We are an award-winning university access charity

The Brilliant Club works with schools and universities across the UK. We mobilise the PhD community to support students who are less advantaged to access the most competitive universities and succeed when they get there. 

Our Programmes

In pursuit of our mission, The Brilliant Club runs four core programmes, The Scholars Programme, Make your Mark, Join the Dots and Parent Power.

The Scholars Programme

Our PhD tutors deliver The Scholars Programme in schools across the UK; sharing their subject knowledge and passion for learning with students aged 8-18.

Make your Mark

Make your Mark has been created to boost attainment in core curriculum subjects for less advantaged year 10 students.

Join the Dots

Join the Dots brings together schools and colleges together with universities to support students who are most likely to face barriers during the transition to higher education.

Parent Power

Parent Power is driven by parents and carers tackling barriers to education and leading change in their communities, each chapter supported by an anchor institution and connected by a national network.


Keep up to date with the latest news and views from The Brilliant Club.

How learning beyond the curriculum can help close the growing attainment gap

Learning beyond the curriculum can close the attainment gap and improve university access, but it’s getting tougher to do this when the cost of living is so high.

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New research shows link between The Scholars Programme and GCSE attainment

Data from the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) has shown that Scholars Programme students have higher GCSE scores than Local Authority students with similar Key Stage 2 prior attainment.

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Poll results: Parents’ attitudes towards university

Parents from low socioeconomic backgrounds consider the cost of living in an area to be more important than university reputation or field of study, when deciding where their child will go to university.

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Five reasons why we need to address educational inequality

We share five insights from the education sector which represent the current state of educational inequality in the UK, and demonstrate why widening participation is so important in the current climate.

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The Brilliant Club for you

Whether you are from a school or MAT, or a PhD student or postgraduate, there are many ways of getting involved with The Brilliant Club. 


Are you a current PhD student or a PhD graduate? Explore the opportunities available to you here.


There are different ways for schools to partner with the charity through our programmes.

I definitely think my Brilliant Club experience was the most important factor in my eventual decision to apply to Keble College, Oxford, where I’ve now spent the happiest two years of my life studying English and Italian.


Impact icon

Our programmes have proven impact.

We have deep expertise in evaluating and reporting on impact.

We engage with and contribute to the research conversation.

Who makes it possible

The Brilliant Club has built strong relationships with supporters, schools, universities and PhD researchers. This support helps us work with less advantaged pupils across the UK on our programmes and special projects. We believe in the power of networks and the importance of working together in pursuit of our mission.


Find out more about our valued supporters, and how to get involved.

Friends of The Brilliant Club

Our supporter network, providing opportunities for friends of the charity to come together.

Partner Institutions

The Brilliant Club partners with over 40 universities across the UK