Got a question about The Scholars Programme? You might find the answer here.

What is The Scholars Programme?

  • It is an academic programme run by The Brilliant Club, available to non-selective state schools across the UK
  • It helps students develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make an informed decision about university, and progress to the most competitive universities
  • The full student journey can be found here

Why should my child participate in The Scholars Programme?

Graduates of the Scholars Programme are significantly more likely to progress to competitive universities than students from similar backgrounds. The Programme aims to build students’ belief in their own abilities and to support them in making an informed decision about university, when the time comes.

Throughout the programme, students will:

  • Learn more about university life by: participating in university-style tutorials; speaking to their PhD tutors about their experiences; attending university events
  • Have the unique opportunity to study alongside a PhD researcher, a leading expert in their field, and study a topic outside the school curriculum
  • Develop academic skills such as critical thinking and essay-writing, which are all essential at university and will be transferrable to their schoolwork and exams

You can find out more about the impact of The Scholars Programme by reading our Annual Impact Reports.

“[I]t stimulates the young minds to work outside their comfort zone, tests their resilience and provides opportunity to develop independent study skills and commitment.” – School in Brent

How are students selected to take part in The Scholars Programme?

  • Schools select students to take part in The Scholars Programme; some schools run an application process while others run a teacher nomination process
  • We recommend that schools consider students’ academic record, attitude and passion for learning
  • We also ask that at least 55% of the students registered on the programme meet one of our student targeting criteria. These criteria are: having no parental history of higher education in the UK, being in receipt of Pupil Premium, and residing in IDACI decile 1-4, which is a postcode measure for deprivation

How can I support my child whilst they undertake The Scholars Programme?

  • Ask them about the university events and what they have learnt about university
  • Support them in attending tutorials each week, and ask them what they covered – let them teach you what they have learnt!
  • Encourage them to complete the homework and assignments. Make a note of their Final Assignment deadline and remind them to submit on time via the Hub
  • Remind them of the resources available to support them (their course handbook, the Hub, The Brilliant Club’s website and YouTube channel)
  • Encourage them to speak to their PhD tutor via the Hub and their teachers in school if they would like further support

What will my child be studying?

  • In short – anything! Our courses cover a breadth of disciplines, from linguistics to forensic psychology, and everything in between.
  • They will study their topic with one of our PhD tutors, a world expert in their field who will be able to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.
  • Students often engage with topics that they have not studied before. The Scholars Programme gives them a taste of the range of ideas, questions (and answers) they could explore at university.
  • Through studying with their PhD tutor, students will develop core academic skills that will support them with their schoolwork and exams.

What assignments do students complete?

  • Students are asked to complete a baseline assignment at the beginning of the programme, and a final assignment towards the end.
  • The Baseline Assignment is a short task that allows the tutor to assess their knowledge at the beginning of the course. Students are asked to submit the baseline assignment after Tutorial 1.
  • The Final Assignment is the culmination of the programme – a university-style piece of work that asks students to use what they have learnt throughout the course. The Final Assignment deadline will be shared with students by their tutor; the school will be able to share this with you.

Why work with PhD researchers?

  • PhD researchers are world experts in their area of study. Their research is at the cutting edge of their field, and their insights and ideas will go on to define how we think about the world.
  • Our PhD tutors can give students a taste of what it is like to study at university and explore a new subject area, while also sharing their experience of higher education.

What training do tutors receive?

  • All researchers wanting to become a PhD tutor take part in a rigorous assessment centre. Once accepted, they are required to complete extensive training prior to delivering their first placement.
  • Our training is designed to support tutors to develop their understanding of pedagogy and teaching practice so that they are set up to deliver high quality tutorials. Tutors also undergo safeguarding and professional standards training.
  • Returning tutors are required to revisit their training at least once a year.

What is The Hub?

  • The Hub is our online platform that allows students to contact their PhD tutor outside of classroom. It’s a space for them to ask questions, find further resources and submit homework and assignments.
  • Students are given login details by their school teacher and can find further guidance on using The Hub on our YouTube channel.

Want to learn more?

  • Reach out to your child’s school and ask for the Lead Teacher. The Lead Teacher is the person who looks after The Scholars Programme at your child’s school but this is not necessarily your child’s form tutor.
  • Sign up to our Parent Panel Events, hosted together with our university partners, in the term of your child’s Programme. These events will provide information on The Scholars Programme and information relating to university more generally. Your child’s school will share information in the lead up to the programme.
  • Sign up to our Newsletter, to learn more about the work of The Brilliant Club and opportunities in Higher Education