Pembroke North Essay Prize

The Pembroke North Essay Prize is open to state school students in the North West of England. Essay questions are published in early summer, and entrants work on their essays over the summer vacation between Years 11 and 12.

2021 essay questions will be published here in due course, and in the meantime you can view our 2020 questions here. here. The deadline for entries is Monday 7 September 2020. If you have any questions about the essay prize please email Kirsty Simpson (Admissions and Access Officer) at

The competition aims to support and inspire the next generation of undergraduate students as they consider their university choices, through: 

  • A choice of essay titles from our Undergraduate Ambassadors to be worked on over the summer vacation .

  • The essays are marked by Pembroke College postgraduates, with feedback provided to all participants.

  • A  online celebration and prize ceremony at Pembroke College to which all entrants will be invited, to be held in Autumn 2020.

  • Prizes of £100 in book tokens for the winner and £50 in book tokens for the runner-up in each category below.

What should I write about?

The Pembroke North Essay Prize has a number of essay questions within the three categories of Humanities, Science and Social Science.  A winner and runner-up will be selected from entrants for each of these three categories.

Click here to view a full list of questions for 2020.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to students entering Year 12 students from a state school or sixth form college in the North West of England.

How should I write? 

  • You should write between 1,500 and 2,000 words and the word count should be stated at the end 

  • A bibliography should be supplied and all quotations cited

  • Please state your full name and school in the header or footer of each page. Please also include page numbers.

  • If you have any questions please email 

How do I enter?

To enter, you will need to email your completed entry to as a Word document. Please name your file 'Your Surname - Essay Title'. In your email subject, please include the words 'NW Essay Prize' follow by your essay title.

Please also include in the email:

  • Your full name

  • Your date of birth

  • Your gender

  • The name and address of your school or college

  • A contact teacher name and email address (usually your Head of Sixth Form)

What will happen to the entries?

  • All entries will be read and marked by a Pembroke College postgraduate.

  • A winner and runner-up will be announced for each of the three categories under Humanities, Science and Social Science

  • All entrants will be invited to a celebration event.