Cambridge Summer School Essay Competition

The Immerse Education Essay Competition

Are you interested in attending the Immerse Cambridge Summer School?

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?

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 2020.

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.

What are the prizes?

Entrants will be informed of the outcome of their entry on or before 20th February 2020.

Overall winners will be awarded a full scholarship, covering 100% of the participation fee to study their chosen subject with Immerse.

Runner up prizes include a £200 voucher to spend on, and scholarships to Immerse.

The participation fee includes:

– 13 nights accommodation in a central college of the University of Cambridge
– 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
– Immerse Education notebook and pen
– Mentor family photograph

Travel to and from the programme is not included in the participation fee.


Why apply to the Immerse Essay Competition?

Who is our competition open to?

Our Essay Competition is open for students interested in all subjects, from Architecture to Veterinary 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.


Read about the experience of a scholarship winner from Immerse 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

Read about the essay competition from a parent’s perspective

“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

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

When is the deadline for entries?

All entries must be received by 23:59 (BST) on Monday 20th January 2020. We are unable to accept late entries.

Entrants will be informed of the outcome of their entry on or before 20th February 2020.

Can I submit more than one entry?

You can enter one entry per subject. For example, you could enter an essay for Medicine, and a separate entry for Biology.

Where can I find the list of essay questions by subject and age group?

Please find a full list of the questions here.

I’m turning 16, which age group should I enter for?

If you will be or turn 16 during the programme, please enter the competition for 16-18 year olds.

Are references necessary?

References and/or a bibliography are not necessary but they are recommended (with the exception of the Creative Writing 13-15 Essay Question). There is no particular referencing style that we recommend, but if you do choose to reference, please be consistent. Any references, bibliography and title do not count towards to the word count.

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.

Do you have a past example of a winning entry for reference?

The Immerse Essay Competition changes each year, however a winning entry from our 2019 competition can be found here.

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?

No, but please do ensure that your essay is written in a font that is clear and easy to read.

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.

Receive guidance and further updates

Interested in entering the 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.

Will we be seeing you at the Cambridge Summer School 2020? Submit your entry to the Essay Competition by 20th January 2020.