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UNIQ – An opportunity for Year 12 students to experience engineering

74 state school students from backgrounds under-represented at Oxford took part in engineering workshops, lectures and labs as well as college social activities.

UNIQ Access Programme 2023 - Photos by Matthew Greetham

Photos by Matthew Greetham

In July 2023, the Department of Engineering Science welcomed 74 bright and curious students as part of UNIQ. UNIQ Engineering offers Year 12 state school students the opportunity to experience what it would be like to study Engineering at Oxford.

“It was an experience I will never forget. I am so grateful I had the opportunity”.

This programme aims to improve diversity in Higher Education, therefore priority is given to students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford, such as those who have been in care, who live in areas where relatively few people progress to higher education, and/or live in areas associated with lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The Engineering Department hosted two groups of 37 students in two intensive weeks of the UNIQ residential programme. During these weeks, participants were able to take part in multiple hands-on workshops such as Robotics Lab, 3D printing Lab and designing, and creating and testing a bridge in the mechanical lab. They also attended lectures and experienced tutorials to solve tutorial sheets accompanying the lectures.

Participants had the opportunity to live in a college for the duration of the course, while being accompanied by current Engineering undergraduates throughout the programme. This course is a unique opportunity to experience the life of an undergraduate at Oxford, while taking part in very exciting engineering activities.

After taking part, 94% of participants said they were able to make an informed decision about their future in Engineering and 93% said they were very likely or will consider pursuing engineering in the future.


Students during UNIQ 2023 programming robots to follow a line and welding in the design, build, and test lab.
Photos by Matthew Greetham

Participants said about the programme:

“I really loved it. It was so insightful. The ambassadors were lovely. Thank you so much”.
“It was an experience I will never forget. I am so grateful I had the opportunity”.
“It was a useful and informative and enjoyable course. I am glad to have had the opportunity to attend.”
“It was definitely the best engineering-based course I was part of. I think it was quite diverse and helped me learn more about what type [of engineering] I would pursue. The tutors were very helpful, very understandable and it was overall a fantastic experience”.




UNIQ - University of Oxford

You can now sign up to apply for UNIQ 2024.