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The University of Southampton
Schools and colleges

Learn with US Outreach Post-16

Our Post 16 team deliver the Learn with US programme to support selected schools and colleges, who meet our widening participation indicators, and are within the South East and South West of England. From the following counties: Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex, and East Sussex. We also work with schools and colleges nationwide through our virtual activities, through our summer schools and residentials and through our Ignite programme.

Students in class

The purpose of the programme is to offer your students the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities that are academically enriching, as well as providing valuable information, advice, and guidance about the university application process. These activities are intended to complement the academic year and should be viewed as a complete 'package' of support, rather than isolated ad hoc interactions. Our programme can also help your institution meet Gatsby benchmarks.


students in class


There is no cost to your school or college for participation in the Learn with US programme. We are also able to offer a travel contribution for our on campus activity.


Students at computers




The programme is aimed specifically, at students who meet our Widening Participation eligibility criteria, and that have the potential and desire to progress onto Higher Education. Our activities are delivered either on campus, off campus (within school/ college) and virtually.

On campus activities

Experience HE Days are back. Our team offer bespoke school and college visits on set dates throughout the academic year, with a capped number of students to our Highfield campus. These visits will include an introduction to UoS and a campus tour with our student ambassadors. Groups may also request up to two further sessions from the following:

  • Choosing Your Course and University
  • Student Finance/ Budgeting
  • Personal statement tips and info
  • Student Life Talk and Q&A session with Student Ambassadors
  • Subject-specific taster lecture

Read more and book

We also host a number of subject-specific Residentials and Summer Schools to allow your students the chance to experience what it's like to study a subject at university degree level. 

Off campus activities

The following off-campus talks are available to schools and colleges throughout the academic year. Talks can be between 30 – 60 minutes with time at the end for a question and answer session or can be tailored to your school timetable.

Our team are available to present to students, parents, teachers and advisers as well as attend your higher education and careers events. Please see a list of our talks below:

- ‘Why HE?’ Talk

This talk will outline the benefits and opportunities of progressing onto Higher Education.

- Making successful applications (available until the application deadline)

This talk will focus on the three factors required to make a successful application to university: choosing a course, enhancing your application and an introduction to the personal statement. The talk will prepare the student for any HE related research and work experience during the summer recess.

- Standing out from the crowd; writing successful personal statements

This talk or workshop provides guidance on how to structure the personal statement and what Admissions Tutors look for in prospective applicants. We also talk about ways to enhance the student's understanding of their subject and offer practical tips for writing a persuasive statement.
Please note: this talk is also suitable for Year 13 students up to the point of application.

- Student Finance Talk

This talk provides information on the student finance application process, with an overview of loans, how the repayment system works after and other funding support available to students. We also provide some tips on budgeting as a current student.

- Choosing a course

This talk goes through what degree programmes are on offer at HE institutions and the areas students should research when looking at degree programmes.

Book Now

Subject-specific talks and workshops are available and can be organised and booked for your students through our Ask the Expert scheme. 

Virtual Activities

We facilitate a number of subject-specific webinars. These opportunities are shared via our newsletter and on our social media platforms as the events are confirmed throughout the year.

Eligibility Criteria

We ask schools/colleges to select students who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be eligible for Free School Meals, after the age of 14
  • Be in local authority care OR have been looked after for three months or more
  • Be a Young Carer
  • Have a current home post code showing that you live in an area with low levels of progression to Higher Education (Postcodes within the lowest 2 POLAR4 quintiles)
  • Have a current home post code showing that you live in an area that falls within the lowest 20 per cent of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)
  • Be in the first generation of immediate family to go into higher education, and attended a lower-performing school/college

Widening Participation Travel Bursary

The University can only change the world for the better with people from all backgrounds on our side with our Widening Participation and Social Mobility activities, opportunities and support made available for those people from underrepresented backgrounds aiming for higher education.

As such we are committed to reducing the barrier of travel costs to our Open Days, Applicant Offer Holder Days and Interview Selection Days for those people from underrepresented backgrounds with our Widening Participation Travel Bursary of up to £100 to help cover these costs.

Read through the sections below for eligibility criteria, how to apply and next steps following event attendance for successful applicants.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible you must meet one of the following:

  • you have been invited to attend an Applicant Offer Holder Day
  • you have been invited to attend an Interview Selection Day
  • you have booked to attend an Open Day

You must also meet at least one of the following widening participation criteria:

  • currently taking part in our Ignite Your Journey programme
  • have previously attended our Experience UoS Residential
  • have previously been in local authority care or looked after for three months or more
  • Your current home postcode falls within the lowest 20 per cent of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)

For residents in England, click here to search your postcode.

Description automatically generated If your postcode falls within the lowest 20% it will be identified as “IMD Quintile 1” on our postcode checker. Any results identified as “IMD Quintile 2-5” fall outside the lowest 20% and are not eligible.

For residents in Wales, click here to search your postcode.

If your postcode falls within the lowest 20% it will be clearly identified as such on the WIMD postcode checker. Any results identified as “outside the lowest 20% and are not eligible.

Types of Travel Covered

The travel bursary will reimburse reasonable costs to eligible applicants for return travel via public transport (bus, ferry, train and/or tram) or own vehicle mileage (at 23p per mile) from your home address to our Southampton or Winchester campuses.

At the point of claiming reimbursement we will require:

  • for public transport users: Photos/scans/copies of all tickets and evidence of proof of purchase
  • for own vehicle users: The postcode of your home address so we can calculate mileage. The University of Southampton uses the AA Route Planner to calculate return trip mileage via the shortest route.

The University of Southampton will not book your travel arrangements or plan your journey for you. This must be undertaken by yourself, so do ensure to make these arrangements. All reasonable costs travel costs up to £100 will be reimbursed after the event upon successful completion of the reimbursement claims process.

Do note that the Widening Participation Travel Bursary will only cover the costs of travel for the student attending the event. We will not be able to cover the costs of any other attendees accompanying the student.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for a Widening Participation Travel Bursary you should complete the following in order:

1. Confirm your intended attendance at the relevant event:

  • those with invitations to attend an Applicant Offer Holder Day or Interview Selection Day should confirm their intention to attend with the event organiser
  • those intending to attend an Open Day should book their place

2. Check you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above

3. Complete a Widening Participation Travel Bursary application form

All successful applicants will be notified via email.

Contact us

If you wish to enquire about our Learn with US programme and/ or are interested in any of our activities or events on offer, please contact the Post 16 Team at

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