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Headstart Cymru

Give your students an authentic experience of university life.

Headstart Cymru

Headstart Cymru residential courses give year 12 students the opportunity to spend time at engineering, product design or computing departments at university before submitting their UCAS application.

Students stay in university accommodation, tour the campus with undergraduates and attend lecture-style and practical sessions.

Evening activities are also arranged to give students an opportunity to socialise with students with similar interests.


Courses are FREE for students living or studying in the following counties (funded by the European Social Fund), otherwise a cost of £130 will apply. This includes all accommodation, catering and evening activities for the duration of stay.

Funded counties include: Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, RCT, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.


Headstart courses are 2 to 3 days each and we have several partner universities offering a variety of dates and course types. Events include overnight stays, all food and activities during both the day and the evenings. Students apply to attend a course on an individual basis.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Design, art and fashion
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Materials, products and manufacturing
    • Space and aerospace engineering
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Learning from career and labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with further and higher education

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

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Girls into STEM

Inspire girls in STEM with university and company visits with hands-on activities.

  • Ages 11 to 14
  • Offsite - Wales
  • Full day
  • Cost may apply
Icon representing Secondary education Secondary

MadLab Cymru

MadLab is a unique, hands-on electronics workshop. Students learn to solder electronic components onto specially-designed circuit boards.

  • Ages 11 to 14
  • In-school
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Cost applies

Careers resources