Summer Schools

Online Summer Schools

Breaking personal barriers, breaking academic barriers and building a fairer community

What will you remember about 2020? Whilst an infamous virus breached the species barrier and wildfires raged across US state borders, humans too were breaking barriers. From demanding an end to racially motivated violence through the Black Lives Matter movement to ensuring that exam grades were given on the basis of potential, not postcode, we have shone the spotlight on inequality. As a result, extraordinary people have overcome obstacles we never thought possible; not least the development of a vaccine over 10 months rather than 10 years!

In our 2021 summer school we invite you to explore the theme of ‘Breaking Barriers’ and to join us in our pledge to build a fairer world. The summer school is divided into three sections:

Breaking personal barriers 

Where is your ‘glass ceiling’? What barriers might you face and how can you overcome them? How does knowing yourself and understanding others help you to succeed?

Breaking academic barriers 

Experience taster sessions from our research themes such as the ‘Future Human’ and ‘Migration and Movement’, which break down traditional boundaries between subject areas. Can we learn Biology through Music or History through Art? Does breaking down these academic barriers help us to better overcome the global challenges we face?

Building a fairer community  

You will use your knowledge of different subjects to creatively explore solutions to the inequalities which create barriers in our communities. Our student ambassadors from a range of subject areas will support you to develop your vision for the future, in a form of your choice. This could be a podcast, a video clip, a poster, an essay… The options are endless! At the end of the summer school we will capture your vision in our digital time capsule, to enable future generations to understand and measure the progress made towards reducing inequalities in our communities.

Breaking Barriers

Let's make 2021 a year to remember for all the right reasons

Why apply?

The University of Kent has lots of experience running summer schools to introduce students to university life, to help them understand their options and make the choices about the next steps in their educational journey. 

This year life is a little different, so as well as all of these things, we also want to give you the chance to build skills to help you succeed which you may not be able to get from elsewhere because of the current restrictions.

We’ll give you the space and the support to think deeply and try new things, the chance to meet new people, to ask questions, and to express your opinion.

What do I need to access the summer school? 

We want to ensure that access to technology is not a barrier! Ideally, you need a tablet, PC or laptop and a reliable internet connection to access the virtual summer school sessions. If you do not have access to one of these, please specify in your application and contact and we will do our best to help.  

What is the cost? 

The summer school is completely free of charge! There is no cost to you at all, and we will even include some free goodies… and prizes!

Who can apply?

We are looking for students who: 

  • Are currently in Year 10, Year 12 or Level 3 Year 1 college students (different year groups will be kept separate) 
  • Are keen to work across different subject areas 
  • Are happy to work in a small team
  • Would like to develop the knowledge, skills and experience to stand out in their job, sixth form, college and / or university applications 

Priority will be given to students at the University’s partner and KMPF schools and colleges, but the summer school is open to all so we encourage you to apply! 

Applications should reach us by midnight on Sunday 16 May 2021.

Summer school dates

The Summer Schools will take place on the following dates: 

Year 12: Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 July 2021

Year 10: Tuesday 27 – Friday 30 July 2021

We know that virtual sessions can be quite tiring, so we will make sure that we just have 2-3 hours contact time per day, with a few activities in between! If you are still in school during these dates let us know and we will talk to your school.

Our research

We are running a research project, led by Transforming Access and Student Outcomes, to test whether participation in a university summer school will help pupils to aspire and progress to university. 

The summer school you have applied to is part of this project. This video outlines the research project and what it means for students who are taking part.

Ready to apply?


Year 10 Summer School


Year 12 (Level 3 Year 1) Summer School