Peterhouse Applicant Support Scheme

What is the Peterhouse Applicant Support Scheme?

The Peterhouse Applicant Support Scheme (PASS) is an online programme, designed to support students in making an application to competitive UK universities, including Cambridge and Oxford. The skills and knowledge that you develop throughout the scheme will also help you to apply to other highly-selective universities. The programme will take you through each part of the application process, from choosing a course to preparing for an interview. 

Taking part in the scheme will give you access to:

  • Webinars and workshops to support you through the process, providing information and advice from the Peterhouse Outreach & Admissions team.
  • Email newsletters with application advice and subject-specific resources.
  • Independent research, study or self-reflection challenges which will help you to make each aspect of your application more competitive.
  • The opportunity to engage in academic discussions around your subject of interest.

PASS takes place in two phases. Phase I covers aspects of university applications including course choice, super-curricular exploration, revision strategies and personal statements. Phase II covers aspects more specific to Oxford and Cambridge, including admissions assessments and interview workshops.

Anyone on Phase I will be automatically guaranteed a place on Phase II, but there is no expectation that you need to continue if you feel the programme will no longer be relevant to you. Applications will reopen in the summer for students to join at Phase II if they have chosen to make an application to Oxford or Cambridge, but did not apply for Phase I of the programme.

Who is it for?

PASS is open to students in Y12 (England & Wales) / S5 Highers (Scotland) / Y13 (N Ireland).

In particular, this programme is aimed at students on track to achieve at least 3 As at A-Level, or equivalent. We understand that you may not have predicted grades at this point of the year, so please apply if you think you could reasonably be expected to achieve this!

If you are considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge, this scheme will be of use to you. However, there is no requirement for you to be considering applying to be part of the scheme, especially in Phase I. The content will largely be applicable to anyone applying to a competitive university in the UK, and you can then decide if Phase II would be beneficial to you.

The scheme is open to any state school Y12 student who either lives or attends a school in our Link Areas of Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hillingdon, and linked Cambridgeshire schools.

We also offer places to Y12 (England & Wales) / S5 Highers (Scotland) / Y13 (N Ireland) from outside our Link Areas. If the programme is over-subscribed, we will prioritize applicants who

  • Have at any time been under the care of a Local Authority.
  • Are currently eligible for Free School Meals, or who have been eligible for Free School Meals in the last 6 years.
  • Have home postcodes in areas with low local participation in Higher Education (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).
  • Have home postcodes in areas of high socio-economic deprivation (IMD quintiles 1 and 2).
  • Are from an ethnic background currently under-represented at the University of Cambridge (Black African, Black Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Arab, Roma, Gypsy or Traveller)
  •  Who are not on a programme of similar aims run by a different college at Cambridge

Applying to the programme

For more information, and to apply to PASS, please visit the programme website.




We are excited to announce the launch of ClickCambridge 2022/23! ClickCambridge is an online programme, run collaboratively by a group of Cambridge Colleges, which aims to equip students with the information and skills needed to apply to selective universities. The programme is for UK-domiciled Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab (BPA)/mixed BPA students who are in Year 12.

ClickCambridge 2022/23 will build on the success of last year’s pilot programme:

“The best part of ClickCambridge was the ongoing support that was available. It covered everything that I was worried about, especially supercurriculars and personal statements.”

“I was able to ask Cambridge students questions and they really debunked the myth that Cambridge is only for the elite.”

“Everyone was very nice and helpful, it felt like a mini community.”

This year’s programme contains a range of monthly sessions which will address various aspects of university applications and the student experience. There will also be opportunities to develop key study skills and extend subject-specific knowledge. Throughout the programme, both potential applicants and parents/guardians will have plenty of chances to ask questions. This year’s programme is still being developed, based on the feedback from last year’s students.


We would like to support as many students as possible through the programme. However, if the programme is oversubscribed, we will prioritise students who match one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have lived, or are currently living, in local authority care
  • Are attending a UK state school
  • Are eligible, or have been eligible within the past six years, for free school meals 
  • Are a refugee
  • Have caring responsibilities for a family member
  • Live in neighbourhoods with low overall progression rates to higher education
  • Have no parental history of higher education
  • Have a disability

How do I register for the programme?

Please visit the ClickCambridge website for information on applying.

How will the sessions work?

Sessions will be held over Zoom, through a mix of webinars and interactive events. 

Sessions will take place on weekdays after school and they will be run several times so that as many people as possible can attend. Dates and further information will be made available once your place on the programme is confirmed. 

Students are expected to attend as many sessions as possible throughout the year, and to watch recordings for any sessions they are not able to attend live.


Essay Competitions

The Kelvin Science Essay Competition for 2023 is now open. Please find further information here



Other events

In May 2022 Peterhouse held a series of on-line outreach sessions for Natural Sciences, with one of our Biology Fellows Dr. Justin Gerlach. This was aimed at Year 12/S5/Year 13 students who were interested in studying Natural Sciences. Four taster lectures and discussions gave a flavour of studying sciences beyond what is covered in the school curriculum, introducing students to the sorts of approaches to information and ideas needed for scientific study at university level. Each short lecture was followed by an hour's discussion of the issues raised by the participants. Recordings of the lectures are available on-line at the links below.

A lemur in Madagascar

Lecture 1: Approaching scientific literature

Lecture 2: The scientific method

Lecture 3: The role of collections in the digital world

Lecture 4: How university science approaches pressing issues of our times

Check here for future opportunities.