• Russell Group

The Russell Group

The Russell Group (including Oxbridge) at Didcot Sixth Form
Julian Parkin-Haig BA, BLitt, MEd, GradDipEd, FRGS  RG Leader

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience, and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. This group includes Oxford and Cambridge and competition for places at these is extremely high. Didcot Sixth Form has a strong track record of students achieving places at Russell Universities every year, including Oxford and Cambridge. Students predicted to achieve mainly Grades 7, 8 and 9 at GCSE should consider joining the Russell Group.

You will have expert guidance from DSF staff throughout the sixth form in numerous areas in preparation for your application to, and interviews at, Russell Group universities.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Dedicated lead teacher for Russell Group applicants – monitoring and intervening where necessary.
  • Advice and guidance to students and teachers to support RG applications.
  • Subject teachers aim to stretch you – most have attended Russell Universities.
  • Tailored references which are Quality Assured.
  • Established Brasenose and Merton College visits.
  • Mentoring by undergraduates from Brasenose College, Oxford
  • New connections with Worcester College, Oxford and Murray Edwards College in Cambridge.
  • Mentoring GCSE pupils to develop academic confidence.
  • Public Speaking and Extended Project Qualification.
  • Personal Statement Workshops.
  • Regular emails with information and guidance on Supra-curricula opportunities
  • Oxbridge Information Evening
  • Personal Statement guidance/finalising
  • Mentoring by Oxford undergraduates from Brasenose College, Oxford
  • Information about, and applications for, University Admissions Tests
  • Interview workshop led by Dr Joe Organ, Brasenose College
  • Preferential Offers from Bristol University in recognition of the academic performance of DSF over the past few years.


How are students chosen to be members of the Russell Group?

A:  Potential Russell applicants are identified by the Heads of Sixth Form, working alongside Heads of Year and the Russell Group Leader. They are identified based on their GCSE results as well as the nominations by teachers and early working grades at AS level. Subject option choices will also be considered (see ‘Is there anything I should do before joining the Sixth Form?’ below) Some students also self-identify as Russell applicants and can apply to join by seeing the Russell Group Leader.

If I’m not invited to join, does that mean I can’t or shouldn’t apply to a Russell University?

A: It doesn’t mean this at all. If you wish to join, you may ask to join by contacting the Russell Group Leader who will discuss this further with you. The group aims to support students with a strong likelihood of a successful application, and it may be that for whatever reason (see how they are chosen above) you were not identified. Students are often added to the group at the beginning of Year 13 when AS results are received, and occasionally during Year 12.

Is there anything I should do before joining the Sixth Form?

A: Prior to joining the Sixth Form, those with strong GCSE predictions should look closely at the Russell Group page in the prospectus about ‘Russell Pathways’. It is important to pick subjects (and combinations) that will demonstrate your academic credentials to these institutions. Picking the appropriate options is one of the first stages in a successful Russell application.

Who are the Russell Universities?

A: The Russell Group is the name of a group of universities who originally came together as the leading research and teaching institutions in Britain. The group includes world renowned institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, as well as other institutions with high entry requirements. The full list of these can be found at http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/our-universities/

Who should I contact regarding the Russell Group?

A: The Russell Group Leader should be the first port of call, and he is contactable via email on jparkinhaig@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk