Lake Windermere
Lake Windermere in the English Lake District taken at sunrise with vibrant colours and golden morning light.
(Credit: Shutterstock/Daniel_Kay)

In your Region

COVID-19 Update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has suspended face-to-face outreach activities. Oxford remains strongly committed to providing opportunities for you to discover what it is like to study here. As a result, we have been developing digital outreach experiences, including our digital resource hub and the virtual open days we held in July and September. If you would like to receive tips, advice and the latest news on our admissions, please sign up to our newsletter for prospective applicants. We expect outreach activities to carry on taking place online in the 2020/21 academic year and we will continue to share events with you as they become available. Do take care and we look forward to meeting you online, and in the North West again when we can. 

The information below explains the in-person programmes we would usually offer in the North West and highlights where there are digital alternatives available.  

For more information on the digital outreach that Oxford for North West provides, including virtual events and super-curricular resources, please see our Online section.

For students

Schools Access Programme- all year groups

The Oxford for North West team visit state schools throughout the academic year. We often bring student ambassadors who come from the North West with us, so you have the chance to speak with someone who knows your region and has up to date experience of what it is like to study at Oxford. The programme includes a range of activities for students of different ages – from advice on choosing GCSEs and A levels through to university applications. The events are hosted by a school and are often open for students from other local schools to attend. Please ask your teacher about attending one of these events.

Oxbridge Student Conferences (Year 12)

These events are aimed at Year 12 students who are studying for their A Levels (or equivalent) and are beginning to consider their options for study beyond sixth form. The conferences are designed as Open Days on the road, and bring experienced admissions staff, subject specialists and current students from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge to venues around the UK. These full day events provide up to date information about our courses, clearly outline the admissions process and provide students with the opportunity to hear first-hand how our current undergraduates find life at Oxford and Cambridge. More details of these events are found on the Oxford and Cambridge students conference website. Please ask your teacher about attending one of these events.

OxNet North West (Year 12)        

OxNet is run by the University of Oxford's Pembroke College in collaboration with Corpus Christi College, other UK higher education providers and a number of third sector organisations. It is supported by the generous donation of The Goldsmiths' Company.  OxNet works in conjunction with a network of local schools in the North West, North East and London and runs four challenging academic programmes for Year 12 students in the North West. Each course lasts a year, and focuses on a different area of academic study:

  • The Humanities and Social Sciences course takes twenty students from Greater Manchester and Cheshire through an intensive course themed entitled "The Englightenment: Thinkers and Cultures." The course focuses on a range of disciplines, including Philosophy, Literature, History, Politics and Economics.
  • The Languages course takes ten students studying either French, German or Spanish at A Level (or equivalent) from the North West. It is an interdisciplinary course,  aiming to answer the question, "What does it mean to be European?" through the study of language, history and literature.
  • The Philosophy and World Religions course takes a further twenty Year 12 students from the North West. This course is run in collaboration with the Goldsmiths' Sutherland Centre at Ashton Sixth Form College, but is open to pupils  from all over Greater Manchester and Cheshire. This course is run closely with the University of Manchester and focuses on the academic theme of "Religion and Knowledge."
  • The STEM course takes ten students from the North West through a programme focusing on questions of Natural and Artificial Autonomy.

These courses are open to students attending schools and colleges that are part of the OxNet network. Applications for courses are organised via the OxNet website from November-January each academic year.

The North West Science Network

This is an annual programme run by Corpus Christi College (Oxford), Cheshire College South and West (Crewe) and Xaverian College (Manchester) in the North West. The network aims to engage students from the North West with research-level science and scientists, and is designed to further equip them to make informed choices in relation to higher education, and to support them in their application and entry into university. Events take place across the year both locally and in Oxford.

Research and teaching fellows from the University of Oxford and other research-intensive universities deliver a series of lectures across the scientific disciplines, whilst the Science Network also provides students from the North West with the opportunity to visit regional laboratories - such as SuperSTEM at Daresbury, attend local 'Maths in Science' spring events, and attend a summer school at Corpus. The scheme aims to reach as many students as possible, with lectures particularly large in scale (places on lab visits and residential events are limited).

For more information, please visit the North West Science Network web page and follow us on Twitter.

Y12 Competitions for students

  • Corpus Christi college organises an essay competition called the Peter Cane Legal Reasoning Prize.  Shortlisted candidates are invited to an afternoon event at Corpus Christi, with legal workshops and an award ceremony. For more details, follow the link provided.
  • Pembroke College offers the Pembroke North Essay Prize. Entrants can choose an essay title from one of three categories- Humanities, Science or Social Science. A winner in each category will receive a £100 book voucher, and runners up will receive a £50 voucher. All entrants are invited to a celebration event.

Details of other  academic competitions open to students across the country are available on the University of Oxford website. 

Oxford for North West is currently reviewing the support it delivers to students and soon we hope to extend this offer to include:

  • an event for Oxford offer holders and their parents in the North West – so they can meet each other, ask questions of Oxford undergraduates and make the most of the support offered by the university
  • opportunities to engage and inspire younger students in the North West, so they can develop their academic confidence and be ambitious about their future lives

In Oxford  |  Online

students at an event

For teachers

School Access Programme

We visit a large number of state schools throughout the year and deliver sessions to different year groups on a range of topics. Some sessions are about university in general, whilst others focus on the University of Oxford, for example:

For Year 12 and 13

  • Making a Competitive Application to University, Oxford and the Application Process,
  • Personal Statement Workshop,
  • Admissions Test Workshop,
  • Interview Workshop (suitable for Oxbridge applicants)
  • Support for Oxford Offer Holders.

For Years 9, 10 and 11

  • University and Future Choices. GCSEs, A-Levels and how they link to university courses.   
  • Why University? Why Oxford? The purpose of university, myth-busting, the cost, and a brief introduction to the Russell Group and the University of Oxford.

For Years 7, 8, 9 and 10

  • Higher Education Explained. Exploring university and what it might be like to study there.
  • Oxplore workshops

Whilst the majority of our outreach is directed at older students, we also provide some sessions for primary-aged pupils to help them understand university education.

Oxford for North West can also share information on other topics related to widening access and Oxford admissions during access visits. If you have any particular interests that you would like us to address, please do get in touch either with your link college or via our contact form.

 We usually visit selected schools in the following areas:

Many of these events are open to students from different local schools to attend.  Please follow the links provided for details of planned school visits your students can join this year and to discuss hosting future events for students in your area.

North West Teachers’ Conference - Equity, Equality, Enrichment and Evidence in Education

Hosted in Manchester in January 2020, this conference will showcase the unique collaboration between teachers and learners from The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT) in Warrington, Cheshire  and Oxford’s Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach.

With a focus on how the “5 Es” support raising achievement in schools, the conference aims to facilitate better understanding between communities regarding educational effectiveness and improvement, and widening participation to higher education, and foster opportunities for teachers to share practice and experiences.

To register your interest in next year’s North West events for teachers on raising achievement, sign up here

OxNet North West

OxNet is run by University of Oxford’s Pembroke College in collaboration with Corpus Christi college and other UK higher education providers and works in conjunction with a network of local schools. OxNet provides four challenging academic programmes for year 12 students in the North West. Each course lasts a year and focusses on a different area of academic study.

OxNet projects in the North West focus on Humanities & Social Science subjects, Philosophy and World Religions, STEM and Languages. OxNet coordinators are based in a hub schools and work with academics from Oxford and other universities to develop activities that challenge and inspire students recruited from a network of local schools. More information about Oxnet projects can be found at www.ox-net.org.

The North West Science Network

This is an annual programme run by Corpus Christi College (Oxford), Cheshire College South and West (Crewe) and Xaverian College (Manchester) in the North West. The network aims to engage students from the North West with research-level science and scientists, and is designed to further equip them to make informed choices in relation to higher education, and to support them in their application and entry into university. Events take place across the year both locally and in Oxford.

Research and teaching fellows from the University of Oxford and other research-intensive universities deliver a series of lectures across the scientific disciplines hosted in both Crewe and Manchester. The Science Network also provides students from the North West with the opportunity to visit regional laboratories - such as SuperSTEM at Daresbury, attend local 'Maths in Science' spring events, and attend a summer school at Corpus. The scheme aims to reach as many students as possible, with lectures particularly large in scale (places on lab visits and residential events are limited).

For more information, please visit the North West Science Network web page and follow us on Twitter.

St Peter’s College Foundation Schools Ambassador Programme

This  three-year programme finished in June 2020 and  linked Oxford academics with teachers in state schools throughout the country, allowing mutually beneficial professional relationships to flourish.

Paired academics and teachers worked collaboratively towards a specified goal (educational and/or scholarly) in their shared subject, and academics visited their partner teacher’s school to engage with students of that subject.

St Peter’s is in the planning stages of a new Schools Ambassador Programme, to be launched during 2021.

In Oxford  |  Online

University Open Day June 2016

For families

Supporting Higher Education Choices

Oxford for North West often attend parents and carers talks that are hosted by schools as part of our school access programme. We are happy to talk with you about how you can support your child to make a competitive application to universities like Oxford, as well as answer any specific questions you might have. Schools will advertise any parent and carer talks that they are hosting, but if you have any specific questions about Oxford, you are welcome to get in contact.

In Oxford  |  Online

prospective students at one of their Open Days