Students and teacher in workshop

Oundle STEM Potential and Shrewsbury STEM Potential are the sister programmes to STEM Potential, one of Imperial's outreach programmes which has been running since 2014. 

Oundle School and Shrewsbury School lgos

At a glance

  • Non-residential, takes place on Saturdays, five times per year
  • For students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education looking to study STEM at university who live in or near the East Midlands or Shropshire
  • Applications are now closed.

About Oundle STEM Potential and Shrewsbury STEM Potential 


Oundle STEM Potential 

Oundle STEM Potential is one of several outreach opportunities offered by Oundle School in collaboration with Imperial Outreach, to students in the East Midlands. Oundle STEM Potential is a multi-year programme of activities and support for young people in Years 10 – Years 13 living in the East Midlands region in areas such as Kettering, Corby, Oundle and Peterborough. Delivered by Oundle School, and supported by Imperial College London, the programme will help you discover the wide range of subjects within STEM studies and aid your progression to university.

The programme has entry points at Year 10 and Year 12 of your studies and the programme is designed to support you at the relevant point of your school studies. During your time on the programme, you will attend five days of events each academic year at Oundle School. These will include subject-focused sessions, university preparation workshops, taster events and lectures.


Introduction to Oundle STEM Potential

This video introduces the Oundle STEM Potential programme


Shrewsbury STEM Potential 

Shrewsbury STEM Potential is fully-funded and delivered by Shrewsbury School offering the same programme as Oundle STEM Potential. It aims to support students from backgrounds under-represented in university-level education. Shrewsbury STEM Potential is accepting applications for Year 10 and Year 12. Applicants for the programme in the Shrewsbury area can apply using the same system as that outlined below.

Prospective applicant information

General information

In its first years, Oundle STEM Potential was developed in partnership with Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Prince William School and Thomas Deacon Academy, but the programme is open for applications from pupils from any state school in the Kettering, Corby, Oundle and Peterborough areas. Applications for Shrewsbury STEM Potential are open for applications from pupils from any state school near Shropshire. 

Please note that Imperial’s STEM Potential Programme opens for applications in the autumn term. Interested applicants from outside of Oundle or Shrewsbury STEM Potential’s local area should sign up to the Outreach newsletter for further information on this programme.

Programme schedule – 2023/24 cohort

We run five events on average for each year group. These events take place on Saturdays and during school holiday periods typically running from the morning into early afternoon. Our events will include a week-long non-residential summer school for Year 10 and Year 12 students.

First date for new cohorts:
Year 10 - Saturday 30 September 2023
Year 12 - Saturday 7 October 2023 (Oundle STEM Potential)  or Saturday 2 December 2023 (Shrewsbury STEM Potential)


Am I eligible to apply?

Please read the Outreach programme eligibility before you apply. We use the criteria below to assess who is eligible to participate. The more criteria you meet, the more likely your application will be successful.

We will prioritise your application if:

  • You are currently, or have been in care
  • You live independently (estranged from your family), meaning you no longer have the support of your family due to a breakdown in the relationship which has led to ceased contact

We will also assess whether:

  • You are a young carer and have caring responsibilities for a close relative with a disability, long-term illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem that is a significant demand on your time
  • Your family income is below £50,000 each year
  • You are eligible for free school meals and/or pupil premium
  • Your parents/guardians did not attend university
  • You live in an area with low overall progression rates to higher education (POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2 areas) or high levels of deprivation (IMD Quintile 1 areas)
  • Your school has a high percentage of students receiving free school meals
  • Your school has below average attainment


In addition to meeting the Outreach eligibility criteria, you must also meet the following programme specific criteria:

  • Be in Year 9 or Year 11 at the time of application
  • Be studying Maths (compulsory) and at least one science subject (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) if you are applying to start in Year 12
  • Live or attend a state school in the Kettering, Corby, Oundle and Peterborough areas (Oundle STEM Potential), or near Shrewsbury (Shrewsbury STEM Potential)
  • For Oundle STEM Potential, be able and willing to travel to Oundle School for the scheduled programme dates
  • For Shrewsbury STEM Potential, be able and willing to travel to Shrewsbury School for the scheduled programme dates

How do I apply?

Applications for Oundle STEM Potential and for Shrewsbury STEM Potential have now closed. 

Applications are made through Aspire (Imperial College London’s programme application system). You must first create an account before completing an application.

Please note: We recommend you use a personal email address, as opposed to a school email address, when creating an Aspire account. Security settings used in some school email servers will prevent you from receiving emails from Aspire.

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide details for a parent/guardian and a teacher. Both your parent/guardian and your teacher will be contacted to provide a supporting reference and verify some of the information you provide. For pupils who have already applied to Shrewsbury STEM Potential, these references must be received by Wednesday 15 November 2023 at 11:59 pm. You will be informed of the outcome of your application by Wednesday 22 November 2023.

We will ask for the subjects you are currently studying. If you do not have predicted grades for your current subjects you can type NPG or N/A in the grade field.

Contact us

For more information about Oundle STEM Potential please email the Partnerships team at Oundle School. 

For more information about Shrewsbury STEM Potential please email the Shrewsbury STEM Potential team at Shrewsbury School.