Access and Widening Participation

The Faculty, the University and its Colleges are committed to widening participation to the University and to higher education in general. Hundreds of outreach initiatives and events are run each year both in Cambridge and in schools and colleges across the UK. Here are some of the events with which the English Faculty is particularly involved:

Care leavers

At the University of Cambridge, we welcome applications from UK students who are or have previously been in care, and for the care leavers currently studying here we are able to offer a wide range of support and guidance. Find out more

Rare / Target Oxbridge

Target Oxbridge is a scheme run by the social enterprise Rare. It is a free programme that aims to help black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed race with black African and Caribbean heritage increase their chances of getting into the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge. Find out more


Insight is an academic programme, based mainly in Cambridgeshire, which aims develop the students’ interests and tackle the barriers many students face when applying to university. Find out more


HE+ is a collaborative project being piloted by the University of Cambridge and its Colleges, working together with groups of state schools and colleges in fourteen regions of the UK. Find out more

HE Partnership

The Higher Education Partnership initiative aims to raise aspirations amongst students in schools across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Find out more

Year 10 Discovery Days

Discovery Days are for Year 10 students, and aim to increase theses students’ subject awareness, helping them make better-informed decisions when choosing their A-level subjects and eventually their degree subject. Discovery Days often include English among the subjects they explore. Find out more

Sutton Trust Summer Schools

Sutton Trust Summer Schools are free subject-specific residential courses for Year 12 (or equivalent) students studying at state-maintained schools in the UK. The five-day summer schools in July and August allow students to explore their interest in one of 26 subject courses and gain an insight into what it is like to live and study as a first-year undergraduate student at Cambridge. Find out more

Experience Cambridge

The Sutton Trust Summer Schools are heavily oversubscribed and each year we have to turn away many students with whom we would like to work. The 'Experience Cambridge' initiative works with up to 1000 students in subjects where we receive considerably more applications than places. Find out more

Subject Masterclasses

The Masterclasses provide students with an opportunity to explore topics of interest beyond what is covered within the A Level syllabus, andoffer the chance to experience typical undergraduate teaching at Cambridge. These are open to all students, and funded places are available for pupils on free school meals or in local-authority care. Find out more

The Subject Matters

Each autumn, the University of Cambridge runs practical and informative sessions for Year 11 students. The events, called The Subject Matters, highlight the importance of suitable A Level (or equivalent) subject choices when making an application to a selective, research-led university, and help students access information to make informed A Level choices. These are open to all students, and funded places are available for pupils on free school meals or in local-authority care; the same is offered to any parents or supporters attending with you. Find out more

College Events

Cambridge colleges organise a range of events designed to widen participation in education. These will often focus on English. Each college tends to focus its work on schools within specific areas of the UK. Find out more