A LIFE-changing chance to shape the course of students' futures will disappear in a matter of days.

St Edward's School is still searching for two bright Oxfordshire state school pupils, who will be awarded bursaries to study the IB Diploma at its Sixth Form from next September.

The deadline for applications is looming, with less than two weeks until the October 15 cut-off date, and families are being encouraged to apply before it is too late.

Independent Summertown school St Edward's is offering the opportunity in association with The Oxford Times, hailing the IB (International Baccalaureate) as a 'rigorous' alternative to A-Levels.

Stephen Jones, warden (headmaster) at the Woodstock Road school, said: "For anyone who really wants to get stuck into their academic work and a school day full of enrichment and extra-curricular activities, this is a fantastic opportunity.

"With six subjects to cover, the IB is rigorous, but rewarding.

"We are really pleased to be able to offer these two free Sixth Form day places to local families in conjunction with The Oxford Times.

"The IB, which was written here in Oxford, is refreshingly broad and international in outlook.

"With the closing date approaching, we encourage young people living locally who might be interested in the opportunity to find out more about the criteria and process."

Applications launched in March and are open to pupils who started Year 11 this term, currently studying at an Oxfordshire state school.

See more: Win a free sixth form place at one of Oxford's leading schools

To be eligible, applicants must also live close enough to the school to make being a day pupil viable, and family income should not exceed in the region of £50,000 net.

Mr Jones said prospective students at St Edward's, also known as Teddies, should be keen to embrace busy days of study and activities.

He said: "Studying the IB at a school like St Edward’s, where there is so much going on, can be incredibly exciting and energising.

"It’s a long day at St Edward’s – for good reason.

"We fit in all the usual lessons, plus music, sport, drama and dance, but pupils can also take part in a huge range of additional clubs and societies at lunch and after lessons.

"We also welcome external speakers from all walks of life."

The bursary was launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the International Baccalaureate.

Teddies alumna Miranda Stewart, who left in 2011, said: "When I arrived at Exeter University I remember my head of department asking to shake my hand for having done the IB as he was so impressed.

"He said it was a better broad education and he always preferred IB students’ attitude to study.

"The IB has opened more doors for me, giving me more choices for my future."

Anyone interested in finding out more or applying can contact the school's admissions department or visit stedwardsoxford.org/admissions/ib-diploma-bursaries.