Headstart courses - apply online Now!

Update:- 6th April.  All of our 2016 Headstart courses are now full and applications are no longer being accepted.  Unfortunately we could not offer all applicants a place on a course as we were very heavily oversubscribed.  Thank you for your interest in Headstart.

Check out our course list for 2016 here

See a week by week programme here

If you're a parent - have a look here at the Parent's Guide for some useful information.

Do you wonder whether Headstart is for you?   Past students who tell us they've enjoyed these courses normally have a strong background in maths, and many are good at Physics.  Our academic standards are high for all courses and reflect university degree entry requirements.

The Headstart courses are divided into 2 categories: broad based engineering or specialist courses which focus on one or two subjects.  Click on our Courses page to see the whole range.

Top tips for a great application:

  • Have your teacher details handy before you start your application.   We need the name of your teacher, their email address and phone number, and you cannot complete your application without that information.
  • Select 5 courses that excite you and tell us why in your personal statement.   Don't be swayed by the location - it's the Headstart experience that's important to help you with your UCAS application.  Oxford and Cambridge would love to welcome everyone, but they have limited places.  Keep an open mind and select other course preferences too.  This will give you the very best chance of getting a place somewhere you'll like.  
  • Make sure you can attend the courses you select.  Please check with your school that they'll release you for a course if you select ones in term time.  Remember to check dates for clashes with DoE or CCF trips, work experience and with your parents who might want you to go on holiday with them!
  • Write a short personal statement.   Something concise, about 200 words maximum.  We know parents love to help, but we'd much rather have something in your own words. Have a look here for some examples if you're stuck.
  • Add our email address headstartteam@etrust.org.uk to your email contacts or senders' list.  This is very important as when we send offers and important emails, these could be placed in your trash or removed by your spam filters if we're not in your address book.  Stay up to date: join our Headstart EDT Facebook

How we select students:

  • We do take your preferences into account but we have to make sure the courses are well balanced by considering various criteria.  We only select one student from each school to attend each course (to try and simulate starting at uni), we must adhere to academic entry requirements defined by universities and we try to have a good gender mix.
  • If we cannot find a place for you on one of your preferred courses, we may offer you a course we feel would be equally suitable.   Please include information in your statement to help us, as this increases your chances of getting a place somewhere, rather than no offer at all. 

You can apply HERE online from 1st October 2015 for 2016 courses.


How will I know if I have a place on a course?

We'll email offers in March 2016. If you change your email address between the time of applying and March 2016, you must tell us straight away so we can update our records.

How much does it cost?

  • You are not asked to pay any fee until you have accepted an offer of a Headstart place.  But once you have accepted a course place and paid the fee, this is not refundable if you change your mind.
  • The cost to attend is the numeric part of the course code - eg. CAR/360 explains the fee to attend Headstart at Cardiff is £360.  Everything's included - tuition, accommodation and meals, but not your travel costs to and from the University, which you must arrange.

Need help because of financial hardship?

We may be able to offer you assistance if financial hardship would prevent you accepting the offer of a place.  However, as a charitable trust we only have limited funds and as some schools are able to help, we’d like you to ask them first if they’d be willing to support you.  If you do need to apply for a bursary you must tell us when you apply and send us the supporting documents we ask for (a completed bursary form and your evidence of income etc).  To download the forms you need and to understand how we’ll assess you click here.

We’re sorry, but if we do not receive the information within 10 days of your application, we won’t be able to consider you for a bursary.

Apply HERE 1st October