University Experiences

We believe the experience of going to university will be invaluable for many of our students, enabling them to access their dream career whilst developing essential life skills in preparation for the future. We have devised a comprehensive programme that introduces the prospect of university from Year 7, all the way through to Year 13. Our aim is to provide students with as many university experiences as possible, in order for them to make an informed decision when the time comes.



Key Stage 3

Year 7 – University Experience Days

In partnership with the University of Derby, our students are taken on campus to learn what university life is really like. We have a tour of the facilities as well as meeting current university students and hearing about their experiences of university life.

Ambition Nottingham – University of Cambridge Visit

David Nieper Academy has partnered with Ambition Nottingham, a programme run by the University of Nottingham, for several years. Ambition Nottingham gives some of our pupils the opportunity to experience Higher Education including subject taster days and workshops.

On April 21, our Year 9 pupils were invited by Ambition Nottingham to the University of Cambridge. Pupils visited Peterhouse College, one of the oldest colleges within the University of Cambridge.

The visit included:

  • A guided tour of the campus
  • A lecture delivered by University of Cambridge scholars
  • A Q&A session with current Cambridge students about university life
  • A tour of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Year 8 (MAT students) Virtual Academic Skills Workshop

In association with the Universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds (part of the ‘Excellence’ hub), students participate in a number of workshops to develop the essential skills for university life:

  • Academic resilience
  • Research and resource skills
  • Independent study skills

Students also take part in Nottingham Ambition, in association with the University of Nottingham, learning about the different courses on offer and university life in general.

Year 9 (MAT students) The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that recruits, trains and pays doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to small tutorial groups of high-performing pupils in the academy.

Tutors come into the academy to work with groups of six high-performing pupils, delivering a series of tutorials that takes them beyond the curriculum and helps them to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition necessary to secure places at top universities. 

MAT – Visit to University of Oxford

This term, our Year 9 and 10 More Able and Talented pupils visited St. Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford. They learned about university life and the unique teaching at collegiate universities. The visit included a tour of the college grounds and the St. Edmund Hall library, located in a church built around 800 AD. The day concluded with an ‘old book handling’ session where pupils viewed and handled valuable texts, including one worth around £20,000.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 – Visit to Nottingham University

As part of Year 10 Enterprise Week, students embark on an exciting trip to Nottingham University. The day commences with an engaging tour of the university campus, showcasing its vibrant facilities and lively atmosphere, followed by interactive workshop sessions that delve into the practical aspects of managing a budget during university life. It’s a great opportunity for our pupils to get a taste of university life and all that it has to offer.

Key Stage 5

Year 12 – Nottingham Trent University ‘Experience Business Day’

Upon arriving at NTU, students discussed different degree options. They split into two groups based on their interest in Business or Accounting and Finance. The finance group attended an introductory lecture on career paths in accounting, such as becoming a chartered accountant or starting a firm. The visit ended with a tour of NTU’s library, sports centre, cafeteria, and activity options. Finally, both groups received information on student financing, including application processes and details about maintenance and tuition funding.

Year 12 – The University of Derby ‘Think Reflect Succeed Day (EPQ)’

On Thursday 14 March, sixth-form students involved in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) attended the Think, Reflect, Succeed day at the University of Derby. They participated in a critical thinking workshop on identifying fake news, evaluating different perspectives, and forming reasoned arguments. In the afternoon, they learned reflective working and independent research planning skills, crucial for their upcoming projects.

Year 12 – University of Derby ‘Build your Career Day’

On Thursday 29 February, Year 12 students visited the University of Derby for Build Your Career Day. They toured the campus, viewed facilities, and attended talks on various subjects, including law, education, policing, journalism, forensic science, computing, and allied health. They also participated in sessions on higher education topics like degree apprenticeships, student finance, and interview preparation, and had the chance to speak with current students about their experiences.

Year 12 – University of Leeds

On Wednesday 6th December, a group of Year 12 students visited the University of Leeds for a campus tour. They were shown the university’s facilities, including the libraries, sports centre, students’ union, and two student accommodations. They also had the opportunity to speak to current students to find out about their studies and university life.

Year 12 – Keele University Session

Year 12 took part in a ‘Benefits of University and Myth Busting’ session on Monday 13th November. The session explored common myths about going to university and learning the truth behind them. They also explored the reasons to why students choose to study. Students thoroughly enjoyed learning about the benefits of university and myth busting. Keele University will be attending our Careers Fair on Tuesday 30th January 2024.

Year 12 – Sheffield Hallam Maths Workshop

Following on from our successful visit to the university’s Broader Horizons event, Sheffield Hallam University’s math and outreach team hosted a workshop for our A-level students, introducing them to the role of mathematics in modern cryptography. Students explored the significance of prime numbers, experimented with a simplified version of the RSA encryption algorithm, and engaged in computer programming to enhance their understanding. 

Year 12 – Visit to Sheffield Hallam

On April 26, A-level mathematicians took a trip to Sheffield Hallam University to take part in Mathematics: Broader Horizons, a day of talks and workshops about how the world of math expands once students leave school. Students could get hands-on with some problem-solving and learn tips from the experts about how to approach the problems.

Year 12 – Visit to Nottingham Trent University 

As part of Enterprise Week, Year 12 students have the chance to visit Nottingham Trent University, where they gain insights into crafting their UCAS applications, including personal statements and student finance. Additionally, they explore the university’s city campus, experiencing its vibrant facilities and gaining firsthand knowledge of the university environment to aid their application decisions.

Year 12 – Visit to University of Coventry

During Enterprise Week, the students’ first destination is Coventry University. The day is packed with engaging and informative activities, including a campus tour, an engineering workshop, and an investment seminar. The experience is thoroughly enjoyed by all and goes on to inspire many to consider applying to the university in the upcoming year.