Applications for the Robinson Access Programme are now closed. Decisions will be sent out via email by Wednesday 5 January.


What is the Robinson Access Programme?

The Robinson Access Programme (RAP) is an online scheme for Year 11 / S4 / Year 12 (Northern Ireland) and Year 12 / S5 / Year 13 (Northern Ireland) students, designed to help you think about university as an option for your future. The programme will consist of online sessions held every three weeks afterschool. Year 11 sessions will introduce you to what university is, how it works, and what it's like to be a student, alongside content that will help you develop your study skills.

The Year 12 strand will focus on academically-selective universities: what it's like to study at them, preparing to apply for these universities, and support in developing study skills and subject interests. For this reason, we particularly encourage applications from Year 12 (or equivalent) students if you are on track to achieve highly in your A Level / Higher / IB qualfications. However, you are still welcome to apply even if you are unsure as to which universities you want to go to or whether you will go at all.

Taking part in the scheme will give you access to Zoom webinars and workshops; email newsletters with pre-recorded video content; a Moodle forum to share your ideas with other RAP participants; and opportunities to further your knowledge and skills through independent research or self-reflection challenges.

Please note that whilst RAP will provide you with resources to explore subjects that you are interested in, it will not include subject-specific sessions. If this is something you are interested in, we suggest applying for the Lucy Cavendish Academic Enrichment Programme (Year 12 students only). You will not be able to participate in both programmes.

Who is it for?

RAP is open to current Year 11 and Year 12 students studying at state schools in the UK. It is intended to encourage and support you in thinking about applying to selective universities in the UK, so we would particularly like to hear from you if you are part of the top-performing cohort in your school.

However, the programme is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about university. You don't need to be sure that you'll go, or know which universities you want to go to: the information and skills that you develop as part of RAP will help you wherever you decide to go after you leave school.

If the programme is oversubscribed, we will prioritise 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.
  • Are currently attending a school with low progression rates to higher-tariff universities.
  • Are the first in their immediate family to attend university.
  • 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, or Traveller).
  • Live or attend a school in our link areas of Swindon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire or the London Borough of Wandsworth.
  • For the Year 12 strand: applicants who are on-track to achieve grades in subjects that would allow them to attend the University of Cambridge.

What are the key dates?

Applications for RAP are currently open and will close at 23.59pm on Friday 17 December. Parental or guardian permission will be required by Wednesday 29 December, and we aim to confirm places by the 5th January.

The scheme will begin in late January, with sessions every three weeks.

How do I apply?

Sign-ups for RAP are now closed.