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Oxford Womxn in Computer Science (OxWoCS) Challenge Club

  • Year 12 students
  • From state-funded schools
  • Students who identify as female
  • Are academically strong

What is Challenge Club?

The Challenge club is a free initiative designed to inspire more young women to continue their mathematical pursuits and to help them thrive as they do so.

The club consists of mathematical and computer science related problem sheets which will be sent out for students to solve. Followed by online discussions designed to encourage, extend and support students to help them grow in confidence with their mathematics.

These problems are created to stretch and challenge students beyond the standard syllabus and give them an insight into some of the many interesting ways in which they can use mathematics.

The programme is created by Oxford Womxn in Computer Science (OxWoCs). alongside the Oxford Department of Computer Science.

Challenge club

When and Where

  • One online session every month for 5 to 6 months (usually starting in January)
  • Each session starts at 16:30 and lasts for 1.5 hours
  • Each student will need to complete a problem sheet in advance of each session (around 6-8 hours of work each month).

Format of the session

Problem sheets will be given out at the start of each month, students will complete these in their free time. Hints and extensions will be added during the following weeks to support and add to your independent study. At the end of each month, small groups of students will meet with the session leader (a member of the Oxford Womxn in Computer Science society) to discuss the problem sheets. Session leaders will go through each problem, spending more time as needed on tricky problems. Students will also have the opportunity to ask questions on admissions or what life is like as a student.

Nomination Criteria

This event is open to students who:

  • Are enthusiastic about Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Attend state schools in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • who self-identify as female or non-binary
  • Are in Year 12/S5 (or Y13 for those in Northern Ireland)
  • Are academically strong mathematicians. England/Wales/Ireland: At least grade 7 in GCSE maths, Studying A level Maths (or equivalent). Students should also be taking Further Maths A level when it is offered by the school (taking Maths in Y12 and Further Maths in Y13 is fine). National 5 Mathematics; and are already studying, Maths Higher and Advanced Higher.

If we are oversubscribed for the programme, we will also use ACORN and POLAR data to prioritise students for a place:

  • ACORN is a classification of residential neighbourhoods which measures the socio-economic wealth of the area you live in. ACORN looks at the attributes of households in your area and covers health, retail and leisure aspects. We will prioritise students who come from a low socio-economic status background, which is classed as an ACORN 4 or 5 category. You can check which ACORN category your postcode comes under, on the ACORN website. Please note that you do need to register before accessing this information.
  • POLAR(4) measures the rate of progression to higher education in your area. We will prioritise students who come from an area with a low rate of progression to higher education, which is classed as a POLAR(4) Quintile 1 or 2. You can check the quintile of your postcode here.

Selection will also prioritise students who have been in care, are care givers, receive free school meals, or are hoping to be first generation university students

How do I apply for a place on this programme?

Applications for the 2025 Challenge Club will open late 2024 Students can self-nominate and will need to complete a booking form.

Students taking part in the programme will need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet capable of calls and a stable internet connection.


Please contact:

Please note the organisers reserve the right to change the programme without notification or to make alterations to the advertised details for the day at short notice.


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