University, Apprenticeships and Careers
This page covers an overview of the package offered at Sixth Form. All students will need to attend the program activities put on through the year. All students can access work experience and can find out more about this in the careers section.
This page covers the following areas (click heading to link to the sections)
How Does Netherthorpe Support Students?
- Choosing The Correct Qualifications Support - Upon arriving at the Sixth Form students are given guidance on making correct A Level subject choices through assemblies and presentations. This ensures that students give themselves the best options when leaving the Sixth Form.
- Post 18 Day - Towards the end of Year 12 students attend a Post 18 day to help them decide the pathway they would like to follow Post 18. This day involves a series of workshops to highlight the endless opportunities available for students and which route is the best for them.
- Unifrog - Sixth Form students and parents are granted access to Unifrog (an online database which enables students to search university courses and apprenticeship provides around the world with ease). The link to the website is: https://www.unifrog.org/student
- Work Experience - Keen to enable students to gain as much work experience as possible, students are frequently told about various university schemes, learning programmes and practical industry experience via email and in form time. Moreover the school has a dedicated careers department where students can visit to discuss individual and personalised options.
- UCAS Convention - Students will also have the opportunity to attend the UCAS convention at the Sheffield arena, where they can speak to representatives from higher education and apprenticeship providers.
- Activity Day - In addition, students are given the opportunity to visit one of 4 local universities on the school’s activity day at the end of year 12. This gives students the chance to see what university life is like and grants them an opportunity to explore the surrounding city/campus.
- Post 18 Mentors – Towards the end of Year 12 students choose a Post 18 Mentor (a member of staff) who will work closely with them on a one to one basis. This mentor will guide them through any application process, help them research options, support them when writing personal statements/applications and will write them a reference.
- UCAS Support – The process of applying to university can be challenging, therefore we have made sure there is always a member of staff available at all times to assist students with application concerns. If the concern can’t be solved immediately, a member of staff will contact UCAS directly and resolve the issue. The link to the UCAS website is: https://www.ucas.com/
How Are Parents Supported?
- Open Evening - We host a Year 12 open evening at the start of the year which informs students about the Sixth Form and lets parents know about the various opportunities available to Sixth Formers. At this event we have guest speakers from local employers, representatives from universities and workshops delivered by different members who present how various post 18 application systems work.
- Finance - Student Finance England are invited to host an evening to Sixth Form students and parents before Christmas each year. This is an informative evening where parents are provided with first-hand information on how to support their child financially through their studies at university. It also makes students aware of the debt they will incur and how much they will pay back and when.
- Post 18 Evening – Towards the end of Year 12 parents are given a breakdown of the different Post 18 options available to students when they leave the Sixth Form. On the same evening information is shared about how students can apply to universities, apprenticeships and other Post 18 training programmes.
- Before The End Of Summer Term in Year 12 – Create a UCAS account and complete basic details (post 18 day), meet your Post 18 Mentor, begin adapting your personal statement to match the subject you are interested in, go on open days and choose courses.
- Over the Summer Holidays in Year 12 – Finish first draft of personal statement and complete work experience or volunteering, attend open days.
- By the End of October Half Term in Year 13 – Complete and send UCAS application (Oxbridge, Dentistry, Veterinary and Medicine students will submit the first week in October).
There will be roughly a two week gap between students submitting their applications and it being sent to UCAS – this is to allow staff time to write a reference and get it checked.
The earlier your UCAS application is sent the more chance you have of being accepted.
- November onwards in Year 13 – Watch offers fly in and choose firm and insurance choices (top 2).
- Feb – May in Year 13 – Apply for student finance and accommodation (the sooner the better).
- Results Day – Accept final offer or go through Clearing/Adjustment if you do not have a place or want to change courses.
Apprenticeship / Employment Timeline
Before The End of Summer Term in Year 12
- Finish your CV and get it approve by your Post 18 Mentor
- Set up alerts from Apprenticeship websites and use unifrog.
September – November in Year 13:
- Keep an eye out for early apprenticeships or job opportunities. Some of the best higher-level ones come out now.
December – May in Year 13:
- Keep a daily check on what is available. There is often a big rush of apprenticeships now. Refine your search criteria on alerts and make sure your CV is updated and looking the best it can be.
Checking Grades and Qualifications against Entry Requirements
- Each university course has its own entry requirements and these differ between universities. The university will either ask for a specific set of grades or points. Some universities even require you to have taken specific subjects at both A-Level and GCSE.
- You can check all this by going to the UCAS website below, finding your course and checking the entry requirements. Once you have found the qualifications you have taken, make sure you have what is needed to gain entry onto the course.
Here is the link:
- Entry requirements for courses will also be displayed on university websites. You can use the grids below to work out how many points you will have in total at the end of year 13. Remember these will be based on what your subject teachers predict you will achieve at the end of year 13.
Finding and Attending Open Days
The best way to find out if a University or course is for someone is to visit the provider. Each university puts on a series of open days which allow you to visit and ask any questions you may have.
To find out about open days – use the links below:
What Employers and Universities Want
They want independent, passionate young people who stand out from the crowd.
You son/daughter will not be that person, if you do not get relevant work experience!
Work experience is one of the most valuable things students can do – It gives a flavour of what that job is like and gives a student more knowledge about their chosen career path.
Where to Start Looking:
Prospectus Guide – A guide to help you find work experience placements.
Student Ladder – A website with direct links to companies around the UK offering work experience.
Contact the school’s careers department or speak to your subject teachers - they may have local/regional contacts and, will have lots of guidance about which are the most valuable work experience placements.
Student Finance and Accomodation
You can’t apply for student finance until around February/March. But as soon as we know the window has opened, we will let you know. Whether you’re a new or current university student, you have to apply for student finance every year, so it’s well worth learning the ropes now.
These types of finance are loans, so you will have to pay them back at some point.
Everyone can apply for a student loan and there are two types.
A tuition fee loan covers, as the name implies, the cost of your tuition fees and is paid straight to your uni. Your maintenance loan, however, is to help with accommodation and other living costs and is paid into your bank account in 3 instalments each year.
Use the students finance calculator below to see how much you would need/could borrow.
Please see student finance presentation [link 30 student finance document]
Unlike the other two above, student bursaries aren’t provided by the same person, so you can’t apply through the student finance system. You’ll often find they are given out by universities, or maybe even private companies or charities in special cases.
When can you apply for student accommodation?
It varies from uni to uni, but usually you can apply once you’ve accepted an offer. Some universities will allow you to apply for accommodation even if they’re your insurance option, though many will only open applications to you if they’re your firm choice.
Although you can’t apply while you’re still waiting for your offer, it is worth doing your research in advance so that you can make your application as soon as they open. Accommodation is usually allocated on a first-come, first-served basis – and some unis can't guarantee all first-years a place in halls. This is all found on the University’s website.
Choosing Your Career Early
To help you narrow down your son/daughters career options early there are few thinks which you can research. Please use the following website links below to assist you:
Certain university courses and career route require students to study certain qualifications. By using the Which University Guide below you can find out the essential, useful and typical A levels students need for a specific subject career path:
Complete University Guide link below allows you to look at any University course in the UK along with their entry requirements. You can also see how students have rated these courses in the past and find useful advice on the financial costs.
For students who don’t know what they want to do, or which career to pursue the All About School Leavers Website allows you to search possible Apprenticeships by location and job type.
The Which University Course Search enables you to search any subject of interest, find multiple courses relevant to that subject/career and then it displays the entry requirements. This website also provides you with direct web links to various university courses.
The Best Course For Me Website allows you to search any career, find courses which are relevant, then view the A Level entry requirements.
The National Careers Service website enables you to search hundreds of different job profiles. Each one explains which skills and qualifications you need to get into that job, what the work would be like, the average salary you could expect and what the career prospects are.
The national apprenticeship service website lists all the current apprenticeship vacancies across the whole country and what they entail.
If a student is not interested in going to university the Not Going To Uni website provides people with information about apprenticeships and school leaver programmes.
Initial Support with Personal Statements
A personal statement is required if you are applying to any university. This is a written document in which a student sells their qualities and achievements on paper. It is what university admissions teams use to assess whether students deserve a place on their course. As a rough guide it should be around two thirds academic and one third personal interest. It should be around one side of A4 using size 12 font (600 words). The easier way to do this is by completing it on Unifrog or Word and then copying and pasting it on to UCAS. Students should show their personal statement to their mentor and as many people as they can. All spelling, punctuation etc. must be checked.
If you are an Oxbridge student or are applying for medicine, veterinary or dentistry you should speak to your Post 18 mentor for more specific guidance.
A good structure to follow though is this:
- Intro: What subject or course are you interested in? Why are you interested? Why do you want to study that course at university? Prove that you have a genuine interest. If it is a continuation of one of your A levels, what makes this subject so special? Finally, end by saying where you hope a degree will lead, what career will you pursue in the future?
- Academic Paragraphs: State each subject you have studied at sixth form – say how each relates specifically to the course you want to study. What transferable skills can you take from studying those subjects which will help you at university or in your future career? Have you completed any further reading or research relating to your chosen course?
- Experience/Hobbies Paragraphs – Discuss any placements, volunteering, work experience or activities you have done which relate to the course you want to study. What transferable skills can you take from that experience which will help you at university or in your future career?
- Closing Paragraph – Show your passion for the subject and for your future career. Why are you a better candidate than any other?
The web-links below can help you get started with your personal statement: