your time at catalyst lasts

Programme overview.

course outcomes

You'll come away with tangible outcomes relevant for university, future professional opportunities, and your own vision for creating change in the world.

Students graduate with:

A certificate from Winchester College, with distinctions where merited

A written personal academic reference for those graduating with distinction

Your own portfolio of work, including a unique project proposal

A Catalyst Transcript - a narrative of skills and strengths, and development areas

Catalyst Transcript*
*Illustrative strengths assessment

course content

The course is divided into three sections, each running approximately three days and exploring ‘change’ in a unique way. We call these ‘lenses’, to recognise that each discipline and time period has its own perspective, and that our own knowledge and preconceptions can give shape to what we see: but also distort it, and be taken off.

Across the three lenses, you will have the chance to practice different skills including: negotiation and conflict resolution, simulation modelling, narrative defence, data analysis and extrapolation, and debate and discourse using both quantitative and qualitative methods of developing arguments. You’ll also have the chance to practice both academic and professional skills including working in diverse teams, giving and receiving feedback, delivering compelling presentations, and project management.

change in the past, present & future

Guiding question
Course content
Change in
the past
Change in the past

How have belief systems emerged and changed?

Explore alchemy, magic, religion, and the emergence of the scientific method.

Change in the past

Garner knowledge from history, philosophy, science and religion and understand how making sense of the world we know – empirical, rational, understandable – grew out of far more mysterious disciplines and practices.

Move from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment to the 21st century, and back again. Learn how the quantum world has changed our understanding of everything we thought we knew, and gain a perspective on knowledge that transcends our own, often narrow, conceptions of the world.

Change in
the present
Change in the present

How does our identity shape who we are? How does it shape our discourse? How do we change over time? How do we change others’ minds?

Explore epistemology, identity, social movement, and politics.

Change in the present

We hear about the importance of identity, and the politics of identity, almost constantly from social media. But philosophers have been exploring questions of identity since long before the Twitterverse: what does it mean to change over time? What makes ‘me’ me? Am I still the same person? How much can something change before its identity changes? Or does it?

What does it mean to change ourselves? Why do we resist it? How can we better understand our own motivations, to help us make sense of our ourselves and others.

Change in
the future
Change in the future

How do we change and shape
the future in the face of existential threats?

Explore the climate crisis in a new way: use your knowledge of change – in theory and in practice – to work together to tackle what might be the greatest change that humanity faces in the 21st century.

Change in the future

Using quantitative modelling, simulation, negotiation and strategic thinking, dive deep into the perspectives of different groups. Work with your team to understand the obstacles to change and the opportunities it presents. Take these skills offline and into your communities, to catalyse change for the better.

interested?

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course structure

Wherever we can encourage embodied, hands-on exploration, we do. Challenges will call you to actively explore your community in new and unexpected ways. Depending on where you are based, there may also be a chance to work in-person with your cohort.

This is not ‘ZOOM-school’ and you will not be trapped behind the screen all day.  Though you will participate in some live online sessions, much of the course will require you to escape the screen. Depending on the day, you might only spend a few hours at your computer.

Interactive & immersive

The course optimizes for interactivity which includes:

  • Full cohort participation in expert seminars
  • Small group discussions with Winchester College educators
  • Team work with ~5 peers to tackle complex Challenges, guided by a tutor
  • 1-2-1 feedback during coaching sessions
  • Immersions in your local community, wherever you are in the world
Self study

You can draw on a collection of bespoke lessons and materials only available to course participants designed to support further exploration of a topic or interest following a live session. Loved the Seminar with polar ecologist Pete Convey? Dive into ecological change in the Antarctic.

You will also have access to a curated digital library covering topics from Winchester College origins to university application preparation, and everything in between.

what to expect -
from applicant to alumni

pre-programme

programme

Day 1:
Kick-off
Day 1: Kick-off

Welcome address from the Headmaster of Winchester College; meet the Catalyst team and your tutor/coach.

Tackle your first challenge with your team.

Days 2-4:
Change in the past
Days 2–4:
Lens 1 — Change in the past

How have belief systems emerged and changed?

Timetable
  1. 1. Springboard: Surface the essential questions. Set the context.
  2. 2. Seminar: Hear from and engage with change experts from across the world.
  3. 3. Exploration: Dig into change systems, causes, and consequences through live interactive sessions and guided lessons.
  4. 4. Challenge: Tackle a complex challenge drawing on new insights and skills. Embrace creativity and explore new communities.
  5. 5. Coaching: Debrief with your team and tutor/coach. Unpack feedback.
  6. 6. Application: Carry new insights forward into your personal change project proposal.
Days 4–7:
Change in the present
Days 4–7:
Lens 2 — Change in the present

How does our identity shape our beliefs and current public discourse, and how do we change others’ minds?

Timetable
  1. 1. Springboard: Surface the essential questions. Set the context.
  2. 2. Seminar: Hear from and engage with change experts from across the world.
  3. 3. Exploration: Dig into change systems, causes, and consequences through live interactive sessions and guided lessons.
  4. 4. Challenge: Tackle a complex challenge drawing on new insights and skills. Embrace creativity and explore new communities.
  5. 5. Coaching: Debrief with your team and tutor/coach. Unpack feedback.
  6. 6. Application: Carry new insights forward into your personal change project proposal.
Days 7–10:
Change in the future
Days 7–10:
Lens 3 — Change in the future

How do we change and shape the future in the face of existential threats?

Timetable
  1. 1. Springboard: Surface the essential questions. Set the context.
  2. 2. Seminar: Hear from and engage with change experts from across the world.
  3. 3. Exploration: Dig into change systems, causes, and consequences through live interactive sessions and guided lessons.
  4. 4. Challenge: Tackle a complex challenge drawing on new insights and skills. Embrace creativity and explore new communities.
  5. 5. Coaching: Debrief with your team and tutor/coach. Unpack feedback.
  6. 6. Application: Carry new insights forward into your personal change project proposal.
Day 10:
Demo day
Day 10: Demo day

Showcase extraordinary student work; recognise those graduating with distinction.

Explore the alumni support community and how to stay connected to Catalyst.

post-programme

do you have what it takes?

Please apply here.

“Catalyst draws on Winchester College's renowned Div - a truly unique, interdisciplinary course that all Winchester students complete, aimed at challenging students to think differently; to change not only what they know about the world, but how they think.”

- Tom Quayle, Catalyst Co-director and Head of Sixth Form at Winchester College

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