If you are nearing the end of your schooling and are thinking about your next steps, our outreach programmes offer the chance to experience life as a university student, as well as providing expert advice on university admissions. We believe that a degree opens doors and is life changing for many people, but we also know that deciding where or whether to go to university is not always easy, particularly if you don't know people who have been, or who can tell you what it's like.
Oxford for South West can provide you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions about your future. Our programmes are designed to support you at whatever stage you are in school:
- For students aged 11 to 16, we focus on providing the information you need to make informed decisions about GCSE and A-Level choices.
- For students aged 16 to 18, we shift the focus to providing information about university admissions, helping you to explore what Oxford has to offer and developing the skills necessary to make successful applications to Oxford.
Please note that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has suspended face-to-face outreach activities. As a result we have been developing digital outreach experiences, including our digital resource hub and our Virtual Open Days - for more see our online resources page. The information below explains what face to face outreach programmes Oxford usually offers students. See our teachers section for information on Oxford outreach organised via schools and colleges.
Schools Access Programme - all year groups
Most years, the Oxford for South West team visit state schools throughout the academic year. We often bring student ambassadors who come from the South 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, once pandemic restrictions have been lifted. They can find more information and details of contact on the 'For Teachers' section of this website.
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.
Open Days (Years 11 - 13)
The University holds three Open Days, two in June or July and one in September, each year.
All colleges and departments will be open to prospective students on Oxford University Open Days. The 2021 Open Days are provisionally scheduled for Wednesday 30 June, Thursday 1 July and Friday 17 September. For more information on our Open Days see here.
Students do not need to apply in advance to attend an Open Day. However if you are eligible to take part in an open day residential you will need to apply for this via your school.
UNIQ Oxford (Year 12)
UNIQ is the largest University of Oxford access programme for students in their first year of further education, who are based at UK state schools or colleges. UNIQ has a successful record of helping students make successful applications to Oxford. Due to the pandemic, UNIQ 2020 ran as an online intensive summer school with a demanding academic component. UNIQ 2021 will build on the successes of previous years, by providing an extended access programme with activities running from April to November. For more information see the UNIQ website.
Target Oxbridge (Year 12)
Target Oxbridge is a free programme that aims to help black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed race with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge). The programme includes a residential in Oxford, student mentoring by black or minority ethnic Oxbridge graduates as well as many tailored sessions throughout the year. Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 200 students to secure Oxbridge offers. For more information see the Target Oxbridge website.
Oxford Pathways (Years 10 & 11)
Oxford Pathways is for students attending non-selective state schools across the UK, with little, if any, history of sending students to Oxford.
Through Oxford Pathways students get the opportunity to visit Oxford, to explore the university and see what it is like to study here. Taster Days give academically able year 10 students an introduction to higher education and student finance, interactive sessions with current students, lunch served in a college dining hall, and participation in an academic activity.
The same students are invited back to Oxford in year 11 for an Investigating Options Days which focusses the importance of GCSE results and post-16 choices.
Students coach travel costs are paid for by Oxford for South West Colleges. Applications are made by schools, rather than individuals, with each school welcome to bring up to 10 students. So please ask your teacher about this opportunity. For more information see the Pathways website. #OxPathways
Visit Oxford (All years)
Oxford for South West colleges warmly welcome all state Primary and Secondary pupils to visit during University term time. These visit days are designed to give pupils a taste of University life and can be adapted for all year groups. There is no charge for these days.
An example of a visit might include a talk about the University of Oxford, meeting current undergraduate students, and academic taster sessions at a museum or department (e.g. ‘Object Handling’ at the Ashmolean or a ‘Collections Up Close’ at the Bodleian).
Our colleges are very happy to adapt College visit days to meet the needs of any particular group of pupils. These visits are organised through schools, so if you are interested please ask your teacher to get in touch with us.