Explore learning and teaching, clubs and societies, student accommodation, and much more on a 2-night, 3-day residential at the University of East Anglia.

Please Note: Eligibility criteria apply and are detailed further down this page.

Join us at our FREE residential right here on the UEA campus from Tuesday, 23rd July to Thursday, 25th July 2024.

Whilst you’re with us on campus, you’ll get to experience life as a university student first-hand. For starters, you’ll be staying in our on-campus student accommodation complete with your very own room and ensuite, and you’ll share a kitchen and social spaces with other participants. You’ll also get to interact with real UEA students and staff, who will share their experiences and knowledge, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to experience all aspects of campus life.

Although applications are not yet open, you can register your interest for Uni Unlocked by completing this quick form. It’ll only take a minute, and then we will let you know when you can apply!

What does Uni Unlocked involve? 


Like what you see? That’s what Year 10 participants have got up to in the past at Uni Unlocked.

During Uni Unlocked, eligible Year 10 participants from across Norfolk and North Suffolk will get to spend three days and two nights on the UEA campus, living just like a real UEA student in our very own student accommodation. During the day and in the evenings, we’ll have lots of fun activities running to help you find out all there is to know about university and if it’s the right place for you in the future. This is a fully supported experience with lots of staff and UEA student ambassadors on hand around the clock to ensure that you have the best time.

Whilst at Uni Unlocked, you might get involved in:

  • Exploring the UEA Campus

  • Meeting and getting to know new people

  • Interacting with UEA Student Ambassadors

  • Taking part in hands-on activities (and winning prizes!)

  • Fun evening activities

  • Taking part in workshops to explore your future options

  • Exploring different ways of teaching and learning at university

  • Taking part in clubs or societies

  • Staying in UEA halls of residence, normally home to our current students.

And did we mention, it’s completely FREE! From your accommodation, meals, and activities to even your transport to and from the event, it won’t cost you a penny!

Why should I sign up? 

  • Uni Unlocked is FREE – so why not try out university before you need to make that big decision?

  • You’ll leave with a clearer understanding of what you might want to do after college or sixth form

  • You’ll leave with increased confidence in understanding future options

  • You’ll have increased self-belief in your abilities.

Applications will open in May 2024, but for now you can fill out this quick form and we’ll be able to let you know when applications open. It’ll only take a minute!

Who can sign up?

Uni Unlocked is a residential at the UEA campus run by UEA Outreach, designed to help people from demographic groups who are statistically underrepresented in Higher Education. UEA Outreach exist and receive funding to provide support to these groups to widen access and participation in higher education, and the groups we target are identified through both internal UEA data as well as data provided by the Office for Students.

The barriers faced by each identified group can vary, and some face more than others. The action we are taking to tackle this disparity is a well-evidenced intervention (summer residential), which can enable or encourage the group to overcome statistically evidenced disadvantages. Furthermore, the action is proportionate to that aim because this is just one activity in a much wider range of outreach offerings.

As such, to be eligible for Uni Unlocked, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Are currently or previously have been eligible for free school meals

  • Be one of the following ethnicities:

    • Arab

    • Asian or Asian British – Bangladeshi

    • Asian or Asian British – Pakistani

    • Black or Black British – African

    • Black or Black British – Caribbean

    • Chinese

    • Gypsy or Traveller

    • Irish Traveller

    • Mixed – White and Asian

    • Mixed – White and Black African

    • Mixed – White and Black Caribbean

    • Other Asian background

    • Other Black background

    • Other Mixed background

  • Have a disability as defined below:

    • A social / communication impairment such as Aspergers syndrome / other ASD

    • Blind or has a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses

    • Deaf or has a serious hearing impairment

    • Long standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or epilepsy

    • A mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorder

    • A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or AD(H)D

    • A physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using arms, or using a wheelchair or crutches

    • A disability, impairment, or medical condition that is not listed above

  • Are a young carer

    • This means that you look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem

  • Are care experienced

    • Being care experienced means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support

  • Are estranged

    • An estranged person is someone who no longer has the support of their parents, and often also other family members, due to a permanent breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact. This might mean your biological, step or adoptive parents, or wider family members who have been responsible for supporting you in the past.

To find out more about why these eligibility criteria apply, you can find out more and view some supporting statistical data.

Frequently asked questions

To attend Uni Unlocked, you need to:

  • Be in Year 10

  • Attend a state school

  • Live in Norfolk or have an NR postcode and attend one of our partner schools

  • Meet at least one of the eligibility criteria listed above.

If that’s you, then yes – Uni Unlocked is absolutely for you. All sorts of people go to university. Even if you're not sure if university is the right choice for you, come along to Uni Unlocked and find out so you can make a decision you're confident about.

This activity is designed to help people who are statistically less likely to go on to Higher Education. The work UEA Outreach does tackles educational barriers. Our selection criteria are based on evidence from the Office for Students that shows which groups face additional barriers to progression to Higher Education. These barriers can vary, and some groups face more than others. To be eligible for this activity, you must also meet at least one of the eligibility criteria listed above.

As long as you meet any of the criteria, you will be considered for the activity. If there are more applicants than there are spaces, we will randomly select from the eligible applicants. If you have not been randomly selected, we will place you on a waiting list and you may be able to join the activity if someone else drops out.

Applications will open in May 2024 but for now you can fill out this quick form and we’ll be able to let you know when applications open. It’ll only take a minute!

Here is a rough agenda for the three days. If you’re selected to join us, we’ll send you further details before you arrive.

Day 1:

  • Meet your ambassadors and get to know the other participants

  • Explore the campus

  • Experience a taste of university clubs and societies.

Day 2:

  • Learn about what you can do at university, including going abroad

  • Hear about the support and guidance available at university

  • Social activities including a disco and karaoke.

Day 3:

  • Reflect on your experience of Uni Unlocked

  • Think about the skills you have gained through taking park in various activities

  • Celebrate your achievements at Uni Unlocked with your parents / carers.

Don’t worry, Uni Unlocked is completely FREE – even down to getting here; we’ll pay for your travel. If you are worried about costs, please let us know at schoolsoutreach@uea.ac.uk. We’re here to answer any of your questions!

All of your food from breakfast to dinner and any snacks in between will be provided. There will always be a range of options, and we'll of course take care of any dietary requirements you may have.

You will spend two nights staying at the UEA Campus in your very own student flat in our Colman House accommodation. You'll have your own lockable bedroom with ensuite, and will share a kitchen with a group of other Uni Unlocked participants. There will be UEA Staff staying in the same building as you, and at least one DBS checked Student Ambassador will be staying in your flat in case you need anything.

You will be accompanied by trained UEA Student Ambassadors for the duration of Uni Unlocked, and they will be able to answer any questions you may have or help out with anything you're unsure of. Members of UEA Staff will also be around at all times to support with anything and to ensure you're having the best time at Uni Unlocked.

Aside from UEA Staff, Student Ambassadors, and participants in Uni Unlocked, the UEA Campus will be quite quiet as it is outside of term time. There will be around forty Year 10s taking part in Uni Unlocked, and they'll be from schools all over Norfolk and North Suffolk. You'll get a chance to work in small groups when you're here, and there'll be lots of time to get to know people and make new friends.

No. Uni Unlocked takes place Tuesday, 23rd July to Thursday, 25th July. This is in the first full week of the summer holidays for Norfolk schools.

Just wear your normal clothes but be aware that there will be a bit of walking around, and we'll also be active with things like rock climbing and other sports during some of the sessions - so make sure you've got sensible and comfortable footwear and clothing.

Absolutely! Just remember that there are a few sporting activities taking place.

Yes, you can bring your phone. We do ask though that you do not use it during any sessions. It is also important that any use of your mobile phone does not go against our behaviour policy.

If there are multiple participants from one school attending, we try to ensure that there will be at least two participants from the same school in the same flat.

Are you care experienced?

We run a similar event specifically for young people who have experience in local authority care called Experience Uni, which runs from Tuesday, 6th August to Wednesday, 7th August 2024. Click Here for more information on Experience Uni.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team at schoolsoutreach@uea.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to help.