Information for Schools and Colleges

PARTNERS Academic Summer School

PARTNERS Academic Summer School

You must successfully complete the PARTNERS Academic Summer School (PASS) to meet the requirements of the lower PARTNERS offer.


The PARTNERS Academic Summer School is designed to give you an early introduction to various aspects of Higher Education study and help you to prepare for life at Newcastle University.

PASS is taught by undergraduate lecturers in the same subject field that you apply to as your Firm Choice course. During the event, you will meet some of your undergraduate lecturers, use Newcastle University facilities to complete academic tasks and get to know other students on your course.

Upon completion of PASS, we hope this will mean that you feel more confident in your ability to be successful at Newcastle University and that you'll be more than ready to begin studying at Higher Education level once the first semester begins in the autumn.

When is the Summer School?

The event will take place during the following dates:

  • Monday 5 July - Friday 9 July

Students will be asked to complete a formative assessment during PASS. The hand-in date for this assessment may be after the final day of the event (subject strand dependant).

All applicants holding a PARTNERS offer must be available during the above dates to complete PASS. Therefore we advise all applicants to bear this in mind when making any plans for summer 2021, including the possibility that you may need to set aside some time after 9 July to complete your assessment.

Absences from PASS are only acceptable under extenuating circumstances, such as illness which is evidenced by a doctor’s note.

What happens at the Summer School?

There are over 30 subject strands on the Summer School, each with their own subject-specific timetable. You will be allocated to the subject strand which most closely relates to your chosen (Firm Choice) course of study.

Your time is made up of sessions and activities within four key components: academic, higher education study skills, employability and social sessions. The amount of time you spend in each kind of session varies according to what course you apply to.

Find out more about the four components of PASS:


PASS 2021 will be held via the University's virtual learning environment, Canvas.

PARTNERS has been running since the year 2000 and has always encompassed an on-campus element as part of the Programme. Unfortunately, this has not been possible for PASS 2021 and the event will take place online via Canvas, the University's virtual learning environment.

It is our aim for future years to retain an on-campus element to the Programme when guidelines and circumstances allow.

Canvas is the same platform used to deliver online learning during undergraduate study, making PASS 2021 a fantastic introduction to the digital facilities used by Newcastle University students.

PASS is subject-specific, so the exact format of the event varies according to what you've applied to. This means that you will take part in sessions and activities that are relevant to your degree. Typical sessions may include:

  • Pre-recorded lecturers that can be studied flexibly
  • Academic seminars hosted via Zoom
  • Interactive virtual walking tours
  • One subject strand in 2020 even involved an at-home experiment that was delivered directly to students!

Example Timetables from PASS 2020

Take a look at some example timetables from PASS 2020 to see what your week may look like:

In addition to the academic content within the above timetables, students will be given extensive HE Skills and Careers online modules to complete flexibility at a time that suited them.

Students will also take part in a series of careers-focussed Industry Webinars, which will give students the opportunity to chat with alumni and graduate employers.


Taking part in PASS will be completely free and accessible for all attendees.

Open, flexible access to the online event is very important to PARTNERS. We therefore ensure in all stages of the event planning and delivery that accessibility is given top priority and all PARTNERS students are able to access all aspects of the Programme.

Software Access

PASS will predominantly be delivered via Canvas, the University's virtual learning environment. PARTNERS students will be able to access this platform via a web browser and a bespoke iOS/Android app.

If there are any other pieces of software required, they will be either freely available online or accessible for free using the University's software licenses.

Attendees at PASS 2021 will be given access to the following free of charge:

  • Canvas, Newcastle University's Virtual Learning Platform
  • Microsoft Office365 (including Word, Excel and Powerpoint)
  • Their own Newcastle University email address
  • Newcastle University Library Services

Some examples of applications that were utilised during PASS 2020 include:

  • Miro - an online collaborative whiteboard platform
  • Padlet - a flexible note-taking platform
  • Mentimeter - an interactive presentation platform

To ensure that PASS 2021 is as accessible as possible, any platform used will be available via a variety of devices, including laptop, tablet and smartphone.

Flexible Learning

Students taking part in PASS will be given a recommended timetable to complete their learning. 

All materials will also be accessible at a time that suits each attendee, including any live sessions, which will be recorded and uploaded to Canvas for any student who would like to review the content at a later time/date.

However, we expect that you will make every effort to follow your timetable and attend all live sessions. All applicants have been aware of the PASS dates since September 2020, therefore we expect that you make reasonable adjustments to your schedule for the week of the event (Monday 5th - Friday 9th July). For example, if required you should request annual leave from your job or rearrange any non-essential appointments.

Find out more about absences from PASS.

If you're concerned about your access to the Summer School, please contact us.


You must attend 100% of the Academic Summer School to pass and fulfil the conditions of your lower offer to Newcastle University.

You must be available to attend the Summer School.


If you are ill during the Summer School, or have a condition that may prevent you from taking part in any of your sessions, we will require a note from your doctor.


Holidays are not an acceptable reason for absence. If you have a holiday planned during this event you should rearrange it.

You must also ensure that you have plenty of time afterwards to complete and hand in your project work by the agreed deadline. The exact date is dependant on which subject strand you sit at the Summer School and will be confirmed prior to the start of the event.

Other Circumstances

Other circumstances for absence from the Academic Summer School would be considered on an individual basis.