The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is the British admission service for students applying to university and college. As nearly all British higher education institutions are members of UCAS, all those wishing to study for undergraduate degrees in the UK must apply through UCAS. This applies to all categories of applicants - regardless of whether qualifying as a home student (generally British and EU students) or as an overseas student. Applicants submit a single application via UCAS's website with a list of up to five courses for which they are applying. Choices are not listed in preference order. All five choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see any of the candidate's other choices.
Choices after GCSE or A-Levels
Information for Year 11 and Year 13 highlighting alternative progression pathways to A-Level and University
As all young people must be in some form of education or recognised training until they are 18 the main options are:
- Remaining in full-time education at a school or college following a course of A-Levels or vocational qualifications;
- Participating in an apprenticeship or traineeship;
- Pursuing part-time education or training which must be in addition to employment, self-employment or volunteering for a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Websites with useful information and advice for parents and students
Wide ranging Information for parents and students that covers routes to work and higher education through apprenticeships, vocational qualifications, university and combinations of these. There is an informative parentzone and numerous video clips of interviews with young people describing their experiences of moving into their early career.
Useful for both parents and students and explains employers’ school leaver programmes, gap years and the benefits of university or vocational routes to a career.
London South East Colleges is a further education college with eight campuses in the local region and with close links to Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Greenwich should students wish to progress to further study. The college offers a wide selection of courses in varying levels and subjects. These include foundation degrees in, for example, aerospace engineering or biomedical science and also some fast track vocational courses in accountancy.
This site has opportunities in all levels of apprenticeships across a range of workplaces as well as other ways of progressing such as via a sponsored degree, gap years, traineeships and internships.
This part of the UCAS site explains the apprenticeship types and how they can lead on to undergraduate and masters’ degrees should you wish. Students can read about the specific skills and aptitudes they may require in order to be accepted onto an apprenticeship.
For careers in The Civil Service where there are numerous roles in government departments, this site shows the qualifications required for each area. The Fast Stream is a specific route for high achieving students who are completing either an undergraduate degree or degree apprenticeship.
All students in Years 10 to 13 have access to both Springpod and Unifrog using school emails.
Springpod is a busy site with frequent uploads of careers’ guidance video clips and information plus access to many organisations seeking young people for work experience or apprenticeships.
Unifrog also has detailed information on choices after GCSE and A-Levels plus guidance on areas such as aptitudes, apprenticeships, gap years as well as links to challenging on-line courses.