Summer Schools

We host a number of Summer Schools

Sutton Trust Summer School

Housing Sutton Trust Summer School chemistry students since 1997!

The Sutton Trust is an educational charity in the United Kingdom which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. The Sutton Trust Summer School (“STSS”) programme allows secondary school students to experience Edinburgh as an undergraduate student does meaning they will live, study, and socialise in the heart of Scotland’s vibrant capital city. Students are invited to take part in social events during their time as a summer school student and will receive expert support on their journey to University.

The School of Chemistry is proud to be a long-time supporter and partner of the Sutton Trust Summer School programme with our first STSS taking place in 1997. Since then, over 20,000 students have been through the programme.

We host STSS student who have selected chemistry as one of their summer school subjects and provide laboratory-based project work, lectures on cutting edge chemistry, and tutorials alongside fun social activities. Students will engage with academic staff members and PhD students during their time with us which will provide students with ample opportunity to ask questions about University life and studying a STEM subject at higher education. Each part of the School of Chemistry’s programme is designed to give students a real taste of undergraduate student life as a chemistry student.

The central University of Edinburgh Widening Participation Team organise the University of Edinburgh’s involvement in the Sutton Trust Summer School and those wishing to take part in the scheme should refer to their webpage for more information.

Salters' Trust

We host Salter’s Institute Festivals of Chemistry events at the Joseph Black and Christina Miller buildings.

The School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh has a long standing relationship with the Salters’ Institute Festivals of Chemistry. Traditionally, this was a one-day event where local primary 6 and 7 classes were invited to the Joseph Black Building to take part in the Salters’ Chemistry Challenges and other chemistry-related activities such as fun demonstrations and hands-on experiments. These events were consistently well received by pupils and teachers alike and were a highlight of the outreach calendar for the School of Chemistry.

In 2021, the programme shifted focus from primary school children to older teens in S4 to S5 and aim to explore the diverse career options of those studying chemistry in further education. The programme now consist of inspirational speakers, a careers panel, and a hands-on chemistry experiment on the day at a higher education establishment and offers lesson plans covering chemistry careers to be conducted in classrooms throughout the UK.

The School of Chemistry is not involved in the application process or selection procedure. More information can be found on the Salters’ Institute Festivals of Chemistry website.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Summer School

We take part in the summer school created by the BSL team here at the University of Edinburgh.

The School of Chemistry is proud to take part in the University’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Summer School. This summer school was developed by the BSL working group as part of the University’s British Sign Language Plan 2018-2024 (LINK: and brings together deaf and hard of hearing secondary school students (S5/6, Yr 12/13) from across the UK to take part in a selection of lectures and activities from Schools across the University. Students learn about the application process for university courses, university life, and support for deaf & hard of hearing students while studying at the University of Edinburgh. BSL/English interpretation and live captioning was available during the summer school which was delivered via Zoom. As part of the line-up, students experience a university style lecture followed by a Q&A from Schools across the University, including the School of Chemistry.

This summer school is organised by the University of Edinburgh BSL working group and information on the application process and more can be found on their website.

Chemistry Summer School

The Chemistry Summer School is a week-long summer school held in the Joseph Black and Christina Miller Buildings for S4 pupils and their teachers from Chemistry on Tour partner schools. We aim to build confidence and raise aspirations of young people in STEM subjects, especially chemistry, with our Chemistry Summer School.

During their week-long stay in Edinburgh, pupils engage with curriculum relevant chemistry experiments in our teaching labs and learn how to write up and present their results. These experiments have been chosen to enthuse pupils in the chemical sciences by linking the chemistry in their experiments to societal challenges faced in the modern age. A “Careers for Chemists” workshop is included to showcase the diverse range of careers afforded to those with qualifications in chemistry. Outside of the lab, there are plenty of social activities put on for pupils and teachers alike including visiting Dolly the Sheep at the National Museum of Scotland, hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat for a beautiful view of Edinburgh, and taking a journey through time at Dynamic Earth.

As well as being a lot of fun for pupils, we provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions led by Royal Society of Chemistry Educational Co-ordinators for the visiting school teachers to revolutionise classrooms and afford teachers a greater confidence in leading their classes through practical activities. This is a means of a continued legacy of the Chemistry Summer School beyond the schools week-long stay in Edinburgh.

To register your interest, or for more information, please contact the Outreach Officer by email.