Mentorship Schemes and Open Days

This is a page about all the ways you can get an insight into Oxford and Cambridge before you apply.

Open Days

These are a great chance to find out about different Colleges and the Universities as a whole.


Cambridge Open Days πŸ”— 🌟 The next Open Days will be held on 6th and 7th July, and 15th September 2023. Click here πŸ”— to be notified with more information nearer the time.

Cambridge College Open Days πŸ”— College open days give you the opportunity to get a sense of what college life is like. This year, some colleges will be hosting webinars with admissions tutors.


Oxford Open Days πŸ”— 🌟 Oxford is hosting their next open days on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 June, and Friday 15 September 2023.

Oxford Outreach Event Calendar πŸ”— Oxford also has an Outreach Event Calendar, which you can check regularly to see what events might be available to you.


Project Access πŸ”— Project Access is an organisation not affiliated with the university that offers free support to applicants from certain backgrounds (comprehensive schools, low income families, working class, first generation to attend university, BME students). They offer a tailored mentoring system where Cambridge students guide you through the application process.

Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme by Insight Outreach πŸ”— 🌟 Insight Outreach is a free academic mentoring programme which matches high achieving Year 12 students, from backgrounds that are underrepresented at Oxbridge, with past and present Oxbridge students. The scheme runs from March of Year 12 to December of Year 13. The programme gives support on everything from college choice to personal statements to mock interviews. Applications for the 2023 scheme are now closed, but check back to see when they open for next year!

Target Oxbridge πŸ”— A free mentoring programme that helps applicants of black African and Caribbean heritage through the Oxbridge application process by pairing them up with current or recently graduated students. Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 81 students to secure Oxbridge offers. The programme is open to UK-based students in Year 12 (as well as, in certain circumstances, Year 13). While applications are now closed for this year, you can check back next year!

Zero Gravity πŸ”— 🌟 Zero Gravity pairs undergraduate students with secondary-school students applying to top universities. Students applying to the scheme choose a mentor, and mentoring takes place over weekly one-hour Zoom calls.

Insights into Oxford and Cambridge

We've split this section up according to whether they're Oxford/Cambridge specific, but it doesn't matter if you do an event at Cambridge and then apply to Oxford! It's all about the experience.


Insight Cambridge πŸ”— This is an academic programme aiming to develop your academic interests and tackle barriers students might face when applying to university.

Cambridge: The Subject Matters πŸ”— 🌟 Sessions where experienced Admissions Tutors can give you key advice about making informed A Level (or equivalent) subject choices. You’ll also be able to participate in academic taster sessions in either the Arts and Humanities or the Sciences and ask current undergraduates questions.

Cambridge Subject Master Classes πŸ”— 🌟 Subject Masterclasses allow students to experience typical undergraduate teaching at the University of Cambridge. Booking is essential and is open to individuals at a cost of Β£20 (to cover event costs), or Β£12.50 for virtual events. Funded places are available for anyone eligible for Free School Meals and for young people in care!

Higher education fairs πŸ”— Both Oxford and Cambridge are represented throughout the year at regional higher education (HE) fairs and UCAS Conventions across the UK. Representatives will be happy to chat with you and answer any queries you, your parents and your teachers/careers advisers may have about applying to and studying at the University.

Cambridge Science Festival πŸ”— - The Science Festival happens yearly and provides opportunities to go to talks, film screenings and engage with issues of scientific interest. This is especially great if you’re considering a career science, technology, engineering or mathematics.


St John's College, Oxford: Year 12 Study Days πŸ”— 🌟 Participants attend talks and workshops led by tutors; find out more about the course at Oxford and what tutors are looking for; and meet current St John's students.

Oxford Outreach Event Calendar πŸ”— The Outreach Event Calendar is your best friend! Check this one out regularly.


Sutton Trust Summer Schools πŸ”— 🌟 The Summer Schools programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They are designed to provide an insight into what studying at university is like and what the University can offer.

Applications for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools 2023 close on 10th March.

CUSU Shadowing Scheme πŸ”— 🌟 The Cambridge Students Union offer potential applicants the chance to spend a few days with current students in January. Applications are currently closed but open in August every year.

Oxford UNIQ πŸ”— 🌟 A scheme set up by the University of Oxford. The course lasts 5 days and gives students a chance to live in a college and experience Oxford-style learning. Applications for 2023 are now closed but open each winter.

Magdalene College, Cambridge residential πŸ”— 🌟 Applications are open to any state school student in Year 12 who either lives, or is studying at a school, in Magdalene College's Link Areas of Merseyside, North Wales, Ceredigion and the Isle of Man. You will stay in Magdalene College for three days in April 2022, receiving academic sessions, admissions workshops, and a chance to explore the city of Cambridge. The deadline for applications is 21st February 2023.

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