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Oxbridge and Russell Groups


In order to make a competitive application to a Russell Group University, year 11 students need to achieve 5 A* at GCSE and these should include English and Mathematics.  The remaining A*s should come from the following subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Music or PRE. At the end of year 11, students are supported with applying for places at the summer schools held at Russell Group Universities through July and August.

Students need to research their A Level choices very carefully.  It may be surprising to learn that the correct A Level to choose for a particular career path is not always obvious. For example most Russell Group Universities do not require A Level Law to study Law, likewise Economics.  We advise our academically able students to consider the most academically rigorous A Level choices such as Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, History, Geography, Music and PRE.  We also make it clear to students that it is advisable to research the course they are interested in and see what the entry requirements are, prior to opting for their A Level courses. All Russell Group universities have excellent websites and admissions tutors that are able to help students with their enquiries.

Sixth Form

It is important in year 12 that you start to build up experiences that can enhance your personal statement when you are beginning the process of applying for university.  Attending clubs and trips offered by teachers at Bourne Academy can enhance a student’s personal statement.

In Year 12 students are encouraged to apply for Oxbridge summer schools as well as Sutton Trust summer schools.  Cambridge University student union invites a small number of students to apply for a ‘students shadowing opportunity’.  Cambridge University also takes a small number of our students on a residential open day event in the summer.

It is advisable to start researching your university choices and attend open days early on in year 12 so that you are fully prepared in year 13.

It is important for veterinary, medicine and Oxbridge candidates to be fully prepared to complete their personal statement and apply to university by the start of the Autumn Term of year 13 as closing date for UCAS applications is 15th October.



A significant amount of support is given to students to assist with:
Personal Statements
Interview techniques – including Mock Interviews

Russell Group Universities

In 1994 an association of twenty long-established universities was formed.

These were drawn together because of the extensive research work in which they were engaged. The meeting took place in Russell Square, London, and the association is now known as The Russell Group.

These Universities have a finance stream and have obtained research contracts.  It also creates a context in which successful post-graduate programmes can be delivered. The finest academics are attracted to these institutions, and these are the people who oversee the research and lecture to students.

The following universities are members of the Russell Group: University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Durham University, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, Imperial College London, King’s College London, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, Queen Mary, University of London, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University College London, University of Warwick and the University of York.

This list is subject to change for the very latest information go to:

Ambitious Futures – Guide to getting a Top Uni place

University Applications – UEA – How to get the course you want

Useful websites:

Emmanuel College, Cambridge – mock admission interviews –

Sutton Trust & Headstart run summer schools:

Small Piece Engineering:

Informed Choices – Post-16 Education Decisions – What you decide to study post-16 can have a major impact on what you can study at degree level. Whether or not you have an idea of the subject you want to study at university, having the right information now will give you more options when the time comes to make your mind up.

This guide aims to help you make an informed decision when choosing your course for post-16 education.