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Oxford Womxn in Computer Science (OxWoCS) Challenge Club

A digital programme for Year 12 girls at UK state schools.

Monthly sessions.


Applications are closed.

The Oxford Womxn in Computer Science (OxWoCS) Challenge club is a new initiative created by the Oxford Womxn in Computer Science society alongside the Oxford Department of Computer Science. It aims to create a community of young womxn with a passion for mathematics and its applications.

The club will consist of monthly mathematical and Computer Science related problem sheets which will be sent out for students to solve. These problems are designed 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. At the end of each month, students will take part in a discussion lead by an Oxford Computer Science student to discuss the problems including solutions, techniques, and areas which people enjoyed or struggled with.

We hope to inspire more young womxn to continue their mathematical pursuits and to help them thrive as they do so.


Am I eligible to apply?

This event is open to students enthusastic about Mathematics and Computer Science attending state schools in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, who self-identify as female or non-binary and:

  • Are at school in England or Wales and in Year 12 who have achieved, at least grade 7/A in GCSE Maths and are already studying, Maths at A-level or equivalent. If your school offers it, students in Y12 should also be taking Further Maths A-level (taking Maths in Y12 and Further Maths in Y13 is fine).
  • Are at school in Scotland and in S5; and have achieved, grade A in National 5 Mathematics; and are already studying, Maths Higher and Advanced Higher.
  • Are at school in Northern Ireland and in Year 13; are have achieved at least grade 7/A in GCSE Maths; and are already studying, Maths at A-level or equivalent.

How will the sessions take place?

An initial problem sheet will be shared at the beginning of the month with hints and extensions added during the following weeks. Discussion sessions will then take place at the end of the month on our online platform taught by a member of the Oxford Computer Science Department to discuss the problem sheet and go through solutions and techniques including what students found interesting and difficult that month.

The live, online sessions will start at 4:30pm towards the end of each month.

We anticipate that the problem sheet to take about 6-8 hours of work, each month, in your free time, before the live session.

How much does it cost?

This programme is free. See below for details of what equipment you will need to participate.

What will I need for the sessions?

Because the sessions will be held online, all students who take part will need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet capable of calls and a stable internet connection.

Do I need to have studied Computer Science to apply?

No, you do not need to have studied Computer Science to apply. But you do need to be curious about it.

Who are the organisers?

The club is run by The Oxford Womxn in Computer Science Society (OxWoCS) in partnership with the Oxford Department of Computer Science. OxWoCS aims to support and promote womxn in computer science. The society exists for all womxn in computer science, be they students, faculty, or staff. OxWoCS runs a number of academic, social, and career events throughout the year, including weekly coffee meetings, talks by distinguished female speakers, and industry sponsored events. The society provides networking opportunities and a support network comprising role models, mentors, and peers. OxWoCS exists to help enhance the quality of life for all members of the department. For more information, please check out our website:

How do I apply for a place on this programme?

Applications for this programme are now closed

How will participants be selected?

In order to be seleced for a place on this programme, students must first meet the criteria given above under 'Am I eligible to apply?'. If we are oversubscribed, we will also use ACORN and POLAR data to prioritise students for a place on the programme:

  • 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

What will I need to wear?

Whatever you’re comfortable with.

Do I get a participation certificate?

Students attending a minimum of 2 of the Challenge Club sessions will be eligible for a participation certificate which they will receive at the end of the programme.

I've got a question — who do I talk to?

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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