The Biodiversity Crisis Essay Project

Event date
25 Feb 2022 to 21 Mar 2022
Event time
11:00 - 23:45
Christ Church
St Aldates
Event cost
Target audience
Age range
Age 16-17 (year 12)
Required Book here

The Biodiversity Crisis Essay Project
Christ Church is pleased to announce a new Geography essay project for state-educated pupils in Year 12.

What does it involve?
Year 12 students currently at UK state schools are invited to submit a short essay (1000 – 1200 words) on the topic of ‘The Biodiversity Crisis’. There are four different essay topics on this subject to choose from:

1) Is the biodiversity crisis real or speculative, and is it regional or global in its geography?

2) Critically assess how the science of species extinction forecasts is represented in the media.

3) Amidst claims that we are entering the ‘sixth mass extinction’ how effectively are these concerns being translated into effective mitigation efforts?

4) How has (or indeed has) the COVID-19 pandemic stimulated debate and wider public awareness of aspects of wildlife loss?

We will be hosting an online essay-writing workshop after school at 16:30 on 11 March for students interested in submitting entries.

All submitted essays will be read and marked by an Oxford academic, and all Year 12 UK state school students who submit essays will then be invited to Christ Church on Thursday 21 April for a tutorial-like session on the same topic (this will involve discussing your ideas in more detail with a small group of other students).  You will also have the chance to have a tour of Christ Church and St Catherine’s Colleges (one ‘old’ and one ‘new’) and to meet and ask questions of Geography tutors and undergraduate students. Lunch will also be provided.

Who is it for?
The project is open to all pupils in Year 12 at UK state schools who are interested in studying Geography at university.

We particularly encourage entries from students who match any of the following criteria:

If your POLAR postcode score is 1 or 2 – check your POLAR score here
If your ACORN postcode score is 4 or 5 – check your ACORN score here
If you have been eligible for free school meals
If your parents did not go to university
If you are from an ethnic minority background which is underrepresented at Oxford (including students with Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi or Pakistani heritage)
If you have been, or currently are, in care
If you are a young carer
If you have any disabilities
How to enter?
The deadline for registration for the essay-writing workshop is Tuesday 8 March at 17:00. You can register using this online form.  This workshop is not compulsory, but we hope it will be helpful to you in preparing your essays.

The deadline for essay submissions is Monday 21 March. Please submit your essay via this online form.

How to attend?
Year 12 state school students who submit essays will be contacted on Friday 25 March to confirm their attendance at the Christ Church tutorial day on Thursday 21 April. Our confirmation form will cover any dietary and accessibility requirements.

Support with travel costs will be offered to all participants who are care experienced, young carers, who have been eligible for free school meals, or who would otherwise be unable to attend for financial reasons.

If you have any questions please email us at