Headstart FAQ's for Students


How do I apply?

You can apply online for a Headstart course by going on the Headstart homepage, click on the 'courses' tab and then hit the 'Apply now' button. 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.

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications for Headstart courses 2020 will close on Monday 23rd March 2020 (9am). 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.

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?

Early applications are welcomed! Having listened to feedback from previous attendees, EDT will be making offers in JANUARY 2020 to early applicants who apply before Christmas 2019 and satisfy the university allocation criteria specified to EDT. Please note therefore this DOES NOT guarantee a place. Further offers will be made in February and March 2020 and conclude with final offers in April 2020. If you are lucky enough to be offered a place on a course, we'll send you an email with a payment deadline a week thereafter. It is unlikely that you will be offered an alternative course if you decline your offer, so we strongly recommend you take time to consider your decision.

Where will I be staying?

For Headstart courses that are residential, you'll stay in university halls of residence with an overnight Headstart supervisor taking care of you. For non-residential courses, students will be expected to make provision for their own accommodation if travelling from a distance that is not commutable (within 1 hour's travel). PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY ARRANGEMENTS TO LEAVE during the course period. If you are unable to commit to the entire course then you should seek those with dates where you can.

I have other commitments so can I arrive late or leave early?

Absolutely NOT! Universities take a dim view of students who do not show full commitment to the course. Headstart courses OVER-SUBSCRIBE by 50% each year so students are expected to check their diaries and calendars and plan accordingly and participate fully.

Can I choose where I attend?

Yes, you are invited to express up to 5 preferences on your online application. This is not compulsory but is recommended as it is not always possible to fit everyone on one of their top choices. Therefore it enables us some flexibility to select a similar or other courses from your preference list. However, if there are more than 5 courses that you would like to be considered for, after submitting your applciation you can send an email to headstartteam@etrust.org.uk and we will add these additional preferences for you. (the last 2 paragraphs remain the same).

Is it 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, no vaping 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?

Headstart courses in 2020 are offered at a subsidised rate of £399 for all residential courses.

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 encourage early applications as there is a commitment to make early offers this year. However, due to some courses historically being heavily over-subscribed and the universities defined allocation criteria, it does not equate that early applications will guarantee a place. The popularity of the Headstart programme inevitably means that some students will be disappointed.

Can I create an account in respect of my application?

No, you will need to do your application in one go, you cannot save for later and add more. If you miss anything once submitted you can email headstartteam@etrust.org.uk and we wil add the additional information for you. PLEASE DO NOT DO ANOTHER APPLICATION IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SUBMITTED ONE

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/vape?

No. Alcohol is strictly prohibited and smoking and vaping 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?

Please check your diary/calendar for other activities you may have booked and be fully committed to the course BEFORE accepting and paying the fee. 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 most 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 Headstart 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.