Shadowing Scheme

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Apply for the Shadowing Scheme

Welcome to the online application system for the Shadowing Scheme.

Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme 2023

What is it?

The Shadowing Scheme is a university access scheme designed by current Cambridge undergraduates and run by Cambridge Students' Union (Cambridge SU).

During the scheme, participants come to Cambridge, 'shadow' an undergraduate mentor who is studying a subject they're interested in, attend lectures, stay in a student room, eat in a college dining hall, meet lots of current students at a range of events and activities, and get advice on applying to Cambridge from staff and students.

Participants, or 'shadows' as we call them, will also get the chance to stay in contact with their mentor after the scheme, and attend online application and study skills sessions, in order to help them make well-informed, successful University applications.

The scheme is free to all shadows, including accommodation and meals.

What will it involve?

  • Shadowing your mentor, a current Cambridge undergraduate, in Cambridge for three days

  • 1-1 mentoring through a safe online platform after the scheme

  • Attending lectures and supervisions (teaching in a small group) with your mentor

  • Go to events and activities with other shadows and current students during the scheme

  • Tours of the city and colleges

  • Admissions talks with University staff

Who is it targeted towards?

The scheme is for students with little family history of attending university, who go to schools where few people progress to University. We especially welcome applications from those who would be the first in their immediate family to attend university, are eligible for Free School Meals, and/or who don't know anyone who has attended Oxford or Cambridge. We are also looking for students who are underrepresented in Higher Education, including those who are carers, are estranged, have experienced local authority care, and/or are refugees.

Students beginning Year 12 or equivalent are eligible for the Shadowing Scheme. Additionally, if you will be over the age of 21 when starting university, you can apply to the scheme as a mature student. As part of the mature stream of the scheme you'll meet other mature students, and get tailored application advice and guidance.

When is it?

The residential aspect of the scheme will last for three days, and when you apply you'll get to choose between three possible weeks to attend. The dates for the 2023 scheme are:

  • Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th January 2023
  • Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th February 2023
  • Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th February 2023

When can I apply?

Applications for the 2023 Shadowing Scheme open on GCSE results day, 25th August 2022. Applications close on 9th October 2022, with the deadline for guardian and teacher consent forms on 16th October. There is a possibility that consent forms will get sent to junk/spam inboxes so please make sure to check these once a student has applied.

Code of conduct

The code of conduct sets out the parameters within which the Shadowing Scheme will run.

I have a concern/query, what should I do?

Get in touch with us at .

Acceptance form

If you have been notified that you have received a place, please log in and fill out the Acceptance form.

Application form

The student application form is now closed. Please check this webpage later in the year for applications for the next scheme.

Consent forms

The forms for parent/guardian and teacher are now closed. Please check this webpage later in the year for applications for the next scheme.

About this system

This online sign-up system is written with security and your privacy in mind. Submitted data will be used strictly for the purposes of administering the Shadowing Scheme and will be not be transmitted to third parties or passed/sold on for marketing/other purposes. Data is transmitted encrypted using HTTPS.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Webmaster if you have any security/privacy questions about the system.