When you finally finish the school year and enter your summer holidays, going back to school might be the last thing on your mind. However, summer schools can be a great way to improve your confidence and your grades. The latter is especially true with academic summer schools which can help you with your university applications.
A number of factors should be taken into consideration when selecting a summer school. These include the duration, the price, whether or not it is residential, as well as the subjects offered. The list below is in no particular order of any factor.
Disclaimer: This list will only contain pre-university academic summer schools which are aimed at older secondary school students. If you would like to view activity-based summer camps instead, I recommend you check out this list here by UKSummerSchools.com.
If you want to discover the best summer schools in the UK, carry on reading!
1. King’s College London (KCL) Pre-University Summer School
This summer school typically spans across three sessions. In the year 2023, the dates for Session One will be the 3rd July to 7th July 2023. Session Two will be 10th July to 14th July 2023. Session Three will be 17th July to 21st July 2023.
As a member of the Russell Group Universities, KCL has consistently been ranked as one of the top ten universities in the UK. To find out more about Russel Groups Universities, check out this article on Think Student.
It will cost £2900 per session and depending on an eligibility criteria, you may be able to stay in student halls of residence. The subjects offered are Business Management, International Relations, Law, Medical Science, Psychology and other stem courses.
KCL is especially known for the quality of its Business Management courses as it was ranked 5th in the UK for Business & Management studies by the Complete University Guide in 2022.
Being close to the financial hub in the City of London, pre-undergraduate students will have opportunities they otherwise might not have.
This includes hearing from guest speakers and going on excursions to these financial hubs and therefore carry out their own independent research.
To apply, click here.
2. Immerse Education Summer School
Immerse Education is a private organisation that offers summer schools in both the UK and Australia. Its programmes are separated into three categories by age. These are 13-15, 16-18 and 13-18 (online).
There are more subject choices available in the 16-18 group. The online programmes don’t always run during the summer holidays and can be all year round. To find out when holidays start and end in England, check out this article on Think Student.
Immerse Education works with three universities in England. These are the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL).
The summer school is a two-week programme which takes place in July & August. The fees are quite expensive at £5995 for the residential programme. However, given the popularity of the programmes, there are opportunities to get scholarships.
Every year there is an essay competition where candidates must submit an essay response to the pre-set question related to their chosen subject.
The top ten winners will receive a 100% scholarship and the runners-up can receive partial scholarships of up to 50%. You can find the entry form here.
The Immerse Education summer schools are noted for their high quality of education and all mentors are alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities. This allows students to produce their own university-level piece of work by the end of the programme.
The organisation recently introduced a Female Future Leaders Summer School designed to support young women and help them acquire the skills to becoming future leaders.
The two-week programme explores a range of subjects including politics, business, law and science as well as giving you the chance to meet other women have become successful in these fields. You can learn more about it here.
3. Imperial College London Summer School
Imperial is another member of the Russell Group Universities. However, it is also a partner of the Sutton Trust Group. Sutton Trust is a charity that supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds by offering fully funded summer schools.
These summer schools can increase your chances of getting a good offer. It was found that 7% of former Sutton Trust students went to Oxbridge. You can discover this face for yourself on the this Sutton Trust article, if you click here.
For a STEM student in particular, Imperial College’s summer school in association with the Sutton Trust is ideal. This is because Imperial College London is the only university in the UK that specifically focuses entirely on STEM as well as business.
Imperial’s summer school prioritises work experience alongside its school. This allows students to engage with academic research and conduct their own investigations. This experience is particularly hard to find for pre-undergraduate students.
You can learn more about the eligibility criteria for Sutton Trust here.
4. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Summer School
If you are looking for more vocational subjects like photography or fashion, you may be interested in NTU’S residential summer school.
They will run from 17 July to Friday 28 July 2023 and the on-campus course fee is £1,200. However, if you book and pay by the end of April 2023, you can get the 10% early bird discount.
The diverse range of subjects on offer allows you to learn about subjects you would not have covered in school such as TV production or criminology. You can view the full list of on-campus courses here.
5. LSE Law Summer School
LSE offers lots of summer schools, but it is especially known for its Law summer school. It ranks 7th in the world for Law. More information about this can be found on the Top Universities website if you click here.
Its law courses incorporate aspects of other courses like cyber law and human rights. As Law is the most popular degree in the UK, this course offers a great head start to students. You can find out the other most popular degrees here on Think Student.
You can find the full range of law courses here.
Where can you find a summer school?
There are a great number of summer schools out there. Your perfect summer school depends on what you want to experience. You can learn more about what to expect at different summers schools in this article on Think Student.
If you would like to look at more academic summer schools, check out this page on the bestsummerschools.co.uk website. You also might be interested in summer schools abroad.
If that is the case, this website from Summer Schools in Europe offers a wide range of summer school options in English as well as other languages.