Taking a Gap Year

A gap year is a fantastic way to broaden your experiences and gain some real-world experiences between school and university.


There are a number of things you can do with your gap year, many of which can be used to broaden the range of topics you may be able to talk about in your personal statement or, if you are required to interview for your course, discuss as part of your interview.

To hear several current Oxbridge students answering questions about their experiences of gap years, check out the InsideUni Gap Year Q&A πŸ”— 🌟 on our YouTube channel.

Work Experience: General

upReach πŸ”— 🌟 upReach is a charity which supports disadvantaged students in the workplace. There is a specific programme for students looking to secure work placements before university.

Project Access πŸ”— 🌟 Project Access is a service which matches students applying to top universities with a mentor already at that university. While the service is typically used to help students apply to university, it could easily be used to gain advice about gap year work and experiences.

GROW Mentoring πŸ”— GROW Mentoring is a service which pairs aspiring lawyers with legal professionals, who are then able to provide careers advice to their mentees.

Student Ladder πŸ”— This site provides advice for students planning a gap year as well as a range of companies which offer gap year placements.

SEO London πŸ”— SEO London provides students from ethnic minority or low socio-economic backgrounds with training, mentorship, and work experience.

E4S πŸ”— 🌟 E4S provides advice and a set of opportunities to students intending to take a gap year.

Prospects πŸ”— Prospects provides resources and advice to gap year students.

ICS πŸ”— 🌟 ICS is the International Citizenship Service, a government-sponsored program which funds students who wish to volunteer internationally during their gap year. ICS is currently taking a year away and there will be a new programme launched this year.

Camp America πŸ”— Camp America operate American Summer Camps, students can sign up to work as a β€˜camp leader’.

Work Experience: STEM and Business

Engineering Development Trust Year in Industry πŸ”— 🌟 The engineering development trust’s year in industry scheme places gap year students with engineering or business teams across the UK. Students placed on the programme are provided with training days, professional support, and the opportunity to win regional or national awards for the work they complete over the course of the year. Students are paid as part of the programme.

IBM Futures Gap Year Scheme πŸ”— IBM offers a number of gap-year placements for school-leavers. The employment opportunities are in their technology or business divisions. Opportunities are available at their locations across the UK.


A number of theatre companies offer workshops, courses and opportunities for students on gap years.

National Youth Theatre πŸ”— 🌟 Offers lots of different ways to get involved, from short courses and masterclasses, to auditions for shows.

Young Vic πŸ”— Why not try an β€˜introduction to producing or directing’ course?

Southwark Playhouse πŸ”— If you live or study in Southwark, try one of their weekly workshops.

Greenwich and Lewisham Tramshed πŸ”— A seasonal programme of events, alongside opportunities to access mentoring and advice if you’re considering pursuing a career in the arts.

BYMT - British Youth Music Theatre πŸ”— 🌟 Auditions are held across the country, for the chance to perform and receive high-quality training in musical theatre.

Stratford East πŸ”— A selection of youth theatre programmes to get involved in.

Useful YouTube videos

Should I Take a Gap Year? πŸ”— Two students discuss their experiences of gap years, and how finances shouldn’t hold you back.

Ibz Mo and Viola Helen on gap years πŸ”— 🌟 Cambridge graduate Ibz Mo and Oxford graduate Viola Helen talk about how they spent their respective gap years.

35 ideas to do in the gap year πŸ”— 🌟 StudyTuber Unjaded Jade shares 35 ideas for gap year plans - check the description box for links to everything mentioned!

so, was the gap year worth it? πŸ”— At the end of her gap year, Jade returns to share the highs and the lows, and whether taking a year out of education was worthwhile.

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