UCL – Horizons

UCL Horizons Summer Challenge
The problem
•Students from our target under-represented
backgrounds often lack the additional academic
experiences and polished writing required for an
impressive personal statement
•Transition to university study can be hard; they
often lack independent research, writing and
presentation skills
•Summer schools and taster days can give a flavour
of university study, but rarely offer the opportunity to
complete a substantial piece of assessed academic
Our solution: the Year 12 Summer Challenge
•Six-week evening courses in STEM & ASSH
•1,500 word essay and presentation
•Interactive, discussion based seminars
•Small groups of 8 -15
•Access to UCL libraries
•Develops critical thinking, independent
research, writing and presentation skills
•Impressive content for personal statements
and interviews
•We aim to increase the number of highquality applications made to UCL by these
students, across all disciplines
Student comments
“Thank you for an educative,
sophisticated, fun and enjoyable time at
the Challenge. The way it was arranged
was creative and different compared to
other summer schools.”
“I have thoroughly researched and
explored a topic that I have never thought
about before – it changed my perception of
what it means to be human.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed having open
discussions with an expert in the field I am
interested in, a perk I will never get at
2012 Summer Challenge courses
All created and taught by UCL postgraduates
Medicine and Society
The Middle East
The Amazing Brain
Britain and the World
Human Nature
Shakespeare Updated
Some research projects chosen by Year 12s
“Considering British arms sales to the Middle
East, does Britain really care about human
rights in the region?”
“A man more sinned against than sinning.”
Is Shylock the villain or the victim of The
Merchant of Venice?”
“What are allergies, why do they happen and
why are they increasing in the UK
“Is memory in eyewitness testimony reliable?”
What next for Summer Challenge?
• Year 13 Personal Statement Clinic
• UCAS monitoring: 27 applied to UCL, four conditional
offers and two interview invitations so far
• Impact on postgraduates: academics of the future
• Doubling number of courses in 2013
• Summer Challenge toolkit for other HEIs - please
speak to me today!
• Please vote for us! 
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