FAQ's

Need to know more or get in touch?
We hope that you will find out all you need to know on our website - so do have a look here first and see if your question is answered.  Otherwise please see below for our email address, should you have a question that relates to your own, very specific circumstances. Please do not call our other regional offices about your Headstart or Inspire query - we're the only ones who'll be able to help you!

How do I apply?
You can apply online for a Headstart course by clicking here, or you can apply online for an Inspire course by clicking here or you can apply for a Routes into STEM course by clicking here.  You'll need your teacher's name, phone number and email address handy as you won't be able to submit your application without them.  When you've completed your application, please add our email address headstartteam@etrust.org.uk to your email contacts or safe senders list.  This is very important as when we send out 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.   So we can keep in touch, please join our Headstart EDT Facebook

What happens once I've applied?
We'll email you to confirm we've received your application, usually within 5 working days of you submitting it.

How and when are offers made?
Headstart - If you are fortunate enough to be offered a place on a course, we'll send you an email in March 2018, with a payment deadline a week later to make an online payment to secure your place.  It's unlikely that you will be offered an alternative course if you decline your offer, so we strongly recommend that if you do achieve a place, grab it with both hands!
Inspire - If you are fortunate enough to be offered a place on a course, we'll send you an email in March/April 2018 with all the details.  You'll then have a week to make an online payment to secure your place.  It's unlikely that you will be offered an alternative course if you decline your offer, so we strongly recommend that if you do achieve a place, grab it with both hands!

Where will I be staying?
All Headstart courses are residential and you'll stay in university halls of residence, with an overnight Headstart supervisor taking care of you.  Please make sure that you do not make any arrangements to leave during the course period as the universities do not allow this.

If you have gained a place on a residential Inspire course you will stay in university halls of residence, with an overnight Inspire supervisor taking care of you.  Please make sure that you do not make any arrangements to leave during the course period as the universities do not allow this.

I have other commitments so can I arrive late or leave early?
Absolutely not!  Universities take an extremely dim view of students who do not show full commitment to the course.  This is because Headstart and Inspire courses are very, very over-subscribed and so universities expect the students who are selected to participate fully.

Can I choose where I attend? 
Yes you should express a preference for 5 courses when you apply online.  It is not always possible to fit everyone into one of their preferences and we may choose something else for you if your preferred courses are full.  Please be broad in your outlook and remember that it's the Headstart or Inspire experience that's important to help you with your UCAS application,

Sadly, we cannot guarantee to offer you a place (places are in high demand - last year we had to disappoint over 1,100 students)

Is it just like being at uni?
The Headstart courses are aimed at students who are currently in Year 12/S5 to give a flavour of being at uni.  Because you'll probably be under 18, we have certain legal responsibilities to keep you safe. This means that although we'd love to give you complete freedom during the course, do forgive us if we have to do an extra headcount from time to time or sign you back in after a visit somewhere. So that everyone gets the maximum out of the course, we'll ask you accept our code of conduct, agreeing to behave appropriately.  All courses are no smoking and recreational drugs and alcohol are strictly forbidden.

I did not do AS/A2 exams.  Do you accept IB, IGCSE and other qualifications?
Yes, we accept all qualifications equal to AS and A2 level exams.  If you cannot find them when applying online, simply give us details in your personal statement.

Do you accept international students or students from the EU? 
Yes, everyone is welcome to apply.

How much do the Headstart courses cost?
The cost of each course is included in the course code.  For example the course code for Leeds is LEE/375, meaning that the course is £375.

Can l attend more than one course?
Due to the popularity of the courses, we can only allocate one course place per student.

If l submit my application in early do l have a better chance of getting a place?
Yes and no!  We don't allocate on a first come, first served basis, but it really helps us if you submit it to us as soon as you can after 1 September 2017, so please get on with it as soon as you can! 

I have forgotten my username/password, what do I do?
Please email headstartteam@etrust.org.uk and we will re-set it for you.  DO NOT create a new account.

l've submitted my application, but I need to change or add something.
Don't worry, just send an email to headstartteam@etrust.org.uk with the new information and we'll add it to your application for you. 

I’m studying for my AS Levels at the moment – should l record these under current course of study as AS or A level?
Record your courses under AS Level and, for those you who are planning to continue to A2 Level, record under this option also.

Can the Headstart courses be used for the Residential section of my Duke of Edinburgh's Award?
Headstart courses could possibly count as a Residential activity for your DofE, and to do so must be the required 5 days and 4 nights.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the requirements of the Residential section and we recommend that you check with your DofE Leader over the type of activity and duration to ensure suitability. If the Headstart course qualifies for your DofE you can bring your Assessor report cards to the course and ask the Headstart supervisor to sign it.

How do we get our Duke of Edinburgh Assessor report card signed?
You can bring your log book to the course, and ask the Headstart supervisor to sign it. 

Do I need to take notes or will I need any specialist knowledge?
Yes, you will need to bring a notebook with you but you won't be expected to know anything that wasn't covered in your first year of A levels / Scottish Standards.

Will I need to bring towels etc?
You will need to bring your own personal toiletries and towels but bedding is provided.  More specific information will be provided in the University joining instructions that you will receive nearer the time of the course.

Do I need to bring specialist protective clothing?
Labcoats and goggles etc. are provided by the university, but it's a good idea to bring sensible shoes otherwise you may not be allowed into some areas.

What recreational activities are there in the evening?
Each university plans its own activities, which may include bowling, cinema trips, restaurants, sporting events, quiz evenings, karaoke etc.

Am I allowed to drink/smoke?
No.  Alcohol is strictly prohibited and smoking is not allowed on university premises.

Can I bring my car?
Universities are not keen to encourage cars on their premises, and you are strongly urged to leave any cars and motorcycles at home.

Are refunds available if I change my mind?
Refunds are not available, as stated in the acceptance form and contract.

Can I stay the night before the course starts?
Availability of accommodation varies between universities.  In some cases accommodation will be available and they will tell you when they email you around three weeks before the course with your joining instructions; you will need to contact the University to arrange this.  Please note a Headstart or Inspire representative will not be on site until the course starts.

Can I bring my laptop or ipad?
We strongly advise that you do not bring any valuable belongings with you as they may be damaged or lost.

Are we able to leave the course at any time?
No.  You are only permitted to leave the course if you are sent home or if you are ill and the university arrange it with your parent/guardian.

Can I swap courses if I change my mind about the place I accept?
We're sorry but it's unlikely that we'll be able to arrange a swap.  You can cancel your place at any time but we cannot guarantee that an alternative will be available and you will not receive a refund.

Can I travel daily to the course if it is local to where I live?
As the Headstart courses are residential experiences, and will include evening activities to participate in, you are not permitted to leave the course.

Can my friend go on the same course as me?
Unfortunately we are not usually able to allocate more than 1 student from each school on the same course.  Therefore it is unlikely that you will be placed on the same course as a friend.

Are there opportunities for sponsorship afterwards?
You will usually meet recent graduates during the course, who can tell you about their own company.  Most large companies offer bursary schemes to students they see as having potential, so you need to write to a wide range of companies operating in areas of your interest.

Do you run courses during any other time of year, such as the autumn half term?
No.  All of our courses run during summer.

Need to get in touch?
If you need to contact us about something important, we would ask that you please email us at headstartteam@etrust.org.uk  and allow us to respond, ideally within 24 hours.  Please do not call our other regional offices about your Headstart or Inspire query - we're the only ones who'll be able to help you!