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sixth form

Under-Represented Students

University activities to encourage students under-represented at university


The Amos Bursary is a charity that helps academically able British boys and young men (16–24) of African and Caribbean descent, from London schools and sixth form colleges to fulfil their academic potential, attend top universities, secure good professional jobs in which they can excel and give back to society. The charity does this by offering students life-changing opportunities and a mentoring service in which each student is assigned a peer and professional mentor for five years. Further details about the scheme can be found here.

The charity is now inviting applications from eligible Year 12 applicants. The deadline for this year’s applications is 24 January 2020.

Lloyds Scholars is run by the Lloyds Banking Group to encourage social mobility. Students can apply for the scheme if they have a confirmed offer from participating universities (additional eligibility criteria also apply). Students get a complete package of financial support, at least one paid internship, a business mentor and the opportunity to develop their employability skills. Participating universities are: UCL, University of Bath, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, The University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, University of Sheffield and Queen’s University of Belfast.


The LSE runs a number of schemes to help young people experience university-level study and prepare to apply for further education. These include pathways to law and pathways to banking and finance (linked to the Sutton Trust), LSE mentoring and LSE tutoring.


Nuffield Research Placements is a programme that provides over 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Students undertake projects in the summer holidays and eligibility criteria apply.

Queen Mary University hosts a range of activities, including taster days, to help students decide which course to study.


The Social Mobility Foundation runs the ‘Aspiring Professionals Programme’, which is completely free of charge for high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds.

Young people can apply to take part in the programme with a focus on either Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Engineering & Physics Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, Politics or Digital. They also have a sector for students who have no preference or have other interests at this stage.

Successful students receive mentoring, university application support, skills development and access to internships. Eligibility criteria apply. There is no cap on the number of young people the scheme will accept.

Students must apply by 12 noon, Wednesday 18 December 2019 by completing their application form here


The Sutton Trust runs a range of programmes to meet its aims of fighting educational inequality, including UK summer schools, the Pathways to professions and access to the workplace, the US programme and the Sutton scholars’ scheme. (NB link yellow text to Sutton summer schools).

The Pathways to professions includes pathways to law, coding, STEM, medicine, and banking and finance. Each pathway offers a programme of support that may include careers events, mentoring, work experience placements and outings. Eligibility criteria include being the first family member to go to university.



UCL Masterclasses are subject-specific masterclasses run in the spring term. The classes aim to give students a taste of learning at university and give students the chance to decide on the area they may wish to pursue at degree level. The classes are described as being ‘entertaining and hands-on’ and are run by UCL academics and PhD students. Students will get a chance to look around UCL and meet current UCL students. The classes are open only to students from state schools and have strict eligibility criteria.


Target Medicine is UCL Medical School’s widening participation initiative that aims to raise the attainment and aspirations of young people from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education and medical school. The initiative is for students from non-selective state schools around greater London who meet eligibility criteria. It currently comprises of four main programmes, including a year-long mentoring scheme and a six-week summer challenge.