Tag Archives: UNIQ

Last Chance to Apply for a UNIQ Experience!

Applications to Oxford’s flagship outreach programme close on Monday 7th February at 11pm – don’t miss out!

Photo by John Cairns

You’ve probably read our previous blog posts about the benefits of the UNIQ programme – if you haven’t, you can check them out here – so we won’t repeat ourselves! However, if you’re debating whether or not to apply, these quotes from previous UNIQ participants might help!

‘Applying to UNIQ was the best decision I’ve ever taken.’ 

UNIQ Oxford 2018 – Ian Wallman

‘UNIQ made me a lot more confident in applying to university.’ 

‘I learnt so much that couldn’t be found simply from open days and prospectuses.’ 

UNIQ – Ian Wallman

‘I felt so motivated, supported and felt for the first time that Oxford could be for me.’ 

‘The uni also does not seem as ‘study study study’ as I thought, there are loads of activities going on, even cheerleading and musical theatre, which I really did not expect.’ 

‘UNIQ has especially dispelled the myths of Oxford being for a certain type of person.’ 

‘UNIQ has made me realise just how much I enjoy studying my subject. It has made me more excited for university and more confident that I can make a competitive application to Oxford.’ 

Applications only take 10 mins – apply now!

THE UNIQ EXPERIENCE

by Simon Kemp, Associate Professor of French and Co-Director of Outreach

What are your plans for July this year? Might you have four days to spare, say from July 10-13 or July 17-20? Might you consider spending them with us in Oxford, getting a taste of our modern language courses in the daytime and a feel for what student life is like in an Oxford college in the evenings?

Once the exams are over and the students have gone home for the summer, for many of us Oxford academics the next thing on the horizon is the UNIQ summer school. I’ve been teaching on it for several years now, and it’s always one of the most rewarding parts of my year. In modern languages we invite between sixty and eighty sixth-formers from state schools across the UK to join us for a four-day course of language and cultural study and an experience of student life. It’s aimed at people who are just finishing Year 12 in England and Wales (Year 13 in Northern Ireland and S5 in Scotland), who are interested in studying modern languages at university and curious to check out what Oxford is like. We run courses for students of French, Spanish and German, all of which include some language work and broader cultural studies designed to give you a taste of the university course as well as helping with your sixth-form studies. Plus, every course also offers a dip into some of the other languages and cultures you might choose to pick up from scratch in a degree course here, such as Portuguese, Russian, Italian, or Beginners’ German. Our undergraduate ambassadors look after you through your stay, and can tell you anything you want to know about being a student here. Plus, for those who are interested, there’s information and guidance about applying to study at Oxford as an undergraduate both during the summer school and in the run-up to the admissions process in the following autumn.

If you’d like to find out more, all the information about Oxford’s UNIQ summer school programme is here:

UNIQ website

Applications close in less than two weeks on Monday 7th February at 11pm, so act now if you think this could be for you, and please tell others who you think might be interested. I hope to meet many of you this summer.

UNIQ 2022 – Applications now open!

After two years of online delivery, UNIQ 2022 is delighted to be able to welcome Year 12 students back to Oxford! UNIQ 2022 will combine the best aspects of our residential summer school and sustained online programme to offer a hybrid UNIQ programme to 1600 students across the UK. 

UNIQ logo

What is UNIQ?

UNIQ is Oxford University’s flagship outreach programme for Year 12 students at UK state schools/colleges. It is completely free and prioritises places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. The UNIQ programme offers a fantastic opportunity for these students to immerse themselves in the Oxford environment, sample some of our teaching, and try out life as an Oxford student.

What does the programme entail?

UNIQ 2022 offers both an in-person residential in Oxford and an online support programme. Taking place over several months, UNIQ starts in April, with academic courses in the summer, followed by university admissions support.

During the summer residential, students have the opportunity to experience life as an Oxford undergraduate by staying in an Oxford college and exploring the city for themselves. They will also get to know some of our Oxford undergraduates and work with our academics in face to face lectures, labs and tutorials.

What does this look like for Modern Languages?

For Modern Languages, there will be courses available for Spanish, French, and German. All three courses enable students to explore the language, literature, theatre, film, and linguistics of each discipline, while also providing the opportunity to have a taster of four other European languages at a beginners’ level.

Our aim is to give students a taste of what it is really like to study Modern Languages at Oxford, and to provide a sense of the breadth of our courses – including several of the languages you can study here as a beginner.

UNIQ student testimony

What are the benefits?

Throughout the UNIQ programme, students will explore subjects they love and gain a real insight into Oxford life, helping them to prepare for university, and decide what is right for them. UNIQ also enables students with similar interests in local regions and across the UK to connect with each other through social and academic activities.

Most UNIQ students go on to apply to the University of Oxford and they also get help to prepare for our admissions tests and interviews. In general, UNIQ students who apply to Oxford have a higher rate of success than other applicants.

How do I apply?

We welcome applications from:

  • Year 12 students from England and Wales, in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • Year 13 students from Northern Ireland, in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • S5 students from Scotland, studying Highers or equivalent

The online application process is quick and easy – it only takes 15 minutes! – and can be completed via the UNIQ website. Applications close on Monday 7th February at 11pm.

You will need:

  • the name of the school where you did your GCSEs (or equivalent) or your Nationals if you are a Scottish student.
  • the name of your current school.
  • your first and second choice UNIQ courses.
  • your teacher’s surname and email address.
  • a list of your qualifications.

As UNIQ is an access programme, admission to UNIQ 2022 will be based on a range of criteria that relate to students’ academic potential and socio-economic background. You can read more about this here.

UNIQ student testimony

Good luck to all applicants!

Happy New Year!

Photo by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash

We hope you had a wonderful break over the festive period and enjoyed celebrating with friends and family where possible.

Despite ongoing restrictions, countries around the world celebrated the New Year with their usual impressive firework displays… as well as with some less well-known traditions designed to bring luck for the year ahead.

Did you know?

In Denmark, people smash plates on the doorsteps of their friends and family to bring them good fortune. As the tradition goes, the more broken plates, the more luck you’ll have! Godt nytår!

Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash

In Spain, a common New Years Eve tradition is a grape-eating challenge – one grape on each of the twelve clock strikes which see in the new year, representing good luck for the twelve months to come. ¡Feliz año nuevo (y buen provecho)!

In Romania, one tradition involves dressing up as bears, playing instruments and dancing, rituals designed to ward off evil spirits from the year before. According to some Romanian legends, bears have healing powers and are considered to be sacred animals. Un An Nou Fericit!

Here at Oxford…

We’re already starting to think about the year ahead and the exciting projects we have planned. Applications for our 2022 UNIQ programme open on Monday 10th January. UNIQ offers high achieving state school pupils from underrepresented backgrounds ongoing academic support as well as a summer residential in Oxford.

We will be publishing more information about the programme on next week’s blog post, but feel free to have a look at the UNIQ website if you are interested in finding out more.

In the meantime, wherever you are in the world, we wish you all a very happy and healthy 2022!

a uniq opportunity

We’ve posted on here before about UNIQ, Oxford University’s flagship outreach programme. The UNIQ programme, which is for Year 12 students at UK state schools/ colleges, is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the Oxford environment, sample some of our teaching, and try out life as an Oxford student. The big news this year is that UNIQ has expanded and the University is now able to take double the amount of students for this programme than in previous years. So if you’re in your first year of further education and are thinking Oxford might be for you, send in your application to UNIQ by 28 January 2019. Read on to find out more or check out the UNIQ website….

What is UNIQ?

UNIQ is open to students studying in their first year of further education, who are based at UK state schools/colleges. Students make a single application between December and January and can be selected to participate in one of two activities: UNIQ Digital or UNIQ Spring and Summer.

UNIQ Spring and Summer gives you a taste of the Oxford undergraduate student experience. You will live in an Oxford college for a week, attend lectures and seminars in your chosen subject area, and receive expert advice on the Oxford application and interview process. The timetable also allows plenty of time for social activities; in the evenings you are free to tour the city, sample some of the University’s sports and cultural facilities, and let your hair down at the farewell party.

UNIQ Digital provides comprehensive information and guidance on the university admissions process, and aims to give you a realistic view of Oxford student life through videos, activities and quizzes. The platform offers a range of forums where you can discuss both academic and social topics. These forums are monitored by student ambassadors, who are always on hand to answer questions and offer support.

What does this look like for Modern Languages?

The in-person Modern Languages UNIQ courses have been slightly restructured during the UNIQ expansion. This year, we will be offering courses in French, German, and Spanish, with each of those courses also incorporating an introduction to a language from scratch (Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or German*). What this means is that you will apply for a course in French, German, or Spanish but you will effectively cover two languages during the summer school. The first two days of the course will be spent focussing on the language you study at A Level (or equivalent), including sessions to hone your language skills and knowledge of grammar, as well as lectures and seminars introducing you to an exciting array of topics in literature, culture, or linguistics, from the medieval period to the present day. During the final two days, meanwhile, you will be given the opportunity to study an unfamiliar language from scratch, learning some beginners’ grammar and new phrases, and exploring a new culture through its literature, film, or linguistics. The dates for the Modern Languages UNIQ courses are 14 – 18 July and 21 – 25 July.

* Participants will be allocated to a ‘new’ language by us. Those already studying German at school will not be allocated to German as a new language.

How do I apply?

To be eligible for UNIQ you must be studying in your first year of further education at a UK state school or college and you must reside in the UK. For Modern Languages UNIQ courses, we would expect you to be studying the language for which you apply to A2 Level. Although we would generally expect you to have high GCSE grades, we are aware that, sometimes, circumstances arise which mean you do not perform to the best of your ability at GCSE. If this is the case, you should fill in the extenuating circumstances section of the application form. This doesn’t guarantee you a place on UNIQ, but when we look at the applications we will take this into account.

You should apply online through the UNIQ website. You will need:

  • At least six GCSE/National 5 (or equivalent) qualifications, with a preference for 8-9/A-A* grades
  • A short statement detailing interest in your chosen course
  • School Information (Current UK state school/college and a past school)
  • Your current A-level/Scottish Higher (or equivalent) courses
  • Contact details of a current teaching referee
  • Contact details of a parent/guardian referee

You will receive an email on the 25 February containing the result of your application.

Good Luck!

Thinking about a degree at Oxford? Why not try us out for a week this summer?

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posted by Simon Kemp

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about a modern foreign language and its culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 of a state school, and have some free time in July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures. The French summer school runs from 2-8 July this year, the German summer school and the Beginner Languages school both run from 16-22 July, and  Spanish is 23-29 July.

Here are the details of the French week:

This UNIQ course is a chance to immerse yourself in the literature, theatre, poetry, film and linguistics of the French language.You will spend daily sessions at the Language Centre practising and improving your existing language skills, followed by fascinating lectures and seminars, and the chance to use the world famous Taylorian and Bodleian libraries for private study. 

Our aim is to give you a taste of what it is really like to read French at Oxford, and to give you a sense of the unrivalled breadth of our course. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to hone your language skills and consolidate your knowledge of French grammar. You will also participate in classes introducing you to an exciting array of topics, ranging from Linguistics and 17th-century tragedy to French-language cinema and 19th-century poetry.

You will be expected to do some preparatory reading before the course so that you can make the most of the week you spend here: we’ve chosen Annie Ernaux’s 20th-century classic autobiographical text La place.  We will post a copy of the book to all successful participants in early June. Following a lecture that will explore some of the key themes and contexts surrounding Ernaux’s book, you will have the chance to test out (and flesh out) your ideas in a seminar. On the Friday, you will even experience an Oxford-style tutorial, in which you and three other students get to discuss your close reading of a poem with a specialist.

Student Experiences

“I really enjoyed the intimacy of the Alumni Dinner. Also, I enjoyed the morning grammar classes and the 17th Century French Theatre lecture as I was not expecting to enjoy it but really loved it!”

“The mentors were really friendly and easy to relate to, and the tutors were not as scary as I had thought they would be! It was a real adventure and one I wouldn’t hesitate to do again.”

You can find details of all the courses on offer here, along with information about how to sign up. The deadline for applications is February 3rd, so you don’t have long to think about it, I’m afraid. We hope to see you in July!

Be an Oxford Student for a week this summer (for free!)

Web 28_0

posted by Simon Kemp

Would you like to spend a week with us this summer, living in an Oxford college, learning about French language and culture, and getting a taste of what it’s like to study here as a student? All entirely FREE of charge, food and accommodation included? (We’ll even pay for your train ticket to get here.)

If you’re currently in Year 12 of a state school studying French, and have nothing better to do from the 4th to the 10th July this year, please do think about signing up for the course, or for one of the dozens of others on offer, including German, Spanish, or ‘beginner languages’ to give you a little experience of Russian, Portuguese and Italian languages and cultures. (Note that different courses run on different weeks through the summer.)

Here are the details of the French week:

This UNIQ course is a chance to immerse yourself in the literature, theatre, poetry, film and linguistics of the French language.You will spend daily sessions at the Language Centre practising and improving your existing language skills, followed by fascinating lectures and seminars, and the chance to use the world famous Taylorian and Bodleian libraries for private study. 

Our aim is to give you a taste of what it is really like to read French at Oxford, and to give you a sense of the unrivalled breadth of our course. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to hone your language skills and consolidate your knowledge of French grammar. You will also participate in classes introducing you to an exciting array of topics, ranging from Linguistics and 17th-century tragedy to French-language cinema and 19th-century poetry.

You will be expected to do some preparatory reading before the course so that you can make the most of the week you spend here: we’ve chosen Annie Ernaux’s 20th-century classic autobiographical text La place.  We will post a copy of the book to all successful participants in early June. Following a lecture that will explore some of the key themes and contexts surrounding Ernaux’s book, you will have the chance to test out (and flesh out) your ideas in a seminar. On the Friday, you will even experience an Oxford-style tutorial, in which you and three other students get to discuss your close reading of a poem with a specialist.

Student Experiences

“I really enjoyed the intimacy of the Alumni Dinner. Also, I enjoyed the morning grammar classes and the 17th Century French Theatre lecture as I was not expecting to enjoy it but really loved it!”

“The mentors were really friendly and easy to relate to, and the tutors were not as scary as I had thought they would be! It was a real adventure and one I wouldn’t hesitate to do again.”

You can find details of all the courses on offer here, along with information about how to sign up. The deadline for applications is February 12th, so you don’t have long to think about it, I’m afraid. We hope to see you in July!

Come and spend a week with us this summer!

To all Y12 students….

If you have several As or A*s at GCSE and are now studying for your A levels you should have a good look at the UNIQ summer school.  It’s completely free of charge, it’s open to all UK state school/college students in Year 12, and it’s your chance to see what Oxford is really like.

Next summer 1000 students will attend the summer school for one week.  Targeted at students who are self-motivated and working above the average for their school, it aims to provide students with a realistic view of Oxford; of the teaching, the facilities and the people.

UNIQ is a programme of free summer schools held at Oxford University.  Students live in an Oxford college, attending lectures, seminars and tutorials.  The aim is to give academically able students the opportunity to see if Oxford is for them.  Would I fit in?  Am I clever enough? Would I enjoy it? These are all questions that, by the end of the week, students will be able to answer for themselves.

The French course runs from July 12th to 18th, and is designed to offer you a taste of studying French at Oxford, and to give you a sense of the unrivalled breadth of our course. Throughout the week, you will have the opportunity to hone your language skills and consolidate your knowledge of French grammar. You will also participate in classes introducing you to an exciting array of topics, ranging from Linguistics and 17th-century tragedy to French-language cinema and 19th-century poetry.

Other week-long courses on offer include German and Spanish, plus one on Beginner Languages offering a taste of what it might be like to study Italian, Russian or Portuguese from scratch. There are also courses in Middle Eastern languages, and on many other subjects in the arts, humanities and sciences.

The course will give you a boost in your sixth-form studies, and provide you with a great introduction to university life. Come and spend a week with us, for free, and find out what we’re all about.

Online applications for the UNIQ summer school are now open. They close on 24 February at 5pm, so please don’t delay.

Further information and access to the online application form is available here.

Our team are happy to answer any additional questions you may have.  You can email them at uniq@admin.ox.ac.uk

Posted by Simon Kemp