Application Procedures

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 the NUSI (this information will not be used to assess your application).

If you are a student in medical, biological, mathematical or physical sciences, you may be interested in UNIQ+, a summer school that gives undergraduates in these subjects the opportunity to experience what postgraduate study is like at the University of Oxford.

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 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. The reference should be submitted by Monday 15 April 2019 at 11:59pm. 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 the NUSI, including the website address.

All applications are due by 11:59pm on Monday 15 April 2019. Accepted participants will be contacted via email by the end of April.

If you are not accepted into the programme, you may be placed on a waiting list. Your waiting list status will be indicated in the email sent to you.

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.

Through the 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.


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 course as well as accommodation and meals at Nuffield College are offered free of charge. Participants also receive a bursary of £2,500 for participation in the programme, 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.

Some examples of possible internship projects include:

  • Assessing the extent of discrimination in employment against individuals with particular protected characteristics, using an experimental research design.
  • Using "big data" to measure global gender gaps in internet and mobile access and its association with gender inequality inequality in education
  • Working on a briefing note on social trends and progress in Britain for the Nuffield Centre for Social Investigation. Themes may include housing affordability, educational attainment, crime rates, and employment.

Social Functions

We encourage participants to take advantage of their time in Oxford and see all that the city and university have to offer. A variety of social functions will be organised by a committee of Nuffield’s graduate students, but there will be free time for participants as well.

Computer and Internet Access

Free Wi-Fi access will be available to you at Nuffield College for the duration of the Scholars Institute. 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.

All participants will have access to the computers in the labs and will be able to log on and use them. The software used in the courses will also be available on the computers. However, participants who prefer to do so can also use their own laptop in their lab sessions.