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Pre-university Summer School 2023

Discover your programme

Learn from experts, make friends and explore Yorkshire through our unique programme.


10th in the UK

for our research, the Times Higher Education's REF ranking, 2021.

17th in the UK

in the Times Good University Guide 2023, with 13 subjects ranked in the top 10

19th overall

Complete University Guide 2023, with 9 subjects ranked in the top 10

21st in the UK

Guardian Good University Guide 2023, with 6 subjects ranked in the top 10

Dates and subjects

Our Pre-university Summer School takes place from 5 July to 2 August 2023 in two two-week sessions. You can book one or both sessions.

In each session, you'll choose one of two academic options.

Session 1: 5-19 July 2023

Arrival day: Wednesday 5 July 2023

Departure day: Wednesday 19 July 2023

Developing Solutions to Environmental Challenges

There’s never been a more important time to study environmental issues. Climate change is having major impacts on agriculture and wildlife. Air pollution is affecting human health and reducing life expectancy. Plastic waste is clogging our waterways and disrupting ocean ecosystems.

On this short course, you will learn about pressing environmental issues and the ways in which we are trying to solve them through research, education, policies and innovations. You will participate in discussions about the best ways to solve environmental problems, and what we need to do now to protect and repair our planet.

This course is offered by the Department of Environment and Geography, a top 15 UK research department, ranked 2nd for research impact in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.

Exploring the World with Psychology

Psychology can be found within all aspects of daily life and society. Join us to explore just a small part of what psychology can tell us about the worlds of technology, health and wellbeing, neurodiversity and prejudice.  

On this short course, you will learn how technology has changed the way we interact with one another and how psychology can help us to understand these new interactions. You will take a look at the psychology that explains why people have negative attitudes towards others and what we can try to do about this. You will investigate the impact that our gender, childhood, personalities and stress levels can have on our health and wellbeing. You will also discover what it really means to live and grow up being neurodiverse, trying to navigate the world with, for example, dyslexia or ADHD, and why listening to lived experiences can help improve research and our understanding.

This course is offered by the Department of Psychology, one of the world’s top psychology departments, excelling in both teaching and research.

Exploring the Universe and Engineering the Future

From the most fundamental building blocks of the universe to cutting edge technologies, physics and engineering help us to both understand the world around us and make positive changes to our environment.  

On this short course, you will explore the full scale of the cosmos, from the smallest particles to stars and galaxies. You will learn about cutting edge research that may offer solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing issues, from climate change to healthcare. You will discover how new technologies are changing our everyday lives, from immersive audiovisual experiences to space robotics. You will also have the opportunity to put your learning into action with hands-on lab experiments and engineering challenges, giving you an insight into what studying physics and engineering at university is like.

This course is offered by the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology, the University’s new school bringing together physicists and engineers to push the frontiers of knowledge, foster innovation and meet the grand challenges facing society.

Session 2: 19 July-2 August 2023

Arrival day: Wednesday 19 July 2023

Departure day: Wednesday 2 August 2023

Feeding the Future

As the global population grows, we face a range of challenges, including an increasing demand for food and other resources. Scientists are working to develop solutions to the problems that threaten our food supply, such as unsustainable farming practices and a changing climate. We need more nutritious and resilient crops, alongside circular processes where food waste is used to make valuable products to reduce the demand for non-renewable resources.

On this short course, you will learn about recent research that aims to better understand and tackle these challenges. You will hear from the people carrying out this important research and gain hands-on experience of laboratory work. As part of a small team, you will also have the opportunity to develop possible solutions to these global challenges.

This course is jointly offered by the Department of Biology, a UK top 10 department and the Department of Chemistry, 7th for Chemistry in the 2023 Complete University guide.

Literature on Location: Exploring Literary Yorkshire

Yorkshire has an extraordinary literary history that stretches from the medieval period and even before up to the present day. How has Yorkshire’s glorious landscape influenced some of the most important works of English literature? And what does it mean to think about novels, poems, drama and more in the place they were imagined and created?

On this short course, you will learn about literature written in and about Yorkshire, taking in the novels and poems of the Brontë sisters, Wilkie Collins’ groundbreaking detective novel, The Moonstone, Lawrence Sterne’s weird and wonderful literary experiments and contemporary writing from Kate Atkinson and A. S. Byatt, among others.

This course is offered by the Department of English and Related Literature, 5th in the UK for English, according to The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Business and Society: Developing a Social Enterprise

Communities, now more than ever, need support to thrive. The need for ‘social good’ initiatives is greater than ever in the turbulent world we live in, with climate catastrophe on the horizon, widening pay gaps between the rich and poor, and a growing digital divide.

On this short course, you will learn how to develop your ideas for a better world into something tangible such as a social enterprise, community interest company or co-operative. You will learn about how to market the initiative, get funding, reach your audience and make an impact on your communities, and will have the opportunity to develop plans for your own social enterprise.

This course is offered by the Centre for Global Programmes, in cooperation with teaching staff of the University.

Who can apply?

The international Pre-university Summer School is open to all students aged 16-18 in secondary or further education, who are planning to enter higher education and are ready to get a taste of what it means to study at a top university in the UK.

You must have had your 16th birthday before your programme starts.

We welcome students from all nationalities and backgrounds; however, as we aim to have an international student body on this programme, we can only accept a limited number of participants from any one country.

Our Pre-university Summer School is designed for students with a keen academic interest. While we do not have formal academic requirements and will not ask for a school transcript, you will have to demonstrate your interest at an informal interview with our staff.

The programme is suitable for both native speakers of English and for students who have been learning English as a second/foreign language.

Although there is no formal language requirement, we strongly recommend that applicants have a good upper-intermediate level of English (at least around CEFR B2 or IELTS 5).


You will need personal details, a copy of your passport and, if you are under 18, consent from your parent/guardian (they will need to sign the electronic form too).

We will get in touch with you to set up a short 10-minute Zoom meeting to understand your motivation and to confirm if we think this programme is right for you. We will also be happy to answer any questions you may have. This is not a formal interview, but a chance for us to get to know each other.

You must follow Government guidance on travel, including visas and travel restrictions related to Coronavirus. On a short programme like this you can normally study as a visitor, but you must check your status and seek advice.

Travel restrictions related to the Coronavirus pandemic often change. Whether you can enter the country, need to quarantine, and/or conduct tests depends on where you travel from, as well as your age and vaccination status. Please check the latest Government advice before travelling.

Programme details

Study programme

Gain study skills that will help you get to university and beyond, with our workshops, lectures and more:

  • 16 hours of core subject content per session, designed and delivered by York academics and teaching staff
  • A taster of the University’s flagship York Strengths employability skills programme
  • Sessions on intercultural communication.

Free time activities

Enjoy field trips, excursions and fun-packed activities:

  • Two field trips per session to places of historical, cultural and geographical interest
  • Three full-day excursions per session taking you to the best places in Yorkshire
  • Regular sightseeing and shopping trips in York
  • Daily free time activities led by University of York students


Download the timetable for the 2023 Pre-university programme

Programme fees

Programme fee per session: £3,497

Your programme fee covers the academic and free time programmes, accommodation, three meals per day and travel insurance.

Getting to York

We offer a convenient Private transfer service that will take you from the airport directly to the University. Your driver will meet you at the arrivals hall of the airport, so you don’t need to worry about finding your way.

You can also use our Economy transfer service, which is available from and to Manchester Airport. Our shuttle buses run twice a day and are more budget friendly than the Private transfer service; however, you might need to wait at the airport.

Alternatively, you can arrange your own transport to York. Find out how to get here.

Prices are per student for one-way journeys.

Airport Private taxi transfer Economy transfer
Manchester (MAN) £230 100
Leeds Bradford (LBA) £150  
London Heathrow (LHR) £450  

The Economy transfer service is only available at set times:

Departures from Manchester Airport on 5 July and 19 July are at:

  • 11am (for flights arriving before 9.30am)
  • 3pm (for flights arriving before 1.30pm)

Departures from York on 19 July and 2 August are at:

  • 8am (for flights departing after 1pm)
  • 12pm (for flights departing after 5pm)

You can book it when you complete your application form, but we are also happy to add this service to your booking later. Please let us know about your requirements as soon as possible by contacting our team at

Accommodation and catering

You will be staying in a single room in one of our 11 colleges situated on our wonderful parkland campus. Your fellow students will be staying in the same accommodation block, but you'll have the privacy of your own room. University of York students working as house parents will also be available any time you need help.

You'll have three meals a day on our campus, and we provide a packed lunch for excursions.

Discover your accommodation

Yes, we can cater for any special dietary requirements, as long as we are told beforehand. Please indicate any allergies or special requests on your application form, or get in touch with our team well in advance.

Get a guaranteed offer at the University of York

If you successfully complete our programme, we guarantee that you will be invited to interview or receive a typical offer for a place to study on an undergraduate programme at the University of York.


This offer is only available to international students (including EU). To be eligible you will need to:

  • have successfully completed the Pre-university Summer School programme of York Global Summer Schools
  • have the potential to meet the typical entry requirements (both academic and English language) for your chosen programme
  • complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) by the January equal consideration deadline within two years of completing York Global Summer Schools.

Excluded courses: