UNIQ+ (UNIQ plus) | Graduate Access | University of Oxford
Student conversations in Radcliffe Square
Student conversations in Radcliffe Square
(Image Credit: Steve Langton / Graduate Photography Competition)

Introducing UNIQ+

UNIQ+ is a summer graduate access research internship programme, which builds on the success of our UNIQ residential courses for school students. We know that financial, socio-economic and other life circumstances can make it difficult for some to continue studying beyond an undergraduate degree. UNIQ+ is intended to encourage access to postgraduate study from talented undergraduates who would find continuing into postgraduate study a challenge for reasons other than their academic ability.

Applications for our 2020 programmes have now closed. Register your interest to keep up-to-date with news about the future of Graduate Access Programmes at the University of Oxford.

Information for applicants to our 2020 programmes

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University has made the difficult decision not to proceed with research internships for summer 2020. For 2020, we are inviting UNIQ+ participants to take part in a digital programme, UNIQ+ Digital, offering information and support for applying to graduate study. During UNIQ+ Digital you will meet and learn from our researchers, academic staff, and graduate students.

The information below was correct for applications to the UNIQ+ 2020 programmes, which have now closed.

Who is UNIQ+ for?

To be eligible you’ll need to be a UK resident studying/having studied at a UK or Irish university for an undergraduate degree (eg BA, BSc, etc). You don’t have to be studying at the University of Oxford to be eligible, and we strongly encourage people studying or who have studied at other UK or Irish universities to apply. You’ll also need to meet our financial and/or socio-economic criteria. Full details about the eligibility criteria will be published when applications open.

You don’t have to be studying at the University of Oxford to be eligible

Experience postgraduate study

During UNIQ+ you’ll live in college accommodation and experience aspects of life as a research student in Oxford. Watch the video to find out more.

What does UNIQ+ offer?

UNIQ+ offers you an insight into studying at postgraduate level, as well as the chance to gain real-life research experience and develop your academic skills. You’ll also receive guidance on how to improve your CV and career prospects. You’ll learn new and develop existing academic and research skills, which will help you when preparing an application for a postgraduate course.

Opportunities and benefits of UNIQ+

UNIQ+ is a paid internship. You will receive:

  • a stipend of £2,500 for a seven-week project (or £1,500 for a four-week Humanities project), designed to offset any loss of the opportunity to take up paid employment during the summer;
  • free accommodation provided by one of our colleges (more information about accommodation can be found below);
  • a refund up to £250 for your travel expenses to and from Oxford at the start and end of the programme; and
  • an application fee waiver for applying to a postgraduate course at Oxford (currently the application fee is £75 per application).

UNIQ+ is designed to:

  • enhance your research skills;
  • enhance your ability to make a competitive application to postgraduate courses;
  • introduce you to leading researchers and staff at the University of Oxford; and
  • offer you information about opportunities for postgraduate study and research careers.
Enhance your ability to make a competitive application to postgraduate courses


You will be offered a single room in accommodation provided by one of our world-famous colleges (see our FAQ: What is a college?) for the duration of the UNIQ+ programme at no cost to you. We will let you know which college will provide accommodation to you if you are offered a place on UNIQ+.

An Oxford experience

UNIQ+ aims to make the real day-to-day experience of graduate study at Oxford more accessible and transparent to you. The University of Oxford is, above everything, a community of talented people passionate about teaching and research. Some of the buildings are centuries old but our community isn’t. UNIQ+ will introduce you to that community and give you the chance to experience some of what Oxford offers its students directly, for yourself. You can find out more about UNIQ+ projects that took place in 2019, including two case studies.

UNIQ+ is supported by:

  • Participating departments, faculties and institutes within the University of Oxford’s Humanities Division, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, Medical Sciences Division and Social Sciences Division;
  • Participating colleges;
  • BBSRC Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership;
  • Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre;
  • EPA Cephalosporin Fund;
  • EPSRC- and MRC-funded Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science (SABS) Centre for Doctoral Training;
  • NERC Environmental Research DTP;
  • Oxford British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence;
  • Oxford-MRC Doctoral Training Partnership;
  • Roche; and
  • Wellcome DTP in Medical Sciences.
A sunset with the Maths Institute and Green Templeton College
The Mathematics Institute, looking towards the Radcliffe Observatory
(Image Credit: Sheng Peng (DPhil in History) / Graduate Photography Competition)

What happens during UNIQ+

At the start of the programme you’ll receive an induction, which will introduce you to the University and the research group in which you’ll be based for the duration of your project.  

You will undertake training sessions to improve your research skills. Depending on your research topic, this might involve improving your programming skills, or learning some new laboratory or data analysis skills. You will also receive training in transferable skills (eg presentation skills, how to prepare a CV), and information on how to make a competitive application for graduate study.

Following an induction, you will try your hand at research in one of the Oxford University departments participating in UNIQ+ this year. At the end of the programme, you will write a short report on your research project, and give a brief presentation to other UNIQ+ participants. As well as being supervised by Oxford academics, you will have the opportunity to meet with our DPhil (PhD) students and learn more about what it’s like to be a postgraduate research student at Oxford. Depending on your research area, you may also have the opportunity to attend talks by leading academics in Oxford on both their research and their career trajectory, and to meet and discuss their research with them.

Our intention is that everyone who takes part will gain tangible benefits from the programme in terms of confidence, skills and experience that will enhance your CV and any future postgraduate application. Further information about the 2020 subject areas can be found on our Projects page.

You’ll have many opportunities to improve your research skills in your potential research area

More than just research

We sometimes hear from our graduate students that they didn’t know what to expect from coming to the University of Oxford. Sometimes they found the University’s reputation intimidating and had concerns that they might not enjoy Oxford or fit in. Sometimes they had strong ideas about what a typical Oxford experience or Oxford student was like. This might have put them off applying even if the course and the facilities were a great fit for them.

During UNIQ+ you’ll live in college accommodation and experience life as a postgraduate student in Oxford. Social activities, including dinners, will introduce you to our community and to some of the University of Oxford’s famous traditions and locations. You’ll also attend talks on the graduate admissions process at Oxford, on graduate careers, and on life as a research student by current Oxford students.