Applications for Discover Brookes are now open! The deadline for applications is Friday 12th November.
Please note this programme is designed for students who live outside of Oxfordshire and will benefit most from a hybrid learning environment. If you are a student living in Oxfordshire, please apply for our Brookes Engage programme for local students.
Applications for Discover Brookes are now open! The deadline for applications is Friday 12th November.
Are you in your first year of sixth form or college outside of Oxfordshire? Do you want to find out more about university life, and get a taste of what studying at Oxford Brookes University is like? Discover Brookes is a two year access programme designed to support progression to university for students from groups which are currently under-represented in Higher Education (see eligibility criteria below for more details).
Benefits of the programme
- Explore a subject area that interests you: Virtual subject workshops will give you the chance to learn more about studying your chosen subject at Oxford Brookes University and get to know new people with similar interests to you from across the country, including current students.
- Take part from anywhere in England: Much of the programme, including all of the subject workshops, mentoring, personal statement and interview support sessions will take place online so you can access them from anywhere! There will also be content you can access in your own time and at your own pace.
- Experience the campus: You’ll also receive a guaranteed place on the Oxford Brookes Summer School in July 2022 where you can experience life as a university student, staying in student accommodation. You’ll also receive a special invite to the Open Day and Applicant Days.
- Chat to current university students: A friendly team of current university students will work with you via 1:1 mentoring and provide subject support during the virtual workshops. You can hear first hand from them what it’s like to be a student at Oxford Brookes University and study for a degree in your area of interest.
- Strengthen your UCAS application: If you decide to apply to university, Discover Brookes will be a great thing to write about in your personal statement, as it shows your commitment to learn more beyond sixth form or college. As part of the programme you’ll receive support in completing your UCAS application.
- A contextual offer to study at Oxford Brookes: Successful completion of the programme will give you access to a contextual offer to study at Oxford Brookes. This means we’ll offer you a place on reduced tariff points as long as any other conditions of the offer are met. This is usually around two grades lower, but can vary per course.
- Gain £1K scholarship: Lastly, if you successfully complete the programme, you’ll also be entitled to a £1000 scholarship in your first year of study at Oxford Brookes.
Applications for Discover Brookes are now open!
The deadline for applications is Friday 12th November. Please note this programme is designed for students who live outside of Oxfordshire and will benefit most from a hybrid learning environment. If you are a student living in Oxfordshire, please see our web page on the Brookes Engage programme.
Subject paths consist of three one-hour virtual subject workshops designed and led by Oxford Brookes University lecturers and current students. They are all online with some content available for you to access in your own time. You also have the option of submitting a final independent study project based on your own interests and what you learn over the course of the subject workshops.
The subjects on offer for 2021-23 are:
Business, Marketing and Economics
The Business, Marketing and Economics stream will give you an academic insight into the topics taught on Business related courses at university. Key concepts and theories will be introduced, alongside opportunities to apply these to practical industry examples; such as how the rise of the social media influencer is affecting branding and marketing strategies. The programme will give you a further understanding of business, marketing, events management and economics.
The stream will build on the knowledge and skills you may have previously gained through A Level Business Studies or Economics, or BTEC Level 3 Business or Travel and Tourism. It is also open to you as an introduction to Business, if you haven’t studied it before! The sessions will be developed and delivered by current teaching academics and students in the Oxford Brookes Business School.
Identify and Difference
When we think about our personal identities, several questions may come to mind. For example: What is my gender identity? What is my political or national identity? How does my race or ethnic background contribute to this identity? The ability to define your own identity, and how you interpret the identities of others, could be more of an intricate task than you first thought. This subject stream will develop your understanding of these key themes, considered through the lens of Law, Politics, Education and English. Over the course of the programme, you will develop the critical and creative thinking skills vital for success in the world of work, whilst taking part in an enquiring investigation into the world around us and our relationship to culture, society and power.
Environment and Community
The subjects of Criminology, Sociology and Geography can work together to help us understand how communities impact society, and how individuals shape their environment. Communities are about people and shared experiences; at its most positive it's also about trust, belonging, safety, and caring as we as individuals influence each other, resulting in social change. Over the course of the programme, you will develop the critical and creative thinking skills vital for success in the world of work, whilst taking part in an enquiring investigation into the world around us and our relationship to culture, society and power.
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
The Biological and Biomedical Sciences stream will provide you with an insight into what it is like to study a degree within these areas at Oxford Brookes, with workshops focused on first year content, serving as a ‘sneak peek’ of what to expect from your course! You will engage in three, one hour, virtual workshops, with the opportunity to conduct your own study in-between workshops, as well as complete optional ‘extension research activities’ provided by Academics. Topics include:
- Bioinformatics, focused on Covid mutations;
- Histology, focused on organ level damage and diagnostic techniques;
- Evolution, focused on the complexity of evolution, selection pressure and how this has developed our knowledge of genetics as we know it.
You will meet with staff from the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, working across various fields of research and teaching roles, with plenty of time to ask any burning questions you may have.
Physical Activity and Recovery
This stream will cover the relationship between physical activity, recovery and health, including an exploration of disability, occupational therapy and rehab-physio. You will engage with three 1h hour virtual workshops with the opportunity to conduct study in your own time between the workshops. Academics will also provide you with ‘extension research activities you have the option to complete.
Architecture and Design
Over the course of three workshops, you will explore Urban Design, Real Estate and Architecture principles and delve into questions like: What is the link between architecture and architect given our own unique experiences? Can we celebrate our cultural heritage through design? What is the impact of Covid on human behaviour and how we design spaces? In between workshops you will be encouraged to research the relationship between these topics, culminating in your own design project. Students from the faculty, along with academics, will provide advice, guidance and feedback on your research and project work.
What is Discover Brookes?
Discover Brookes will help you to progress and succeed in your future education and work. Taking part will allow you to access a series of engaging events taking place every few months, largely focusing on subject-specific content. The programme consists of a variety of engaging and interactive virtual activities, with a mixture of live sessions and ‘offline’ work in your subject area of choice. All of these activities will be accessible via smartphone, as well as on laptops and tablet devices.
Alongside subject support, you’ll also be able to explore your future career opportunities, access information and advice about how to progress to higher education, and develop useful transferable skills.
From the start of the programme, you’ll be paired with a current Oxford Brookes student who is studying a subject related to your interest. You’ll be able to chat with them about university life one-to-one on Brightside, which is a fully-moderated and safe online messaging platform which you can access via your phone, tablet or laptop.
You’ll also be placed in a Brightside group chat with other sixth form and college students with similar interests to you from all across the country! Here, you’ll be able to get to know each other before hopefully meeting up on-campus later in the programme, and work on a group academic project as well as enjoying fun social activities.
During the programme you will also be invited to visit the Oxford Brookes campus, with travel, accommodation and catering provided subject to university policy and government guidelines regarding Coronavirus.
What are the benefits?
By taking part in Discover Brookes, you will gain an authentic insight into what it’s like to study at Oxford Brookes, and at university in general. You will work with current undergraduates, and also other students from around the country who have similar course interests to you - just like the first year at uni! A particular advantage is getting to choose the subject you want to explore in-depth. By taking part in subject workshops with lecturers, and getting to work on a group academic project, you will find out if that degree is the right choice for you.
The best parts of Discover Brookes are:
- The programme is entirely free for you to take part in
- At all stages of the programme, we will ask you for your input to activities, so we can tailor the programme as closely as possible to your interests.
- Taking part will give you access to a contextual offer if you decide to apply for a full-time course at Oxford Brookes (which means the grade requirements will be lower), and a scholarship of £1,000 in your first year of study.
When will the sessions take place?
- 3-9th November 2021 - Subject Taster Lectures
Over two weeks, you can try several virtual taster lectures! These will give you an insight into different degree areas at university, and feature a Q&A with our lecturers and current students. This will come before the final application deadline for Discover Brookes to help you decide on your subject stream of interest. Don't worry if you're not able to make these sessions - you can still apply!
- 13th-16th December 2021 - Launch Events
You will experience a live webinar and get to know the other students on your chosen subject stream, as well as lecturers, programme leads, and your student mentor, who will be a current Brookes undergraduate.
- Week commencing 21st February 2022 (February half-term) - Subject Workshop 1
The first virtual workshop will give you a chance to build up your subject knowledge. You’ll get to explore topics within your chosen subject stream in further detail, and be introduced to your academic project.
- Week commencing 11th April 2022 - (Easter holiday) Subject Workshop 2
Over Easter, you will have your second virtual workshop where you will get the opportunity to take a deeper look into your chosen subject stream.
- July 2022 - Summer School
You will receive a guaranteed place at Oxford Brookes Summer School so that you can take part in more subject sessions and fun social activities. Pending university and government guidelines regarding Coronavirus, the Summer School will be residential and travel and accommodation will be provided.
- September 2022 - Personal statement guidance and interview support
You will receive 1:1 personal statement guidance and interview support.
- Week commencing 24th October (October half-term) - Subject Workshop 3
Your final virtual workshop will include careers guidance and support to finish your group project for submission in December 2022.
- November 2022 - Open Day
Oxford Brookes Open Day experience, with support from your student mentor to get the most out of the day. We are able to provide transport and food for you and one accompanying adult.
- March 2023 - Applicant Day
If you choose to make an application to Oxford Brookes you will be invited to the applicant day in March. We are able to provide transport and food for you and one accompanying adult.
- August 2023 - Celebration Event
A virtual celebration event to bring your family, friends, and other guests to Brookes and celebrate all your achievements on the programme, including prizes for the best project submissions.
What are the eligibility criteria?
- Be in the first year of a two-year Level 3 qualification (e.g. A Levels, BTEC, or equivalent)
- Be studying at a non-selective state school or college in England, outside of Oxfordshire
- Have 5 GCSEs A*-C/ 4-9, including English and Maths (or expect to have 5 GCSEs including English and Maths by July 2023)
- Live in England
To be eligible to apply for Discover Brookes, you also need to meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Currently eligible for free school meals
- Currently live in local authority care, or have lived in care
- Are a young carer (are under 18 and help to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem)
- Have a disability, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty
- Are of black or minority ethnic origin
- Have official refugee status in the UK, or are an asylum seeker
- Are from a traveller family
- Have at least one parent/carer who has served in the armed forces at any time within the past six years
- Are irreconcilably estranged from both birth parents
- Live in an area where progression to university is low. To find out whether this applies, please visit www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/postcode-search/. Instructions on how to use: Type your postcode in the search box. Check the box marked ‘MSOA (used to calculate POLAR4 and TUNDRA)’ Look at the box on the right hand side of the map under the ‘POLAR4’ measure. If the number here is Quintile 1 or 2, you are eligible.
- Live in an area of higher socio-economic disadvantage. To find out whether this applies, please visit http://imd-by-postcode.opendatacommunities.org/imd/2019. Instructions on how to use: Type your postcode into the search box. Download the Excel spreadsheet generated. If the number in the column labelled ‘Index of Multiple Deprivation Decile’ is 1-4, you are eligible.
I have more questions - who should I get in touch with?
Feel to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Discover Brookes or the application process. Otherwise, we look forward to receiving your application soon!
If you are interested in sharing this programme with your students, we have the following materials available:
- Downloadable Google Slides - perfect for assemblies and adding to your own presentations. You can also contact us if you would like us to present this to your students! This free presentation will take about 15-20 minutes plus Q and A.
- Downloadable Flyer - send straight home to students and families
Discover Brookes is a free sustained access programme, open to young people across England who are in their first year of a Level 3 qualification (e.g. A Levels, BTEC, or equivalent), and from backgrounds currently under-represented in higher education. Applications are open now, and the deadline for applying is Friday 12 November 2021.
The programme will run from December 2021 to August 2023, and is designed to support your students to make a successful transition to university by broadening their knowledge in a subject area of interest, and helping them to develop skills and attributes that will be beneficial to further study and in the world of work. All subject workshops will run virtually, allowing participants from across the country to take part with ease, with opportunities for students to visit campus at various points throughout the programme. Participants will take part in a range of activities over the course of the programme, including subject workshops, a summer school in July 2022, and online support, including 1:1 mentoring with a current university student.
By the end of the programme, participants should feel confident about making decisions for their next step in their educational and career journey. Students who successfully complete the programme will also be rewarded with a contextual offer (an offer with lower grade requirements than would usually be made), and a £1,000 scholarship in their first year of study if they decide to apply for a full-time course at Oxford Brookes.
The programme is completely free of charge to participants; this will include students’ travel to campus, catering, and accommodation for overnight stays where opportunities to visit campus are provided.
- Provide students with access to high-quality enrichment activities.
- Increase students’ awareness of the opportunities of higher education, and their sense of belonging within a university.
- Increase students’ confidence and resilience to support their successful transition to higher education.
- Expand students’ subject knowledge to new contexts, and increase their capacity for higher level study skills.
- Create a peer group of like-minded students, and allow them to gain an insight into student life through the experiences of current Oxford Brookes undergraduates.
- Showcase the links between university courses and employability.