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Virtual Insight into University 2023/24 FAQs

Previously known as Headstart

When is it running?

The course will be available from 1st July until 23rd August 2024.


Is the experience suitable for me?

Our Virtual Insight into University is open to all students age 16+ interested in STEM subjects. It is suitable for all abilities with activities covering different levels of advanced study.


I am not 16 until the summer, can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you will turn 16 by the end of August 2024 then we will accept you onto the course.


What is the mode of study?

Virtual Insight into University is a virtual experience via the Talent LMS platform. All the content will be available via the platform and the experience will include live webinars and activities to take you away from the screen.


How long will it take to complete the course?

It will take around 30 hours to complete the course and to gain your Silver Industrial Cadets award. These hours can be completed flexibly to fit around other commitments and study at a pace that suits you.


I have other commitments (school, club, holiday etc.) during the summer, how flexible is the course?

There will be a comprehensive timetable of live sessions spread across the eight weeks allowing you to find sessions running when you are free to attend. The rest of the course is completed at your own pace, some students choose to do it all in one week whilst other spread it out across the 8 weeks studying as and when they have time.


What sort of activities are included?

This experience is like no other! With the mix of live sessions, recorded lectures and hands-on practical STEM activities and projects set by leading UK universities and global STEM companies, students will have a unique opportunity to access all this amazing content in one place, pick-and-choose subjects that interest them and do as many as they wish at their own pace over the summer:

  • STEM subjects at University – a variety of information about the different STEM subject options that are available at university and how these link to careers.

  • University Lectures – a wide selection of lectures recorded for you by our university partners.  These will give you a taster of what first-year undergraduate level lectures are like and also increase your knowledge in the subject area.

  • World of Work – Workshops set by STEM industry partners allowing students to experience real-life applications of STEM subjects.

  • Live sessions – a full timetable of live sessions to allow students to interact with academics, university admissions tutors, current undergraduates, mentors, young graduates and industry experts.  You can hear information first-hand and ask all of your questions.

  • Projects and Activities –  Practical activities, projects and challenges developed and delivered by our university partners that you can do from home.

  • Graduation Project – presentation of programme outcomes and award of an Industrial Cadets Silver award.


Do I have to choose which subject I want to study?

Absolutely not. When you apply for the Virtual Insight into University experience you will have access to all of the different STEM subjects and university content. As you work your way through the course modules you can decide which subjects you want to get a taster of. Our aim is to give you as much exposure and choice as possible to explore different STEM subjects so that you can make an informed decision about your future.


Is there a timetable for studying the content?

No, the experience is designed to fit around your other commitments and so you can work on the content flexibly when it suits you. There is a timetable for the live sessions on the course platform and you will be able to choose to attend the ones that interest you.


Will I need to do a test or exam?

No, there are no tests or exams for you to complete.

As part of this experience you will need to submit a project to showcase what you’ve learnt but there is lots of flexibility on how you can do this and support available if needed. Most students tell us this project is the highlight of the course.


How does the course help me with my UCAS application and CV?

Our Insight into University experience is a UCAS recognised course for preparing students for higher education. Although it doesn't carry UCAS points, the experience gained gives students evidence to demonstrate their subject interest on their UCAS application. Additionally on successful completion of the course students receive a Silver Industrial Cadets Award, an industry led accreditation recognising skills needed for a career in STEM. We are proud to have His Royal Highness King Charles III as the Patron of Industrial Cadets.


How to apply?

Fill in a short application form here and we will be in touch with further information.


How much does the Virtual Insight into University experience cost?

EDT is an education charity, and we keep costs as low as possible for students and their families. For summer 2024 Virtual Insight into University experience is £95.


Is there a help available if cost is a barrier?

We are able to provide some fully funded places for students who require financial assistance to access the course. Please indicated your interest on the application form and we will contact you to see if you are eligible.


What if I have more questions?

Feel free to get in touch with us on 01707 906106 or email our Student recruitment team at and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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