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The University of Southampton
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Experience University of Southampton Residentials

Tuesday 16th - Friday 19th July 2024

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Applications close at midnight on Friday 26 April 2024.

What is Experience UoS?

This year you can join us on campus for a 4-day, 3-night programme. Giving you the opportunity to experience the academic and social side of university life. You'll learn in an academic environment and work with students from other schools and colleges through a timetable of lectures, practical activities and a variety of fun evening social activities.

You'll get to meet our enthusiastic team of Student Ambassadors studying the courses you are aspiring to, as well as academics, researchers and alumni. These residentials are free and open to Year 12 or Level 3 (Year 1) students who meet our academic and Widening Participation eligibility criteria (see below). You'll be provided with free accommodation and meals for the duration of the residential.

We understand that travel costs can be a barrier when invited to attend a University residential. The university would therefore like to offer you the option of purchasing your train ticket on your behalf or a travel reimbursement of up to £100 for mileage costs.

Our Experience residentials are a great opportunity to get a taste of degrees offered at UoS and student life ahead of university applications.

The 4 day programme will include:

  • Access to a taster lecture and group workshop/ practical in a degree programme/ subject area
  • Experience teaching and research within a subject area
  • Receive information and guidance through a number of talks and or activities within finance, budgeting, student life
  • Alumni talk - find out where our graduates ended up after they studied at UoS
  • Opportunity to stay in student halls
  • A chance to explore our main campus
  • Social activities throughout the event to meet like minded individuals and visit the city centre
  • Ultimately aid you in your decision making for a University course

Degree programmes/ subject areas available for our 2024 residential are:

To be eligible participants must be taking relevant and required subjects in relation to the taster degree subject session chosen.

Participants must also meet at least one of the following Widening Participation criteria:

  • In the first generation of your immediate family to apply to Higher Education and you attended a school/college whose performance places it into the lowest two quintiles for average QCA points per A level student (or equivalent) (in England, Wales or Northern Ireland) as identified by the Department for Education dataset and provided to the University via UCAS. A list of schools/ colleges meeting this criteria can be found under useful downloads in the document 'Eligible schools for applications made in 2023/24'
  • Current home post code shows that you live in an area with low levels of progression to Higher Education. (Postcodes within the lowest 2 POLAR4 or TUNDRA (MSOA) quintiles: Q1 or Q2). Postcodes can be checked for eligibility on our Postcode Checker.
  • or current home postcode falls within the lowest 20 per cent of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (Check postcode), or a member of a travelling family.
  • In receipt of a 16-19 bursary or similar grant OR received Free School Meals after the age of 14
  • Living or grew up in Local Authority care
  • Are a Young Carer

Our Experience UoS residentials days are open to students (home UK only) currently studying in Year 12 or S5 in Scotland (or equivalent) at maintained schools or colleges in the UK.

Applications are now open and will close at midnight on Friday 26 April 2024.

Apply now

For further information on Experience UoS Event, please contact the residential co-ordinator:


“The residential made me realise what I enjoy and am interested in” Joshua

“It was amazing! I loved the balance between social activities and subject activities” Isabella

“It was an incredible experience, it was definitely one of a kind experience. It was lovely to get the feeling of day-to-day life of university” Bethany

“It was such a great opportunity and I really enjoyed it, it helped me so much in better understanding what uni will be life in a way that otherwise I wouldn’t have found out until I arrived. I really enjoyed getting to see Southampton but especially spending time in my subject with some lecturers. I had such a great time.” Elliot

“The residential was such a great experience as I was able to get out of my comfort zone and meet so many new people, interested in similar subjects to me and also other subjects. The mentors (both day and night) were also so amazing and they were so helpful whenever we had any questions. Was such a great 4 days!” Lewis

When asked what their favourite part of the residential was students said:

“Getting to live in halls and really understand the university experience.” Nathan

“Meeting PhD students and getting a tour around a laboratory setting.” Afria

“Meeting new people and the cooking activity was great fun!” Caitlin

“The taster subject lecture because it really allowed us to see what the teaching is like and how learning would be structured.” Gavin

“I really enjoyed the bowling, as it allowed me to make new friends and spend time getting to know each other in a fun way!” Libby

Is there a charge for this event? 
No, this event is free of charge, all food and accommodation is included and travel is prebooked by the university for applicants.  

I am an international student, can I apply? 
Our Experience UoS residential is only open to home UK students, currently studying in Year 12 or S5 in Scotland (or equivalent).  

I only meet 1 of the Widening Participation eligibility criteria, can I still apply? 
Yes, students need to meet 1 eligibility criteria to be considered for a place.  Please note some of our eligibility criteria contains 2 parts e.g. first in family to apply for Higher education and you attended a school/college whose performance places it into the lowest two quintiles for average QCA points per A level student (or equivalent) (in England, Wales or Northern Ireland) as identified by the Department for Education dataset and provided to the University via UCAS 

Do I need to provide a teachers reference? 
Yes, we need a reference, to support your application, from a teacher, school guidance counsellor, principal/head teacher, head of year/sixth-form or careers advisor at your current FE institution. Applications submitted without a reference will not be considered. Please speak to your teacher and ask them to provide a reference, there is guidance for you teacher in the useful downloads section on this page.  
The reference should be completed on official letterhead/ school logo, signed and dated. A copy should then be given to you to upload onto your application form or emailed directly to  
If your referee has any questions please ask them to contact us on Due to the numbers of applications we receive for this residential opportunity, we are unable to contact individual teachers for references.  

What should I write about in the supporting statement? 
The supporting statement is the chance to explain to us why you wish to attend the residential and what you hope to learn from the experience. We suggest you make the most of the word count to explain and reflect on why you have chosen the subject area and the University of Southampton. In order to provide us with a clear picture of you as an applicant.  

I cannot attend all the dates can I still apply? 
No, students must confirm their availability for ALL dates to be considered for a place. 

Do I need to be studying certain subjects/ qualifications, to take part in the residential  
Yes, to be eligible participants must be taking relevant and required subjects in relation to the taster degree subject chosen. Details of the required subjects can be found on the courses page 

The subject I am interested in is not available, can I still apply?  
Yes, however applicants interested in studying one of the subjects on offer are given preference due to the spaces available and the programme.  

Where will I be staying? 
You will stay in our halls of residence in your own fully equipped room with your own ensuite bathroom. You will not share a room. All bedding and towels are provided. Access Team staff and student ambassadors will also be staying overnight in case of any emergency. 

How do I get there?  
The residential is based at the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus, University Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.  If you are arriving by train we will ensure you will be met by our student ambassadors. If you are arriving by car we will provide parking information closer to the time, and again you will be met by our student ambassadors. The university will pre book your train travel for the residential.  

What will I eat?  
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided for the duration of your visit, and there will be multiple options to choose from at every meal. We will ask for dietary requirements in advance which will be taken into consideration and suitable meals will be provided. 

What will I be doing over the 4 days?  
One day is subject focussed, the other three days are a chance to explore the university, the life of a student and the City of Southampton through a range of activities including alumni sessions, workshops and social activities. A detailed programme will be emailed to successful applicants prior to attendance.  

Does this event count towards contextual admissions at Southampton? 
Yes, this event counts as an outreach activity (Criteria d. Participation in a recognised outreach or widening participation programme). 

Will I get a certificate of attendance? 
Yes, all students who attend will receive a certificate at the end of the programme. 

Are parents and carers invited for any parts of the residential? 
Yes, we welcome parents/ carers to join us on campus on the final day to have lunch, meet the academics, hear from our financial support team and see their young person reflect on their time during the residential.  

Useful downloads

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Students taking part in a tour of Highfield Campus
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Students taking part in a social activity in the city centre
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Students taking part in the cooking on a budget activity
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Students presenting their residential experiences
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