Sidney Sussex College and the Sidney Sussex College Students' Union (SSCSU) are proud to announce a new outreach initiative that pairs Year 12 (or equivalent) students who are aiming to apply to Oxbridge with a current Sidney undergraduate studying in that subject who will provide long-term mentorship and guidance in the run-up to a university application.

All content will be provided digitally from trained and DBS-checked undergraduate students, as well as from Sidney's Admissions and Academic staff.

What does the Scheme Offer?

The mentoring scheme will consist of a series of scheduled 1-2-1 video calls that aim to demystify Cambridge life, develop subject interests, improve key academic skills and provide a personal insight into the application process. Mentors and mentees can also keep in touch via email between sessions.

When will the Scheme Take Place?

The scheme will run from March 2022 to early-December 2022 before Cambridge interviews begin.

Who is the Scheme For?

The scheme is intended to help driven and bright students from low-participation or disadvantaged backgrounds make a strong application to Cambridge and other top universities. For this reason, students must:

  • Currently be in Year 12 (England and Wales), or Year 13 in Northern Ireland or S5 (Scotland)
  • Attend a non-fee paying UK state school

We will also ask for a short personal statement (max 400 words) and will also take into account various factors including:

  • Your Polar Quintile
    • To explain this a bit further, we use the POLAR classification. If you want to check your quintile you can use this online postcode checker tool. When you put your postcode into the tool, check the 'POLAR4 quintile' (This is for your  HOME postcode, not your school postcode)
  • Your GCSE grades
  • Whether you are currently or have previously been eligible for Free School Meals
  • Whether you are from an ethnic group currently under-represented in Higher Education
  • Whether you are currently or have previously been in local authority care
  • Whether your school/college has a low progression to Oxbridge
  • Other extenuating circumstances e.g. disability, young carer, estrangement, refugee status
Programme Structure

The scheme is designed to support current Year 12 students who are aiming to apply to Oxbridge through to the point of their application and the subsequent interview period.

  • Mid-February (TBC): Launch event and introduction to the programme
  • February-March: 1x mentoring session on Cambridge life and picking the right subject
  • May-June: 1x mentoring session on developing subject interest, wider reading and work experience
  • Summer holidays: 2x mentoring sessions to catch-up on progress, picking the right college and entrance exam advice from personal experience
  • October-December: 3x supervision-style sessions that may involve essay writing, discussing a case or working through a problem
How to Apply

Applications are now closed. 

We will be in touch with applicants during mid-February concerning the outcome of your application.

How can I get More Information?

If you have any questions about the scheme please get in touch at