School students during an outreach event

Our mission is to deliver excellent outreach activities to school and college students. We believe in raising the aspirations of all students, regardless of background, to fulfil your potential, and apply to the right university for you, for the subject that most inspires you.


College opportunities

Opportunities on offer across Imperial College range from open days for prospective students, inspirational science-based hands-on activities, summer schools, mentoring programmes in schools, exciting lectures and schools visits to help raise awareness of opportunities in Higher Education.

Chemistry outreach

Our outreach activities are all about supporting schools, supporting teachers and providing resources that will help inspire young people to study science and become leaders. Find out more about activities involving the Department of Chemistry below.

Our audiences

For school students

We run a number of events throughout the year for school students. Please see below for further information about these events and how to book. 

1) Y10 and Y12 Taster Days

We are pleased to announce these will be returning for Summer 2024

Successful applicants will receive email confirmation.

Year 10 Taster Day: Are you thinking about taking Chemistry in Year 12? What options does studying A-Level Chemistry give you at university? What is studying Chemistry at university like?

This event is open to any Year 10 student** who is considering studying Chemistry at A-Level (or IB, Pre-U) and beyond, and looking to gain experience of what studying Chemistry at university might be like. There will be a mixture of practical lab work in our teaching labs, a talk from our UG Admissions Tutor about where studying A-Level Chemistry might lead, and applying to university (and our admissions process at Imperial College), a taster lecture from one of our academic staff, and time to chat to our undergraduate student mentors, all based on our South Kensington campus.

We welcome bookings from teachers via a brief online survey. Applications are on a first-come basis, and we will be running a waiting/reserve list too. 

** This event is available only to Y10 students who are not participating in our Y10 Insights into Science & Engineering Summer School programme. (Tuesday 9th & Wednesday 10th July)

Year 12 Taster Day: What is it like studying Chemistry at university? Where can Chemistry take me in the future?

This event is open to any Year 12 student** who is currently studying Chemistry and looking for valuable insight into what studying Chemistry at university might be like. There will be a mixture of practical lab work in our teaching labs, a talk from our UG Admissions Tutor about applying to university (and our admissions process at Imperial College), a taster lecture from one of our academic staff, department tour, time to chat with our undergraduate student mentors, finishing with an optional tour of the South Kensington campus.

Students can book individually, or teachers on behalf of their class (max. 15 students), using a brief online survey. Students would need to supply contact details for their teacher, so we will be able to confirm permissions for time out of school/college. You will be offered a choice of one of two dates, applications are on a first-come basis, and we will be running a waiting/reserve list too. 

**This event is available only to Y12 students who are not participating in our Y12 Sutton Trust Summer School. (Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th September)

2) Summer Schools: Y12 Sutton Trust and Y10 Insights into Science & Engineering

 We host the Chemistry streams of the following College-funded Summer Schools:

Y10 Insights into Science and Engineering Summer School - Wednesday 31st July to Saturday 3rd August 2024 (booking closed
Y12 Sutton Trust Summer School (Science Stream) - Monday 22nd July to Friday 26th July 2024 (booking closed)

These programmes prioritise support for state school students from backgrounds under-represented at university and at Imperial College. See the webpages for more information on eligibility criteria.

3) Newlands Lecture

18th April 2024

The Newlands Lectures Series offers new ideas and perspectives from the world of STEM, giving secondary school students from all backgrounds the chance to explore a range of subjects.

This year, the Newlands Lecture is entitled “Molecular Inorganic Chemistry – new approaches towards medical imaging agents and 2D semiconductors” by Professor Gill Reid.

This talk will discuss how as chemists we can create new compounds that have specific features built in to allow them to be exploited for very diverse applications. This will be exemplified through two distinct targets.

Firstly, Gill will focus on some of the key design features of metal-containing compounds that are necessary for effective binding of the fluorine-18 radioisotope for the development of next generation medical imaging agents.

Gill will then discuss briefly the design of molecular precursor compounds that allow the controlled growth of 2-dimensional layered semiconductors towards next generation electronics applications.


The 2021 Newlands Lecture was given by Professor Tom Welton OBE on 'Chemistry and Sustainability: healthy planet, healthy future'.

Coinciding with Earth Day (22nd April 2021), Professor Welton's talk focused on sustainability and showed how the application of chemistry in helping protect the planet, tackle climate change and plastic pollution.

Read more about Prof. Welton's thoughts on chemistry's role in providing a sustainable future in this article for Chemistry World. You can also hear more sustainability perspectives from Prof. Welton in the Government Chemist Christmas webinar 2020, and Imperial's Chemistry Christmas Lecture in 2010.

4) Work Experience Opportunities

 We have some limited opportunities for work experience for school and college students in the Department of Chemistry, which are available via one of two routes.

Route 1:

Each year, some of our research staff can host work experience students in their research groups in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub on our White City campus.

Students should contact academic staff directly by e-mail to enquire if they are able to host them for a work experience placement. If they are able to do so, the member of academic staff will organise this with you, following a set of departmental and college guidelines regarding risk assessments, supervision, safeguarding, visitor access etc.

You may wish to check our Research Themes webpage, where you can find research staff working in areas of most interest to you. Successfully obtaining a work experience placement is dependent on lab space, resources, and supervision available at the time.

Route 2:

We have 10 summer work experience places each year on a five-day programme of activities across both our South Kensington and White City campuses. This is designed to give you an insight into how a Chemistry department works. It is aimed both at students interested in studying Chemistry at university, but also those interested in science more widely, or management. Places for 2024 have now been allocated. Please check back later for 2025 details.

5) Imperial Scholars Summer Schools: Chemistry 

Starting in August 2022, we host the online/virtual Imperial Chemistry Scholars Summer School for Year 12 students interested in studying Chemistry at university. Now a joint programme, this grew from the successful Imperial Life Sciences Scholars programme, developed by Dr Catherine Mansfield, in conjunction with The Brilliant Club.

Supported by undergraduate mentors, postgraduate tutors and academic staff, students have a 5-day programme of workshops and talks/seminars, study tutorials, and sessions with undergraduate mentors.

Dates: TBD

Students who complete the Chemistry Scholars programme and enrol on an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Imperial College, will receive a bursary for a summer research internship (UROP) at the end of their second (or first) year.


6) RSC Women in Chemistry: Making the Difference 

We took part in this multi-university initiative to provide online projects and resources for girls aged 10-14 to do at school, in science clubs or at home.

Our project (Proteam Up!) took place during June 2021, and the online resources are still available to use for free. You can find all the information you need on all the projects on the Women in Chemistry website.


For teachers and careers advisors

Outreach activities for both teachers and students are available during the year, both in-house and at schools.

The Imperial College Outreach Department coordinate most of these visits, while in-house activities are run in conjunction with the Imperial College and our departmental Outreach team.

Please do get in touch to discuss what could be offered to support your students and staff. We are looking to explore opportunities for wider support across London and beyond. This may include talks about studying chemistry at university, mentoring A-Level students, teaching a class, or research talks from academics in the Department. Do contact us to discuss ideas, queries or suggestions you may have.

You can also sign up for the College's Outreach newsletter to get events currently open for booking delivered straight into your inbox! Do check out our activities in the “For school students” section above too.

Additional information

The RSC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) programme was discontinued by the RSC in 2020. We would like to thank the many schools and thousands of students we supported through SIAS over many years. For information about the scheme and associated resources that are still available, please visit the RSC website.

We no longer participate in the Salters Festival of Chemistry. This event is for Y7/8 students and booking opens via the Salters Institute in Autumn each year. Do check the Salters website for information about host institutions.


Volunteers and demonstrators

We're always keen to recruit volunteers and demonstrators from within the Department to help with our outreach activities.

If you're interested in supporting our outreach activities, or if you have any ideas for new projects, please contact the Chemistry Outreach Team.


Sutton Trust summer school final academic teaching

Outreach activities

Student during Chemical Kitchen event

Outreach activities

Sutton Trust summer school final academic teaching

Outreach activities

Outreach activities

Outreach activities

Teachers Summer School in the Reach Out Lab

Outreach activities