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Year 12 National Residential Pathway

Year 12 National Residential Pathway

Year 12 National Residential Pathway

All students in Year 12, based outside of the south west of England (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, and Dorset).

Applications are now open! Apply here. The deadline is Friday 24th May at midday.

You can find further information about the Year 12 National Residential 2024, including the subject strands, dates, location, and what to bring, here. You can also look at the subject strands in more detail below (please scroll down). 

Subject Strands: We aim to place participants on their first choice of residential and subject strand, but due to demand and availability we are not always able to do so. In this case, we will place participants on their second or third choice of residential and subject strand. Please do try to choose a residential and subject strand (see lists below) for your second or your third choice that you would be just as happy to study as part of the Exeter Scholars programme. Also, when choosing first, second, and third choices for subject strands, do not select the same subject strand multiple times - this will not increase your chances of getting your first choice.

Code of Conduct: As part of the application, you will need to read and agree to the Residential Code of Conduct, which can be found below‌. Please ensure that you read and agree to this before submitting your application, as you will be asked to indicate your agreement as part of the application form.

IMPORTANT: The residential event is a compulsory component of this programme pathway, and without attending the residential, a student will not be able to take part in the programme. 

Please find the Code of Conduct and programme eligibility below:

Programme Eligibility:

In order to apply, you must meet the following general eligibility criteria:

  • You do not live in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, or Dorset
  • You are studying at a non-fee-paying school (state school)*
  • You have achieved a minimum of 8 GCSEs at grades 9–4 (A*–C), including Maths and English at grade 4 (C) or above**
  • You are a home registered student or expect to be by the time you apply for higher education***


You must meet at least one of the following ten programme eligibility criteria:

  1. You live in a neighbourhood where a low percentage of young people progress to higher education as defined by your home postcode****
  2. You live in a low-income neighbourhood as defined by home postcode****
  3. You are in receipt of free school meals*****
  4. You are eligible for school bursaries*****
  5. Your parents have not studied at university
  6. You are or have been living in care******
  7. You have caring responsibilities*******
  8. You have a disability
  9. You are an estranged student********
  10. You are a refugee or asylum seeker*********

NB: If you do not fulfil one of these ten eligibility criteria but you have experienced difficult family or individual circumstances that have affected your performance in exams and possibly the likelihood of you going to university, then we invite you to apply, and each case will be considered on an individual basis.

* If you are studying at a fee-paying school on a full scholarship or bursary, you are able to apply on this basis. Please note that we may ask for evidence of your full scholarship or bursary.
** If you are home educated, you are still able to apply but must meet at least one of the ten programme eligibility criteria. If you are studying alternative qualifications, please email the details direct to
*** Your status classification depends on whether you meet certain criteria such as having ‘settled status’ in the UK and meeting a three year ordinary residence requirement. If you are not a Home student for tuition fee purposes but meet the eligibility criteria for our Sanctuary Scholarship (for refugees / asylum seekers / people with limited leave to remain), then we would welcome an application from you.

**** If you are not sure then you can use our postcode eligibility checker to find out if your postcode qualifies. This will also be checked by the University of Exeter once you have submitted your application
***** These statements will be verified with your school or college
****** Anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked-after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short. This care may have been provided in one of many different settings, such as in residential care, foster care, kinship care, or looked after at home with a supervision requirement
******* Anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem, or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
******** We define an estranged student as someone who does not have the support and approval of their family, and who often has no contact with their family at all.
********* Defined as a student who has submitted a claim for asylum within the UK and is awaiting a response, who has Limited Leave to Remain in the UK, who has been awarded Humanitarian Protection or Refugee status in the UK, or who is the dependent family member of someone with one of these immigration statuses.

Exeter Scholars Campus Residentials Code of Conduct

This should be read and understood by the student and parent / carer. Students will NOT be allowed to attend the residential part of the Exeter Scholars programme unless the relevant part of the application form has been ticked to indicate that you understand the rules and regulations.

Expected Behaviour

Participating in a University of Exeter residential will be very different from your experience at school. We want all students to benefit from and enjoy this new experience. In order to do this, you will be expected to show responsible behaviour, and respect the rights of other students and staff.

Rules and Regulations

For health and safety reasons, and for all students to have the opportunity to benefit and enjoy the Exeter Scholars residential, the following rules and regulations will be in operation:

  • Alcohol must not be brought onto the university site or consumed during the programme.
  • The purchase or use of any illegal substances is strictly forbidden.
  • Smoking / vaping is not permitted.
  • Students are expected to attend all timetabled activities (unless there is a valid reason for absence, such as illness).
  • Students are not allowed to leave the university site without permission; in the event of unauthorised absences, the university is not liable for any situations which may occur off-site involving the student. For any authorised trips off-site, students will be accompanied by a member of staff. 
  • Students must not take photos or film other participants on the programme or staff members without their explicit consent.
  • Students are expected to follow any emergency procedure, such as a fire drill, as directed by University staff.
  • Students are not permitted to enter any other participant’s bedroom; there are social spaces such as shared kitchens to socialise in. You must not change from the bedroom that has been allocated to you. If you have a problem with your room, please inform a member of staff.
  • You are responsible for the keys / swipe cards issued to you on arrival. If you lose them, you must report this immediately to a member of staff. You may have to pay for a replacement.
  • Students are expected to be in their rooms at specified times (which will be indicated on the first day).
  • Students must wear their name badge at all times on the lanyards provided. 
  • Neither abusive and anti-social behaviour nor homophobic, sexist, or racist language will be tolerated in any circumstances. 

Serious Incidents of Misbehaviour

In the event of serious incidents of misbehaviour, such as fighting, racial abuse, the use of illegal substances, or leaving the university site without permission, the student(s) concerned will not be allowed to continue on the residential and arrangements will be made for the student(s) to be taken home. In some cases this may involve a cost to the parents / carers of the student.

First Day of the Residential

On the first day of the residential, staff will explain some additional rules and regulations that will apply to activities currently being planned. As such, it is expected that you will adhere to them for your own health and safety, and that of other students and staff. 

If you have any concerns or questions about the code of behaviour then please contact us via

Streatham Campus - Exeter, Devon


Contributing subjects may include:

  • English (Literature not Language)
  • History
  • Classics
  • Communications
  • Film and Television Studies
  • Visual Culture

In this exciting and diverse subject activity strand, you will take part in sessions that give you first-hand experience of what it is like to study Arts and Humanities subjects at university, with opportunities to participate in taster sessions in English, Film and Television Studies, History, Classics, Communications, and/or and Visual Culture. This strand will nurture your appreciation of the arts and humanities and it will both challenge and inspire you to express yourself and find your own voice, as well as consider the past, the present and the future.

This strand will influence you to think creatively and critically, and you will develop skills in communication, analysis, discussion, collaboration, adaptability, empathy, research, and problem-solving. You will broaden your horizons as Arts and Humanities subjects equip you to better understand concepts and theories and to interpret texts or subjects in the past or present, from literature, to film, to television, to art, to theatre and to historical documents. These transferable skills are highly sought after by employers across many industries and fields, and these subjects lead to a wide range of excited and varied career paths.

You may have the opportunity to tour innovative facilities on-campus such as the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, Special Collections, and the Digital Humanities Lab. Finally, you will examine contextual factors such as culture, society, politics, and history, as the Arts and Humanities often express the voices of the times from individuals and communities, helping us to better understand human experience.

Note: As an elective session, you will be given a choice between a Liberal Arts lecture and a Drama practical. You will get your first choice for this elective session.

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand. 

Please note that if you wish to study English at the University of Exeter, you will need to be studying English Literature or English Literature & Language at A Level or IB or equivalent. Also if you are interested in English Language, the University of Exeter’s English programme does not include English Language.


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Sport and Health Sciences (including Exercise Sport and Health Science) 
  • Nutrition 
  • Biosciences (including Biochemistry)
  • Psychology

From investigating the functions of microscopic cells to helping world-class athletes perform for crowds of millions, science plays a key role in our understanding, maintenance, and treatment of the human body and this subject activity strand is ideal for those interested in science and its real-world applications to health. The Biological and Human Sciences subject activity strand combines three of our key disciplines – Biosciences, Sport and Health Science, Psychology and Nutrition – to introduce you to the huge range of study options, research, and career pathways available within the field of science. You will develop key skills and insights into our courses, and have the opportunity to learn from academic staff, researchers, and current undergraduates about their jobs, lives, and ambitions at the University of Exeter. 

Science at university encompasses a varied range of subjects and many interesting perspectives and in this subject strand, you will get the opportunity to study scientific subjects in the broader sense and learn about the real-world applications of science. Explore the science of sport, exercise, and movement, and how this can be applied to improving performance and supporting rehabilitation and injury recovery. Study the benefits of nutrition and biomedical research in improving public health and the treatment of illness. Learn how the study of Biosciences can support crucial climate action and sustainability, paving the way for a brighter future. Explore the mind and behaviour through the fascinating study of Psychology. Through a mixture of taster lectures, practical lab-based sessions, and research-inspired teaching, this fascinating subject strand will give you an insight into studying Biosciences, Sport and Health Science, Psychology and Nutrition at university.

Participants must be studying at least one Science subject at A Level or IB or equivalent. In the event of this subject strand being oversubscribed, priority for places will be given to students studying Biology at A-Level or equivalent, but you can still apply.


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human Resources Management
  • Marketing

The world is rapidly changing: Business permeates all aspects of life and the future of work is dynamic and unpredictable. By studying Business, you will develop lifelong learning skills to succeed in a complex, hyper-connected future. The aim of the Business School subject activity strand is to help you identify the differences in our disciplines. It will cover a wide range of real-world issues that impact upon our everyday lives through sessions in the following subjects: Human Resources Management, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Economics. You will examine a range of real-world issues, think like a business leader of the future, and discover where studying a range of business-related subjects could take you.   

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand.

Note: As an elective session, you will be given a choice between a Liberal Arts lecture and a Drama practical. You will get your first choice for this elective session.


Contributing subjects:

  • Human Geography
  • International Relations
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Middle East Studies
  • Theology and Religion

In today's environment of rapid global, social, technological, and cultural transformations, Politics, International Relations, Human Geography, Philosophy and Theology and Religion are some of the most dynamic programmes of study that are relevant to issues and experiences that we face today in our contemporary world. In this exciting programme, you will examine the past, present, and future and how they interconnect, engage in critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and reflection, and you will explore and debate challenging topics such as party politics, protest, the mind-body-soul relationship, social media and the digital world, mental health, social data, conflict, equality, morality, power, civil rights, and more. Politics focuses on national affairs, domestic policies, and political theories, concepts and ideologies, while International Relations focuses on political issues and foreign affairs affecting the world today. Human Geography provides a foundational understanding of how people interact with their surroundings, shaping and being shaped by their environments. Philosophy is study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, while Theology and Religion is the study of the nature of the divine, religious beliefs, behaviours, and institutions. Subject to availability, this strand may also include a session on Middle East Studies, a field of study that explores the history, politics, economies, societies and anthropology of the region.

The sessions will comprise a mix of interactive sessions run by top researchers. In times of upheaval and change, Politics, International Relations, Human Geography, Philosophy and Theology and Religion, will inspire you to open your mind and ask questions, teaching you to think rigorously, debate and defend your views, in addition to better understanding the world and giving you the opportunity to join the global conversation. If you have an interest in human experience, national, international, and global concerns, ethical topics, and how the world works today, this is the course for you!

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand.

Note: As an elective session, you will be given a choice between a Liberal Arts lecture and a Drama practical. You will get your first choice for this elective session.


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Medicine
  • Medical Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Clinical Psychology

There's more to the medical world than white coats and stethoscopes. On this subject strand, you will explore not only the broad strokes of studying Medicine at university, but gain insight into its relationship to research, practice, and to public health. Begin your journey into the medical world and its wealth of specialisms and opportunities beyond!

In our interactive, hands-on sessions, you will have the opportunity to explore Medicine and Medical and Allied Healthcare Professions from scientific, ethical, and practical perspectives, supported by university research and teaching staff and current medical students. Our sessions – which will range from research topics, to the core tenets of ethics, to tips for successfully applying to medical school in the first place! – will focus not only on equipping you with knowledge, but also on introducing you to the engaging, collaborative, and formative 'problem-based learning' style that underpins all our teaching at Exeter. Participation is key: by engaging fully in these sessions, you will have an exceptional opportunity to develop and refine many of the skills crucial for success in your future career within incredibly varied, vibrant, and competitive field of medicine and the medical professions. 

Participants must be studying at least one Science subject at A Level or IB or equivalent. In the event of this subject strand being oversubscribed, priority for places will be given to students studying both Biology and Chemistry at A-Level or equivalent, but you can still apply.


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Astrophysics
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Geography
  • Physics

This subject strand brings together three exciting disciplines that have one key thing in common: they utilise an understanding of science and mathematics alongside cutting-edge technology to create solutions to real-world problems, and to answer questions about the world around us.

From studying the atmospheres of exoplanets to learn more about the weather and climate on Earth, to using artificial intelligence to solve problems in healthcare, physicists, mathematicians, physical geographers, engineers and computer scientists are using scientific knowledge, creativity, and critical thinking to solve significant challenges in society and understand fundamental things about the world we live in.

On this subject strand, you will meet academics, researchers, and current students, and have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities across the disciplines such as problem-solving workshops, hands-on sessions in our labs, and lectures and demonstrations from academics who are conducting research at the forefront of their fields.

You will get a good picture of what it is like to study a STEM-based degree at university. You will see just a few of the many opportunities it can open up, and understand the importance of these fields to society.

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand.

Please note that if you wish to study Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, or Astrophysics at the University of Exeter at degree level, you will need an A-Level, IB or equivalent in Mathematics. For Physics and Astrophysics, you will also need an A-Level, IB or equivalent in Physics. For Geography, you will need an A-Level, IB or equivalent in a Humanities/Social Sciences subject.



Contributing subjects may include:

  • Law
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Middle East Studies

In this subject strand, you will discover how and why people behave and interact and how they have adapted over time, influencing and shaping societies across the globe. You will tackle fundamental questions about society, the law, culture, and the mind, and examine the rich diversity of human life. Law is the study of the legal system and how it comes into contact with almost every area of human life, Criminology is the study of crime from a social perspective and criminal behaviour, Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour, and Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures. Together they form an exciting, varied, and relevant stream of study, in which you will have the opportunity to explore a broad range of social, cultural, legal and political issues. Subject to availability, this strand may also include a session on Middle East Studies, a field of study that explores the history, politics, economies, societies and anthropology of the region.

Interactive sessions will be delivered by top researchers in their fields of study in which you may study topics as wide and diverse as social inequality, behavioural change, the prison system, policing, human rights, personality, development, mental health, addiction, ethics, social data, discrimination, violence, globalisation, and/or the media.

The Social Sciences are fascinating areas of study that open up many doors in shaping your future career. This exciting programme is concerned with social transformation and in developing an insight into the major challenges facing contemporary society. If you are captivated by the exploration of human behaviour, societies and communities, and the legal system, and are keen to develop your critical thinking skills and understanding of the world, this is the course for you!

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand.

Note: As an elective session, you will be given a choice between a Liberal Arts lecture and a Drama practical. You will get your first choice for this elective session.

Penryn Campus - Penryn, Cornwall


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Zoology
  • Conservation Biology and Ecology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Marine Biology
  • Evolutionary Biology

Biology is the study of life, from the microscopic bacteria on our skin to the enormous blue whales inhabiting the oceans. As biologists, we ask questions about living organisms and how they interact with their environment. We try to understand the weird and wonderful behaviours that we observe and why these vary among different individuals and species. We study the evolutionary processes that produced the amazing diversity of life on Earth and how we can best conserve it.

Our activities will provide an insight into life as a bioscience student. We believe in research-inspired teaching, and this will be reflected in the activities we run, which include lab work, field work and research project, and interacting with our current students.

Through this strand, you will broaden your knowledge of the bioscience subjects taught on the Penryn Campus: animal behaviour, conservation biology and ecology, marine biology, evolutionary biology, and zoology. You will experience these areas and gain experience of different university learning styles in the classroom, lab, and in the field. Activities will include a laboratory practical, a mini research conference led by our postgraduate students, and the opportunity to explore some of Cornwall’s amazing wildlife we are lucky enough to have on our Penryn campus. During all these activities you will be joined by students and staff from the department and will be able to find out more about their research and where a degree in biosciences could take you. This is the perfect opportunity for budding scientists to learn more about what studying biosciences at university is all about!

NOTE: In the event of this subject strand being oversubscribed, priority for places will be given to students studying Biology at A-Level.  If you are considering this subject activity strand as an aspiring medic please note that whilst some content may touch on human biosciences it will not be the main focus of the week so make sure you have read through all of the subject strand options before submitting your application.

Please note that if you wish to study Zoology, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Marine Biology, and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Exeter at degree level, you will need an A-Level or IB or equivalent in one Science* subject.

* Please check specific programmes on the Undergraduate website to confirm the accepted Science subjects.



Contributing subjects may include:

  • Business
  • Environmental Humanities
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Politics

In today's rapidly changing global world, we face a number of challenges surrounding inequality, the environmental crisis, and conflict, posing social and ethical dilemmas. The academic disciplines of Politics and International Relations, History, Law, Enviromental Humanities and Business work together to address these questions, even going so far as to address the gritty criminal side of law. In this subject strand, you will challenge yourself by examining some of the major questions facing our society and consider how we can make a difference. By understanding these challenges, we can identify opportunities to transform our ever-changing world for the better. This subject strand will encourage you to think critically, reason effectively, and be reflective whilst analysing and discussing challenging topics by using in depth and involved activities for you to address these topics. With this strand you can be a part of the global conversation and solving the environmental issues, stand up to argue morality with your strand and discover where the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences could lead you.

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand.


Contributing subjects may include:

  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Marine Science
  • Renewable Energy Engineering

  • Sustainable Energy Futures

Geography is an all-encompassing subject, covering the patterns and processes that shape both human society and the physical processes on Earth, and indeed how the two interact. As such, Geographers study the atmosphere, ocean, ice, land, life, renewable energy, and the relationships between communities and cultures and their environment.

Geology is the study of the history of our planet, including the materials it is made of, and the processes that form mountains, ocean basins, and volcanoes. It also includes the study of ancient creatures preserved as fossils in rocks, and even the make-up of other planets in our solar system.

Marine Sciences is the scientific study of oceans, the life that inhabits them, and their physical characteristics, including the depth and extent of ocean waters, their movement and chemical makeup, and the topography and composition of the ocean floors.

Environmental Science is the study of our environment and the solutions to environmental problems. It covers plant and soil science, oceanography, atmosphere, geology, and the influence of humans on the environment. Here at Exeter, we also teach environmental law which is key to providing solutions to many of the environmental problems we face today, such as climate change and habitat loss.

Engineers combine science, maths, creativity and critical thinking to solve significant challenges in society. Sourcing clean and sustainable energy is one of the biggest global challenges we face, and there is an ever pressing need to find new and innovative solutions to the ongoing energy and climate crises. Through constant exploration and innovation, engineers are key to advancing endeavours in building a sustainable future.

Overall, this subject strand will provide a taster of what it's like to study these subjects at degree level. We believe in research-inspired teaching and, in line with our focus on practical skills development, this course will largely be held in laboratory and field settings alongside classroom learning – truly immersing you in life as a university student studying one of the above subjects. You'll also get the chance to meet some of our current students and learn about their research and their experiences of university life. We are a friendly and welcoming group, and this subject strand will give you a great opportunity to find out what studying at university is like.

There are no specific entry requirements for this subject activity strand. 

In the event of this subject strand being oversubscribed, priority for places will be given to students studying Geography, Geology, Physics, Maths or a related subject at A Level