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The Pelican Programmes

Please note that nominations for this year's Pelican Programmes are now closed. 

Developing super-curricular engagement in the Arts & Humanities

Corpus is excited to announce that registration is now open for the next iteration of the Pelican Programmes. After a succesful trial, we have decided to not only increase the number of places available but to also offer two new subject streams for Classics and Law. These programmes are for Y12 students (Y13 in Northern Ireland/S5 in Scotland) from widening-participation backgrounds and have been designed to facilitate super-curricular engagement, to improve discussion skills, and to build confidence in handling academic texts. The programmes will help prepare students to make a competitive application to Oxbridge by developing and practising the academic skills that the Oxbridge admissions process requires.

How they work and what we expect

Each programme focuses on a particular area within the Arts & Humanities and, due to the nature of the targeted support and level of interaction, there are only 20 places per programme. They will run from late January through to July, with an hour long session every fortnight. Students will meet online as group with their subject tutor and sessions will be run like university seminars. Students will be expected to keep up with the set reading and to take notes when necessary, and at the halfway point a student's continued participation in programme will be reviewed and conditional upon their level of engagement. There will be a 'Pelican Day' at Corpus where all participants who successfully completed their programme can visit the college, meet our undergrads, and meet Corpus academics. 

We are offering the following subject streams:

  • Classics
  • English
  • French
  • History 
  • Law
  • Philosophy

We encourage students to pick the subject area that most closely links to the subject they wish to pursue at university. If a student is unsure which area to pick, then they can email James, our Admissions and Outreach Coordinator.

Please note that for the English, French, Law, and Philosophy  stream students will have to also submit a short written response to a piece of academic material or a question. 


Students must be nominated by a teacher and must meet the following criteria:

· Attend a non fee-paying UK state school

· Be on course for A*AA (or on track for at least 3 As at Higher, with the intention to take 3 Adv Highers where attainment at A1A2A2 could be expected)

And meet at least one of the following:

· Live in an area of low progression to Higher Education (POLAR4 quintiles 1 & 2) - you can check this here

· Live in an area of high deprivation (IMD quintiles 1 &2 ) - you can check this here

· They are currently, or have previously been, eligible for Free School Meals

· They are currently, or have previously been, in Local Authority care

· They have other extenuating circumstances e.g. disability, young carer, estrangement, refugee status


Please fill out this form to nominate your student. Please note, that schools can only nominate one student per subject stream. If you wish to nominate more than one student, we will be running a reserve list, so you can submit more than one form but please indicate whuich student is your first choice and which student/s are for the reserve list. If we are oversubscribed we will prioritise those students who have multiple widening-participation flags. 

Nominations will close Wednesday 21 December. We will notify students and teachers who has been accepted onto the programme by mid-January. 

If you have any questions about the programme or the nomination process please email James, our Admissions and Outreach Coordinator.