Future Steps - Into Universities

Our well established university preparation programme leaves nothing to chance. The majority of Outwood Academy Post 16 Centre students progress to higher education, and approximately 35%  progress to one of the Top 3rd universities. If you are considering university as an option you may want to start researching your options now – it is never too early to start.

The following sites are designed to help you with making an appropriate and successful application to University:

UCAS – the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK. They provide valuable advice and information on all aspects of university and course selection.
The Complete University Guide (Contains University League Tables) – A website that contains lots of useful information and advice. It also provides a ranking list of universities.
Which? University – Designed to help students make more informed decisions about their higher education choices. It’s free, independent and takes no advertising – and it’s brought to you by the people at Which?
Comparetheuni.com – This website enables you to compare universities and subjects side by side for rankings (including the Times and Guardian league tables) student satisfaction, employment rates etc.

Be mindful that some degree courses have entry requirements that go beyond grades and subject choices, and include elements of work experience as well. By looking at your career options, researching how you get there and what courses you would need to do, alongside looking at the entry requirements for those courses, will really help to inform your choice of course and university.

Are you considering going to Oxford or Cambridge? Please scroll to page 3 of this document to view how we can support you.

Are you a high achieving student? Click here https://www.theelephantgroup.org to find out about The Elephant Group and how we can support you to achieve your full potential.

Student Finance
Financing your way through university can be a daunting experience for many, but you’re never on your own to make such decisions.
  • The Government’s main website on student finance including a student finance calculator
  • MoneySavingExpert – Comprehensive information from the respected journalist Martin Lewis’s website.
  • The Scholarship Hub – This new online site has over £80m worth of funding for UK undergraduates, featuring over 1,000 scholarships, grants and bursaries from over 150 Universities and organisations.

Admission and Selection tests
There are some courses in universities that require students to sit an admissions test as part of the application process.

  • UCAT – The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is used in the selection process by a consortium of UK University Medical and Dental Schools. The test helps universities to make more informed choices from amongst the many highly-qualified applicants who apply for their medical and dental degree programme.
  • Cambridge Assessment Admissions Tests (includes BMAT) Information about Cambridge Assessment’s family of admissions tests. These include BMAT ELAT STEP and TSA Cambridge and TSA Oxford.
  • LNAT – The National Admissions test for Law (LNAT) helps some universities to make fairer choices by helping them to learn more about their applicants and their aptitude for studying law

Local university sites 
Quick link to all local university websites:

Other useful websites

  • Coursefindr – A website aimed at helping students to research and shortlist university courses that match their interests. This can be a good starting point for students who know they want to go to university but who are unsure what to study.
  • A-Z of Universities and Colleges with links to their web-sites.
  • Graduate Vacancies in Yorkshire
  • Pure Potential -  advice on applying to competitive universities
  • Push Guide - another alternative guide to Higher Education
  • Student Room – The Student Room is where A Level and university students share academic and social knowledge: from study help, to choosing a university, careers and student life.
  • Prospects – Prospects provides guidance for graduates once they have left university, and provides good suggestions about where a student might go after they have finished university. The browse section is an excellent way to look at a whole range of career options.

We have developed an extensive programme of support for our Oxford and Cambridge applicants. The Oxbridge preparation programme works with students across all departments who aspire to study at Oxford or Cambridge. Specialist support is also made available for students applying for medicine and veterinary sciences.    
Nationally, only a small proportion of total applicants to Oxbridge are successful. In addition the application process must be completed earlier than for other universities and students may be asked to submit evidence of written work, complete additional aptitude tests and be asked to attend an interview before final decisions are made. The Oxbridge programme at Outwood Academy Post 16 supports students from the very start of their journey, as they begin to research the options available to them, right through to the final rounds of interviews.
Over recent years we have had 18 students applying to Oxbridge. In their first year, students are invited to participate in a range of activities that will support their research into university and course selection. In the second year, students are offered more targeted and specific support through the various stages of the application process.  Students may join the programme based on the recommendation of their tutors or teachers, or by declaring an interest in applying to Oxbridge.  

As part of the programme, students are informed of activities such as talks, lectures, essay competitions and subject taster days coming up at Oxford or Cambridge universities that would support an Oxbridge university application.  Talks and lectures are also organised at college, where external speakers, or the Oxbridge specialist in the academy introduces students to different aspects of the universities or the application process.

Power-up reading

Broader reading is essential for applications to Oxbridge. We will provide you with tailored, subject specific, super curricular reading lists. These will broaden your knowledge of your subject, enhance the depth of your understanding and provide key points to discuss in your UCAS personal statement and interview. We will also encourage you to follow your own interests, current affairs and keep up to date with new research in your chosen academic field. This approach also has significant benefits for your study at A Level, as this enhances 
Extra curricular activities

Academic excellence is essential for applications to Oxford and Cambridge, however, due to the competitive nature of applications, we expect all Oxbridge pathways students to be actively involved with the extracurricular life of the school. Oxbridge value excellence outside of the classroom, as it demonstrates that applicants are well-rounded individuals. We will encourage students to get involved in sport, music, drama, as well as demonstrating that they can serve the academy and wider communities.

Students are kept informed of and are encouraged to attend open days at colleges and the main university days too. Students attend a ‘Preparing for Oxbridge Over Summer Conference’, where outreach officers and admissions tutors from both universities give useful tips on issues such as writing a personal statement, and conducting super curricular research.In addition, ex-Outwood Academy Post 16 students now studying at Oxford or Cambridge are invited back to talk to the new cohort of interested students about their experiences.

Students are guided through registration and preparation for university admissions tests, and the tests usually take place in the first week of November. Students who are called for an interview have a mock interview with an experienced member of staff.. Interviews take place in December. 

Medicine, veterinary and dental application support

​We provide a wide range of support for these competitive courses. Students are encouraged to apply for appropriate work experience and work shadowing opportunities, including taking advantage of our well-established Community Volunteering Programme. We also encourage students to attend university taster events and the relevant subject seminars on our Higher Education Day. Former Outwood Academy Post 16 students who are studying or practising medicine are invited back to talk with current students and act as mentors. Applicants attend preparation and practice sessions for the entry exams (UKCAT or BMAT), both within the Post 16 centre and with commercial or charitable providers. To help with their interview preparation, students attend weekly discussion sessions and mock interviews.

Links & events

At Outwood Post 16 we use a platform called Unifrog - this brings all the available information into one single, impartial platform that helps students to compare every opportunity and apply successfully . See link here - Unifrog 

The Discover programme at the University of Sheffield has been tailor made to give students the experience of what it is like to be a student at the University of Sheffield.  The programme is split into five subject and career pathways:

  • Discover Arts & Humanities & Social Sciences 
  • Discover Dental Professions 
  • Discover Law
  • Discover STEM 
  • Discover Medicine

See link here - Discover Programmes

Pathways to Law is a programme aimed at Year 12 and 13 students interested in a legal career. The Nottingham Pathways to Law programme is delivered by Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. It will provide ongoing support to its members through a series of law-related masterclasses, information, advice and guidance sessions.

See link here - Pathways to Law

Pathways to Medicine is a free programme delivered by the University of Nottingham aimed at Year 12 and 13 students interested in a medical career. The programme will provide ongoing support to its members in Year 12 and 13 through a series of medicine-related masterclasses, information, advice and guidance sessions. 

See link here -  Pathways to Medicine