The Homerton College Design Programme

Applications for The Homerton College Essay Programme are currently closed. Applications will reopen in Spring 2023.

The programme is aimed at students in Year 12 (or equivalent) during the 2022-2023 academic year and is intended to equip participants with key skills that are considered highly desirable by university admissions tutors such as communication, problem-solving and research design. The programme is for students with an interest in the fields of engineering and design. We welcome applications from interested students who are keen to engage with the theme of this year's programme. Our new theme is yet to be confirmed, but last year's programme was "Building a Sustainable World". 

By signing up to the programme, you will have access to a selection of subject-specific and skills-based webinar workshops from May to July. These workshops will provide you with the support you need to design a sustainable solution to an environmental problem of your choice. Designs may consider any discipline but we expect that most designs will focus on conservation, energy, recycling, economics or education.

We would encourage all participants in the programme to submit an abstract and video presentation to summarise their design solution in July. Those who have participated in the programme and submitted a design solution of sufficient quality will be invited to attend a celebration event at Homerton, with those who are awarded 'Highly Commended' also being invited to an interactive and immersive residential which will delve deeper into the theme of the programme. Prizes and awards will be given to the most impressive entries. All accommodation and food costs will be covered for Student Conference attendees with travel bursaries also available.

To apply for this programme you must be:

  • Thinking of applying to Cambridge (or another competitive university)
  • Be able to achieve the University of Cambridge entrance requirements
  • Be willing to work in a team of two, three or four. If you chose to apply individually then we will allocate you to a team
  • Be interested in designing a solution to a real-world environmental problem based on a 10m2 area of Homerton College grounds, with a hypothetical budget of £20,000

Students who meet any of the below criteria will be prioritised in selection for the programme and may be eligible for extra support and guidance:

  • No parental history of higher education
  • Current state school student
  • Currently or previously living under local authority care
  • Eligible for Free School Meals (currently, or in the previous six years)
  • IMD deciles 1-3
  • Low school/college progression rates to higher education
  • Disability/extenuating circumstances which have affected study
  • Ethnicity: students who identify as from a racially marginalised group
  • Young carers
  • POLAR 4 classification 1 or 2

If you have any questions about the programme please email us:

Students - keep an eye on this page, or follow our Admissions and Outreach Twitter account to be notified of updates to the Design Programme.

Teachers and HE Advisors – subscribe to our teacher newsletter to be notified of updates to the Design Programme, as well as other Access and Outreach activities being run by Homerton College.

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