The Scholars Programme provides Key Stage 2 pupils with an inspiring experience of university-style learning beyond the curriculum, through seven tutorials taught by a PhD tutor and a trip to a competitive university.

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Research shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely than their more advantaged peers to start thinking about higher education in primary school. This can limit their future choices, aspirations and confidence. We want to change this. The Scholars Programme brings university life to the primary classroom, breaking the barriers of access to higher education and promoting a sense of curiosity, wonder and lifelong love of learning.

Pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 are taught by a dedicated PhD tutor about an exciting and unique real-world topic related to their PhD specialism. Tutors work with two groups of seven pupils through a series of seven tutorials, building their knowledge, skills and confidence over the course of the term, culminating in a challenging final assignment of 1,000 words. Pupils are given their own specially designed course handbook to support their learning, as well as access to an online learning hub and onetoone feedback from their tutor.

Pupils then get to celebrate their successes with an inspiring Graduation Event at one of our partner universities, where they will be able to learn what university is really like, meet student ambassadors and celebrate their achievements. Your school will receive a personalised impact report that highlights the progress your pupils have made on their programme, including written and verbal communication skills, critical thinking and self-efficacy. 

We work with non-selective primary schools to address educational inequalities; to find out more about our targeting criteria, click here. 

What does The Scholars Programme offer pupils?   

  • Your pupils experience small group learning led by a world-leading PhD tutor about exciting topics beyond the curriculum. 
  • They also have an inspiring visit to a competitive university to learn what university life is like and celebrate what they have achieved on the programme. 
  • Your pupils’ learning is supported by a carefully designed course handbook and access to the Hub, our online learning platform. 
  • You will receive a detailed impact report highlighting the progress your pupils have made in key skills and attitudes, including communication, critical thinking and self-efficacy. 

Why get involved?   

  • Develop your pupils’ communication and critical thinking, self-efficacy and independent learning skills, ideal for supporting them in their transition to secondary school.  
  • Inspire your pupils by exposing them to the idea of university and show them it is a viable option for their future.   
  • Foster a love of learning and sense of curiosity for the world around them.

What do pupils learn?  

  • An exciting and unique real-world topic led by an expert PhD tutor 
  • Information about university and different choices they can make in the future 
  • Key communication skills and critical thinking through small group tutorials and a challenging written assignment 

Pupil Journey


Key Stage 2 Handbooks

Click on each handbook title to find out more about the course

Looking for Key Stage 3/4 or Key Stage 5 information?

"At first, I was quite anxious and concerned because, looking at it, I thought it would be really difficult. After my tutor helped me, I felt a million times more confident... I feel extremely lucky to have a tutor such as James because he is so nice and supportive."

"Our pupils developed confidence and belief in themselves. A growth mindset – to have setbacks and critical feedback from their tutor and assess how they can improve their work. They also gained an insight into university life... it really opened up their minds... we look forward to taking part again!"

The Brilliant Club - School Enquiry

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