Are you an S5 student who loves science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects? Are you thinking about what you might like to study at university, but finding it difficult to make up your mind?

The Headstart programme offers students under the age of 18 the opportunity to spend up to a week at one of the top universities in the UK. You can experience what life at university is really like and understand what exciting career opportunities a degree course might lead to. You’ll be able to connect with professionals in specific STEM industries, as well as other students from across the UK, whilst developing essential skills like problem-solving and team work.  The experience will help you plan your next step after school or college and will also help make your UCAS application stand out.

Places normally cost £400 per student but as we are a school involved in the Career Ready programme our pupils are being given the opportunity to apply for a limited number of free places.  You do not have to be on the Career Ready programme to apply for the free places.

For more information about Headstart and the different courses available click here.


To be eligible to apply, students must fit all the criteria below:

  • be 17 or younger on 21 August 2019
  • be interested in studying a Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) degree and pursuing a STEM career after school/college
  • confirm that, if successful, they will agree to take part in any publicity required to promote Headstart in future years including social media during your placement.
  • be available to take part in the residential course in July or August 2019 – please note you will need parental consent

If successful your Career Ready Coordinator will be contacted to confirm you meet all these criteria.

How to apply

Please use the link here to complete the online application form. You will need to answer a few generic questions and highlight in fewer than 3500 characters why you should be accepted onto the programme. You may want to copy and paste from a word document. Try to make your application stand out!

You may want to include:

  • why you chose the course you are currently studying
  • any career aspirations you have at present
  • how you think the Headstart programme might benefit you
  • why you think Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects are important

You will also be asked for your top 5 placement preferences. This is not a guarantee. Please have a look at the range of placements available here.

If you have any questions please contact Nick Insley, STEM Lead, at

The deadline for all applications is Monday 31st December 2018. Any incomplete applications, or applications received after the closing date, will not be considered.

All applications will be assessed by a panel of Career Ready staff and 25 students will be selected. You will be informed as to whether or not you have been successful and then you will  you will need to complete Headstart’s online application by 9 February 2018 in order to secure your place. Further information and support on this will be given to the 25 successful students.