Access and Widening Participation



Masterclasses are a range of online, subject-specific, hour-long sessions for students in Year 12 running online in February 2022.

About Masterclasses

Masterclasses are online, subject-specific hour-long sessions for students in Year 12 to get an opportunity to have a taste of university. The masterclasses are designed to introduce you to subjects that can be studied at university. The hour-long sessions will feature a lecture on a specific topic from UCL academics or students. This year, Masterclasses will be hosted online.

The sessions are interactive and we encourage you to engage with the presenters, there is an opportunity at the end to ask questions about the topic presented.

Taking part in Masterclasses can be a fantastic way to find out more about university subjects. You can find out more about the subjects covered, who is presenting the lecture, and the date the Masterclass is running in the Subjects section of this page. 



Topic: TBC

Presenter: Elliot Nash

Date: Friday 18 February 2022, 10:30 – 11:30 am

This Masterclass is designed to introduce Architecture and what it is like to study Architecture at university – specifically UCL.


Topic: Planetary Formation and Protoplanetary Disks

Presenter: Luke Keyte

Date: Thursday 17 February 2022, 2.30-3.30 pm

In this Masterclass, you will be introduced to the astrophysical concepts that allow us to study star- and planet-forming environments. There will be discussion on current theories of planetary formation and exploration on some of the observational techniques that have advanced our knowledge over the past decade. Finally, you will look at upcoming missions that are poised to have a monumental impact on our understanding of planetary systems in the coming years.

Chemical Engineering

Topic: Nature-Inspired Chemical Engineering: A NICE Approach to Solve Challenging Problems

Presenter: Marc-Olivier Coppens

Date: Monday 14 February 2022, 10.30-11.30 am

We turn to nature for inspiration because nature provides us with examples of solutions. In this Masterclass, you will discover how we can learn from trees, lungs, kidneys, and dunes to transform chemical and energy processes.


    Topic: Economic Story of the World in the Last Four Decades

    Presenter: Dr Ramin Nassehi

    Date: Wednesday 16 February 2022, 10.30-11.30 am

    In this Masterclass, you will look at interactive data to help answer the following questions:

    • Which technologies have made the most improvements in our standard of living in the last four decades?
    • Who were the main winners and losers of automation and globalisation since 1980?
    • What has happened to the income gap between rich and developing countries in the past 40 years?
    • What has happened to the gap between rich and poor inside countries?
    History of Art

    Topic: Studying History of Art at UCL: Is it all Old Masters?

    Presenter: TBC

    Date: Tuesday 15 February 2022, 2.30-3.30 pm

    This Masterclass is designed to introduce art history as well as the History of Art Department at UCL. You will learn about the ways in which art historians delve into history, philosophy, and economics to write the history of art. Additionally, you will learn about the many career paths open to art historians, from working in museums and galleries, to publishing, editing and working for NGOs.


    Topic: Spanish Taster Session

    Presenter: Dr Mazal Oaknin 

    Date: Monday 14 February 2022, 2.30-3.30 pm

    In this Masterclass, we will get you ready to work in a Spanish-speaking country! You will learn how to write a good CV and learn more about the language you need for a great work interview.

      Law (1)

      Topic: Dracula and the Law

      Presenter: Dr Alan Brener

      Date: Friday 18 February 2022, 2.30-3.30 pm

      In Bram Stokers' 'Dracula' the evil lord's main opponents are Jonathan Harker, a lawyer; his fiancée, Mina Murray, a school teacher and Professor Abraham Van Helsing. The powers of Count Dracula are limited by 'Vampiric Law' and in England by the law in this country. This Masterclass looks at the book and the law is used by all the characters in the novel.

        Law (2)

        Topic: When should you (dis)obey the law?

        Presenter: Dr Mohsen al Attar

        Date: Thursday 17  February 2022, 4:30-5:30 pm

        Law commands obedience. Yet, what—or who—are we submitting to?

        To some, the law is both moral and desirable. We live in complex societies and, without law, would descend into chaos. Disobeying the law is thus dysfunctional, even depraved. Others are less trusting, They argue that the law restricts the freedoms of certain groups more so than others. Highlighting its control by special interests, they argue that the law is a valuable weapon in class warfare. In an unequal society, legal disobedience can sometimes be a form of resistance, even enlightenment.

        The above conundrum will inform the Masterclass on the relationship between law and disobedience. I seek to achieve two aims: 1) to encourage you to think of the privileges and disadvantages that laws simultaneously constitute and 2) to stimulate reflections on legal education and its part in advancing the type of society we aim to build.

          Medicine & Medical Sciences

          Topic: The Importance of Science in Medicine

          Presenter: Izabella Smolicz

          Date: Wednesday 16 February 2022, 2.30-3.30 pm

          In this Masterclass you will have the opportunity to learn:

          • The roles of a clinician and a scientist in a multidisciplinary team and similarities between the roles, with examples.
          • The importance of understanding scientific foundations in medicine at multiple biological levels, with examples.
          • The concept of ‘bench-to-bedside’ and examples of translational research that have led to progress in clinical medicine.

          Topic: What does it mean to be mentally healthy, resilient, and stress-free?

          Presenter: Dr Steven Papachristou and Dr Liory Fern-Pollak

          Date: Tuesday 15 February 2022, 10.30-11.30 am

          Stress is something we all experience throughout our lives. When we do nothing to reduce stress and over a prolonged period of time, this increases our risk for mental health problems. Using Psychology, the scientific study of the mind and behaviour, you will learn about the relationship between stress and youth mental health. In our university-lecture style Masterclass, we will explore various ways to help you tolerate, or even master, stress-inducing situations. By the end, you will get a taste of how different branches of psychology - developmental, social, and biological - can inform each other to explain the relationship between stress and mental health.


          Students attending the Masterclasses must be from at least one of one of our target groups. For a full list of our target groups please see who we work with.


          Applications for our 2022 Masterclasses have now closed.