I’ve continued to be involved in a range of outreach, widening participation and public engagement schemes even during lockdown thanks to our online resources – it isn’t quite the same doing a Q&A in Teams but we managed. It has been a busy year with Sutton Trust, Fife Schools Science Foundation, LiftOff2Success, REACH, Teachers Together, First Chances and sessions for a dozen other schools as well as Dundee, Fife, Levenmouth and Angus Colleges’, all supported by colleagues and especially by our Admissions Unit here at the University. Excellent opportunities for young people from Scotland and across the UK (particularly South Tyneside and Sunderland). Many of these activities will run again online over the summer but hopefully back to in-person after that.

Public Engagement with Research

British Science Week

The Science Discovery Day is an open, free event for the general public hosted by the University. Staff, postgraduates and undergraduates from the School contribute interactive demonstrations and activities to an average audience of around 600 people of all ages annually.

The Big Brain Box

An online resource with associated activities as well as an active programme of visiting schools in Fife and Tayside. There are so many myths surrounding brain development and neuroscience, particularly in educational circles, that we have tried to pull together current and accurate information to help you to understand the role of your brain in everyday life.

Communicating Science Day – Fourth year students’ public event

This is an annual showcase for our final year students and is open to the general public. This normally occurs during the Fife school’s vacation period and is regularly attended by more than 100 visitors.

Brain Awareness Week – School pupils from across Fife and Tayside

A range of activities with S4-S6 pupils from across Fife and Tayside incorporating demonstrations from my colleagues in Neuroscience.

Outreach and Widening Participation

Sutton Trust Summer School Programme

Since 2002 we have been a major contributor to this programme funded by the Sutton Trust and administered through our Admissions Unit. The aim is to demystify elite universities and to equip students with the knowledge and insight to make high-quality applications to them.

During the week, participants take part in a varied programme of academic and social activities designed to give insight into what university study would be like. Students live in a university hall of residence and attend academic sessions in two subject areas of their choice.

Scottish Widening Access Programme

The Scottish Wider Access Programme supports access to higher education for adult learners. SWAP access programmes run at colleges across Scotland and are a proven route into hundreds of degree courses at partner universities. Our programmes are specifically designed for adults who are returning to education after a gap, and who have the motivation and ability to go on to study at university or for a higher level qualification at college.


LIFT OFF delivers the Scottish Funding Council’s national Schools for Higher Education Programme in Fife and Tayside. Fife and Tayside is defined as the area that includes the four local authorities of Fife, Dundee City, Angus and Perth and Kinross. The School of Psychology and Neuroscience represents the University by delivering sessions on each of the two residential weeks that are hosted here in St. Andrews.

Teachers Together

The Teachers Together Conference is a key event which brings together stakeholders from all sectors of education to help ensure that relevant, accurate and timely guidance is given to pupils preparing for university.

The conference provides an open and relaxed atmosphere in which we can share knowledge and best practice from across the education sector. It also gives us the opportunity to hear about subject developments in schools which may influence attainment and achievement levels.

First Chances

The School contributes at all stages to the First Chances Fife programme which is collaboratively funded by the University of St Andrews, Fife Education, The Robertson Trust, the Scottish Funding Council and Fife Council. This innovative programme aims to raise the aspirations and attainment of selected pupils from P7 to S6 throughout their school journey, with continued support into further and higher education.

REACH – school pupils

The Reach Project at the University of St Andrews provides advice regarding school subject choices and a variety of events and workshops to learn more about studying Medicine, Economics, Management or Psychology. Pupils who take part in the programme will also benefit from longer term schemes to develop study skills and knowledge, as well as the ongoing support of the Reach team.

Science Fiction Make Believe Scottish-wide Essay Competition

Launched in 2015 and sponsored by the Royal Society of Edinburgh this essay competition, aimed at S2 pupils, has attracted the participation of 68 schools from Aberdeen to Unst, Ayr to Fife, big schools and small schools, and an astonishing (and fantastic) range of submissions. The competition involves a 750 word creative piece about any Scottish scientist (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) alive or dead, or the impact of their discoveries or inventions. We are trying to put the Arts into STEM – STE(A)M.

Adult Learning Day

An opportunity to come along to find out more about learning and training opportunities across Fife. From vocational training right through to part-time degree level study. This is a showcase event for both traditional qualifications and other routes through, for example, volunteering and community participation.

The Brilliant Club

In S6 pupils have the option to follow the ‘Developing Knowledge and Preparing for the Future’ programme where they can attend workshops that they did not have the opportunity to the previous year in our First Chances programme.

Alternatively, pupils are encouraged to engage with ‘The Brilliant Club’ scholars programme. Through engagement with this programme, pupils will study a subject they are thinking of pursuing into Higher Education in greater detail. The programme will be delivered in a series of university style tutorials.

Leave a reply

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.