The University of Southampton

Levelling Up Physics

Levelling Up Physics is a year-long online mentoring and tutoring scheme for high potential A-level students from under-represented backgrounds who are aiming to pursue physics at university.

Scan the QR code to apply
What is the Levelling Up Physics Scheme?
Our goal
How it works
Topics covered in tutorials
Why join?
Who is eligible
How to apply
Useful links
Contact us 

What is the Levelling Up Physics Scheme?

This programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Physics and is free for any A-level students to apply and join. It consists of weekly online tutoring and mentoring sessions led by trained tutors that are current undergraduate or postgraduate students in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton.

The weekly sessions run online at a convenient time after school, allowing students to join from their home.

The full programme runs from the middle of year 12 (April 2024), to the middle of their second year of A-levels (year 13), around April 2025.

Recruiting is currently open.


Our goal

Through enhancing the A-level pupils’ engagement with the subjects, and increasing their exposures to the university network, the Levelling Up Scheme aims to increase the diversity of students pursuing STEM degrees and, eventually, careers. It is crucial that everyone who wants to study these subjects is given the opportunity, regardless of gender, ethnicity or economic status, for the continued health of the subject and for the benefit of society as a whole in providing a richer, more diverse STEM community.

How it works:

You will be put in a small group with other year 12 students (each group having a maximum of 10 students) and paired with a tutor and a mentor, who are currently undergraduate or postgraduate students in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton. You will then engage in 1-hour online weekly sessions together with the rest of your group at a time after school.

The programme features two different kinds of sessions: tutorials and mentoring.

The tutorials consist in problem solving strategies for typical A-levels physics exercises (please see a list of the covered topics below). Additionally, and in advance to every tutorial, you will receive further independent study material designed to help you make the most of the tutorial and highlight possible areas of improvement. You will be able to discuss he topics and ask questions during the tutorials.

The mentoring sessions cover practical topics about university application and student life: you will be given tips on how to write a personal statement, the UCAS system and applications, essay writing and how to prepare for an interview, but also student finance and studying at the University of Southampton.

Topics covered in tutorials

The topics covered in the scheme are:

  • Physics problem solving strategies
  • Precision and accuracy in physics
  • Electric circuits and Kirchoff's Laws
  • Electric and magnetic fields
  • Dynamics, circular motion and projectile motion
  • Atomic energy levels in and spectra
  • The Photoelectric Effect
  • Waves and interference
  • Optics
  • Harmonic motion
  • Particle Theory of Matter

Why join?

  • You will receive training in A-levels Physics exercises and problem-solving strategies, which will allow you to maximise your performance and gain the skills you need to achieve top grades in Physics.
  • You will be coached on how to write an effective personal statement and application.
  • You will get a sneak peek into undergraduate life at the University of Southampton.
  • Depending on the percentage of sessions attended, you will receive a gold (>90%), silver (80-90%) or bronze (65-80%) certificate of attendance, which you’re encouraged to share on your future UCAS application.

Who is eligible:

You can apply to participate in Levelling up: Physics if you are currently:

  • in Year 12 (the first year of your A-level studies)
  • studying Physics AND Maths A-level (or equivalent)
  • interested in pursuing Physics at a higher level
  • attending a state (non-fee-paying) school in Hampshire/ Wiltshire/ Dorset or the Isle of Wight

As places are limited, we may prioritise applicants who meet some of the following criteria:

  • You identify as female
  • You are of black/African/Caribbean or mixed heritage
  • You would be within the first generation of your family to attend university (i.e. your parents and grandparents did not attend university)
  • You have been eligible for Free School Meals and/or Pupil Premium funding and/or discretionary school/college payments, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and/or 16-19 bursary during secondary school
  • you live in an area with a POLAR4 low rate of progression to higher education (quintile 1, 2 or 3). Please check your postcode
  • You been in local authority care or under a care order for at least three months
  • You provide care to a friend or family member
  • You have a disability and are in receipt of a personal independence payment
  • Your family pre-tax income is below £42,875
  • You are estranged from both of your parents/ guardians
  • You attend a school or college with a low overall GCSE and/or A-level point score and/or schools or colleges with low progression rates to higher education
  • You are a service child, i.e. a person whose parent, or carer, serves in the regular armed forces, or as a reservist, or has done at any point during the first 25 years of that person's life

How to apply:

Applications are now open, please follow the following link below to apply or scan the QR code at the top of the page.

For more information about applying and the scheme, please contact Dr. Priscilla Corsi 

Useful links:


  • Spring 2024 - Spring 2025
  • Online tutorials after school during term time
  • For Year 12 students studying Maths and Physics A-level
  • Apply here


Contact us

For more information, please email the Levelling Up lead Dr. Priscilla Corsi