Headstart courses


Applications for this summer's Headstart courses closed on Sunday, 3 March 2019.

Attention! We are still accepting applications for a degree apprenticeship Headstart Year 12 / S5 Learn & Earn courses at Leeds College of Building and Solent University, Southampton - click here to apply!

Should you experience any issues or questions arising from filling in the application form then please contact the Headstart team via email headstartteam@etrust.org.uk or telephone                         01707 871505. Thank you.



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 reflect university degree entry requirements but we have a range of courses at various universities and we welcome applications from all students regardless of their grades.

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. 

What is the deadline for Headstart applications? 

Applications for Headstart courses 2019 will close on Sunday, 3 March 2019. Should you experience any issues or questions arising from filling in the application form then please contact the Headstart team via email headstartteam@etrust.org.uk or telephone 01707 871505. 

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

  • We'll email offers in March and April 2019. If you change your email address between the time of applying and April 2019, 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.
  • Headstart courses in 2019 are offered at a subsidised rate of £385 for all courses, except Oxford and Cambridge which are offered at £435.  Everything's included - tuition, accommodation, evening activities 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, please check back later in September for more details.