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.

2022 Summer School

Applications for Discover UCL are now open and will close at 10am on Wednesday 11 May 2022.

To apply, please, follow this link

The summer school will run across four days in July 2022.  Three days will consist of online activities and on the final day, participants will visit the UCL campus. 

Online section: Tuesday 26 July – Thursday 28 July: participants will complete an online course, hear talks from deaf role models and our team of experts, and complete group activities with other young deaf people.

In-person day on UCL campus: Friday 29 July: participants will have the chance to tour the university and ask questions of panel members including deaf role models and university staff and current/former students.

On the afternoon of Friday 29 July, following the Summer School sessions, we are planning a celebration event to mark 10 years of the Discover Summer School.  Participants will be very welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or carer. 

Other opportunities for deaf students at UCL

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