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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

Learn with US

Learn with US is the University of Southampton's outreach programme, which is designed to support teachers, parents, students and community groups in the local area.

The scheme presents the opportunity to study new and exciting subjects, which can be related to the National Curriculum, build on skills of critical analysis and communication, and engage with our academics to get a taste of Higher Education.


The Learn with US transition scheme is a interdisciplinary research-led programme designed to aid transition to Higher Education for years 12-13. It is structured to stretch and challenge students in Further Education through the development of critical thinking and experience of lectures and research. In addition to this, its research focus helps to give students a better impression of what it may be like to learn at a research intensive Russell Group institution, such as the University of Southampton.

There are four main components: It uses current research to 1) deliver engaging lectures and seminars; 2) provide academic skills workshops; 3) support the Extended Project Qualification; and 4) run research project days. The aim of all parts of the Learn with US programme is to encourage students' curiosity, reflection and independent learning. For further information please visit the Learn with US website.

Outreach Lectures

The Outreach Lectures are a series of specially developed talks based around areas of the lecturers' current research. Seminars on a related subject can follow the lecture. The content is designed to stretch and challenge students in Years 12 and 13 with no specialist subject knowledge required. The sessions also provide the opportunity for participants to develop their note-taking and critical thinking skills, with students encouraged to articulate their thoughts and views in question and answer sessions. We can give talks such as an introduction to Judaism, Jewish-Christian Relations, the Bible, apocalyptic literature, the seventh century and the Holocaust, but for the range of available lectures from the Parkes Institute, or to discuss your particular needs, please get in touch with Helen Spurling.

Extended Project Support

As a Russell Group research intensive university, the University of Southampton has a special interest in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The Learn with US programme supports schools and colleges in the delivery of the EPQ by providing a Guide to Research . The Guide to Research has been composed by the University of Southampton's academic librarians and is a gateway to a variety of reliable and academically sound resources listed by academic subject. It is freely available to schools and colleges, supervisors and students alike, who are working on the EPQ. In addition, the University of Southampton provides groups of students working on the EPQ with the opportunity to visit the University to use its libraries, journals and databases, including the Parkes Library.

Academic Skills

The Guide to Research can also be used in conjunction with the Academic Skills Guides (available from the Learn with US website). The Academic Skills Guides will help develop the academic skills needed at university to be a successful student in lectures, seminars, research, essay writing and examinations. The Guides provide access to material that will assist transition to university and allow students to make the most of their university experience. The Guides can also be supplemented by Academic Skills workshops delivered by the Learn with US lecturers.

Research Projects

The Research Based Learning Project (RBLP) is a ground-breaking initiative that provides students with practical experience of what it is like to learn at a research intensive Russell Group university. The RBLP utilises current research to enable groups of students to investigate and then present on a interdisciplinary topic using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources. These range from government documents, literary works, statistics, images and photographs, letters and newspaper reports to academic texts and journals. The topics for the RBLP are based upon the research of the Learn with US lecturers.

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