Access and Widening Participation


Year 12* Sutton Trust Summer Schools

Every year we run a series of Summer Schools in partnership with the Sutton Trust. We have a wide range of subjects to choose from, designed to give you a taste of studying at University.

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General Information

The Summer Schools are a fully immersive experience, you'll live as a student staying in accommodation overnight and meet other students from across the UK. Throughout the week you'll attend lectures, seminars, lab work and trips across London to get a taste of what it's like to study at UCL. But it's not all academic work! We have an exciting programme of social activities planned including a tours, the chance to explore London and Wellness Wednesdays. There's something for everyone on our Summer School.

In 2023, our Summer Schools will return to being fully residential with five days at the UCL Campus. We will also host an online welcome session ahead of the Summer School so you can meet the team and answer any last-minute questions. 

The Summer Schools, give you the chance to gain vital skills such as time management, organisation, and teamwork. Our friendly Student Leaders (current UCL students) will be on hand to answer any questions about your work, living in London, studying at UCL, or university life in general.

For those who complete the Summer School, we have partnered with Causeway Education who offer personal statement mentoring. You'll be paired with a subject-specific mentor who will help you to develop your personal statement, for free! Causway will also deliver a Personal Statement workshop during the Summer School to introduce you to the platform and get you thinking about personal statements. 

*S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland 

What can I study on the Summer School?

Week 1: Monday, 24 to Friday, 28 July 2023

Crime and Forensic Science

Are you interested in understanding how crime is studied? Have you ever wondered how evidence is collected at a crime scene? Do you want to know about investigating serious crime? Are you thinking a future career in criminal justice? Then this is the summer school for you. 

The Department of Security and Crime Science are offering a 5-day summer school, where students will be introduced into the world of studying crime and forensic science at one of the country’s top Universities. The course will introduce students to concepts of prevention, detection, and disruption of crime, from a policing, security, and forensic science perspective. The summer school will include lectures from world experts in the fields of policing, intelligence, and forensic science, and will include workshops where students are introduced to criminal justice practice. The subjects covered in the summer school include organised crime, terrorism, crime scene investigation, and policing. Students will be asked to work on individual or groups projects throughout the week, where they will have an opportunity to show case their newly learnt knowledge and skills in crime and forensic science. 

Languages and Cultures

Do you speak more than one language? Are you already studying a language or even two? Do you like exploring literature, films, art, music, food and all sorts of other cultural aspects of other countries? Are you curious about what studying languages and cultures at university would be like? Then come to the UCL Languages and Cultures Summer School! The School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS) teaches no fewer than 11 different languages, and alongside these languages we also have a vast range of courses in everything cultural: French cinema, Italian Renaissance study, Latin American poetry, German medieval comic tales, material ‘stuff’ in the Viking age, Dutch sociolinguistics, and many more.

The Summer School will draw on as much of these languages and cultures as we can fit in one week through a combination of seminars and workshops. There will be lessons in French, Spanish, and German for those of you who study these languages, as well as some sessions with new and lesser-taught languages (like the Scandinavian ones). We will introduce you to our collections at UCL showing you how we use these in our teaching. To set it all up, we will start with considering what how and why we learn foreign languages. The weeklong project task will be based on this session, while allowing you to use examples from all the other classes to explore the connections between language and culture even further. 


The UCL Laws Summer School will introduce you to the study of Law at university, through introductory sessions on law and legal studies and the legal profession, as well as sessions on substantive law in areas such as Criminal, Contract, Family, Public and Employment Law. Teaching and learning will be via a combination of lectures, small group teaching and interactive workshops. By the end of the Summer School, you will have a greater understanding of what studying law at university entails and a greater understanding the legal profession and of the paths to becoming a lawyer.

Psychology with Education

Research in psychology can be applied to improving our understanding of education across the lifespan. This UCL Psychology Summer School will involve interactive sessions discussing interesting research and exploring its application to real life settings. You will learn about the work of the department of Psychology and Human Development at UCL and will receive information around the degree and advice around the application process and future career pathways.

You will be introduced to the field of psychology as a science by exploring how different behaviours can be measured and discussing the validity and reliability of these measures. You’ll take part in real experiments and explore the strengths and weaknesses of the measures used.

The Summer School aims to provide an experience of undergraduate level in terms of building independence and the ability to critically evaluate theory and research. At the end of the Summer School, you will have a clear understanding of what psychology is, the key areas of study in the Psychology with Education undergraduate degree, knowledge of some of the skills required to pursue a career in psychology and education and the confidence to challenge the outcomes of research.

Week 2: Monday, 7 August to Friday, 11 August 2023


At the UCL Archaeology Summer School, you will explore our fascinating history and ancestry through the human remains found under the streets, and along the Thames, of modern-day London. The course will include practical study in the classroom, investigating the collection of bones in the Institute of Archaeology lab where we will look to see what the bones can tell us about our ancestors and disease.

You will also go on trips to museums across London, which may include behind the scenes tours led by specialists exploring how Human Remains are displayed in a Museum setting (just one of a number of questions we will consider across the course). You will also visit the Thames foreshore (when the tide is out) working with Archaeologists from the UCL Institute of Archaeology in recording a site and collecting artefacts (primarily animal bones) for hands-on finds processing back at the Institute of Archaeology. The course will conclude with a group project about ‘what archaeology is & how it is used today to think about the past’. You will not only learn about the human skeleton but also what the human skeleton, especially in the Archaeology record, can help you learn about yourself.


At the UCL Architecture Summer School, we will spend five days together, discovering each other’s daily rituals, routines, and patterns of living. You will undertake a critical investigation of your own daily routines in an architectural context through walking, looking, drawing and making.

You will learn new ways of recording your observations and ideas through sketching, drawing, photography, collage, film, model-making and writing. You will navigate the Summer School through a series of lectures, podcasts, readings, demonstrations and hands-on tasks.
Our daily ‘patterns of living’ help us to stay productive, and in the uncertain global pandemic, they are perhaps the only things which we can rely on. Throughout this Summer School, you will question how architecture plays host to our ‘patterns of living’ and you will develop an understanding of scale through the close observation of real-life scenarios. Together and individually, you will reflect on your daily observations and imaginations. You will learn about architectural drawing conventions such as plan, section and elevation. You will discuss university applications, personal statements, portfolios and interviews.

All work produced in the Summer School can be used in your portfolios when applying to university.


The world is a rapidly urbanising place. A process that does not happen uniformly across the globe with diverging results through geographical contexts. But what exactly constitutes the urban and what makes up a city? 

In this UCL Geography Summer School, we will approach the idea of the city as the epicentre of articulations of 'natural' and social relations, relations that are not fully contained within the place itself. This Summer School will give you a taste of what studying Geography is like at undergraduate level here at UCL. You will begin with exploring the multiplicity of the urban in urban studies literature, by examining what urbanisation means to the governments, businesses and people whose lives are affected by changes to the built environment of cities and to the ecosystems that support them. The aim is to explore all the possible perspectives from which we can address the cities we live in, not as something closed or bounded - which, politically, lays the ground for critiques of exclusivity. The city has long been a strategic site for the exploration of major subjects confronting society.  

This interactive course will allow you to take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding cities today on a variety of topics aiming to highlight the diverse experiences of the urban across different contexts and through different perspectives within geography. It will include a diverse series of university-style seminars and will include topics ranging from political uncertainty to infrastructure and informality. You will study this topic by analysing three world cities as case studies. These will be London, Taipei, and Lilongwe. The Summer School will culminate in a participatory workshop which invites you to examine cities as places that are not 'given' but always in an open-ended process through interactive drawing sessions. 

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Medicines from the bench to the patient. Are you interested in medicines and how to use them effectively? This Summer School is the perfect introduction to the discipline of Pharmacy and the MPharm degree at UCL. You will gain an insight into the journey and life of a Pharmacy student at UCL. The programme covers a diverse range of themes, from fundamental chemical science through biology and pharmacology to the more applied social aspects of pharmacy and patient behaviour. You will get hands-on experience in a variety of laboratory demonstrations and practical sessions.  Our academic staff and students will be there to support you and discuss their experiences into their pharmaceutical careers. 


The digital revolution has accelerated the amount of data generated every day to unprecedented levels. This creates an increasing need for us to develop skills to understand and extract value from this sea of data. Statistics provides the necessary tools to extract meaningful information from the data to better understand the world around us and to help us make informed decisions.  

The UCL Statistics Summer School is aimed at providing you with a unique opportunity to be involved in a wide range of activities designed to give you a taste of student life in the department of Statistical Science at UCL. You will be immersed in a real-world problem that demonstrates a clear link between theoretical knowledge and how it can be applied in everyday life. You will use a popular statistical software to build your model in order to predict defaults on consumer loans, which is an important part in the decision of approving loan applications in the real world. You will also attend live lectures typically taken by our first-year undergraduate students in statistics and meet our academic staff and current students. If you want to use statistics to make a positive impact on the world, then this Statistics Summer School is for you!

Week 3: Monday, 21 August to Friday, 25 August 2023

Chemical Engineering

This Summer School will give you a taste of UCL’s Chemical Engineering programme. Through several exciting activities, you will become familiar with some basic chemical engineering concepts and their relevance to a wide range of sectors. You will be involved in experimental laboratory sessions to introduce you to the fundamentals of how chemical processes (such as distillation) and chemical reactors operate. You will also be engaged in some computational workshops to understand how process simulation can be used to design, analyse and optimise chemical processes. To finish off the week, you will put your new skills to the test and compete in groups to complete a Chemical Engineering design challenge! You will also learn more about careers in Chemical Engineering through a series of talks with speakers from the department and from the industry. Our speakers will talk to you about:

•    Their careers paths into Chemical Engineering.
•    What made them study Chemical Engineering at university. 
•    How studying Chemical Engineering can lead to exciting careers.
•    What an industrial chemical engineer does. 

Are you a creative problem solver? Would you like to learn how to think like an engineer? Do you want to use Maths, Physics and Chemistry to make a positive impact in the world? Then the UCL Chemical Engineering Summer School would suit you – we hope to meet you this summer!


Learning economics can help you answer the most interesting and seemingly unrelated questions, such as: should you go to university or look for a job? Should you buy a burger or fish and chips? The UCL Economics Summer School is aimed at giving you a taste of first year undergraduate economics and introduce you to way in which economists think and therefore answers questions ranging from climate change and Brexit, to which way a goalkeeper should go in a penalty shootout and whether universities should charge fees. You will also have the chance to work in groups and answer an economic question of your interest and in the process, learn about free online resources which will help you in other subjects like Maths, History and Geography as well.

Fine Art

The Slade School of Fine Art’s Summer School, involves a variety of disciplines exploring hands-on image and object making in relation to fine art digital practices. Each day you’ll explore aspects of these disciplines and their interconnectedness, through practical workshops. This Summer School will enable you to gain some expert tuition in Art, and experience what it’s like to make in an art studio environment.

Our aim is to give you an insight into the studio culture and tutorial approaches you might experience at degree level study in Fine Art. We also hope to instil confidence in working independently, outside of your normal learning environment, and collaboratively with peers. You will be encouraged to experiment, to extend your drawing and making skills and to engage in dialogue with peers and mentors about your work.

The fast-paced working days will be supplemented with supportive discussions and reviews of your work, and a study visit to a gallery. We also will advise on your portfolio should you consider applying for further study.


The ‘Making History’ UCL Summer School draws on the unparalleled historical resources available from institutions close to UCL’s central London campus. For a week you’ll leave the classroom and step into the shoes of a real historian. Exploring museums and archives such as the British Museum, we’ll introduce you to exciting historical sources not seen at school, as well as new historical approaches currently being used reconstruct the past, such as the role of places, spaces and objects. You’ll hear stimulating lectures from experts on a variety of historical topics and get involved in cutting-edge debates. Working closely with some of our finest historians, we’ll help you use the skills you have learned to research a historical artefact of your choice and present your findings. Prepare to make history!

Natural Sciences

At the UCL Natural Sciences Summer School, you’ll discover aspects of life as an undergraduate student enjoying lectures, participating in labs, meeting current students and exploring many parts of UCL. You might learn about the visualisation of proteins in the Life Sciences, coding to solve Physics problems and maybe the range of spectroscopic techniques used in Chemistry. You’ll work in small groups or independently, researching a topic you find exciting, to create a presentation to share what you find interesting. We have Student Leaders on board who will help to guide your research and refine your presentation and communication skills. 

Our current UCL students will talk about the Natural Sciences degree programmes and life at UCL, and you’ll hear about the range of careers a degree in Natural Sciences can lead to after university. We will also discuss applying to this degree programme, including what we look for in applicants and their personal statements. 

The UCL Natural Sciences BSc and MSci degrees enable students who want to maintain a breadth of science subjects to shape a unique degree suited to their personal interests. They also allow science subjects to be combined in a structured and coherent programme. 

The Natural Sciences programmes are flexible degrees drawing together two elements of physics, astrophysics, mathematics and statistics, chemistry, earth sciences, life sciences, and science and technology studies, equipping the next generation of scientists with skills to move comfortably between different environments. 


Applications are now open for the UCL/Sutton Trust Summer Schools. The deadline for applications is 10th March 2023.

Apply Now!

Application Information

  • To attend our programmes, you must meet certain eligibility criteria.
  • Applications are not selected on a first-come-first-served basis, so this will not affect any application outcomes.
  • All applications will go through the Sutton Trust. If you have any problems with the application form, contact the Sutton Trust in the first instance. 

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to pay for the summer schools?

No! Our Summer Schools are completely free to attend. 

Can my friend/family member take part too?

Only applicants who applied through our system and have been notified that they have a place on the Summer School can attend and take part in the Summer School.

When will I hear if I have a place?

This varies for each subject. If the application deadline gets extended for any reason, we will email existing applicants to let them know the new deadline date. We aim to have students notified of their outcome in early May. We usually shortlist around 7000 applications for our various activities, so it can take some time. Please be patient, and rest assured that you will be notified whatever your outcome. Please do not email to ask about the status of your application, as this significantly slows down the shortlisting process.

Do I have to stay overnight?

Staying in Halls of Residence overnight is a vital part of the Summer School and therefore compulsory. We know it can be intimidating to stay in a new place with lots of new people, but we have friendly Student Leaders and dedicated wellbeing staff staying in Halls of Residence overnight to make sure you're supported. However, if you have caring responsibilities or other concerns about staying overnight please send us an email to wp.taster@ucl.ac.uk so we can discuss different options with you. 

I've already applied to another Summer School, can I apply to yours as well?

You can only apply to one Sutton Trust Summer School. If you have applied to a Summer School which is not in partnership with the Sutton Trust, you are welcome to apply to one at UCL as well. Just make sure the dates don't overlap with our Summer School. You can't attend more than one Summer School at the same time. 

My question hasn't been answered here. What do I do?

Email wp.taster@ucl.ac.uk with your query, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.