We’re committed to ensuring that all applicants have access to open and up-to-date information about making applications to the University of Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College and other higher education institutions.
We're always keen to work with state schools, colleges, students and teachers to provide information and support for potential applicants, and have a number of programmes and projects which we currently run to this end.
Discover more about these opportunities below.
If you would like to be added to our Teacher Outreach Mailing List click here.
Area Links Scheme
As part of the University's Area Links Scheme Sidney works particularly (but not exclusively) with schools and colleges in the following regions:
- London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
We know that for many people and schools it might not be possible to attend an event in Cambridge, and our admissions staff therefore visit schools and colleges around the country, and these areas in particular, to deliver talks and workshops to students and teachers.
Please get in touch with our Schools Liaison Officer if you would like us to deliver any content for your students or staff.
- Sidney Summer Webinars 2021
What are they?
We will be running regular free-to-attend webinars for students (Yrs 11-13) who are targeting university and maybe thinking of making an Oxbridge application. These will be delivered by admissions staff at Sidney Sussex College, and will also feature college undergraduates who will provide information on their own experiences of applying, and on life at the College and the University of Cambridge.
Topics covered will be aimed at students in KS4 and KS5 (or equivalents), but anyone is free to attend these sessions (students, teachers, parents etc.) and can book a place by following the links in the table below, once you've done this we will send you details of how to attend the webinar which will be delivered via Microsoft Teams.
After the webinar you will receive a detailed follow-up email with links to further information and resources.
When do they take place?
They will be taking place throughout May to September 2021. Most sessions will take place on Tuesday afternoons, but some will be repeated to ensure that people will be able to attend regardless of their schedule.
Sign-up links will be included in the table below; we will open booking two weeks before most events.
We update our timetable regularly, but for now here are the webinars we have forthcoming:
Title Date & Time Content & Sign-Up Tackling Applications: Super-Curricular Studies Tues May 4th, 16:00 -17:00
Where can you find super-curricular resources? What do unis like to see? How do super-curriculars help you and your applications? How can you develop your critical thinking skills? We'll explore all of this in this session.
Tackling Applications: University & Course Choices Tues May 11th, 16:00-17:00
How can you differentiate between unis and courses? This session will help prospective applicants narrow down their choices and explore tools for making informed choices. Topics covered will include: university types, course differences, league tables, finance, and student life considerations.
Post-16 Choices: Subject Matters Tues May 18th, 17:00-18:00
This session will help current Yr11 students make the right post-16 choices for them! We will be covering post-16 options, different qualification options, and university pre-requisites for selective universities (inc. Oxbridge).
Tackling Applications: Drafting a Personal Statement Tues May 25th, 16:00-17:00
Workshop of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ things to do when writing a personal statement, allowing students to identify positive examples for them to include and effective strategies to put these into writing.
Student Experience Q&A Tues June 8th, 16:00-17:00
What do our students think about studying at Cambridge? What brought them here? What advice do they have for you? This Q&A will give you the chance to ask a panel of Sidney students whatever questions you have about applying, living and studying at the college.
Booking opening soon.
A Tour of Sidney Sussex College Tues June 15th, 16:00-17:00
A chance to explore the college, its facilities, accommodation options and get a feel for what it's like to be a student at Sidney!
Booking opening soon.
How are they delivered?
All sessions will be delivered as webinars via Microsoft Teams. This means that you will be able to ask questions throughout the sessions but for safeguarding reasons will not be able to control your microphone or webcam.
You will be able to view the webinars via any device (computer, tablet, smartphone) as long as you have an active internet connection, with no need to download anything or set up an account.
- Sidney Sussex University Support Scheme (SSUSS)
What is SSUSS?
SSUSS is a free online programme for Year 11 students who are interested in learning more about university. The programme will introduce you to what university is, how it works, and what it's like to be a student, alongside content designed to develop your research and study skills, and give you an insight into university-level study of the subjects you enjoy now with content delivered by Cambridge staff, students and academics.
You don't need to know which universities you want to go to, or even that you definitely want go to university to take part in this scheme, SSUSS is designed to help you make these decisions.
SSUSS will provide lots of information on selective universities in the UK and will help you make a competitive application to the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford if you decide to apply there, but the skills and knowledge will be relevant for all students and all universities.
How will SSUSS work?
The programme will consist of a blend of online webinars, workshops and newsletters delivered during the remainder of 2021. They will mainly be held as live webinars, but there will also be pre-recorded video content and interactive sessions with university academics and undergraduates. You will also have the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills through independent research and critical thinking tasks, as well as online workshops with other SSUSS participants.
You will only need one device to be able to participate in the programme and all content will be mobile-friendly. Please note that some sessions may ask you to have your microphone turned on in order to fully engage with activities, and it is expected that participants will do this. If this is a problem, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is SSUSS for?
The scheme is open to any state school Year 11 pupil who either lives or is studying at a school in our Link Areas of: Stoke-on-Trent; Staffordshire; Lancashire; Blackpool; Bury; Oldham; Tameside; Warrington; Wigan; London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Any students currently in Year 11 who are planning on applying to university in the future, in particular those aiming to apply for highly selective universities, will benefit from this scheme. A desire to apply to apply to Oxford or Cambridge is a good reason to take part in this scheme, however, it is not a requirement.
If the scheme is over-subscribed we will prioritise students who:
- Have at any time been under the care of a Local Authority.
- Are currently eligible for Free School Meals, or who have been eligible for Free School Meals in the last 6 years.
- Have home postcodes in areas with low local participation in Higher Education (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).
- Have home postcodes in areas of high socio-economic deprivation (IMD quintiles 1 and 2).
- Are from an ethnic background currently under-represented at the University of Cambridge (Black African, Black Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Arab, Roma, Gypsy or Traveller)
When are the key dates?
Applications and sign-ups open on March 22nd, and close at 6pm on Monday 26th April. We aim to let you know by the end of April if we have been able to give you a place.
The scheme will begin in May and will end in December; exact dates for sessions will be circulated once places have been confirmed.
How do I apply or sign up?
Registration for this scheme has now closed, if you missed the deadline or have any questions about an application then please email email@example.com
- Link Area Online Outreach Sessions
For 2020-21 academic year, Sidney Sussex College are offering our link schools a package of bookable online outreach sessions designed for students and teachers that can be delivered entirely remotely in a safe and flexible manner at no cost to the schools.
These sessions have been put together following consultations with teachers in our partner schools and we hope that they meet the needs of you and your students.
What are they?
- Live virtual sessions delivered by the Sidney Sussex SLO or the Admissions Director covering a range of topics linked to progression to university-level study and University of Cambridge admissions.
- Session content is focused on the needs of different year groups: aspiration-focused sessions for KS3 and KS4 students; KS5 sessions focused on attainment and Oxbridge application support.
- Teacher-focused sessions are also available, providing practical support and information so they can support students with Oxbridge applications and write effective student references. This can be for a single teacher or a larger group.
- All sessions will be delivered as Zoom Meetings (on our own account) and are designed to fill an up-to 60-minute slot. Timings can be arranged and adapted to suit your school timetable and minimise disruption for your students.
- Schools can book sessions and time-slots in advance, with Zoom links then being sent to the teacher running the session on site.
- Schools can book multiple sessions for the same group of students if they want to dovetail the linked sessions over the course of the year.
- All sessions are provided at no cost to the school as part of the outreach work done by Sidney Sussex College and the University of Cambridge
For bookings or enquiries please contact our Schools Liaison Officer
- West Midlands Collaborative Outreach
We are excited to announce the launch of West Midlands Webinars, a new series of online sessions run by Cambridge and Oxford Colleges for Year 12 students at state schools or sixth form colleges in the West Midlands.
The webinars are suited for anyone who hopes to apply to competitive universities: if you’re a high-achieving student, intellectually curious and ambitious, these webinars will be a great start for your university journey.
The 2020 sessions have now finished, we will be running the sessions again in Autumn 2021.
To apply for this programme, you must be attending a state school or sixth form college in the West Midlands.
We would like to support as many students as possible through the programme. However, if it is oversubscribed, we will prioritise students who match one or more of the following criteria:
Have lived, or are currently living, in local authority care; Are eligible, or have been eligible within the past six years, for free school meals; Are a refugee; Have caring responsibilities for a family member; Live in neighbourhoods with low overall progression rates to higher education; Have no parental history of higher education; Have a disability.
Please direct any queries to our Schools Liaison Officer
- Open Days and Taster Days
School groups and individual students are welcome to come and visit us in Sidney at one of our Open Days or Taster Days. Many of these events have subject-specific content and are a great way to find out more about what it's like living and studying at Sidney Sussex College.
LPN Summer School
Each year Sidney Sussex works in collaboration with Christ's and Murray Edwards Colleges to run a summer school in August for Year 11 students who live in areas of low participation to higher education (we've abbreviated 'low participation neighbourhood' to 'LPN', hence the name).
Applications for the 2021 Summer are OPEN NOW! Find more information and the application form on our LPN webpage.
- HE+ Project
HE+ is a collaborative project between the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Colleges, working together with groups of state schools and colleges in 18 regions of the UK.
The HE+ project is unique in that it encourages schools and colleges to collaborate to form regional consortia and to engage their highest-attaining students in a sustained year-long programme that is designed to encourage and prepare these students to make competitive applications to top universities, including the University of Cambridge.
Sidney Sussex College is responsible for working with the HE+ hubs in Stoke and Wigan & Warrington, organising a number of events with these groups during the school year, as well as an annual residential for each.
The HE+ website has free resources and material produced by Cambridge academics, including guided activities and suggestions for further reading. This material is available to everyone, regardless of whether they're part of HE+ or not, and is a great place to start if students are looking to go beyond the syllabus!
- Beyond the syllabus
Want to find out more about what a subject is like outside of the classroom? We can help with that!
We have collated information and resources from a wide variety of different media on every subject offered at Cambridge.
Prospective applicants, and teachers supporting these students, can find these resources on our Beyond the syllabus page, for use in super-curricular studying, or for extension classes in school!
Contact our Schools Liaison Officer to ask about visits to schools and to add your school to our mailing list so that we can let you know when bookings open for our events. We are also happy to arrange for school groups to visit Sidney Sussex at most points during the year, barring the exam period in late April - June.