Your favourite subject, a whole new perspective. Inspiring Excellence courses are subject-specific residential courses for high ability A-level students.
Our courses are unique and challenging, taught in a university style and, with Inspiring Excellence courses running for more than 50 years, they are proven to make a lasting, transformative impact on your education and career. Each course lasts five days and you will stay at our university campus style accommodation, located just outside Cambridge. Most courses feature a trip and all of your meals and evening activities are included.
What's the cost of an Inspiring Excellence course?
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the participant's contribution towards the cost is subsidised at £325 per course. This includes accommodation, meals, tuition and any trips or visits. Students at fee paying schools will need to pay the full cost of £817. If your application for a course is successful we will invoice your school.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes, payment plans will be considered on an individual basis, so please do let us know if this is something that might be helpful to you.
How do I apply?
- Your school can nominate up to three students per course.
- Complete an application form and submit it to us. We are happy to accept students right up until the week before course starts, although earlier applications allow us to send out the course information pack in good time. There is also a waiting list should the course be full.
- Spaces are offered on a first come, first serve basis, assuming the students meet our criteria. Many of our courses are extremely popular, so we highly recommend prompt nominations, if possible.
Please download our guidance notes
to assist you with the application process.
Are there entry requirements?
Yes, the entry requirements are:
- You are an A-level student with the potential to gain an A*-B at A-level or equivalent.
- If you meet one of our eligibility criteria, such as being the first in your family to go to higher education, your household income is lower than £33,000 or you are a carer, your application will be prioritised.
Where do I stay during my course?
Inspiring Excellence courses are five day residential courses. You will stay on our dedicated campus designed to closely represent life at university. Visit our staying with us
page to learn more about our facilities and what it's like at Villiers Park.
How is a typical course structured?
Typically, courses are a mixture of seminars, lectures, presentations, mini workshops, visits and guest speakers. Your days will be packed - starting from 09.15 'til 20.00, but there will be breaks within that schedule. Most meals are served on site, unless you're on a trip. You can learn more about the facilities on site on our staying on a student residential
Who will my tutors be?
Our tutors come from a variety of backgrounds, for example PhD students, university lecturers or people who work in a relevant industry. We source the best tutors, who are experts in their field and passionate about sharing their subject knowledge. Read our article 'What makes a Villiers Park tutor'
if you'd like to learn more.
What happens after Villiers Park?
Once you've attended an Inspiring Excellence course, you will become one of our alumni. This gives you access to:
- Relevant opportunities from third parties, such as internships or career opportunities. You can continue to access our Opportunities Board.
- Staying in touch with our latest news, if you sign up to our e-newsletter.
- Sharing your story with us, which may be used as a case study in a document or on our website.
We will send a follow up survey and questionnaire once you've had your A-level results so we can find out how you got on and your future plans.