Access and Widening Participation


UCL Virtual Visits - Years 5-11

Please note UCL Virtual Visits (Y5 -11) are no longer open for application.


UCL Virtual Visits (Y5 -11) are no longer open for application. Please note this page contains information regarding activity offered during academic year 20/21 in order to provide an example of our former offering. Future programmes are subject to change and are likely to not contain all of the same sessions, or run in the same format.

Virtual Visits are a series of pre-recorded videos created by PhD students, academics and staff at UCL. The sessions have been designed to give primary and secondary schools (Years 7-11) the opportunity to bring presentations that would usually be delivered at a university visit into their classrooms.

Schools will have the opportunity to request from a range of different sessions. While varied in the topics covered, the sessions are focused around the general themes of Information, advice and guidance (IAG), Taster Lectures and Primary Visit. Where possible we will also give schools the opportunity to book in a live Q&A with the presenter, if availability allows.

These sessions have been created to be shown in a variety of different teaching settings to suit the school. To access the sessions, schools must complete our application form. Eligible schools will be sent copies of the videos one week before the session is due to take place.

Please see below for details on the sessions offered and how to apply:

Information, advice and guidance 

The Information, advice and guidance sessions aim to give secondary school students in Years 7-11 an introduction to UCL and higher education. These sessions can be delivered as standalone videos or together. We would recommend showing these videos as part of the next-steps and progression sessions delivered in your school. We are offering two pre-recorded sessions:

  1. The Welcome to UCL presentation is a 5 minute video that provides students with an introduction to UCL. This includes key information about studying in London, different courses available and UCL’s contextual offer scheme.
  2. The Student Finance session is an 8 minute video designed to give students an overview of the different costs involved in going to university. This includes how the funding system works, student finance and support available to students.

These sessions also include the possibility for a live Q&A session with a member of UCL staff after the presentation, if possible.

Taster Lecture 

Taster Lectures are an exciting new way for secondary school students in Years 7-11 to find out more about how students learn at university. The Taster Lectures are pre-recorded videos created by current PhD students and academics at UCL.  They have been designed to capture the style of a lecture at university and relate to the PhD student’s area of study. The topics covered in these sessions will support secondary school students in exploring both familiar and new subjects.

Please see below for more information about the lectures offered and the year group this lecture has been pitched to:



Video length

Year Groups

Population Health: Health and Society

To introduce students to epidemiology, a subject area that raises important questions on how we understand health.

The session encourages students to think about the different ways health and disease can be understood and studied, both from social and biological perspectives.

Approx. 30mins

Year 9 - 11

English: Jane Eyre

To understand how Jane Eyre creates the inner world of the protagonist and consider how the inner voice can challenge the plot of the novel.

This session demonstrates what an English Literature lecture might look like at university and introduce new ways of looking at texts.

Approx. 30mins

Year 9 - 11

Geography: Vertical Urbanism

To understand the ways that vertical growth has taken place across global cities and use verticality as a way of further understanding existing geographical concerns.

This session highlights the range of different subject matters covered in Geography at university.

Approx. 25mins

Year 9 - 11

History: Apartheid

To introduce the long history of colonialism and resistance in South Africa and encourage students to critically engage with its history.

This session highlights to students the exciting skills and subjects that historians engage with at university.

Approx. 20mins

Year 9 - 11

Physics: Our Dynamic Sun

To introduce students to basic processes on the Sun and provide a clear application of physics in the GCSE curriculum, and how it helps us answer big questions about our local star.

The content covered in this session promotes scientific curiosity, whilst introducing a new topic to expand their horizons.

Approx. 30mins

Year 7 – 11

Geography: Conservation Science

To understand both the historical and current distribution of Amur tigers in north-east Asia and explain the role that conservation can play in the continued persistence – and potential recovery – of the Amur tiger.

This session builds on content studied at school at KS3 and KS4, and introduces new material from higher education.

Approx. 30mins

Year 7 – 11

In your application form, you will have the opportunity to choose which Taster Lectures your school would be interested in. Schools can choose more than one of the lectures offered. 

The Taster Lectures include the possibility for a live Q&A session with the lecturer after the presentation, if possible. We would recommend showing the Welcome to UCL presentation before the Taster Lecture to give students a greater background knowledge of UCL and university in general.

Primary Visit 

Our Primary Visit is a 20-minute pre-recorded video aimed at providing students in Years 5 - 6 with accessible information about university and possible pathways. 

The presentation is structured as a timeline, exploring a learner's journey from primary school to university. Learners are introduced to and familiarised with topics such as transitioning to secondary school, myth busting, understanding the differences between educational stages and university life. 

The video will include interactive elements in the form of short pauses that allow teachers and students to discuss ideas raised in the session. If feasible, Primary Visits can include a Q&A session with a member of staff after the session.