Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club and the University of Bath

05 Oct 2022

Over 200 students secure adjusted offers from the University of Bath after completing Brilliant Club programmes

Students who secured a 1st or 2:1 in either The Scholars Programme or the Seren Award, both university access courses run by The Brilliant Club, in Key Stage 5 were eligible for adjusted offers one grade lower.

The University of Bath has partnered with The Brilliant Club, which runs The Scholars Programme and the Seren Award, on the adjusted offers.

The Scholars Programme supports students aged 8-18 to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to progress to the most competitive universities and succeed once there.

Students are encouraged to think and work independently across seven tutorials with a subject expert PhD tutor. They then complete a challenging final essay which is given a university-level grade. Through the programme students gain knowledge such as how to reference an essay and defend their opinions in tutorials. These activities enable them to develop key university readiness skills including self-efficacy, critical thinking and academic self-confidence.

By bringing together two communities – PhD researchers and school students – who might otherwise never interact with each other, young people can study innovative and inspiring topics that very few people have ever covered.

The University of Bath is very proud to be working in partnership with The Brilliant Club and are committed to supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds to apply to and join the University. The university recognises how much students develop their knowledge and skills by the additional work they undertake during the programme and the value this has in preparing them to both study and succeed. They therefore recognise the achievement of suitable applicants who have secured a 1st or a 2:1 with an alternative offer for the course they had applied for, which is usually one grade below the typical offer.

The programme has proven impact on university progression rates. For the sixth year running, independent UCAS evaluation has found that Scholars Programme graduates are almost twice as likely to progress to a competitive university compared with a group of students from similar backgrounds (56% vs. 37%). 1 in 2 Scholars Programme graduates eligible for pupil premium also progress to competitive universities.

The Brilliant Club worked with 42 universities during the 2020/21 academic year to support over 25,700 students. Other universities, such as Aberystwyth University and the University of Reading, also provide adjusted offers to young people who have taken part in a Brilliant Club programme.

Dr Andrew Ross, Head of Widening Access and Participation at the University of Bath, commented:

“The University of Bath is driven to supporting students from under-represented backgrounds to achieve their potential and supporting those who want to come to Bath to do so. Working in partnership with third-sector organisations like The Brilliant Club allows us to work with so many more students to achieve our goal.

The projects students undertake with The Brilliant Club are great preparation for their study at university, ensuring they develop the key skills needed to be a successful student. We therefore wanted to recognise the work these students had completed and the extra skills they now have by making an alternative offer to study at Bath.

I’m really pleased that over 200 students received the alternative offer this year and year-on-year this number is growing, showing how valuable our relationship with The Brilliant Club is.

Good luck to those students starting at Bath and other universities this October.”

Anne-Marie Canning MBE, CEO at The Brilliant Club, commented:

“Our mission is to support students who are less advantaged to access the most competitive universities and succeed when they get there. We couldn’t do this without the collaboration of our university partners.

“It’s so exciting to see the University of Bath acknowledge the knowledge, skills and confidence students gain from completing The Scholars Programme and Seren and recognise their achievements through an adjusted offer. Good luck to the Scholars Programme graduates beginning their degrees this September at the University of Bath!”

Toby Iwobi, a Scholars Programme graduate studying BSc Economics at the University of Bath, said:

‘The programme directly helped me get into Bath, as it is part of the alternative offer scheme. I just had to email into the admissions progression team once I had submitted my application and they confirmed my grade with The Brilliant Club. This meant my required grades to get into Bath went down. The added flexibility around my results alleviated a lot of stress and gave me more confidence that I could meet my offer. The benefits don’t stop there! As well as helping me get into Bath, The Scholars Programme has been great in helping me settle into university life. Research is a big part of university level study, and the research skills I gained from completing the programme have undoubtedly helped me during my first year.’