UCL Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre


Discover UCL: A Summer School for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Representation of D/deaf students within Higher Education

Recent figures for HE students with disabilities show that 10.6% of registered students, at all levels of study, have some form of disability. Of those declaring a disability, 2.7% disclosed being deaf or having a serious hearing impairment.


The Discover UCL Summer School is a small step towards redressing the balance. It serves to equip D/deaf and hard of hearing participants for university life and further diversify UCL's student population.


DCAL and UCL Widening Participation work in partnership to deliver this 3-day residential summer school which is the only one of its kind delivered by a UK university. 'Discover UCL… ' has run annually since 2014, winning a national award for innovation in its first year from the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association (HELOA).


Our innovative programme uses UCL's world-class facilities and includes: 

  • Practical information sessions (UCAS personal statements, student finance, funding for disability support, etc)
  • Mini lectures tailored to around the students' interests· D/deaf role model presentations
  • Q&A sessions
  • Advisory sessions specifically aimed at preparing young D/deaf people for university life
  • Object-based learning sessions with UCL Museums
  • Evening social activities to popular London attraction

Feedback from former attendees

" The Discover UCL summer school was one of the most influential and beneficial times of my life. I developed myself academically, met friends for life and most importantly learnt that even though I am deaf, university is a very real goal. Natasha, Year 12 student
" Will definitely help you make the right decisions for university with a taste of how it will be while you have fun. Renee, Year 12 student
" The Summer School provided everything - information on finance, support, meeting new people, gaining and sharing experiences. Holly, Year 12 student
" Great experience and lots of fun! You learn lots of new things! Calum, Year 12 student
" Really useful! I've learnt so much and am less anxious about university. Aaron, Year 12 student


To ensure full access to sessions, British Sign Language (BSL) - English interpreters and speech-to-text reporters are provided.


The cohort is chaperoned at all times by UCL staff who communicate in BSL and English.

2018 Summer School

The Programme: https://youtu.be/C6GPTdIQ8mY

Communication Support: https://youtu.be/GxwBn2YKzLs

2019 Summer School

15 fully-funded places on offer, dates to be confirmed. Expressions of interest can be registered here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/widening-participation/learners/secondary/discover-ucl-summer-school-ddeaf-and-hard-hearing-students

Other opportunities for deaf students at UCL

See https://www.ucl.ac.uk/widening-participation/specific-groups/disabled-students