What is UNIQ?

Students in a workshop

Students walking in Oxford

What is UNIQ?

UNIQ is the University of Oxford’s access programme for UK state school students. We prioritise places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. Every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with help from UNIQ.

The UNIQ residential summer school started in 2010 and we continually make changes to improve the support we provide to UNIQ students. Owing to the pandemic, UNIQ was delivered entirely online for 2 years before the residential component returned in 2022. Since then, UNIQ has been a hybrid programme, offering students both an academic residential in Oxford and a sustained online admissions support programme.

Here are the top things you need to know about UNIQ:

  • UNIQ offers both an in-person residential in Oxford and an online support programme.
  • UNIQ starts online in April, with academic courses in the summer, followed by further online admissions support until December.
  • UNIQ is a free programme and applications close in January.
  • Applying to UNIQ via our website is very simple and takes about 15 minutes.
  • UNIQ gives students the opportunity to find out if Oxford is right for them.
  • Many UNIQ students get the opportunity to stay in an Oxford college and explore Oxford for themselves.
  • UNIQ helps students prepare for University and explore subjects that interest them.
  • UNIQ students get to know our Oxford undergraduates and work with our academics in face to face lectures, labs and tutorials.
  • UNIQ enables students with similar interests in local regions and across the UK to connect with each other through social and academic activities.
  • There are over 1000 places on the UNIQ academic summer residential.
  • Information about the admissions process is available throughout the programme, and, for those who decide to apply to Oxford, there is more intensive support available in the autumn to help with preparation for our admissions tests and interviews.
  • UNIQ is open to students attending UK state schools and selection considers students’ school grades and their socio-economic and educational background.
  • UNIQ students who apply to Oxford have a higher rate of success than other students.

For more on how we select for UNIQ, see our section on UNIQ selection criteria.