Cambridge & Oxford Summer School Essay Competition
Are you a highly ambitious student interested in attending the Immerse Summer School in Oxford or Cambridge?
We offer a variety of summer programmes, from Architecture to Physics, and if you’re looking to showcase your academic skills then this is the essay competition for you! The Immerse Education Essay Competition offers applicants the opportunity to win a 100% scholarship to participate on an Immerse summer programme.
Details of the competition, the guidelines, the prizes and important competition dates for your diary are outlined below.
What is the Immerse Education Essay Competition?
The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a pre-set question relating to their chosen subject.
Who can apply?
Students of all nationalities who will be aged 13-18 during the summer of 2022.
What should I write about?
Our essay questions are pre-defined according to your age group and preferred subject. You are encouraged to tailor your essay response to reflect your interest in your chosen subject.
A full list of questions can be found here.
Competition opens: 31st March 2021
Competition closes: 1st September 2021
Entrants informed of outcome: 1st October 2021
Summer Programme dates: July – August 2022
Interested in entering the next Immerse Education Essay Competition? Enter your email below to receive further guidance on what our judges will be looking for.
Please note this is not the entry form – to access the entry form, please use one of the “Entry Form” buttons.
What are the prizes?
First place winners will be awarded a 100% scholarship to study their chosen subject with Immerse.
There will be 10 first place winners across the Immerse Education Competitions.
Runners up will be awarded partial scholarships of up to 70% to study their chosen subject with Immerse.
The number of runners up will be determined by the number of entries received, and the quality of the work submitted. In 2019 7% of entrants were awarded a scholarship.
Entrants will be informed of the outcome of their entry on or before 1st October 2021.
You should select the essay topic that matches the subject you wish to study with Immerse.
The participation fee includes:
– 13 nights accommodation in a central college of the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford
– Breakfast and dinner in College Hall
– Accommodation in an individual bedroom
– 40 hours of academic sessions from Oxford University and Cambridge University tutors
– Carefully designed study and lecture materials
– Mentor programme and access to support material
– All excursions- including formal dinner at Cambridge colleges, punting, croquet
– Comprehensive insurance
– 2 coach excursions including a trip to Oxford
– Graduation Ceremony and Certificate
– Tutor written assessment
Travel to and from the programme is not included in the participation fee.
To take part in the Immerse Education Essay Competition submit your entry at the form to the left.
To assist, we have produced a number of guidance documents which you should review throughout the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I enter the Immerse Education Essay Competition?Who is our competition open to? Our Essay Competition is open for students interested in all subjects, from Architecture to Medicine. Are you...? Are you a budding architect looking for the best architecture summer school? Perhaps you're looking to hone your programming skills on our computer science summer program? Maybe you're a motivated economist looking to enhance your knowledge on our economics summer school in Cambridge? Or perhaps, spending 2 weeks living in colleges of Cambridge University, meeting international friends, and learning from expert tutors, sounds like an inspirational experience? With 20 subjects to choose from, take your chance to win a 100% academic scholarship to our Cambridge Summer School.
Do I have to pay or enrol in the programmes in order to enter the competition?No, there is no entry fee and you do not need to have already enrolled in our programmes to take part in the essay competition.
When is the deadline for entries?All entries must be received by 23:59 (BST) on 1st September 2021. We are unable to accept late entries. Entrants will be informed of the outcome of their entry on or before 1st October 2021.
Can I submit more than one entry?You can enter one entry only. If you submit entries for several subjects, the first entry received will be the only entry assessed.
What are the submission requirements?Your entry must consist of a single PDF document, double-spaced and written in Times New Roman, font size 11. Your file must be anonymous Further information about our submission requirements can be found here.
Where can I find the list of essay questions by subject and age group?Please find a full list of the questions here.
Can I choose any subject in my age group?Yes, however you should select the essay topic that matches the subject you wish to study with Immerse.
I'm currently 15, which age group should I enter for?To attend the summer programmes for 16-18 year olds, you must be 16 at the time of the programmes in 2021.
Are references necessary?References and/or a bibliography are not necessary but they are strongly recommended. Please use the Oxford referencing system. Any references, bibliography and title do not count towards to the word count. You can find further referencing guidance here.
How many words should my essay be?The maximum word limit is 500 words with a 10% threshold (i.e. the absolute maximum is 550). There is no minimum word count but entrants are encouraged to aim for 500 words. Titles, captions, references, bibliography and appendices do not count towards the word count where used appropriately.
Can I include images, diagrams and tables?You are welcome to include images, diagrams, tables and other visual elements in your essay as long as they are relevant to the content of your essay. Captions or labels are encouraged and do not count towards the word count.
English is not my first language, will this disadvantage me?No, if English is not your first language, our judges will take this into consideration when assessing your essay.
Have you received my submission?You will receive an email confirming that your entry has been received shortly after completing our online entry form. Please allow 24 hours for this to arrive and ensure your have checked your spam folder.
What are the marking criteria?The marking criteria vary by subject and age group. Various elements of the essay are assessed and the following indicates the relative weighting applied to most essays: Content - 40% Research - 25% Structure - 20% Grammar - 15%
Do you have any advice about the Essay Competition?Our main advice would be to think about the question. Take some time to consider what the question is actually asking and plan your response. Ensure that you remain focused on the question throughout your answer and try not to stray into tangential topics. Our second piece of advice would be to proofread your work before submission. Further advice can be found here.
Do you have any requirements for font, style or formatting?Yes. Please see our submission requirements here.
Should I put my name on my essay?No, please do not include your name or any other personal details on your essay. The essays will be marked blind to protect your personal details.
Interested in entering the next Immerse Education Essay Competition? Enter your email below to receive further guidance on what our judges will be looking for. This is not the entry form – to access the entry form, scroll down to the ‘Open Entry Form’ button.
Read about the experience of past winners
Scholarship winner, 2019“When I won a scholarship for Immerse Education’s Summer Programme in Cambridge I was promised to meet people from around the globe, have an insight into what university life was like and what to expect in my future years studying the course I chose, Engineering. Yet, when I arrived, I experienced so much more. I made lifelong friends that I still frequently keep in touch with, my mind was broadened to new topics and concepts in my course material and interactions with a diverse group of passionate individuals, I discovered the myriad of activities offered by Cambridge and it gave me a chance to expand my academic perspectives.
I spent time with both the people in my engineering course where we had common interests in future careers as well as those who were placed in my mentor group, which was beneficial as I got to socialise with people who were enthusiastic about different subjects to me, such as law, international relations, enterprise and particularly medicine which I wouldn’t be able to do in Australia. Entering the essay competition was extremely straightforward and worth the effort.
I found writing the essay was not only the gateway to a once in a lifetime opportunity but a way for me to express my concerns and interests in the world around us. Immerse Education’s Summer Programme is a central meeting point for inspired, young, international students to meet, and the programme can’t be substituted easily, hence I travelled halfway across the globe to get there! I believe entering the competition has been the best decision in my life so far and can’t recommend it enough.”
– Winner, 13-15 year old category, 2019
Parent of a scholarship winner“Emily entered the Immerse Essay Competition this year and was absolutely delighted to discover that her essay was placed in the top three of the UK entries received.
She thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing her first academically focussed essay, and the reward of being able to attend the Immerse Biology course at Cambridge was a fabulous experience she will never forget. She found the academic and cultural balance perfect, and is in regular contact with the friends she made, both fellow students and also Cambridge PhD students she met at Immerse. Writing her essay for the competition gave her valuable experience of writing at this level and without doubt, has helped with her on-going studies.
Thank you Immerse!”
– Parent of scholarship winner, 16-18 category, 2019