Outreach activities and workshops

Birkbeck is committed to raising the aspirations of, and delivering workshops and outreach activities to, students who are typically under-represented at university. We are particularly passionate about raising the awareness of lifelong learning and part-time study for working Londoners.

Through our Access Agreement and college-wide Widening Participation framework, we are dedicated to providing opportunities, information and guidance for young people and adults, helping them realise their educational potential and broaden their horizons. 

Find out about our upcoming programme of outreach activities and workshops

our target audience

  • We aim to support learners from a range of backgrounds. These are our priority groups:
    • further education college BTEC and access students
    • sixth form college BTEC students
    • mature learners
    • students from low higher education participation neighbourhoods
    • widening participation family units.

Our core activities

  • Our team has an extensive programme of targeted activities and initiatives. These have been developed over time and reflect the needs and demands of our partners and prospective students. Our core activities involve:
    • raising aspirations
    • preparing students for studying 
    • careers and work progression support
    • making a university application
    • preparing for student life
    • study skills
    • student fees and finance advice.
  • Because our events and activities are funded via an Access Agreement, provided by the Office for Fair Access, certain eligibility criteria determine the direction of our work. We therefore prioritise our target audiences, where students/attendees meet three or more of the following criteria:
    • first in family to attend university.
    • hold non-traditional entry route qualifications, have limited or poor prior attainment (eg poor GCSE results or no qualification higher than GCSE).
    • come from a household with low income (<£25k).
    • black/minority ethnicity.
    • over 21 years old.
    • classified as disabled.
    • care leavers.
    • spent more than 10 years away from formal education. 

School or college workshops

Our activities are designed to support, motivate and inform a transition into higher education and/or employment, in line with schemes of learning, council priorities or aims of charities.

We offer the following programmes in schools and colleges: 

  • Academic skills 
  • Get that placement
  • BBK Maths. 
  • These can be delivered in isolation and adjusted to suit in-class activity. 
  • Please if you would like us to deliver a workshop at your institution. 

Academic Skills

  • Students are introduced to a number of study skills that can support them in their academic journeys, with sessions including:
    • How to focus your learning
    • Becoming an academic reader
    • How to take notes effectively
    • Essay planning
    • Becoming a critical reader.

Get That Placement

  • Students are given a chance to explore different routes into finding the perfect work placement and develop job seeking skills that will support them in their future career search. These interactive sessions include:
    • Identifying your skills
    • Finding the right opportunities
    • Applying for placements
    • Writing your CV
    • Writing a memorable cover letter
    • Interview skills.

BBK Maths

  • These workshops are designed to support college and mature learners undertaking GCSE Mathematics. The classes cover the core areas of the curriculum, with an emphasis on exam practice. Please note that these workshops take place on location, at a further education college. They are therefore only available to the students who are resitting their GCSE Mathematics qualification at a host institution.

Collaborative programmes

We work with communities across London, to support access to higher education.

Birkbeck’s Big Ideas 

  • Now in its fourth year, Birkbeck’s Big Ideas is a free lecture series designed to engage and inspire learners. We collaborate with community partners and Birkbeck academics to host this lecture series.  
  • Speakers aim to unpack their big ideas, questions and research, and to showcase how academia is fit for purpose and accessible to all. With a current series that includes academics from Law, Social Sciences, Astrophysics, Geography and Psychology; there is something to inspire and excite everyone.
  • This year, in partnership with our work with Haringey council, Birkbeck’s Big Ideas is being held at the 639 Enterprise Centre in Haringey. 
  • The lectures will run every second Wednesday of the month, from July 2016 to May 2017. Registration is at 6pm, with lectures running 6.30-8pm.
  • Book your place for the next lecture. Please note that booking is required, and entry is based on a ‘first come, first seated’ basis.
  • If you are interested in hosting this lecture series in the future, please .

Bridges to Birkbeck

  • In 2015, we partnered with Haringey Council and launched Bridges to Birkbeck. This programme aims to bring educational options to local residents, while increasing university study rates in an area that has high ambitions to improve social and educational mobility.  

Get Talking

  • Get Talking is a mentoring programme and collaborative project between Birkbeck’s Development and Alumni and Widening Access teams. It provides prospective students with a conditional offer at Birkbeck the chance to meet a former student, find out more about studying here, and ask questions or address any concerns.
  • This project has proven to be extremely beneficial for Birkbeck’s prospective students. Many who have taken part say that it was an invaluable opportunity to meet face to face with someone who has taken a similar journey. 
  • To apply, students must complete a registration form. All successful applicants offered a place will be invited via email to participate. They will be matched with an alumnus for a meeting at a café near our central London campus around June or July.
  • If you are interested in applying, please for more information.

BBK Chat

  • The first year of an undergraduate degree, in particular the first term, is exciting, but can at times feel overwhelming. BBK Chat is a mentoring programme designed to support students during this period.
  • First-year students are paired with second- or third-year undergraduates, who are able to empathise and offer advice to ease any concerns or worries. In addition, students are signposted to relevant Birkbeck student support services.
  • Priority will be given to first-year undergraduate students, who meet the Widening Participation criteria.