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Information about Uncover Engineering - University of Oxford Department of Engineering Science Year 10 Residential Programme

Uncover Engineering

Uncover Engineering: Year 10 Residential Programme

Uncover is a residential programme that gives girls and Black African and Caribbean heritage students in year 10 the opportunity to explore maths and physics subjects in the context of Engineering studies, while offering a glimpse into university life.

The programme is run by Oxford University and students will stay in a college for 4 days. Days will be filled with engineering-focused activities and workshops organised by the Department of Engineering Science. In the evenings we have arranged recreational activities and social opportunities with other like-minded future engineers. You’ll also find out about life at Oxford and living in a college (including a formal dinner!). On the final day, we hope that your parents will join us to learn more about studying engineering at a university like Oxford.

Successful applicants will be invited to participate in a follow-on programme in coming years, aiming to build the Uncover community.

Who's Eligible?

We are passionate about promoting Engineering Science to students from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in Higher Education. As such, priority will be given to students who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Those entitled to free school meals or pupil premium
  • Those who live in an area which has a low progression rate to Higher Education (using the ACORN and POLAR3 scores)
  • Those whose parents/guardians do not have a university degree
  • Those who have been in care or are a young carer themselves
Three students in lab coats looking at a machine

There are two programmes:

(a) Uncover for girls: For girls or students who identify as a girl or non-binary.

(b) Uncover for Black African and Caribbean heritage Students: Students who identify as being of Black African and Caribbean heritage and students of mixed-race with Black African and Caribbean heritage.


The programme is open to UK-based students in year 10.


Applicants should be predicted to obtain a minimum of six GCSEs graded at 7-9 or five National 5 graded at A or equivalent qualifications. These must include Maths, Science and English.

Uncover for Girls

Who is it for? UK-based year 10 girls or students who identify as a girl or non-binary 

When is it? 2 to 5 April 2024

Where is it? St Hugh's college and the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford


Uncover for Black African and Caribbean heritage students

Who is it for? UK-based year 10 student who identify as being of Black African heritage or Black Caribbean heritage and students of mixed-race with Black African and Caribbean heritage

When is it? 9 to 12 April 2024

Where is it? Lady Margaret Hall college and the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford



The Uncover programme is completely free. There are travel bursaries available for eligible students where this is a barrier to attending.

Key dates

Applications for 2024 are now closed.

Uncover 2022 participant

“I loved all the engineering activities and workshops but one of the best was the beam building because it was a chance to get hands on and see the practical side of the course. It was really fun to use all of the new equipment and materials too.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I apply to Uncover?

Male white students are far more likely to study the typical A-level pre-requisites for Engineering. Girls and black African and Caribbean heritage and lower social economic backgrounds are hugely underrepresented. Uncover aims to break some of the barriers and preconceptions to pursuing STEM subjects. Students are expected to decide on their future in education in Year 11. By targeting girls and black African and Caribbean heritage students in Year 10 (age 14-15), Uncover Engineering will give participants the advantage of making an informed decision.

How do you decide who is accepted onto the programme?

We are looking for students who are passionate about Engineering Science and that have the skills and motivation to pursue it. We will consider your academic record, your statement, and your living context.

How much does it cost?

Uncover is completely free and travel bursaries will be available for eligible students.

Who can apply for travel bursaries?

If travel to Oxford would be a barrier to coming on the programme, you would be eligible for a travel bursary. This would cover the total cost of your travels through public or private transport within UK.

How much time does the programme take?

The programme will be full time for 4 days and 3 nights. There will be guided activities during the day and evenings.

More about Uncover

Uncover is a new academic residential programme that started in 2022. It aims to encourage curiosity in engineering, promote further study in STEM subjects and inspire students from under-represented backgrounds to consider their future career paths.

What does the programme involve?

The majority of the programme focuses on academic workshops and lectures. Students will attend hands-on workshops designed to introduce and explore the skills useful to engineers. We aim to cover core engineering topics in workshops whilst also exploring more specific areas of engineering research. This will encourage students to think beyond engineering as a subject and to look at the world more curiously. Below is a list of workshops we have run in the past:

  • CAD design and 3D printing
  • Creating an aluminium beam build
  • Lights & displays electronics
  • Robotics challenge

In addition to the academic sessions, the Uncover timetable includes enrichment activities to encourage you to start thinking about your future in higher education and beyond to your careers. By giving you an insight into university and other pathways into engineering, we hope that you will begin to look ahead to your own futures and have the skills required to start exploring where your education can take you.

As part of the programme, we will visit a company to see first-hand the practical applications of the subjects you could choose to study at university. In the last Uncover Engineering programme students visited the Grundon Lakeside Energy from Waste facility and all came back with an appreciation of how much engineering takes places in the world.

For the duration of the course, and beyond with ongoing online support, you will be supervised by some of the department’s trained Student Ambassadors. The Student Ambassadors will look after your wellbeing, accompany you throughout your time in Oxford and act as role models. From past experience, we have found that this is the best way for participants to really understand life at university (and Oxford) and is key in helping to break down any barriers or pre-conceived notions.

The programme will continue to support you beyond your short residential stay. We invite parents and carers to attend a talk on the final day of the programme, where we introduce some of the concepts discussed in the course and show them how they can support you in finding out more. We will then bring parents, carers, students, and staff together for a final celebratory session where we have a mini showcase of the activities from the programme.

Following this, students will be encouraged to continue to talk to the student ambassadors and their peers via our online messaging platform and will be invited back to Oxford on a yearly basis to further your understanding of engineering with more advanced concepts.



Uncover Engineering has been made possible by the generous financial support of CIWM and WEERT (the Waste Environmental Education Research Trust).