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The Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the Colleges of the University of Oxford.

The programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students, and staff members, in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford.

All of our events are run in Oxford, and are free to attend.

Year 10

Taster Days

Taster Days give academically able year 10 students a chance to visit Oxford for a taste of what it would be like to study here.

The programme includes an introduction to higher education and student finance, interactive sessions with current students, lunch served in a college dining hall, and participation in an academic activity.

Year 10

Taster Days


Year 10 students at state schools across the UK, usually without sixth forms, or with little, if any, history of sending students to Oxford.

Applications are made by schools, rather than individuals, with each school welcome to bring up to 10 students.

100% of teachers agreed that the visit overall gave their students a positive impression of Oxford University.

91% said they had experienced or heard something that would help in advising students about Oxford University.



Thursday 1 February

Tuesday 6 February

Thursday 8 February

Thursday 1 March

Tuesday 6 March

Thursday 8 March

Tuesday 24 April

Thursday 26 April

Tuesday 1 May

Thursday 3 May

Tuesday 8 May

Thursday 10 May

Applications have now closed.

The deadline for applications was Wednesday 13th December 2017.

Sample Programme


If you have any questions about Taster Days please contact Nicole on:

Year 11

Investigating Options

These events aim to explain the importance of GCSE results and post-16 choices to students and their teachers. They are designed for students who have already had some other introduction to Oxford, such as a Taster Day.

We run three specific subject-area days. Investigating Medicine explores the different subjects connected with Medicine and offers students a chance to participate in subject tasters, alongside more practical sessions to inform students about the course options which are available to them. Investigating Humanities offers an introduction to a range of Humanities subjects through lectures, seminars and tutorials, with supporting information sessions for parents, and general talk on university applications and finances. Investigating Social Sciences provides students with the chance to explore a number of subjects within the Social Sciences through a series of lectures.

Year 11

Investigating Options


Year 11 students at non-selective state schools across the UK, usually without sixth forms, or with little, if any, history of sending applicants to Oxford.

Applications for the Investigating Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences Days are made by individuals, but we ask students to nominate a teacher at their school to support their application.


If you have any questions please email Suzie and Andrew on:


Investigating Medicine: Tuesday 17 July 2018

Investigating Social Sciences: Wednesday 18 July 2018

Investigating Humanities: Friday 20 July 2018

Applications are now closed.

Investigating Medicine
Sample Programme from previous years.

Investigating Humanities
Sample Programme from previous years.

Investigating Social Sciences
Sample Programme from previous years.

Year 12

Study Days

Year 12 Study Days offer students the chance to experience their chosen subject through a day of academic sessions run by Oxford tutors.

These events bring 500 state school students to Oxford during three days in March. The aim of the day is to give these students a taste of university-level study in a subject that they are interested in, as well as to give them an insight into life as a student, studying and living in the Oxford college setting.

Year 12

Study Days

Each Study Day participant will attend a particular subject strand. The list of subjects on offer, including any A Level (or equivalent) requirements, can be found here.

The main focus of the day will be two academic sessions led by Oxford tutors or researchers, which will give students an insight into studying their subject at university. These interactive sessions will be both interesting and intellectually challenging, so participants should come ready to think, engage and discuss.

Alongside the academic sessions, participants will also receive two talks from Admissions Tutors about studying at Oxford and applying to the University, a tour of a college led by current students, and lunch in a college (free of charge).

There will be plenty of opportunities to find out more about what it is like to live and study in Oxford, and to ask questions about the courses we have on offer. A current Oxford student will be your guide for the day.

For those travelling from far away to attend the Study Days, we may be able to provide accommodation in a college overnight, free of charge. Participants will also be automatically considered for a bursary to help with the cost of travelling to the Study Days.

Find out more

Year 12

Study Days


Year 12/S5 students at non-selective state schools or colleges in the UK.

Booking is by individuals, but we ask students to nominate a teacher at their school to support their application.

How do I find out more?

More information about the subjects on offer, the A Level (or equivalent) subject requirements, the timings for the day, and how we select participants for the Study Days can be found on this page: Find out more.


If you have any questions about the Study Days please email Helen and Luke on:


13, 14 & 15 March 2018

The subjects on offer for each Study Day will be organised according to interest and to the availability of the tutors. Students will only be offered a place on one of the three Study Days.

Applications for the 2018 Study Days have now closed. No late applications can be considered.

For information on other similar Study Days held by individual Oxford colleges and departments, you may wish to visit this webpage.

Who we are

The Pathways Programme is run by the colleges of Oxford University, and is coordinated by a small group of college-based Outreach professionals, who are responsible for each particular stage of the programme.

Who we are

Programme Director

Mrs Claire White
Lincoln College

Claire grew up on the Wirral, and never even considered going to a top university until after her GCSE exams when she surprised herself with her results. She studied Biochemistry at Brasenose College, but almost spent more time showing school groups around Oxford than in the library studying. She controversially switched college allegiances and moved first to St Edmund Hall in August 2013 and then to Lincoln College in December 2015 to become Schools Liaison Officer, working primarily with schools in Lincolnshire and the West of England. In her free time, Claire enjoys music, swimming, travel, and occasional attempts at video games.

Year 13 Coordinator

Ms Zoë Triston
Trinity College

Zoë grew up in rural County Durham and spent her school days in comprehensive schools in Consett and Durham. After leaving school and spending a year in industry, experimenting with creating washing powder in a cake mixer, Zoë studied Human Sciences at St Hugh’s College. Once at Oxford she took up rowing and more often than not could be spotted in college and university lycra. Upon graduating in September 2016, Zoë started working as Access and Undergraduate Admissions Officer at Trinity College and now works with schools both in her adopted home of Oxfordshire and her homeland in the North East. In her free time, Zoë enjoys reading, cycling, exploring ancient woodlands, and running up and down hills.

Year 12 Coordinator

Ms Helen Brooks
Mansfield College

Helen is originally from Hampshire. She moved to Oxford to study Classics at St John’s College, where she spent most of her spare time volunteering as a student ambassador. After graduating she worked briefly at St John’s in the admissions office, and since April 2014 she has been the Access and Admissions Administrator at Mansfield College. In her role at Mansfield she works primarily with schools and colleges in parts of South London and Yorkshire & the Humber, which she loves going out to visit. In her free time Helen enjoys reading, travelling, and drinking excessive amounts of Yorkshire Tea.

Year 12 Coordinator

Mr Luke Maw
St Edmund Hall

Luke grew up in Leeds, attending a local comprehensive school and sixth form. He studied Physics at The University of Nottingham, and worked in the Widening Participation Team there before moving to Oxford to become the Schools Liaison Officer at St Edmund Hall. He works primarily with schools and colleges in Hampshire and Leicestershire, regularly traveling to visit schools in these areas, as well as hosting visits to Oxford. Luke is a keen (but by his own admission, unfit) cyclist who occasionally cycles very long distances and then regrets it wholeheartedly. He is more at home spending time with friends in one of Oxford’s many historic pubs.

Year 10 Coordinator

Ms Nicole Boothman
Keble College

Nicole was born in Samoa (an island in the South Pacific) but soon moved back to Manchester with her family where she spent the rest of her youth attending local state schools. She then headed north to Scotland to study Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Edinburgh. After graduating she taught English in Vietnam before moving to London where she trained to become a secondary school teacher. She spent most of the next few years teaching Spanish at state secondary schools there, but also escaped to work in Argentina for a year. She currently lives near Oxford and is the Access & Outreach Officer at Keble College, working mainly with schools in the West Midlands. She loves discovering new places!

Year 10 Coordinator

Dr Lucy Busfield
St Anne's College

Lucy grew up in North Yorkshire and attended a comprehensive school in a small market town. She studied Theology at Hatfield College, Durham, before heading down south for a Master's degree at Mansfield College, Oxford. She spent the following three years researching the religious history of Early Modern England at St John’s College, Oxford, completing her doctorate in summer 2016. Since then Lucy has racked up more college affiliations working in access and outreach, first at Wadham College and now at St Anne’s College. She works primarily with schools in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and parts of London. In her free time, Lucy enjoys reading, cooking and walking in the countryside.

for Teachers

Information for Teachers

Which schools do
we work with?

All Pathways events are designed for non-selective state schools in the UK. We prioritise schools without sixth forms, or with little, if any, history of sending students to Oxford. Individual events have their own selection criteria.

How many students
can I send?

For the Year 10 and 11 days, the maximum number of students per school is 10 in order for as many schools as possible to benefit from the events; there is no minimum. For the Year 12 and Year 13 events, there is no limit on the number of applications per school or college, but overall places are limited.

Which students
are the events for?

We work with academically able students who should be capable of applying to the most selective universities. We recognise that not all will go on to apply to Oxford. The Year 10 and Year 11 events are aimed at students who are capable of attaining mostly A* and A grades at GCSE (or grades 7, 8 and 9 in the new GCSEs).

The Year 12 and 13 events are aimed at students who are predicted at least AAA at A level and who should be considering making (or are making) an application to the University of Oxford. When selecting participants for the Year 12 and 13 events, we also take into account socioeconomic data, such as home postcode, parental HE participation and eligibility for benefits or free schools meals.

© Oxford Pathways 2018