Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Nuffield Undergraduate Scholars Institute will not run in summer 2021. We expect that the programme will return in 2022.


Absolutely. In fact, we especially welcome applications from outside of Oxford.

We are committed to ensuring that the selected applicants are able to attend, regardless of medical, accessibility or disability requirements. We make every effort to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made, and are used to planning for students with specific medical, dietary and/or accessibility requirements. We encourage you to fully disclose any access requirements so that we are able to do all we can to support you at NUSI (this information will not be used to assess your application).

NUSI is designed as a six-week programme and, unfortunately, given the small number of places available, we are unable to take participants who cannot attend for the full duration.

There are no timetabled events on weekends during the programme, and participants are welcome to either remain in Oxford or to return home at weekends.

We expect that participants will make every effort to attend the full programme, but will take into account individual circumstances if participants need to be away for the occasional weekday.

You may be interested in UNIQ+, a summer school that gives undergraduates across a wide range of subjects the opportunity to experience what postgraduate study is like at the University of Oxford.

Application Procedures

You can contact us at academic.admin@nuffield.ox.ac.uk to request a hard-copy application form.

The Interfolio system asks applicants to give details of their highest degree earned. Please disregard this question; the NUSI is designed for current undergraduate students and we do not expect you to have completed a degree. You can tick the box that says "I prefer not to disclose my educational information."

As the NUSI aims to expand access to advanced education to students whose socioeconomic background or other life circumstances may have made it more difficult for them to reach their full educational potential, or to consider graduate study, we ask for information about your financial and socioeconomic circumstances in order to ensure that you are eligible, and for assessment purposes.

At the end of the NUSI application form there is the opportunity for you to provide any further information not already covered that you wish us to know about your individual circumstances.

At least one of your referees should be your current university advisor, tutor or professor. Your second referee could also be a university advisor/tutor/professor or could be a professional contact who could provide a reference for you (for example a school teacher or employer/line manager).

They will receive an automated request from our Interfolio system to submit the confidential letter of reference after you have entered their names and email addresses. We suggest that you let your referees know in advance that a reference will be requested and that it should describe your academic motivations, qualifications, and potential for further study. Please provide your referees with the details of NUSI, including the website address.

Once we have allocated places on the course, we ask individuals who have been allocated a place to confirm that they will indeed be participating. We will ask you to confirm your attendance so that, if you can no longer come, we are able to offer your place to someone on the waiting list. If we do not receive your confirmation we will try and fill your place with someone else who would like to attend. Therefore, in order to secure your place, please reply confirming your attendance within a week of receiving your confirmation of offer.


ACORN is a way of assessing levels of socio-economic wealth in different areas of the UK. If your home address in the last year of your secondary education is in ACORN category 4 or 5, we will take this as evidence of your eligibility for the NUSI. (There are other ways of demonstrating your eligibility, such as POLAR or household income. Find out more on our Eligibility and Selection Criteria page.)

You can check which ACORN category your home postcode comes under on the ACORN website https://acorn.caci.co.uk/. You will need to register with ACORN, which is free. Once you have registered you can search for your home postcode:

Your postcode search will return a summary page with the ACORN Category in the top left corner:

POLAR (Participation of Local Areas) is a way of assessing the levels of participation in higher education in different areas of the UK. If your home address in the last year of your secondary education is in POLAR4 quintile 1 or 2, we will take this as evidence of your eligibility for the NUSI. (There are other ways of demonstrating your eligibility, such as ACORN or household income. Find out more on our Eligibility and Selection Criteria page.)

You can check which POLAR4 quintile your home postcode comes under on the POLAR website https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/postcode-search/. You do not need to register with POLAR.

Your postcode search will return a summary page with the POLAR quintiles (and other measures). Please check against the POLAR4 quintile which is the second column:


Yes, the NUSI programme as well as accommodation and meals at Nuffield College are offered free of charge. Participants also receive a bursary of £2,500, to enable them to fully concentrate on the six-week programme. We also provide reimbursement of reasonable standard-class travel expenses to/from Oxford up to £300, for which original receipts are required.

Course Content

No, we very much welcome applicants with no prior training in mathematics or statistics. Because participants will receive training in research design and quantitative methods, an interest in research and quantitative methods is preferred.

Projects will be confirmed and assigned to participants nearer the NUSI start date. They are designed by the internship supervisors, all of whom will be senior academics at Nuffield College and the University of Oxford. Most Nuffield College academics work broadly in the subject areas of Economics, Politics or Sociology.

You can find information about last year’s NUSI internships on the NUSI 2019 page.

Through NUSI, we hope that you’ll be informed about studying at the University of Oxford at postgraduate level, and improve your CV and academic skills. Students who take part and decide to apply to the University of Oxford do not receive any preferential treatment at the application stage.

Social Functions

We encourage participants to take advantage of their time in Oxford and see all that the city and university have to offer. There will be organised social events for the UNIQ+ and NUSI cohorts, and a variety of social functions will also be organised by a committee of Nuffield’s graduate students. There will of course also be free time for participants.

Computer and Internet Access

Free Wi-Fi access will be available to you at Nuffield College for the duration of NUSI. If you have internet access via Eduroam, this is widely available across Oxford; you will also be provided with a visitor Wi-Fi access code when you arrive at Nuffield.

Participants who have a laptop should bring it with them to NUSI. We are also able to lend laptops to any participants who require them.