University of Leicester helps students get a head start

Posted by pt91 at May 16, 2011 11:13 AM |
17-year-olds gain insight into university life and learn real world applications of science
University of Leicester helps students get a head start

Students enjoying practical activities on a Headstart course.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 May 2011

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For the first time, the University of Leicester has joined up with Headstart to run not one, but two educational and exciting four day residential courses this summer.

Headstart, run by the education charity, EDT is a well-established education programme for Year 12/S5 students designed to encourage students to take up courses and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Students applied through Headstart and a total of 60 students from across the UK will take part on the two courses, which both take place at the University of Leicester from Sunday 3rd to Thursday 7th July.

The two courses will provide the students with hands on experience of university life and give them a taster into life as a first year undergraduate.

One course focuses on Interdisciplinary Science and aims to introduce students to the University of Leicester’s Natural Sciences Plus programmes. These go further than other combined science degrees by integrating the various science strands in purpose designed modules with an emphasis on relevant, real world contexts.

The second course, focussing on Physics, aims to introduce students to the range of roles that physics can play in contemporary society from the purest of fundamental research to current cutting edge approaches to technology and to its links with other disciplines.  

To enjoy the full university experience, participants at Leicester will stay in the University’s halls of residence with talks and social activities provided in the evening for entertainment.

Derek Raine, Director, Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at the University of Leicester said: ““We are delighted to be able to offer young scientists the opportunity to find out about some of the frontier science at Leicester and to engage in the research process both in Physics and across the disciplines. Students will experience the way in which science teaching at Leicester is based on learning through doing.” 

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Headstart Director, Estelle Rowe, added: “I think 17 year olds are under a lot of pressure, to do well in their exams and to make important decisions about their future.  They have to choose a degree subject and which universities to apply to with limited information and experience.  Headstart courses give them the chance to try out being at university and they do this just before going back and making their degree choices.  We are delighted that Leicester have joined the group of prestigious universities that run Headstart and have added to the subjects we can offer with Physics and Science.”

After attending a Headstart course in 2010, 94% of students that participated said they expected to go on to study a STEM based subject at University and we hope that the students that attend the course at the University of Leicester will feel the same.“


Notes to editors

Contact following for more details;

1. Kat Bridge, Headstart Coordinator, Headstart, 01707 871 505,

Headstart is a well-established education programme whose aim is to encourage students interested in mathematics or science to consider technology-based careers.  It provides an opportunity for those in Year 12/S5 to spend up to a week at university prior to making their UCAS application.   There are 1600 places available on these courses this year that take place at approximately 40 universities all over the UK. For more info please see

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