More Scottish students deserve an Oxbridge education

Free mentoring for Oxford and Cambridge applicants at state schools across Scotland

Our mission: Expanding Scotland's Potential

Oxford and Cambridge are consistently ranked amongst the best universities in the world. They lead in staff to student ratios, boast some of the highest course satisfaction rates and offer the best employment prospects across all degrees of any university in the UK.

And yet, despite thousands of bright students graduating from state schools across Scotland every year, only 16 were accepted to Oxford in 2018.

How does the Clydeside Project help?

We offer free, online mentoring by current students at Oxford and Cambridge. Our mentors are from a variety of backgrounds, many were the first to make it to Oxbridge from their school in Scotland.

Mentors, studying the same subject their applicant is interested in, support Scottish students through every stage of the process. They have the answers to any question about student life at Oxbridge and can advise on how to make an application as competitive as possible.

Safeguarding and Data Protection

All Scottish mentors are members of Disclosure Scotland's PVG scheme. All English and Welsh mentors are subject to enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks. All mentors are additionally required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Mentoring takes place through an enclosed, online platform. This is routinely monitored by our Team and accessible to verified teachers and parents through a secure login. No external contact information is shared between mentors and students: communication is possible only through our online platform. Read our full Safeguarding Policy here.

Data about students is kept in compliance with GDPR 2016/679 and erased at the end of the application process by default. Students, parents or teachers can deregister at any time, automatically removing a student's file from our system. Read our full Data Protection Policy here.

Why should I apply to Oxbridge?


Both universities teach in small groups of two/three students per tutor (alongside classes, labs and lectures). Not only do students receive unrivalled levels of feedback and individual support but all tutors are experts in their field, many being world-renowned for their research.

Collegiate system

College acts as your home for your time at Oxbridge: you can apply directly to a college or submit an open application. Students live in college in their first year and many have the choice of living in college accommodation for the entirety of their degree.

The collegiate system makes it much easier to settle in and meet those studying other subjects. The average college year group is about 100 people – not unlike your year group at school. Colleges have their own library, dining hall and common room. They also have dedicated welfare and academic support staff.

Once you're settled in you have access to the whole university too, making friends at other colleges, whether through societies, sports or volunteering.

Graduate earnings

Graduates from both universities earn much more on average than their counterparts at universities like Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrew’s. A recent study found that the return on completing an Oxbridge degree over the course of a lifetime is £815,000.

What do you have to lose?

Many people apply to Oxbridge every year believing they won't get a place and then do! If you already plan to submit a UCAS application, why not make one of your five options Oxford or Cambridge?

Is Oxbridge expensive?

No tuition fees are paid upfront.

Graduates pay back their tuition fees once they are in employment and only 9% on anything earned over the income threshold (MSE, 2020). If you earned £35,000 a year, you'd only pay back £900 every year. The income at which you start paying back your loan will be £25,000 as of April 2021 (SAAS).

Whilst the 'fees' for Oxford and Cambridge are £9,250 per year, this is dwarfed by the Oxbridge 'premium' of £200,000 in additional lifetime earnings (BCG, 2015).

Your student loan is written off if any remains after 30 years.

Bursaries and scholarships

Both universities act to ensure that no student's financial circumstances affect their academic or university life. They offer a wide range of generous grants in addition to any government assistance. Many colleges also offer travel, equipment and book grants.


• Oxford Bursary of up to £3,700 every year for students from households earning £42,000 or less
• Crankstart Scholarship for students from households earning £27,500 or less
• Lloyds Scholars Programme for students from lower-income households
• Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Scholarship: course fees and annual living costs grant for students from Muslim communities

More information about Oxford bursaries can be found here.


• Cambridge Bursary of up to £3,500 every year for students from households earning £42,620 or less
• Cambridge Trust Scholarship: part-cost scholarships for students of significant academic potential and financial need
• Stormzy Scholarship: two scholarships covering tuition fees and living costs for black UK students

More information about Cambridge bursaries can be found here.

Is Oxbridge for me?

Oxford and Cambridge seek to attract the best and brightest applicants regardless of background. The application process looks only at your academic ability and there is no Oxbridge ‘type’. Students come from every background and corner of the globe.

Both universities do expect high achievement in SQA qualifications and are particularly interested in how this compares to the rest of your school. They also want you to demonstrate a serious enthusiasm for your chosen subject and your academic work in general.

Contextual data

Both universities acknowledge the influence of social and economic circumstances on a candidate's academic record. Oxford and Cambridge consider the following in the admissions process:

• Local area: the affluence and progression rate to higher education of an applicant's postcode area.
• School performance: the overall success of an applicant's school in SQA exams and Oxbridge applications.
• Personal background: whether an applicant has been in care, received free school meals and any other extenuating circumstances.

Application process

• Applications to Oxford and Cambridge are submitted through UCAS along with your other choices by October 15th 2020.
• You will then be invited to take an admissions test at your school at the end of October/beginning of November 2020.
• Any interviews take place at the university at the beginning of December 2020.

Michael McGrade
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Ailsa Brown
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Grace Molloy
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Hannah Ewing
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Call us on 0141 301 2260 or email at