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Academic Enrichment ProgrammeBuilding on the success of our Summer Preparation Programme, our new Academic Enrichment Programme will support high-achieving state school students and instil ‘university readiness’. The Academic Enrichment Programme will consist of weekly, evening sessions from January to May, and a shorter intensive programme over the summer. It will provide supplementary academic support for talented, deserving students and widen their intellectual horizons, giving them the best chance of achieving at their full potential.


What does the programme involve?

Subject-specific Academic Enrichment Sessions

Students apply for either the Sciences and Maths track or the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences track and take part in ten fortnightly subject-specific academic enrichment sessions from their chosen field. Our current list of subjects is as follows (this may change slightly prior to the programme starting):

Sciences and Maths

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


English Literature









Computer Science







These subject-specific sessions aim to strengthen students' skills and knowledge, enriching and extending A-Level (or equivalent) content and providing a launchpad for independent supracurricular exploration. Students will complete preparatory work for each session and will also have the chance to do follow-up extension work after the session. We also aim for students to experience subjects they have never studied formally in school before so that they can begin to think more seriously about possible degree routes.

Peer Discussion Groups

Alongside these fortnightly subject-specific sessions, students will benefit from fortnightly peer discussion groups, led by current Lucy Cavendish students. 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. 

University Readiness Sessions

Additionally, students' academic enrichment will be supplemented by 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 include supracurricular exploration workshops over February half term, providing support on how to engage critically with resources, and career insight sessions over the Easter holidays, to help students make the most informed choices moving forwards.

University Application 'Bootcamp'

Finally, the programme will 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 our Admissions team. This will include support on an individual level as well as personal statement workshops, interview preparation workshops and support with preparing for admissions assessments.

Important Practical Information

Dates and academic commitment

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

Please take a look here at our provisional timetable and make a careful note of the dates. It will also be very helpful if you share this with your parent/guardian so they are aware of what you would be undertaking over the coming months. 

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 2021-22

  • Attending a non-fee paying school in the United Kingdom

  • On track to achieve at least A*AA in A-Levels (or equivalent: 40-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level; at least 3 As at Higher, leading towards A1A2A2 in Advanced Highers) (see our guidance on predicted/target grades below)

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

    • Pakistani or Bangladeshi

    • 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?

Please fill out the application form by 5pm on Sunday 14th November at the latest. We aim to confirm places by the start of December.

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 and predicted/target grades 
  • 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 achieved GCSE grades
  • Your predicted/target A-Level 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 5pm on the 21st November.

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.

We completely understand that many students may not yet have received predicted grades or target grades from your school/college. If this is the case, please try and think about what grades you personally are aiming for, and have a conversation with your subject teachers or the teacher verifying your application about if they think these grades are achievable. If you are aiming for and hoping to achieve at least A*AA (or equivalent: 40-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level; at least 3 As at Higher, leading towards A1A2A2 in Advanced Highers), we would absolutely encourage you to apply!

If you have any questions or concerns about your predicted/target grades, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at 

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