The Scholars Programme

Recruiting, training and placing PhD researchers in schools and colleges across the UK to deliver university-style learning

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the scholars programme logoAbout the Scholars Programme

We’ve been training our PhD tutors to deliver The Scholars Programme in our partner schools and colleges across the UK since 2011. They share their subject knowledge and passion for learning with small groups of pupils aged 8-18. It helps them to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to secure a place at a competitive university. Research using data from the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) has shown that The Scholars Programme also has a positive impact on GCSE attainment. Students who did The Scholars Programme in Year 8, 9 or 10 were more likely to achieve a 9-5 in maths and English than students who scored similarly at Key Stage 2 within their schools.

The programme is available to non-selective state schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is structured around seven tutorials, and pupils also attend a Graduation Event at a partner university to speak with current undergraduates and learn about university life. Each Scholars Programme placement is for 14 pupils, who are taught in two groups of seven. They work towards completing a challenging final assignment which is marked and moderated using university grades.

We offer placements to schools in Autumn, Spring and Summer terms, with each lasting around eight weeks.

The school contribution is £2,779 per placement. This cost is subsidised through contributions from our university partners and external grants and donations.

What to expect from The Scholars Programme 

Whether you are a school or college looking to partner with us or a PhD researcher interested in becoming a Scholars Programme tutor, navigate all the information you need using the buttons below.


Working with The Brilliant Club's Scholars Programme is an inspirational experience. It has been my privilege to see our students, 60% of whom have no previous knowledge of higher education, grow in confidence enough to submit a 1500-word essay.

Example of the scholars programme. A PhD teacher sits with a text open, facing the students around a table