MASSOLIT Video Essay Competition 2021

We’re delighted to present the first ever MASSOLIT Video Essay Competition in partnership with Brasenose College, Oxford.

We're inviting UK-based students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to create a “MASSOLIT-style” video lecture running at around 8-12 minutes on any academic topic.

The best entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of academics from Brasenose and members of the MASSOLIT team.

This competition is open to every pupil in the UK – you do not need to be a subscriber to MASSOLIT. If you want to see what a “MASSOLIT-style” lecture is, please check out our YouTube channel.

What we're looking for

We'd like you to research, write and create a short (8-12 minute) lecture on a topic of your choice.

Your lecture should be a 'talking head' style, like all the lectures on MASSOLIT, though you should feel free to make use of props (e.g. quoting from a book, playing some music, demonstrating a concept with props, etc.) if you feel it adds to your explanation.

Then again, if your lecture doesn't include any props, that's also fine!

Entries will be judged on:

  • the educational value of the lecture – does the viewer learn something interesting and unexpected?
  • the clarity and concision of the script – is the material structured in a logical way?
  • confidence and clarity of delivery – is the speaker looking at the camera? are they speaking loudly and clearly?
  • creativity

We will not be judging the production quality of entries, so please don't worry about what you shoot your video on, and please don't waste any time on post-production.

How to enter

Once you've created your video lecture, please upload it to YouTube and set it to ‘unlisted’. If you don’t already have a YouTube account, they are free and easy to set up! Then email the URL link to your video to with the subject line ‘Video Essay Submission’, along with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email
  • Telephone number
  • School/College name


  • Winner will receive a cash prize of £200, while four runners-up will each receive £50.
  • We will professionally film and edit the winning lecture, which will be featured on MASSOLIT.
  • Both the winner and runners-up will be invited to an award ceremony and reception hosted by Brasenose College, Oxford in the second half of September (exact date TBC).
  • The winner and runners-up (and their schools) will receive award certificates, and something brilliant to put on their personal statement.

Competition Rules

  1. The competition is open to students who are currently in Y10, Y11 or Y12 at secondary school in the UK.
  2. Video lectures should be between 8-12 minutes long. Any entries shorter than 8 minutes or longer than 12 minutes will not be considered.
  3. Video lectures should be uploaded to YouTube as an unlisted video.
  4. When submitting your video lecture, please email a link to your video to, along with your full name, date of birth, email address, telephone number and school/college name.
  5. The content and delivery of the video lecture should be the sole creation and original work of the entrant. A third party may film the lecture.
  6. Any form of plagiarism will result in automatic disqualification
  7. The video lecture may be based on a piece of work the student has already done (e.g. an extended essay), provided that it was originally the sole creation of the entrant.
  8. Maximum of one entry per person.
  9. The award of all or any of the prizes lies solely within the discretion of the judges. The judges' decision will be final.
  10. The deadline for the receipt of entries is 17:00 on Friday 2nd July 2021. Please note that late entries cannot be accepted.
  11. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to provide feedback on unsuccessful entries.
  12. We expect to announce the winner of the competition on Monday 2nd August 2021.
  13. The decision of MASSOLIT on the interpretation of these rules will be final.