Enhancing Excellence & EPQ



Every year, over 75% of students on the Enhancing Excellence Programme gain places at Russell Group Universities
of applicants received offers for medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine courses. the national applicants-to-offers figure - for all schools - was 10%
of our Oxbridge applicants achieved heir place in 2019
of applicants received offers for Medev courses. The national average applicants-to-offers figure for medical/dental schools or veterinary colleges is 10%.
students have received offers from Oxbridge in 2020
of Oxbridge applicants received offers. 40% higher than the 20% national applicant-to-offer figure for high schools.
of our students hold offers for world top 25 universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Imperial, King’s London, LSE and UCL.

What is the Enhancing Excellence Programme?

Enhancing Excellence exists to support a cohort of students who are intending to apply to the most prestigious universities in the UK (called the Russell Group universities) and to medical, veterinary science and dental schools. Last year 146 students were members of these groups and their applications to Russell Group universities were about 3 times more likely to be successful.

What happens in Enhancing Excellence?

The programme is delivered via designated, subject area-specific tutor groups which meet weekly from the beginning of the Lower Sixth to the end of your time at Notre Dame. In a similar way to other tutor groups, EE groups will offer pastoral support, celebrate equality and diversity, get involved in charitable work, set and monitor targets, introduce students to a range of careers and other opportunities post-Notre Dame and explore issues such as mental and physical health and personal safety; but about three-quarters of tutorial time will be allotted to EE-related activities. You will be given the chance to research and deliver your own presentations, discuss topics relevant to the degrees for which you wish to apply in depth, keep up a learning log and talk about it with a mentor, attend relevant and stretching trips and conferences, be helped in your eventual applications to university and be encouraged and supported in your efforts to gain the high grades demanded at Russell Group universities.

We have a very successful Medev (Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Medicine) programme under the Enhancing Excellence umbrella, including links with WAMS and Open Wide, Leeds University’s programmes aimed at widening access to Medicine and Dentistry respectively.

How do you join?

You will apply and be interviewed at enrolment. Invitation to join the programme is dependent on your performance here and your GCSE results.

What is Cambridge HE+?

Notre Dame is the lead of the Cambridge University HE Plus Hub for Leeds with another provider. This initiative is designed to challenge academically the brightest young people in our inner cities, to raise aspirations and encourage applications to very selective universities. 

Notre Dame is the lead of the Cambridge University HE Plus Hub for Leeds with another provider. This initiative is designed to challenge academically the brightest young people in our inner cities, to raise aspirations and encourage applications to very selective universities.

The Cambridge HE+ Programme is a prestigious programme run in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. In conjunction with another provider, we are the only University of Cambridge Hub for Leeds, which means we are perfectly placed to not only help prepare high achieving students for applying to Cambridge, but to any of the UK’s Russell Group Universities. You will: be given advice, guidance and support to help you make the best possible application; be prepared for interviews, including mock interview practice; and attend seminars run by the University of Cambridge itself. As Notre Dame is one of The University of Cambridge’s HE+ institutions, we aim to engage students in a sustained programme, which includes academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, information and guidance sessions, and a residential to Selwyn College, Cambridge. HE+ is designed to stretch and inspire the UK’s most academically able students, encouraging and preparing them to make competitive applications to top universities. You can find out more here.



The Extended Project Qualification, or EPQ, is an additional qualification that can be studied alongside your BTECs or A Levels at Notre Dame you can apply to do during your time with us. You would start it at the end of lower sixth and complete it in upper sixth. It is worth 70 UCAS points (which is equivalent to half of an A level), and universities including Oxford and Cambridge encourage students to study the EPQ, as it is highly regarded and often features in a student’s offer from university. The EPQ provides you with the opportunity to choose the topic and type of project that you complete, meaning you can choose something that you are especially interested in or passionate about. You could choose to further explore an aspect of a subject that you are studying, choose something in which you have a personal interest, or do a project about an issue that concerns you. The EPQ is especially useful for students who are aspiring to progress into a career in a highly competitive field such as medicine or law, as it showcases your abilities for independent study and research. You could choose a topic that is relevant to that area of study. It shows admissions staff at universities that you are self-motivated, imaginative and committed to study, and has helped students to gain places at the UK’s most prestigious universities. You will have the support and guidance of a member of College staff throughout the project, which gives you the opportunity to receive feedback along the way.

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