The University of Southampton

GCSE Students

Welcome, students! Whether you’re in Years 9, 10 or 11, studying GCSEs or equvialents, working on a, CREST Award or Arts Award, or just curious, we have something for you!

Talk directly with world experts from Southampton and beyond in subjects you’re currently studying, thinking of taking further, or simply interested in; find tools and templates for essay and report writing, project designing and more; challenge yourself with online activities and courses; sit back with a podcast or video; or get up and move with sports and wellbeing classes you can do from your living room!

More than anything, keep following everything your teachers send you, they are working super hard to keep you engaged, motivated and working towards your best possible future. You’ve got this!

Feature: UoS Campus Tours 

Check out our campuses in these campus tours, linked in a playlist on our Youtube channel! Find out what it is like to study with us by looking at the wonderful facilities available.

Feature: Festival of Social Sciences

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is an annual celebration of the social sciences and a key element of ESRC’s commitment to promote awareness of UK social science research to new audiences. This year the festival will be held from 1-30 November 2021 and will feature exciting and creative events, 12 of which will be run by UoS Academics.

The events shaping our world, from climate change to Brexit and coronavirus, to geopolitical tensions and civic protests, reveal how social science is more important than ever to understanding the world. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all every day – at work, in school, when raising children, within our communities, from the personal and local, to the national and global level. The ESRC Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. Discover how it shapes public policy and contributes to making the economy more competitive, as well as giving people a better understanding of 21st-century society.

2021 will be the 19th Festival of Social Science and the 3rd year the University of Southampton has taken part. There will be a mixture of virtual and face-to-face events, which will allow everyone to take part in and hear about social science research. For more information and to book onto events, please visit the website:

Feature: Is it too late to save our oceans?

Join us to hear how Southampton’s latest research in marine science and engineering is tackling the fight against climate change and how we, as a nation, will achieve Net Zero by 2050.

As the country prepares for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), we will bring together a panel of cutting-edge thinkers to address the vital role of the oceans in supporting sustainability and ocean health. We will explore how oceans can be our most powerful nature-based solution, and why we need to act now to protect them.

Hosted by Dr Jon Copley, this event will include keynote presentations from our world-leading researchers, and there will also be the opportunity to ask your question during a Q&A.

Date and time:
Tue, 26 October 2021
18:00 – 19:00 BST






Feature: Ignite Your Journey!

We are very excited to announce that the applications are now open for Ignite Your Journey, starting October 2021.

Ignite Your Journey is a new project for Year 11 students aimed at expanding access to the University of Southampton for young care experienced and looked after children. The aim of this programme is to build students’ confidence in thinking about their future, having the resources to explore their options, and developing key skills to aid the transition to further education and beyond, including:
– Research
– Innovation
– Decision making
– Communication
– Presentation

This programme is broken into two distinct parts.

The first part is a 6-week group-based project. Students will work virtually in small groups mentored by 2 student mentors. They will take part in weekly 1-hour group meetings to work on the project. The project task will be set by a faculty so the task will be related to a specific subject area. This is to offer the students an idea of the variety of subjects that can be studied at university. The mentor will support the students in producing a piece of work at the end of the 6 weeks. This may be a short video, virtual poster, or PowerPoint presentation. We will have a launch event where we will introduce mentors and mentees, as well as the group project. We will then have a celebration event, to recognise the students’ hard work. At this point, they will be introduced to the 3-week e-mentoring opportunity using the Brightside platform.

During the 6 weeks, we will be running a virtual university talk for students, their carers and advisors.

We will cover:
– Choosing the right course
– Applications
– Finance and support (including specific support for care experienced students)
– A talk from a care experienced alumnus

The second part of this programme involves an on-campus revision skills day. The students will receive sessions on English and Maths GCSE revision and study skills. Following the revision visit there will be another opportunity to access e-mentoring for up to 3 weeks. This would be a great time for students to ask the mentors for revision tips following on from what they might have learned during their visit.

Key dates
– Launch of the Group Project: 9th October 2021 (Highfield Campus*)
– Group Project Work: 9th October – 27th November 2021 (Virtual platform TBC)
– Celebration Event: 27th November 2021 – (Highfield Campus*)
– E-mentoring: 27th November – 18th December 2021 (Brightside (online))
– Revision day: 12th April 2022 (Highfield Campus*)
– E-mentoring: 12th April – 3rd May 2022 (Brightside (online))

*Locations are subject to change. Depending on local and governmental guidance, alternative arrangements may need to be made causing the events to be held virtually.

If you have any questions about Ignite Your Journey, please email: or

All travel for the launch, celebration, and on-campus revision skills visit will be paid for by the university (as well as catering for all events). We will also support each individual young person should they have additional requirements from equipment to learning needs, to enable them to fully engage with the project.

Apply here!


Ask The Expert – Acoustical Engineering

Ever wondered how dolphins communicate underwater? Why some cars are louder than others? What’s making all that noise when you boil water in a kettle and why it changes? Now’s your time to ask our researchers from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and find out!

Ask questions via twitter to @ISVRSouthampton – and check out their youtube channel for video responses plus virtual tours of their spooky Anechoic and Reverberation Chambers, demos and more!


Ask the Expert – Ecology, Nature & Biodiversity – The Dinosaur on Your Window Sill

  • Talk directly to our researchers, students and a diverse community of ecology enthusiasts!
  • Share photos, videos and questions plus daily challenges!
  • Stay engaged with nature from your home.


Future Focus – Year 11 playlist

The series of videos within this playlist aim to ignite conversation in the classroom around university, be that face to face or in the virtual space. We hope these videos provide thought provoking content for your year 11 students, encouraging them to think about their future and to see if their future will include going to university. The topics that these videos cover are our most popular topics when talking to pre-16 students.

The videos have been presented from a current university student perspective. At the end of each video we have posed a question or a conversation title to encourage individual reflection or a classroom discussion.

Click here to start watching!

If after watching these videos you would like to know more about the work we do in Widening Participation & Social Mobility at the University of Southampton please get in touch or visit our website, see below-




For Our Future – A guide to volunteering and work experience

After signing off from school or college for the summer holidays, the weeks ahead could be the perfect time to get a taste of work experience or volunteering.

We know how hard it can be to find opportunities for young people to get access to volunteering and work experience, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so we have created this booklet to help get you started with some ideas and inspiration around how you can make those opportunities happen.

Along with practical tips and suggestions, the booklet looks at how to manage work experience safely as we ease our way out of lockdown and how you can make the most of your experiences when applying for a job or further education opportunity.


5 in 5 videos – Tips for Schools and Colleges 

Members of University of Southampton’s School Liaison team will guide you through 5 key considerations in 5 minutes on different topics relating to University.


Ancient Mariner Podcasts

Alongside the current nationwide project, Ancient Mariner Big Read, the English Department at University of Southampton have assembled four incredible podcasts, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


(Virtual) Arcade by WSA #WSAgames

  • Support our Games Design students at Winchester School of Art – and see where art and computing can take you!
  • You have the very first opportunity to play games from the next generation of creative game makers!
  • The games will be updated regularly on the virtual Arcade until mid June (when we have a special live stream showcase).
  • Your feedback on the projects will enhance each project.


Aurora Zoo – Citizen Science

  • Help our scientists analyse images and short video clips of the Aurora!
  • Support real, current research into this mysterious phenomenon which effects our weather, satellites and more.
  • Learn about the science behind the Northern Lights.


Bite-Sized Lectures

At the University of Southampton, we’re very lucky to have some truly inspirational speakers visit us! During the lockdown response to the covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many of these lectures were edited into bite-sized videos for you to watch from home!

You can also explore our archive of full-length public lectures, on a range of topics and with a diverse cast of distinguished speakers, here.


Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project – Free films and resources!


Bug Power: Energy & More from Waste

Try these Circular Bioeconomy puzzles, to find out how we use living things to help us make energy and new products from rubbish!  These are based on research from our Water and Environmental Engineering Group, and partners in the Environmental Biotechnology Network.


#DoesYouGood – Stay well from your own home with free courses led by our Sports and Wellbeing instructors!


God’s House Tower exhibitions

Southampton’s newest arts and heritage venue, God’s House Tower, has an exciting exhibition schedule which you can view here.

There is something for everyone to enjoy – with many events free of charge.


#ForOurFuture from LifeLab

A comprehensive toolkit for supporting young people during lockdown including educational, cultural and wellbeing activities, information, advice and guidance.


How to get to 100 and enjoy it!

What are your chances of living to 100? How do your early years, your family life, where you live, your lifestyle and your work affect these chances? With one in three children born today expected to live to 100, these questions have never been more relevant.

Find out more about how our population is changing through a number of interactive activities from the world-leading Centre for Population Change! Download the ‘Our Life Journey’ app to learn about demographic change in Europe and the field of Population Studies. Explore a series of interactive maps and infographics to explore how Life ExpectancyEducation & EmploymentMigrationPopulation Structure, and Ageing change with location and impact our life journey.

Each area of discovery includes questions to get students thinking and suggested classroom activities. There is also a downloadable workbook that can be worked through individually or as a class. And look out for the exhibition as it tours the country – or enjoy it from home via the gallery!

JAZZ | Ashley Henry at Turner Sims

Turner Sims are delighted to welcome South London pianist Ashley Henry with his trio. One of a new generation of musicians that have been raised with a wide range of influences, Ashley is clearly influenced by hip-hop but has his roots firmly in jazz.

Having recently embarked on world tours with Loyle Carner and Christine & The Queens, Henry has a rapidly growing international profile.

‘My music is a straight-up reflection of who I am; London in all its mixed-up glory. The immigrant in me has musical roots traced back to the 1940’s, so it’s important my music reflects that jazz narrative across different genres and generations.’

Following the success of the 26-year-old’s Easter EP, the genre-blurring pianist heads to Turner Sims with music from his debut album Beautiful Vinyl Hunter.

Book your tickets here, there are reduced tickets for those under 18.

John Hansard Gallery presents Black Heritage Quilt by members of Black Heritage Southampton

John Hansard Gallery is pleased to exhibit a handmade quilt made by members of Black Heritage Southampton. The quilt was created from workshops led by artist Shoshanna Goldstein in 2008. This creative and social activity involved local people coming together to share stories, whilst using their new skills to reuse fabric to striking effect.

Inspired by Barbara Brackman and her book ‘Facts and Fabrications, Unravelling the History of Quilts and Slavery’, the design uses the Ohio Star. This is a traditional pattern that has its roots in the American Civil War and anti-slavery movement at that time.

Black Heritage is a local charity promoting the welfare of members of the Caribbean community in Southampton. Started in 1988, the group was formed to support older members of the African Caribbean community, providing a place to meet new friends and socialise.

The quilt will be on display at John Hansard Gallery from Tuesday 21 September 2021.

Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 – 17:00

Entry is free and the exhibition is suitable for all ages.

John Hansard Gallery presents: Hetain Patel: Trinity

John Hansard Gallery is proud to present Trinity, the biggest solo exhibition to date by the highly acclaimed artist Hetain Patel. Trinity is also the name for an ambitious new film by Patel, the final part of a trilogy being premiered at John Hansard Gallery. Working with dance, martial arts and sign language collaborators, Trinity represents Patel’s most significant film so far.

Alongside Trinity, John Hansard Gallery is showing the first two films from the trilogy: Don’t Look at the Finger (2017) and The Jump (2015). The exhibition also features a number of related new sculptural works, which incorporate costumes and action figures of characters from the films, as well as a film merchandise ‘Gift Shop’.

On: from 3 August to 30 October 2021
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 – 17:00

This event is suitable for all ages and is free to attend.

John Hansard Gallery presents Mary Evans: Saints and Saviours

For Black History Month, John Hansard Gallery is delighted to have commissioned Mary Evans to create artworks celebrating Southampton’s vibrant diasporic communities and history.

Evans is concerned with identity politics, belonging and separation. She is interested in how the social, cultural and political dynamics of modern Britain are also the legacy of Britain’s imperial past. Her fascination lies in the journey via which people arrive and settle through emigration and Diaspora.

Evans creates installations by making cut outs of pictorial images to create work based on historical or social interest. Her hands-on approach allows her to maintain the handcrafted quality of the work in keeping with the image’s simplicity.

For Southampton, Evans will have work on show at John Hansard Gallery’s in their Mezzanine Gallery, as well as creating a series of site-specific works appearing across Southampton in October.

On: from 21 September to 6 November 2021
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 – 17:00

This exhibition is free to attend and is suitable for all ages.

#JHGflags – YOUR flag: Call for entries

  • Inspired by the work of artist Larry Achiampong, whose ‘PAN AFRICAN FLAGS FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE (MOTION)’  currently cover John Hansard Gallery’s windows.
  • Resources for schools, colleges, families and individuals to create and share flags representing a place or community special to them.
  • Share on social media – and you can also submit your work for selection to be displayed later this year as part of our Community Takeover!


Journey to Beginnings 

The Journey to the Beginnings educational adventure puzzle game allows players to discover everyday life of four prehistoric cultures along the Danube river.

Although the story is fictional, the artistic interpretation of everyday life is based on real archeological research done on four prehistoric sites: Százhalombatta in Hungary, Vučedol in Croatia, Lepenski Vir in Serbia, and Gârla Mare in Romania. From these sites, many real heritage objects today kept in museums were introduced in the game. Established scientific knowledge about society, everyday life, technology, language, and culture has been introduced into the game allowing players to seamlessly learn about our ancestors in a fun and interactive way.

Law and creativity in a pandemic: a time of remarkable flourishing

A panel of artists and poets discuss how lockdown restrictions proved to be a unique source of creative inspiration and connection.

How did the Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions prove to be such a potent and compelling source of creative inspiration? Law and legal rules may not be an obvious motivator for artists and poets in normal times, but this changed when the order to ‘stay at home’ began to impact on all aspects of life.

This free ticketed public panel discussion event brings together three artists (an artistic director and two poets), each with a unique experience to share of turning a crisis into an unprecedented opportunity for inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to find solace, hope and positivity in new acts of creativity.

The event looks back at the coronavirus pandemic as a rare and unusual meeting between law and the imagination: a time of isolation, of feeling caged, and for many sadly a time of loss. But also a time of remarkable flourishing.


Jenny Elliott (Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Arts Care, 2011-2021) directs and designs arts programmes, health in arts training for healthcare professionals, and research projects within multiple healthcare environments and services. Arts Care is a leading regional Arts, Health and Well-being Organisation based in Northern Ireland, delivering innovative arts projects and events into the heart of Health, Social and Community Care Services.

Cheryl Moskowitz is a US born poet, educator and creative translator with a background in theatre and psychoanalysis. She is the author of several plays, two poetry collections and a novel. For 14 years she taught on the Creative Writing and Personal Development MA at Sussex University, was an external supervisor for arts therapies in forensics and regularly runs writing projects in the community. At the start of the global pandemic, in response to conversations had with teachers, pupils and their families affected by school closures, she produced The Corona Collection—a Conversation (Circle Time Press, 2020) Her most recent publication is the poetry pamphlet, Maternal Impression (Against the Grain Press, 2021). Her website is

Laila Sumpton is a poet, educator and performer who studied both literature and human rights and university and combines these in her creative writing projects with schools, hospitals, museums and galleries. She developed several specialist learning resources for primary school students throughout the lockdowns working with Ministry of Stories, Harrow Arts and the National Literacy Trust. She recently lead a project for 7-9 year olds for the Ministry of Stories exploring the Convention on the Rights of the Child through poetry letters to the UK Children’s Commissioner. Laila also lead online writing workshops for Jesuit Refugee Services through several lockdowns, resulting in an anthology of short stories, letters and poems. Twitter @lailanadia Instagram @laila.sumpton


David Gurnham is a Professor of Criminal Law and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies within Southampton Law School. His latest article – ‘“Our country is a freedom-loving country”: the spreading virus as metaphor for ‘people on the move’ – will be published in the journal Metaphor and Symbol later this year (

Haris Psarras is Lecturer in Law at Southampton Law School. He also writes poetry and criticism, has a research interest in the intersection between law and literature, and volunteers for a mental health charity (

Lifelong Learning Podcast Library

Our Lifelong Learnging team curate a diverse series of courses through which anyone can learn directly from our experts in a range of areas. Many of the talks have been recorded as podcasts which can be enjoyed for free via the link above!


Maths & Physics videos with UoS Graduate Dr. Emma Osbourne


National Cipher Challenge – New Weekly Challenges!

  • Help Harry crack the codes and discover the secrets!
  • Open to all ages and abilities.
  • Join or create a team or individual entry to submit your answers for live marking – or have a go at past challenges in your own time and reveal answers to check your own work.
  • Great way to engage with Maths and Computing.
  • Developed with IBM, GCHQ and other cipher/code-breaking experts!



SciTunes use the power of song to teach Science! Follow the link to find a range of music videos created to keep classrooms lively, increase student engagement and make lesson content memorable. Includes exciting content for teaching and revision of GCSE science.


SOTSEF Goes Digital!

SOTSEF 2020 is back…with a fresh digital twist, as ‘SOTSEF Goes Digital’!
Although the live events have come to an end, many of the videos, podcasts, blogs and activities are still available – so you can still join us and discover the amazing!


Southampton English Podcasts

  • Includes a series of podcasts discussing key English texts.
  • Created to aid GCSE and A-level students in their studies.
  • Information regarding previous and ongoing research projects, as well as details about further education in English can be found elsewhere on the website.

Southampton from your SOfa!

We may be confined to staying at home and many of Southampton’s great venues are temporarily closed but that hasn’t stopped them bringing the local and global culture to you. From virtual tours and art exhibitions to live concerts and online events, explore this page and discover what’s available right at your fingertips.

Southern Universities Network (SUN) Resources

Resources for schools from our local partnership the SUN include careers and student resources, webinars and information for parents and carers to support their young people’s future decision making.

Space 2 Create

Space 2 Create is a community art project running workshops for young people as a mental health provision! Our workshops start next week, on Monday 4th October for 11-14 year olds, and Tuesday 5th for 15-18 year olds, in the Northam, St Mary’s and Newtown areas!
The project will be creating a street mural together in October half term so it’s an amazing opportunity to get involved in.

To take part, get in contact using the below details:


Instagram: @space.2create

Facebook: NSAC Southampton

Special Collections – Online Exhibitions

The University Hartley Library Special Collections Gallery was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund primarily for the display of material from the collections to encourage public awareness and access. The exhibition programme focuses on themes within the collection and links in with University academic activity including celebrations of research, conferences and contributions to national and international events and commemorations – and many have parallel online exhibitions which can be viewed via the link above!



Turner Sims: Cordelia Williams, playing the Steinway Piano

If you are craving serenity, watch the first in a series of four stunning films from pianist Cordelia Williams, in which she plays the beautiful Turner Sims Steinway piano in the concert hall at Highfield campus. In this initial film, Cordelia serenades us with Mozart’s Rondo No 3, K511.


University of Southampton MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)


University of Southampton Research Videos

Ever wondered what goes on in a jet propulsion lab? How we study Saturn’s rings? What it’s like to hear for the first time thanks to a cochlear implant? How researchers fight cancer or understand the effects of plastics in the ocean? Explore all these things and more, with these short videos of some of the world-changing research taking place at Southampton – we hope they inspire the researchers of the future!


More Courses and Resources

We know there’s a lot out there and it can be easy to get lost in it all – so our wonderful LifeLab colleagues have brought together their favourite online courses and resources for you, in addition to our own listed above!



The Youth STEMM Award (YSA)The STEMM skills award for year’s 9-13. Any extracurricular activity involving Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine could count towards an award. Students log hours to the e-portfolio and receive a medal and certificate upon completion.

Youth STEM MattersYouth STEM Matters creates a platform for young people to share their research, ideas and innovations with the world, by allowing them to get their scientific project work published in a peer reviewed journal! Get involved by writing and submitting a STEM article or project, or, if you want to gain new skills and volunteer from home, join their team of volunteers!

Aspen Global Change Science and Solutions: For anyone looking for science content for learning at home, AGCI’s education page offers introductions to global change topics, with journal activities for further thought.

Encounter Edu: A one-stop-shop for teachers, parents and students to explore distance learning through free live lessons, downloadable curriculum-aligned resources, STEAM activities, subject updates and multimedia.

The Linnean Society: A hub page featuring a wealth of activities and information on biological science.

School PhysicsOver 3,000 pages, this website created by long-term ASE (Association for Science Education) member Keith Gibbs offers simple explanations and diagrams covering a wealth of key physics concepts, categorised by student age.

Physics OnlineFree videos and lessons.



Rosetta Stone: Free access to Rosetta Stone for Students for three months, making learning new languages accessible. You will get instant feedback on your pronunciation. You’ll be able to see how you’re coming along with progress data and printable reports.

DuoLingoA free app for your phone for students to work on their language skills or try a new language.



Mr. Bruff: Daily English lessons for GCSE students.



English National BalletLive ballet lessons.


Multiple Subject Areas

The Open UniversityAccess a huge range of free online courses from Open Learn. Increase confidence, and develop skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning. Subjects include Health Sports and Psychology, Education and Development, History and the Arts, Languages, Money and Business, Nature and Environment, STEM, Society, Politics and Law, and many more!

TES (Times Educational Supplement) TES has put together a collection of teacher-created learning resources designed to engage both primary and secondary students and help them learn and study outside of their usual classroom environment. All these resources are completely free to download and use and include lessons, worksheets, workbooks and activities across a multitude of subject disciplines.

Player FM GCSE Pocasts

MASSOLIT: Over 3,000 lectures across more than 400 courses. MASSOLIT works with academics from the world’s best universities to produce high-quality, curriculum-linked videos covering a range of subjects, perfect for GCSE, A-Level and International Baccalaureate students.


Study Skills & Careers

EtonX: Courses have been made available free online and offer training in skills important to life and to the workplace. Topics include CV Writing, Creative Problem Solving, Interview Skills, Making an Impact, Resilience, Research Skills, and Writing Skills.



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