Most universities have a summer school where they offer intensive short courses from between one and four weeks. They often offer accommodation, allowing students a taste of university life. These courses are often introductory.

Who are they aimed at?

  • international students who want to see what life is like in the UK
  • those who are curious and want to learn about something new, but also want the university environment and the ability to be with other people
  • those who are not sure whether they want to go to university, and can use the summer school as a taster to see whether they like the culture and learning environment - some universities offer specific taster sessions for 16-18-year-olds giving insights into university courses, advice on UCAS applications, help with A-level revision, and post summer school support
  • summer courses are often available specifically for 16-18-year-olds who are looking at studying at art school and want to undertake an art that is unavailable to them at school to get a feel for whether they enjoy it, for example Fashion Design, or for those looking at creating and developing a portfolio to submit alongside their UCAS form

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements depend on the university, some don’t specify, whereas others specify an undergraduate degree and or a certain qualification. Additionally, classes are often limited by numbers.

Methods of Assessment

Some summer courses have assessment, allowing students to gain credit, and others do not. If they are for credit then students will be assessed through examinations and lectures.

Students are continually assessed by academic staff and this may be through class tests, group critical analysis, seminar contribution, academic fieldwork, laboratory tests, presentations or assignment. There is often preparatory reading and work to do outside classes. All modules are accredited at 20 UK undergraduate credits and receive an academic transcript.

How to apply?

In most situations you can apply through the individual university website.


This depends on the course length, but expect anything up to £1,000. You might also have to pay for materials, and if you are attending a university away from home you will have to factor in accommodation costs.

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