Faculty of Science

A-Level Physics and Chemistry Tutoring and mentoring

Students gather around a laptop to work

Levelling Up: STEM is a support programme for A-level students from groups currently under-represented in science, tehcnology, engineering and maths subjects.

This free programme is aimed at students who want to study physics or chemistry and related subjects at university. It runs alongside students’ A-level studies and gives them access to a dedicated tutor and mentor from the University of Nottingham.

Sixth-form students take part in regular, guided tutorials, mentoring sessions, guest lectures, and activities designed to make sure they are ready to apply for, and succeed, at university. Most sessions take place online with three dedicated visits to the University of Nottingham as part of the programme. Participants on the programme will take part in either the Physics or Chemistry streams, which run in parallel. 

Key dates

Application deadline*
21 January 2024 11.45pm

Online applicant Q&A session
12 December 2023 6 - 6.45pm

*The deadline has been extended from the 14th January. 


Online applicant Q&A session

We will be running an online information webinar on 12 December 6 – 6.45pm. The webinar will cover:

  1. Who is the programme for?
  2. The programme structure and delivery
  3. The application process
  4. Any questions you have 

Listen to the webinar 

How does the programme work?

There are three main aspects of the programme:

  • Academic tuition and support to stretch and challenge students in their physics or chemistry studies
  • Mentoring and support to develop the skills required to successfully apply for and succeed in higher education
  • Finding out more about the academic community at university so students know what to expect when they begin post-A-level study

Application criteria

To apply to participate in 'Levelling Up: Physics’ you must be:

  • In Year 12 (the first year of your A-level studies or equivalent)

  • Currently studying Physics and Maths at A-level (or equivalent)

  • Interested in pursuing physics or physics related subjects at degree level

  • Attend a state-funded, non-fee-paying school

To apply to participate in 'Levelling Up: Chemistry' you must be:

  • In Year 12 (the first year of your A-level studies or equivalent)

  • Currently studying Chemistry at A-level (or equivalent)

  • Interested in pursuing chemistry or chemistry related subject at degree level

  • Attend a state-funded, non-fee-paying school

  • Live in the local area to the University of Nottingham

However, as places are limited, we may prioritise applicants meeting one or more of the following (please note, this list is in no particular order): 

  • You have been entitled to free School Meals whilst you were at school, are in a household in receipt of a means-tested benefit or have a household income under £35,000

  • You live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression to higher education and / or a high level of socio-economic disadvantage (check if your postcode is eligible here)

  • Would be the first generation in your family to attend higher education

  • You have spent any time living in public care as a looked after child, including in Local Authority Care and living with foster carers or in a children's home.

  • You are a young person with caring responsibilities for a member of your family.

  • You are currently living independently or estranged from your family.

  • Your parent or carer serves in the Regular Armed Forces, or as a Reservist, or they have at any point during your life. 

  • You have a disability or special educational need. 

  • You identify as being from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller community. 

  • You have refugee or asylum seeker status.

  • You identify as female

  • You are a black, Asian or minority Ethnic student


Apply now

Academic tuition and support

Students receive high-quality materials and take part in a structured study programme consisting of self-study problems followed by a tutorial. Tutorials are informal and students discuss topics with a small group of other students, led by a tutor.

The programme runs across years 12 and 13 and covers a range of different topics designed to align with (but not replace) A-level courses. Students also discuss real-life applications of the science and links to research.


Mentoring and support

Participating students also take part in and are given:

  • Small group mentoring sessions, which provide opportunities to discuss university life and university applications in a supportive environment where they can address any concerns about their studies

  • Online guest lectures, given by renowned academics, in a range of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects to provide information about many different aspects and applications of a wide range of STEM careers

  • The opportunity to get to know and work with members of the university community including their mentors and guest lecturers


Successful applicants

Upon successful placement on the programme, students are allocated to:

  • An online tutorial group

  • A programme tutoring pair

Following an in person welcome event at The University of Nottingham, there will be a regular programme of online activities. These vary slightly but will roughly follow this pattern:

  • In week one there will be an online mentoring session where the students can explore different topics related to university life and discuss any questions or concerns they might have.

  • In week two students might spend 30 to 90 minutes on self-study materials – such as problems, puzzles or background reading to prepare for their tutorial

  • In week three there will be an online tutorial where students can discuss the self-study topic in more detail.

It is therefore desirable that the participants are able to commit an average of 1-1.5hrs per week to the programme.

Levelling Up partners are committed to safeguarding the welfare of young people. All the sessions are run according to the safeguarding policies and procedures in place at the University of Nottingham. 



Levelling Up starts in early February 2024 until the end of December 2024.  As a participant you would start in the spring term of year 12 and attend online sessions during the Spring, Summer and Autumn terms as you prepare to apply for university through UCAS.


Programme dates 

 Date Session or step

21 January (Sunday 11.45pm)

Applications close

26 January

Places offered on programme

2 February

Deadline to accept place

13 February (Tuesday 2-5pm)

Welcome event at University Park Campus

20 February (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 1

5 March (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 1

12 March (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 2

23 April (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 2

30 April (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 3

14 May (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 3

11 June (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 4

25 June (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 4 

July or August (TBC)

On campus event 

10 September (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 5 

24 September (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 5 

8 October (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 6

29 October (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 6

12 November (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 7

26 November (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Tutorial 8

3 December (Tuesday 6.30-7.30pm)

Mentoring 7

December (TBC)

On campus event

We will endeavour to keep dates as planned however we reserve the right to change dates if necessary.

Apply now

If you have any questions about the project, please contact us.

Levelling Up: Physics is run in association with the Institute of Physics and the Levelling Up: Physics Hub at the University of Birmingham. 

Levelling Up: Chemistry is run with support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and in association with the Levelling Up: Chemistry Hub at Durham University


Faculty of Science

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD