If you have any questions about this programme please contact the Summer Challenge team.

E: challenge@ucl.ac.uk
T: 020 7679 0653 (9:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri)

Other Opportunities

There are a number of other activities available at UCL. Please see our activities pages for a full breakdown, or explore those listed below.

Year 12 Summer Schools
Year 12 Taster Courses
Experience UCL: Pre-university International Summer School


Year 12 Summer Challenge

What is Summer Challenge?

Summer Challenge is a programme of subject specific courses for Year 12 students attending state schools in or near London, whose parents have not been to university, and who are academically high achieving.

There are a number of courses on offer in a diverse range of STEM and humanities subjects, all taught by UCL academics and PhD students. During the course of the programme, students must complete a piece of work to be graded by their tutor. Summer Challenge encourages critical thinking and debate, and gives students valuable practice at crafting academic essays, which can be used during A-Level and university study. 

Courses run for five weeks at UCL's campus in Bloomsbury during June and July, on either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings from 5-7pm. You can download our latest brochure here.


Dates for Summer Challenge 2017 are: 

  • 20 & 21 June 
  • 27 & 28 June 
  • 04 & 05 July 
  • 11 & 12 July 
  • 18 & 19 July
Some applications for Summer Challenge are now closed. We aim to inform applicants of the outcome of their application by 31 March 2017. You can apply for remaining Summer Challenge courses until 31 March 2017.

Every Summer Challenge student completes a 1,500 word project on a topic of their choice. This develops independent research, critical thinking, public speaking and academic writing skills essential for university; it also provides an impressive achievement for UCAS personal statements.

Students will be supported by UCL academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students, gaining detailed insight into the UCL student experience and the range of degree programmes on offer.

Summer Challenge courses are offered by a number of departments across UCL. Once again we have courses available in arts, humanities, social sciences, science and engineering subjects. 

Fine Art: Drawing upon Observation

Slade School of Fine Art

Application deadline: 31 March 2017

Drawing from observation has been an age-old concern that has stimulated the imagination of many artists throughout history. This five-week course offers a rich starting point to explore some fundamental concerns of perceptual drawing. The course begins with a short presentation on the history and the varied traditions of working from observation and includes five intensive drawing sessions with weekly discussion relating to studio practice and theory. 

It will conclude with student presentations of work, feedback and evaluation. Through a series of subjects and topics - Line & Tone, Form & Space, Measuring Methods, Scale & Proportion, Composition, Balance & Symmetry -you’ll learn to understand ‘how we see’ and develop confidence in exploring the nature of drawing.

You’ll also be introduced to a number of drawing materials and how crucial they can be in the execution of a work. The classes will take place in the unique studios of the Slade.

Dates: Tuesdays 
June: 20, 27
July: 4, 11, 18

Entry requirements and notes

This course would suit students interested in any of these UCL degree programmes:

  • BA Fine Art
  • BFA Fine Art

Your A level or IB subjects and predicted grades must match the entry requirements for one or more of the UCL degree courses above; refer to the online prospectus for details.

You might be interested in this course if you are currently studying Art, Graphic Design, Photography, Design and Technology and Textiles.

Please keep an eye on our TwitterFacebook and Snapchat (DiscoverUCL) for updates. 

It is important to read the course descriptions carefully to decide which ones are of interest to you, and please take into account the entry requirements along with the eligibility criteria.

We ask that applicants apply for two courses, as this will increase the chance of getting a place. You must be willing to take your second choice course if it is offered to you. You cannot apply for both Medical or both Law courses.

Please read all the questions carefully before answering them, and do not rush the form - if you make a mistake in your contact details we will not be able to let you know if you have a place!

We encourage you to pick two Summer Challenge choices to increase your chances of being accepted for the programme. You must be willing to take up your second choice if you are offered, and you cannot pick both Medicine or Law courses.

Part of the application form will require you to enter some information about your parent or guardian. Please make sure they are around when you are completing the form to give you this information.

You are required to give the details of a teacher who can provide an academic reference to support your application, and to forward the reference link (which you will receive after submitting your application form) on to this teacher. If we do not receive the reference from your teacher we will be unable to consider you for a place on the Summer Challenge programme. Please ensure you complete your application form as soon as possible to allow your teacher plenty of time to complete the reference. 

The first deadline for applications was 10 March 2017 at 5:00pm, and some courses have now closed. Courses that are still available will be open until 3:00pm on 31 March 2017, or until we reach our capacity of eligible participants. Please check our social media and this page for announcements.

Apply now!