Programme

Eligibility

Application

Parents

Teachers

Programme FAQs

How much will it cost to participate in the programme?

All costs for the week, including the cost of travel, accommodation and food is covered by the Sutton Trust and our partner universities.

How do I get to the university?

You will be contacted by the university you will visit this summer and they will arrange your travel.

I can only attend part of the summer school as I am going on holiday, can I still apply?

No. The Sutton Trust Summer Schools run for approximately five days and you are expected to attend the full duration of the programme. If you cannot attend the full programme, please do not apply. The Summer Schools are hugely oversubscribed and there are many students on waiting lists who would welcome the opportunity to attend.

I have forgotten what I applied for and the dates – how can I find these details out?

This information will be listed in the email confirmation you receive once you submit your application.

Do I get any fees/support if I go to university following this programme?

The Sutton Trust is not a grant/scholarship making charity and we do not financially support our students following the Summer Schools and nor do we provide education advice.

If I attend a Sutton Trust UK Summer School, will my UCAS application be looked upon favourably when I apply?

There is space on the UCAS form for you to specify if you have attended a Sutton Trust UK Summer School or any other university programme. Some universities will give preference or reduced offers to students who have attended summer schools however this is not the case for all universities. We also stress that this should not be a determining factor for you to attend a Sutton Trust Summer School. Your motivations for attending should be aligned with the aims and objectives of the programme.

Who chooses the participants?

Our university partners will choose the participants.

I have SEN, disability or medical condition, can I still take part?

If you gain a place on the programme your host university will contact you to make sure all appropriate provision is in place so that you are fully supported on the Summer School. There is a section on the application form for you to disclose and SEN, disabilities or medical conditions, please use this opportunity as it helps us ensure that the necessary things are in place to support you. This information won’t be used when assessing your application in the decision making process but will be available to universities so that they can reach out to you to make any arrangements required.

Eligibility FAQs

I went to a private/independent school; can I apply for the programme?

The Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools are for high achieving students who have only ever attended state schools, including primary school. Even if you attend a private school with a scholarship or bursary, you will not be eligible. If you are unsure of your school type, please visit the following website to check: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml.

I am in care but attend a fee-paying school. Can I still apply?

Please email the Sutton Trust to inform us of your individual circumstances so we can provide extra guidance: [email protected].

I currently live in the UK but attended a fee-paying school in a country outside of the UK where paying for education is the norm. Can I still apply?

Please email the Sutton Trust to inform us of your individual circumstances so we can provide extra guidance on completing the form: [email protected].

I am a refugee/asylum seeker and attend a non-fee-paying school. Can I still apply?

Our UK Summer Schools are only open to students who attend non-fee-paying schools, however, if you were unable to attend a state school due to legal reasons, please email [email protected] to inform us of your individual circumstances so we can provide extra guidance.

Can I apply for the programme if I do not meet the grade requirements?

You can still apply, but we would like to let you know that our UK Summer Schools are heavily oversubscribed 6:1. If you do not meet the academic criteria of grades (or equivalent), it is unlikely your application will be successful.

If you do not meet the academic criteria but there are extenuating circumstances to explain this, please apply and give reasons for this oat Step 3 of the application form. You can enter details in the text boxes provided. There will also an opportunity for teachers to provide further details during the verification process.

Can I apply for the programme if I do not meet the subject requirements?

The course requirements are set by the university and are based on the subject requirements to study the degree at the undergraduate level. If you do not meet the subject requirements, it is unlikely your application will be successful.

I am not in Year 12, can I apply?

Thank you for your interest in Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools. This programme is only open to students currently in Year 12. Students in Year 13 or above may not apply. If you are in Year 11 or below, you are a bit ahead of the game! Please fill out the online survey to register your interest for our 2021 programme and to be reminded when applications open.

There are some aspects of the eligibility criteria that I do not meet. Can I still apply?

We can accept applications from students who have always attended state schools, and are in Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland. You do not need to fulfill any of our other criteria to apply, but the more you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place. 

What if I was previously home schooled?

If you have been home schooled in your early school years or at GCSE, you can still apply for the programme. Please select “Homeschooled” as your school name in Step 3 of the online application and be sure to fully explain your circumstances.

I am over 18, can I still apply?

Please see below for a list of universities that DO allow students in year 12 (or equivalent) who are over the age of 18 on their programmes. This is often down to a university-wide policy; a decision which is out of our control.

The University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Durham University, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Kings College London, Royal Veterinary College, UCL, University of Warwick

I am taking qualifications other than A Levels or Highers, such as BTECs or IB. Can I still apply?

Yes, we accept alternative qualifications, such as BTECs, for entry to the programme and welcome your application. There is space in the application form to detail and explain any alternative qualifications.

I’ve recently moved to the UK and taken GCSE and/or A-level equivalent exams in another country. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can enter “International School” as your school name in Stage 3 of the online application and state its name and address in the space provided. Please also use this space to detail and explain any alternative qualifications and try to provide as much information as possible.

One or both of my parents attended university outside of the UK, am I a first-generation student?

No. You are technically not a first generation student if your parent attended university internationally. There is a section on the application form where you can list the country, type course/qualification obtained and their age at the point of graduation.

One or both of my parents studied as a part-time/mature student, am I a first-generation student?

No. You are not a first generation student if your parent attended university as a mature student, whether or not they have yet completed their degree. There is a section on the application form where you can list the country, type course/qualification obtained and age at the point of graduation.

How do I know if I qualify for the neighborhood criteria?

We use a combination of POLAR3, IMD and ACORN statistics to determine whether a neighbourhood has a low rate of progression to higher education and/or a high level of socio-economic deprivation.

A postcode lookup for POLAR3 is publicly available at: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/young-participation-by-area/young-participation-by-postcode. Students who are in POLAR3 quintiles 1 and 2 will meet our neighbourhood criteria.

Please note that even if you do not fall into these POLAR3 quintiles, you may still meet the criteria based on IMD or ACORN scores.

I don’t currently claim Free School Meals but I did previously. Would I fulfill that criteria?

Yes, we would like to know if you currently receive or previously received Free School Meals. Please tick the box for Free School Meals on the form.

Application FAQs

What is the deadline for the student application?

The student application deadline for the 2020 programme is at midday on Tuesday 3 March 2020. Please note that the deadline to submit the school reference form online is midday on Friday 6 March 2020.

Can I save my application and return to it later?

Yes, when you have created your account you can save your application at any stage and return to it at a time convenient to you. You can do this by clicking ‘save’ at the bottom of each section before leaving the page. You will only be able to submit your application when all sections are fully completed.

Can I apply to multiple programmes?

You may only attend one Sutton Trust programme at a time.

You may not apply to a UK Summer School if you are currently enrolled in a Pathways programme. You may apply to both the UK Summer School and the US Programme, but you may only attend one. If you accept a place on the US Summer School, your UK Summer School application will be withdrawn.

Please note, you will be required to make a decision for the US Programme before you hear your outcome for the UK Summer School.

I am trying to complete my application, but my school isn’t listed.

Only UK state schools and colleges are listed on our application system and can be searched using both school name and postcode. If you attend an independent school, you are not eligible for the programme. If you are unsure of the type of school you attend, please visit the following website to check: http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml.

If you attend a state school which is not listed on the application system, please email [email protected] with the full name and address of your school so we can investigate further.

What should I do if I submit my application but my teacher has not received a verification request?

If your teacher reference does not receive the email, please take the following steps:

1. Check you have entered their email address correctly. Please note the system will only accept emails with an official domain (eg. [email protected])
2. Make sure they check their junk mail folder

If you have entered the email address correctly and they cannot find the email in their junk mail folder then it is likely that the security blocks on the school email system have filtered out the invitation email. In this instance, you should ask your teacher to contact us at [email protected] and we will provide them with a link to the reference form.

Can I receive feedback on my application if I am not selected?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, it is not possible to comment on individual applications.

Can you confirm you have received my application?

You will receive an email notification after you have submitted your application form. This can sometimes come through to your junk folder or be marked as ‘spam’ so please check this first before emailing the Sutton Trust at [email protected].

When will you inform me of your decision?

Your application will be reviewed by the university you applied to and they will be in contact with you by early May 2020. In the meantime, please make a note of the dates of the Summer School you have applied for to ensure you are available to attend if you are selected.

Who is verifying my application, and has it been completed?

Your teacher will receive an email requesting them to submit your reference and this must be completed by March 6th, 2020. We suggest that you check with your teacher whether this email has been received. You will be notified when your application has been verified.

Are places offered on a first-come-first-serve basis?

No, we do not have a rolling applications system. All applications will be sent off at the same time once the deadline has passed. Please take your time to choose your ideal course and complete the application to the best of your ability!

Can I apply to multiple courses if the dates do not overlap?

We aim to reach as many students as possible with our programmes so we only accept one UK Summer School application per student. You may not select multiple courses. Please take your time to pick your top choice and ensure you meet all subject requirements before applying.

Parent FAQs

Why do we run our programmes?

Sutton Trust research shows that in the UK today, access to leading universities and the top rungs of professions is strongly linked to your socioeconomic background. We believe that all young people should be able to explore their future options regardless of background. This is why we run our programmes.

We work with high-attaining young people from less advantaged backgrounds across the country to help grow their confidence, develop the skills to navigate higher education and the workplace, and enable them to make informed decisions about their next steps.

How does my child apply to a Sutton Trust programme?

For most programmes, young people apply to our programmes directly through our website. Please visit the page for the programme your child is interested in for further details and timelines for applications. Please note, your child may only take part in one Sutton Trust programme at one time.

What do I need to do during this process?

Nothing, our application form is designed for students to fill out. If your child’s application is successful, you will be sent consent forms to fill in and may have to provide information on your child’s medical history. Please do keep an eye on your inbox.

How much does it cost?

All of our programmes are free of charge. This includes travel, accommodation and food.

At what age should my child apply to the programme?

In most cases, our programmes are targeted at students in Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland, and Year 13 in Northern Ireland. There are exceptions, so please do check the individual programme page that your child is interested in.

How likely is my child to be successful?

All of our programmes are very popular and unfortunately, we get many more applications than we have places. For example, there can be up to seven applications for each place on our Summer School. This means that we often have to reject many good applications.

I’m concerned about my child’s wellbeing on the programme. What is done to ensure that they are well looked after?

When they apply, students can list any requirements that we will need to take into account (e.g. medical, religious, or dietary requirements etc.). We will do all that we can to ensure that any and all necessary adjustments are made so that your child is supported across their time on the programme.

My child is going on a residential programme. Where will they be staying?

On our residentials, students will stay at university Halls of Residence. All programmes are well-staffed, including staff on-call throughout the night, and all staff are DBS/PVG checked.

How does the Sutton Trust safeguard children whilst they are on programmes?

The Sutton Trust is committed to providing an environment on our programmes which is welcoming and safe and enables young people to speak up in confidence knowing that their worries, fears or concerns will be heard and acted upon. We work with our partner universities to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to a young person’s welfare is minimised. All staff who work on our programmes are DBS/PVG checked. Please click here for our full safeguarding policy and procedure.

What support can I give my child more generally?

Engage with your child as early as possible about their post-18 steps. Take time out to talk to your child about their plans. The more they are able to discuss their ideas with you, the easier it will be for them to put them down on a UCAS statement. Encourage your child to read around the areas that they are interested in. We recommend looking at the UCAS website for a full listing of other access opportunities: https://www.ucas.com/events/exploring-university/learn-about-uni-taster-course

Teacher FAQs

What is the deadline for the school reference?

The deadline to submit the school reference form online is midday March 3, 2020.

Who do we target our programmes towards and why?

We target high-attaining, socio-economically disadvantaged students. To identify these students, we use a range of criteria focusing on:

  • The student and their family – eligibility for FSM and first-generation status
  • The school that the student attends – higher than average rates of FSM at the school or lower than average performance/progression to Russell Group universities
  • The area that the student is growing up in – Participation in Higher Education (POLAR) and ocio-economic makeup (ACORN/IMD)
  • The grades that the student has attained. Grade requirements differ across programmes

How does my student apply to a Sutton Trust programme?

For most programmes, young people apply directly through our website. Please visit the page for the programme your student is interested in for further details and timelines for applications. Please note, your student may only take part in one Sutton Trust programme at one time.

Can my student apply to multiple programmes?

They may submit applications to multiple programmes however, if accepted students may only enrol in one programme. They may not apply to multiple courses or universities for the same programme. If students apply to both UK Summer School and the US Programme, please note that the US programme makes their selections during the UK Summer School application period, so any successful students must decide whether to take up their US place at that point.

I teach at an independent school. Can my students apply?

Our programmes are designed to support students in UK state schools. The only exception to this is if a student’s place at an independent school is completely covered by the local authority.

What do I need to do during this process?

Students are expected to fill out their application themselves. Once these have been completed, you will receive an email from us asking you to verify important details from the student. This will include, grades, FSM eligibility, care and first-generation status.

If the details are correct, you simply have to confirm this. If the details are not correct, there is space available for you to make corrections. Correcting information in a student’s application will not disadvantage them, as this will be amended on our system before the information is sent to universities.

There’s also an opportunity for you to provide any extenuating circumstances but you do not need to provide a UCAS style character reference for the student. Please complete this form to the best of your knowledge.

What is the reason for teacher verification?

As our programs are reserved for high-achieving and highly disadvantaged students, we ask teachers to corroborate the students’ claims regarding academic achievement and background.

What information do I need to verify?

You will be asked to verify the students’ qualifications and background including if they have ever received Free School Meals, lived in care, received a bursary or would be the first generation to attend university.

Can I submit a written reference?

No, you will not need to submit a character reference. However, if there are any extenuating circumstances that should be considered when reviewing the student’s application, there will be space provided to outline the details in the verification process.

What happens if my student’s application isn’t verified by the deadline?

If you are unable to verify the application by the deadline, your student’s chosen university team may contact you directly to verify details. Your student’s application will not be negatively impacted.

I’m not the right person to verify a student’s application. What should I do?

Please email us with the full name, contact email address and telephone number of the appropriate teacher. Please note you do not need to be the students’ current teacher if you can accurately verify their information.

I haven’t received a verification email. What should I do?

Please ensure your students has completed and submitted their application then contact [email protected] and we will rectify this.

Can I see all the students who have applied to my school?

Yes. If you have been nominated to verify a students application, we will send a summary of all students from your school who have applied following the application deadline. We will send a follow up with student outcomes once we received all the decisions from our university partners.

How much does it cost?

All of our programmes are free of charge. This includes travel, accommodation and food. In some cases, students may be asked to pay some travel costs upfront, but these will always be reimbursed. If paying upfront costs is a concern for a student, please contact the university that your student has applied to.

How likely is my student to be successful

All of our programmes are very popular, and unfortunately, we get many more applications than we have places. For example, there can be up to seven applications for each place on our UK Summer Schools. This means that we often have to reject many highly eligible students. To understand which criteria students are meeting on our programmes, please see above for the demographic makeup of students enrolled last year.

Can you provide feedback on why students have or haven’t been successful?

Applications are assessed on how many of our eligibility criteria students meet. The more of these students meet, the more likely they are to get a place. Since we receive so many applications, we are unable to provide individual feedback.

Can you come to my school and talk about your programmes?

Due to having a small team we are unable to make school visits. However, we have created a number of resources to help you advertise the programme including videos, assembly presentations and posters. Please click here for the full range of resources.

When will we hear about the application outcomes?

Students will be notified of the university’s decision by the end of April/beginning of May.

How does the Sutton Trust safeguard students whilst they are on programmes? The

The Sutton Trust is committed to providing an environment on our programmes which are welcoming and safe and enables young people to speak up in confidence knowing that their worries, fears or concerns will be heard and acted upon. We work with our partner universities to take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to a young person’s welfare is minimised. All staff who work on our programmes are DBS/PVG checked. Please click here for our full safeguarding policy and procedure.

Ready to start your application?