1. Who is this competition open to?

Please see our rules to find our entry requirements here:

This competition is open to students who are in year 12 or in their penultimate year of secondary education, this could also be the first year of college for some students in the UK. If you are an international student this will be the year before you take your final exams for university entry.

2. I have not received my registration confirmation

Everyone who registers for the essay competition will receive a confirmation email with a link to submit your essay. As the deadline grows closer we are unable to respond to every request that comes in. Please check your junk email as a large number of students have found their email there. If you still have not received it, it may have been blocked by your domain. We suggest registering again with a new email address. If the problem still persists please email but please be aware it can take up to 5 days for us to respond to your query so ensure you email us in good time.

3. Can I read previous essay submissions?

Yes you can read submissions from 2017 here

You can read submissions from 2018 here

You can read submissions from 2019 here

4. Can I submit an essay for more than one subject?

Unfortunately no, we can only accept one entry per person.

5. Will you be checking essays for plagiarism?

Of course, we like to ensure our competition is fair for all our students. Your submission should be your own original work.

6. I have submitted my essay but noticed a mistake - what can i do?

All submissions are final. We received a large number of emails last year with students wishing to upload new versions of previously submitted essays. This is not possible, once they are in our system we cannot overwrite them.

7. When will I hear back about my essay?

We receive thousands of essays every year and we like to take time to read every single one which is why it can take us a few months to mark them. Please do not email asking when you will hear back about your essay, as the more time we spend responding to emails, the less time we have to mark your essays. Everyone who submits an essay will be informed of its outcome. Those essays that are shortlisted will be invited to an awards ceremony which will be held at the College. This is a special event where the prize winners will be announced. This year we aim to announce all prize winners by July 2020

See our competition rules here

8. I am a teacher interested in promoting the Essay Competition to my students. How can I get in touch?

If you would like to join our teachers’ mailing list to receive a poster and promotional material, please sign up here


9. I am unsure of whether or not I can attend your award ceremony, if I win will I still be notified?

If you are a winner you will be notified regardless of whether or not you attend our ceremony however it is a very special evening where we honour the efforts and achievements of all students. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students and talk to our academics. We encourage all students to attend. You can see pictures of past award ceremonies here

10. I have RSVP’d but I would like to bring more guests, is this possible?

It may be possible closer to the time to bring an additional guest however we will not know until all guests have RSVP’s and we can see how many spaces we have available. If you would like to bring an additional guest you can register for our waiting list. (The waiting list will be made available to you after we have shortlisted candidates. 

11. I am underage but i am very good at writing essays, can i still enter?

No, this would be unfair to everyone who meets our age requirements. We run this competition every year, please do apply when you are of the correct age.

12. What is the Maximum Word Count?

1,500. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions here

13. Are footnotes necessary?

No they are not necessary to include, but referencing will help us understand where you got your points from and what materials helped you write your essay.