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The Dukes Essay Prize Our essay competition, based on the famous past All Souls, Oxford entrance exam, tests students' ingenuity and originality.
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Dukes Education Essay Prize

The Dukes Essay Prize 2020 is now closed for submissions. Essays are being judged and our three winners will be announced on July 1, 2020.

Our Essay Prize is a nationwide scheme that encourages academic exploration, creativity, and lateral thinking in students in Yrs 11-12. Inspired by the famous past entrance exam for fellows at All Souls College, Oxford, students write an essay in response to a one-word title.

The Prize rewards creativity, lateral approaches, and engagement with a subject beyond the curriculum.

 

SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY NOW >

I am incredibly honoured and grateful for this opportunity. I hope my essay will inspire future students entering this competition as well as shed some light on the topic of gender roles in scientific communities.

Irina, Essay prize 2019, second place.

What is it?

Our Essay Prize gives students the chance to follow their passions and explore subjects beyond the curriculum. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get a taste of university-style work assignments, and a prize is a great achievement to discuss on a personal statement.

 

Participants in the Essay Prize will be merited if they engage creatively with
the title and build connections to their studied subjects – for example, an
essay on the topic ‘Citizen’ from the perspective of English Literature, or
‘Value’ from the perspective of Philosophy and Mathematics. Students can
choose any subject or combination of subjects for their essay.

 

The titles for the Essay Prize 2020 are:

 

  • Environment
  • Value
  • Citizen
  • Movement
  • Sequence
  • Vision
  • Duty

SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY NOW >

How does it work?

  • The competition opens each year in February. Current students in Years 11 & 12 (UK & international) can enter.
  • Essays must be written in response to one of the seven titles provided, and be no longer than 1,500 words. *Citations included. Bibliography excluded.
  • They’ll be judged by the way they engage with the chosen subjects, their creativity, and the quality of the writing.
  • Winners will be chosen by a panel of education experts, through a blind judging process.
  • The first-place winner will receive £500. There’s a £250 prize for second place, and a £100 prize for third place.

How does the marking work?

The prize rewards creativity, lateral approaches, and engagement with a subject beyond the curriculum.

 

Every essay is anonymised for a blind marking process. Our judges do not know the name or school of any student, to make it as fair as possible.

 

The essays are reviewed by a panel of experts, including Oxbridge-educated tutors, the heads of the Dukes Education Consultancy, and a member from the Dukes Education Advisory Board. Over three rounds of marking, the three final winners are picked.

Guides for writing your essay

While thinking beyond subject boundaries is encouraged, students should
ensure their submissions observe correct grammar, spelling, and reference
rules. Please read the guide on footnotes and references, as well as the
Essay Prize marking scheme to help you write a winning essay.

Download reference guide and marking scheme