Arab
    • Roma, Gypsy or Traveller
  • Have experienced disruption in their education such as:
    • Being a young carer
    • Being an asylum seeker or refugee
  • Attend a school with low progression to Oxbridge
  • Are resident in areas with relatively low participation in higher education (using POLAR4) or in areas with less advantaged socioeconomic characteristics (using IMD)


How do I apply?

The application deadline has been extended to 9am on 10th October 2022. 

Click here to fill in the application form

Students selected for the Summer Preparation Programme will automatically be invited to participate in the Academic Enrichment Programme, and do not need to apply again.

Please take a look at the drop down boxes for detailed guidance on the application.

In the form, we will ask you for the following:

  • ​​​​​Your basic details: first name and surname, date of birth, postcode, school/college
  • Name and contact details of your referee teacher
  • Your GCSE (or equivalent) grades
  • Your A-Level (or equivalent) subjects
  • The strand you wish to apply for: Sciences and Maths or Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The degree courses in which you are currently interested
  • Short personal statement in support of your application
  • Further contextual information related to our Widening Participation criteria
  • Information about making any adjustments should you attend the event
  • Your parents'/guardians' permission to attend this event
  • An opportunity to sign up to our prospective applicant mailing list

You must provide us with the contact details of a teacher referee, who we will contact to verify the following:

  • Your eligibility for the programme
  • Your postcode
  • Your achieved GCSE grades

We will also ask if they believe that you will benefit from the Academic Enrichment Programme, and be able to manage the programme's academic commitment alongside their current studies.

You must discuss this opportunity with your teacher so they aware of what information they need to verify and provide by the relevant deadline. You must also ensure that they are happy for you to include their contact details on the form.

Your teacher should automatically receive a link to the verification form when you submit your application form. If they do not receive this email (and they have checked their spam box), then please ensure they get in contact with us as soon as possible at

The deadline for completed teacher verification forms is 9am on the 17th October 2022.

The personal statement is useful for us in order to understand a bit more about whether the programme would be a good fit for you academically. You might like to explore the following:

  • Why you chose to apply to this programme
  • How you think this programme would benefit you academically
  • How you think this programme would help you achieve your goals in relation to University 
  • Anything else you think we should know

The character limit is 3000 (around 500 words). 

Please try not to worry too much about writing this; it is just one piece of information that is useful to us when shortlisting applicants.


Contact us

Please do not hesitate to contact our Outreach Officer, Hayley Hilson, at should you have any questions or concerns.

Click here to fill in the application form