University, Apprenticeships and Careers
Netherthorpe Sixth Form’s Careers Programme is committed to providing all students with up-to-date, impartial, independent and varied careers, education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) as defined by the CDI framework and the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks. This page outlines the careers package and support we offer students and parents at the Sixth Form – simply click on the headings below to find out more.
Careers Curriculum Offer
Students will take part in a series of Careers and Guidance lessons each year throughout Y12-Y13, during Personal Development lessons. Each lesson is specifically designed to support students of that age group, when exploring the topic of careers/destinations. The school also runs a variety of careers related trips and events every year, that are specifically targeted to certain students or year groups. We also have employers/educational/apprenticeship providers deliver assemblies or workshops to our students. Students will also gain the support of a Post 18 Mentor (a staff mentor who will help them in their careers journey throughout Sixth Form). All of these opportunities ensure sixth form students are able to make positive informed decisions about their Post 18 destinations and future careers.
The careers curriculum at Netherthorpe has been specifically designed to give you (the students) the opportunity to explore different career ideas, whilst considering the choices and pathways available to you at key points in your education. You will receive careers information during personal development lessons each year, along with the opportunity to take part in trips and activities that allow you to engage with employers and educational providers. Please take a look at the careers curriculum roadmap below to see some of the things you will be doing in your Personal Development Careers Journey at Netherthorpe.
Meet the Team
University / UCAS
How Do I Apply for University?
Head to the UCAS Hub to Sign in and Register on the UCAS Website. Head to The UCAS Website www.ucas.com – click ‘Undergraduate’ at the top, then scroll down to the banner that says ‘The UCAS Hub’ towards the bottom of the page.
Key UCAS Information:
- Buzzword - When registering for the first-time students will need to link their UCAS account to the school using the Buzzword = The buzzword is ‘Neth’ followed by the last two digits of the year of entry. So, if you are applying to start a degree course which starts in 2024 you will need to enter ‘Neth24’.
- Fee Code – Under the Student Support Arrangements part of the application students must select the ‘Derbyshire 02 UK’ Fee Code option.
- Pending Qualifications – In the qualifications section, students will need to enter the subjects/qualifications they currently study at sixth form as ‘pending’ in the grade section. Students will also need to put the qualification completion date as the month and year in which they are due to receive their results.
Official UCAS Deadlines are as follows:
- 16 October 2023 – Deadline for applications to Oxford and Cambridge universities and for most medicine, veterinary, and dentistry courses.
- 31st January – Deadline for all other degree courses.
Following UK Covid 19 restriction announcements the deadline for undergraduate applications was extended in 2021 – therefore it is always important that you regularly check the UCAS website for any updates on deadline changes.
Although these are the UCAS deadlines, they are not the Sixth Form’s internal UCAS deadlines. We strongly suggest that all early applicants, should send their applications off at the beginning of October. All other students aiming to send an application off before the January 31st deadline should send their application off before the end of November. This then allows the sixth form team time to read the student’s application, check qualifications have been entered correctly, write and attach a reference, and submit the application to UCAS.
Choosing Courses and Attending Open Days
Choosing what and where to study can be very challenging. With so many courses across the country and worldwide to choose from, it can be difficult to work out where to begin. Don’t worry the resources below can help you narrow down your options:
The UCAS website has some helpful tips and information to help you begin thinking about the correct degree courses for you.
The best way to research and narrow down your options is to attend uni open days and get your questions answered. UCAS events and course provider open days give you the chance to ask questions and to see what's available. If you can't visit in person don’t worry, you could always go to a virtual open day. To find open/virtual days or events just click on the link below:
Here's a list of virtual tours and videos from universities and colleges, so you can see what it's like on campus and what facilities are available. If the uni/college you're interested in isn't listed, take a look at their website or YouTube channel instead, or see if they're on Unibuddy.
University League Tables
University league tables rank universities – however, it’s important to check their weighting and methodology to understand their bias. Just because a University is high up the league table, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best at teaching your chosen degree subject, have the best facilities for you, have the best graduate employment rate or have the highest student satisfaction rating. The Times Online and the Complete University Guide are interactive sites. Users can highlight their requirements and create their own unique table.
Checking Grades and Qualifications Against Entry Requirements
- Each university course/apprenticeship programme has its own entry requirements and these differ between universities/providers. The university/provider will either ask for a specific set of grades or points. Some universities/providers even require you to have taken specific subjects at both A-Level and GCSE.
- University students can check all this by going to the UCAS website, finding the course they are applying for 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.
- Entry requirements for university 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.
- If you are unsure whether you have enough tariff points, you can work it out by visiting the UCAS Tariff Points Calculator. This site also contains the most up to date tariff table, so if you can’t find a qualification you study in the table above, you will be able to find it on there.
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, Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry, Teaching, Nursing or Paramedic student speak to your mentor for more specific guidance.
Guidance on how to structure a personal statement
For more hints and tips on how to write a successful personal statement, head to the following website: UCAS Personal Statement Tool - Learn what to write about
Hearing Back From Universities
Each university and college will make their decisions at different times, meaning you might hear back before your friends do, or vice versa. There are three different types of offers you can receive. Either a conditional or unconditional offer is good news.
- A conditional offer means you still need to meet the requirements – usually exam results (you need to check on UCAS track exactly what the university want from you in order for you to successfully gain a place on the course – you don’t want any surprises on results day!)
- An unconditional offer means you've got a place, although there might still be a few things to arrange.
- Unsuccessful or rejection means that the student has not be given a place on the course for that year of entry.
You can find out more about the different types of offers by visiting the UCAS website: University offers - conditional, unconditional, unsuccessful & withdrawn (ucas.com)
UCAS Extra - You might be able to add another choice through the UCAS Extra service if you've received decisions from all five universities or colleges and weren't accepted, or if you declined the offers you received. Extra is a free service – available for you to apply to one course at a time. If Extra is available to you, it'll show up as a button when you sign in to Track. To find out more about UCAS extra click here: UCAS Extra | No Offers? Add More Choices With Our 'Extra' Service
Student Finance, Scholarships, Bursaries and Grants
If you applying to university, then you will most likely want to apply for a student loan to help you cover some of the cost. You can’t apply for student finance until around February/March of Year 13. The Student Finance England website provides you with information regarding how much money students are entitled to, how they can apply and what evidence or supportive documents will be required to make an application.
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.
Unlike the other two loans above, student bursaries/scholarships/grants 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. They are most likely found on each university’s webpage. However, the UCAS weblinks below give you some information regarding where you can start looking:
Applying for Accommodation
When you can apply for accommodation 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. You basically need to keep a close eye on each university’s accommodation application window, as each institution differs.
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.
What are Apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships allow you to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning. You’ll be employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week either at a college, university or a training centre. By the end of your apprenticeship you will hopefully have gained the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your chosen career.
Are There Different Apprenticeship Levels?
There are different types of apprenticeship and each level has different entry requirements. Each apprenticeship vacancy will specifically say what these are, along with the qualities the employer is looking for. For higher and degree apprenticeships, employers generally ask for A levels and other Level 3 qualifications.
The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the qualifications you have, the job role, and apprenticeship standard the employer wants to use.
You can progress your career and work all the way up through the higher and degree level apprenticeships for some job roles and career areas. You can also progress onto other further or higher education courses, including degrees and postgraduate courses.
This list of universities and colleges approved to deliver higher and degree apprenticeships is growing all the time as new apprenticeships are developed, and more employers look to recruit apprentices. Each apprenticeship vacancy will identify the university or college involved.
When and How Do I Apply?
The majority of apprenticeships become active and open their application windows between Jan-April. However, some of the more competitive higher-level apprenticeships open between Oct-Dec. The length of the apprenticeship, the level of the qualification that accompanies the apprenticeship and the start date of the apprentice can all vary – every apprenticeship is different.
Below are the most useful websites to help you begin searching and applying for apprenticeships that interest you. Remember that apprenticeship vacancies change daily, so it is important that students keep checking these websites regularly for opportunities.
You can find an apprenticeship through the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service website. On this site, you can set up an account to get email alerts about apprenticeships that might interest you.
Find an apprenticeship - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The Apprenticeship Guide provides you with a live list of apprenticeship vacancies, which you can filter by region or industry.
The Chesterfield Website provides students with a list of lots of different apprenticeships which are offered in the local area.
On the UCAS Alternatives Website you can search for current apprenticeships, internships and gap year opportunities. This site will then alert you to things which may interest you, if you sign up.
The NotGoingToUni website allows students to create a free account and find opportunities in their local area and in the UK.
Vision Apprentices has vacancies from as far north as Aberdeen, to as far south as Watford. They’re one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the UK, and work with employers across the country to provide quality apprenticeships and training.
GetMyFirstJob offers you a whole new way to find Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships, Work Experience and Graduate opportunities to get ahead. It’s not just a search tool – it will help you connect with the Best Employers, Colleges & Providers and Universities to get you on the right track faster.
Head to Rate My Apprenticeship and sign up for free. Afterwards you will be able to get alerts and apply to various opportunities. Once you have done this you can use the service to search opportunities that link to various interests in a specific area.
You should head to the NHS HASO website if you are interested in a career in health care. Once you have done this you can use the service to search opportunities that link to various interests in that industry/profession.
UCAS and Apprenticeship Timeline
Employers and Universities want independent, passionate young people who stand out from the crowd. 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.
We actively encourage all sixth form students to complete work experience placements outside of school hours or during free periods. Carrying out work experience will also count towards your ExCel award. Students need to speak to Mrs Taylor email@example.com if they are hoping to complete work experience during term time. Mrs Taylor has many local business contacts, so please contact her if you are looking for work experience opportunities in specific career sectors/industries – she may be able to help.
Work experience can last for any amount of time – 1 day, is enough, as long as you find it meaningful and learn something new.
Where to Start Looking:
- Think about who you know – family, friends, neighbours – that might be able to help you. They might know someone that does the job you want to do, or perhaps be able to offer you a placement themselves. Speak to as many people as you can.
- Speak to the Personal Development team, in room 120 opposite the IT block, who may have contacts at local businesses you’re interested in.
- Try approaching employers yourself. Always try to contact the manager whether it’s by letter, email, phone or in person.
Virtual Work Experience:
The way in which people learn and train has shifted considerably as a result of the virus outbreak. As a consequence, businesses up and down the country have begun creating loads of virtual work experience packages, videos and resources. This means you can now gain work experience at multiple companies and businesses, rather than just one. It also gives students the opportunity to gain experience at a business they may have previously not been able to gain placements at or travel to.
A simple ‘virtual work experience’ google search will bring up loads of options. However, the document below lists some of the most popular virtual work experience opportunities that companies offer for sixth form students to get involved in around the country:
Which Jobs/Sectors are growing and which are declining (LMI)?
It is important that you are able to recognise which jobs/sectors are in demand and which are declining. You can do this by referring to the Labour Market Information (LMI), which can be found by clicking on some of the links and activities below.
You can use this website to find out which jobs and sectors are currently in high demand both locally and nationally. You can also use this website to search for apprenticeships and jobs in the local area. The apprenticeships are broken down into different sectors.
Skillsometer can help you discover what jobs you might like to do in the future. You will be presented with a series of statements. Select the emoji that shows how you feel about each statement. You will be given suggestions of jobs linked to what you most enjoy doing.
Careerometer can be used to explore and compare key information about occupations, help you learn about different occupations and identify potential careers.
It provides access to a selection of UK headline data relating to pay, weekly hours of work and future employment prospects for different occupations, as well as description of the occupation.
Simply type in the title of the job you are interested in and the widget provides a series of options from which you can select the most relevant to you. You can then look up another two occupations and compare. You can also select ‘display the UK average’ and compare the information with the occupation you have selected.
The D2N2 LEP maintains a number of resources to help inform decision making. Each resource includes a D2N2 perspective and can be filtered down to district level, where the data is available.
Need Further Careers Guidance/Support?
Would you like a careers interview in which a careers advisor will provide bespoke careers guidance and support that is tailored directly to you? To request a careers appointment, all students need to do is email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Future is an app that allows students to: engage in conversations with local employers and explore apprenticeship opportunities; talk to training providers to learn about the courses that are available; virtually visit post 16 institutions including colleges and universities and learn about the employment opportunities in their town. Students can also request an interview with a Level 6 Career Advisor.
Unifrog is a service that helps students find their future. This site brings all the necessary available careers information into one single, impartial, user-friendly platform that helps students to make the best choices, and submit the strongest applications. Each student has been given registration details from their form tutor regarding how to sign on – students should speak to their form tutors or a member of the personal development team if they can’t remember their login details.
On the UCAS Careers Website you can select a job family, subject, or skill to display a list of related job profiles. This is an amazing tool which can open your eyes to the many different job industries and careers that your school subjects can lead to.
Take The UCAS Buzz Quiz to see which job areas might suit you, then start exploring opportunities – from an apprenticeship or a traineeship to researching some job families. There’s a huge variety of options you may not have thought of.
The BBC Bitesize Careers website has some amazing careers support for young people wanting to learn more about careers and the different progression pathways available to them. Whether you’re deciding what to study, taking your exams, planning a career, or just curious, the BBC Bitesize Careers team are here to explain the world of work, with advice from people who've found the right path for them.
Why not take the iCloud Buzz Quiz to start thinking about your career and discover your personality type? In just a few minutes, this fun quiz can help you: Discover your strengths and what makes you tick, understand how others may see you and it can help you explore subject choices/jobs that could suit you.
The Careers Wales website has a fantastic in-depth job matching quiz, that finds careers which are perfectly suited to your personality traits. You will have to create an account for free – but this is well worth doing for anyone who is completely unsure of what career they want to pursue when they leave school.
Career Match Quiz (gov.wales)
Support For Parents
As our children progress through Sixth Form and start looking ahead to a life after education, it can be challenging for parents and carers to know how to help them navigate the confusing world of careers and options. For many of us, the biggest difficulty is knowing how to offer support without projecting our own career aspirations onto our children. But with so much change – from new apprenticeship schemes, the corona virus, emerging technologies and the political/environmental upheaval – the Sixth Form is here to help with some of the resources below.
Amazing Apprenticeships - Every month Amazing Apprenticeships create an incredible resource for parents, which is full of useful apprenticeship information and guidance.
UCAS Website – This site has got lots of resources and information dedicated to helping parents and guardians support students applying to university.
Student Finance England – If your son or daughter is applying to university, they will most likely want to apply for a student loan to help them cover some of the cost. The SFE website provides parents with information regarding how much money students are entitled to, how they can apply and what evidence or supportive documents will be required to make an application.
HEPP Hub For Parents/Carers - Parents/Carers | HeppHUB
Do you have questions or concerns about your child’s future choices? Are you unsure how to support their decision making? Have you considered their options of progression into higher education? Check out the resources on this website to find out more.
Careermag - Careermag - Parents - Careermap
This is a link to the latest edition of Careermag for Parents, Carers & Guardians. A great resource packed full of up to date careers support.
Success At School University Guide 2023-24
This free digital guide will help you and your child make informed decisions about their next steps after school. Covering everything from UCAS to accommodation to studying abroad, this guide will help you and your child think through everything you need to consider including expert, first-hand advice from universities and employers.
Staff at the school are always on hand to help parents or carers support their children with their career or destination choices. If you feel you would like further support or information from the school, don’t be afraid to contact the sixth form directly
If your son/daughter, needs further careers support and guidance then students can book a careers appointment with the school’s careers advisor at any point. This is a one to one careers interview in which the careers advisor will provide bespoke careers guidance and support that is tailored directly to the student. To request a careers appointment, all students need to do is email: email@example.com