Three students in a wet lab wearing lab coats, safety glasses and gloves

Immerse yourself in the world of science or engineering through hands on learning on this residential summer school.

At a glance

  • Application dates
    • Open: 9 January 2024
    • Close: 6 March 2024
    • Decisions: 3 May 2024
  • Programme overview
    • Runs 31 July - 3 August 2024
    • For year 10 students
    • Residential
    • Eligibility criteria apply

About the Insights Summer School

This Insights Summer School is a four-day, three-night residential program designed to encourage students to continue studying science and engineering subjects after their GCSEs (or equivalent).

Depending on your interests, you’ll apply for the science or engineering stream. During your time with us on campus, you’ll attend a series of exciting tater sessions specific to your stream, learn about university life, and enjoy a busy pastoral programme. This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in science and maths beyond their GCSEs and those with questions about their options after school.

Applications for the Insights Summer School closed on 6 March 2024. Late applications cannot be considered.

What to expect

The Insights Summer School takes place on our South Kensington campus. You’ll travel to our campus in London where you’ll be welcomed by staff who will support you throughout your stay. Your first day will include opportunities to get to know your mentor and the students in your group, learn more about our university and settle into your room in our Halls of residence. Days two and three are busy with a variety of taster sessions related to your stream.

At the end of the week, there will be an academic-style conference. You will work in groups to prepare a poster explaining a concept you learned during the week. You will present your poster to your peers, workshop leaders and invited guests.

Students on both streams will experience university life in London by working closely with undergraduate mentors and staying in university halls during this residential summer school. The course will feature a busy pastoral programme with a range of social activities in the evenings.

This summer school is fully funded (free to successful applicants), which includes all course fees, materials, accommodation, three meals a day as well as any trips that are part of the summer school. Travel is not included. If your application is successful and you think your participation in this summer school will not be possible due to the costs associated with travel to and from our campus, please get in touch with the programme team no less than two weeks before the start date, and they will be happy to discuss these circumstances with you.

Feedback from previous participants

Learn something new

"The summer school surpassed my expectations. The staff and the participants were all very welcoming and friendly. Also the professors were very knowledgeable and very experienced in their fields, this made me learn a lot during the lectures."

Hasini, Y10 Insights participant 2023

Get help making decisions

"The overall experience is everything that any aspiring scientist or engineer would dream of and would help them solidify the choice they'll never regret."

Romeo, Y10 Insights participant 2023

Find out more about university

"[T]he mentors were really helpful. They really helped me understand what coming to university is like."

Elizabeth, Y10 Insights participant 2023

Applicant information

To apply for the Y10 Insights Summer School, you must:

  • be in Year 10 at the time of application
  • be studying at a non-fee paying school in the UK
  • be able to take part in the entirety of the event, including staying on campus

This outreach programme is funded by Imperial College London and aims to support students from backgrounds underrepresented at university and Imperial. We can only consider applications from students currently attending non-fee paying schools in the UK who meet at least one of the eligibility criteria. The more of these criteria that you meet, the more likely you are to be offered a place. 

We recommend using our eligibility checker tool to see if you are eligible to apply. 

We will prioritise your application if:

  • You have been in care
  • You live independently (estranged), 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 eligible for free school meals and/or pupil premium
  • Your family income is below £50,000 each year
  • Your parents/guardians did not attend university
  • Your school has a high percentage of students receiving free school meals
  • Your school has below average attainment
  • You live in a neighbourhood with low overall progression rates to higher education (POLAR4 Quintile 1 or 2 areas) or high levels of deprivation (IMD Quintile 1 areas)
  • You are a young carer*

* A young carer is someone under 18 years of age who helps look after a close relative who has a condition such as a disability, long-term illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol dependency. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone get dressed and move around.

For this programme, you should:

  • Expect to study science and maths in your post-16 studies
  • Be studying at least eight GCSEs (or equivalent)
  • Be on track to achieve a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 7-9, including maths and sciences
  • Be on track to achieve a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE English Language 

It's up to you to decide if you want to apply for the science or engineering stream of the summer school. Each stream will have a separate academic timetable.

For the scientists among you, get ready for academic sessions that will delve deeper into the realms of the subjects you know, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and maths, looking at them in new, exciting ways. You will be taking part in hands on practicals and workshops in real undergraduate labs with some of Imperial’s finest academics and students. 

For the budding engineers, you’ll be amazed at how many different disciplines of engineering we can fit into the programme. You’ll have the opportunity to experience various fields of engineering, participate in hands on activities, be introduced to core concepts in engineering and witness first hand exciting technology that is being developed in our research labs. 

Applications for summer 2024 closed on 6 March. Late applications cannot be considered. We will release decisions on 3 May.

Applications are made through Aspire, our online application system. A link to Aspire will be added to this webpage once applications are open.

Setting up your account
You'll need to create an account with Aspire before you can complete your application.

  • If you have applied to an Imperial Outreach programme in the past, you can use your existing account. There is a forgotten password feature on the Aspire login page.
  • If this is your first application to one of our programmes, we recommend you use a personal email address rather than a school email address when creating your account. Security settings in some school email servers will prevent you from receiving emails from Aspire.

Completing your application
Once you are logged in you will need to start a new application. As part of the application form you will need to tell us about your school, the subjects you are currently studying and the course(s) you plan to study post-16. Although the form will force you to include English, Maths and Science for Key Stage 4 (GCSE or equivalent) and ask you if you are planning on studying specific STEM subjects post-16, you do need to tell us about all the subjects you are studying at school. Please use the 'Other subjects' section to add this information.

Please make sure you select the right programme when using the drop-down options. Some of our programmes have similar names, so double-checking is important.

You will be asked questions relating to the eligibility criteria listed above. Where possible, please try to have this information to hand before you apply. You will also be asked to write a short personal statement. This gives you the chance to tell us more about why you are applying for this programme and what you hope to get out of the experience.

As part of the application process, we will seek references from a parent/guardian and a teacher at your current school. Please speak to the individuals you would like to provide these references in advance, so you can check you have the correct email address and contact numbers for them and that they are happy to support your application.

Once you have successfully submitted your application, we will email your parent/guardian and teacher referees. They will be sent a personalised link to Aspire, where they will provide information to support your application.

The reference forms ask similar questions about the eligibility criteria and include the opportunity to provide a supporting statement. These statements can be used to let us know about other challenges you may have faced and/or what you might get out of participating in the programme. Teachers will also be asked to verify the subject/grade information you provided in your application.

We will release decisions via email on 3 May 2024. If you are offered a place on the programme, or on the waitlist, you will have a limited amount of time to accept this offer and send back your conditional documents. Successful applicants will receive details on the next steps.

For information about the application process, please see our application FAQs.

Y10 Insights into Science and Engineering promo

Students in Year 10 science summer school

"To anyone who would consider applying, it is definitely something you should take part in. You learn so much more than what you’d learn in school. You receive so much insight into how things could go for you in the future, and people are there to answer all the questions you have, from accommodation to degree options. You also get to meet new people, share your interests and make new friends."

— Abigail, year 10 student, Insights into Science and Engineering 2020

Contact us

For more information, please see our Outreach Programme FAQs.

If your query is not answered in the FAQs, please email us via or phone +44 (0) 20 7594 3575.

Want to stay up to date with Imperial outreach events? Click on the links below to follow us on our social media sites and follow the hashtag, #icoutreach