Higher Education


It is the school’s aim to ensure that all applicants are guided to future options that best meet their aptitude, strengths and interests in order to maximise their potential and reach personal fulfilment. Information, advice and guidance are offered through a comprehensive programme of UCAS induction, HE seminars, assemblies, university visits, and tutorial support. In order to assist university candidates in making informed choices, we offer the COA Centigrade psychometric test in the spring term of Year 12. There is a well-stocked UCAS section in the school library.

UCAS Induction

The formal UCAS programme begins on the Year 12 Induction Day with an interactive introduction to the requirements of a successful application by the Deputy Head of Sixth Form. A panel of Old Boys currently at University speak to Year 12 about their student experience on their various courses.

Higher Education Seminars

Throughout the Spring Term, a number of Higher Education Seminars are offered to students of Year 10 and above and their parents. Topics covered include:

  • UCAS: The Wider Picture,
  • Oxbridge Applications,
  • Maastricht and European Admissions,
  • US Admissions,
  • Medical Admissions,
  • Applying for Humanities,
  • Applying for Sciences,
  • Winning Personal Statements,
  • Student Finance and Budgeting.

Additional inter-schools Higher Education events are organised from time to time. Year 12 students visit a University as a group and are guided through registering with UCAS online during the UCAS week after their AS exams. They attend a series of personal statement workshops and receive individual feedback on the first draft of their Personal Statement before the end of the summer term.

Individual Support

Each student is allocated to a Sixth Form Tutor who offers individual UCAS advice and guidance from the beginning of Year 12. Year 12 students meet formally once a month with their tutor to discuss their progress and UCAS forms part of these discussions. In the spring and summer terms of Year 12, students are encouraged to attend University of London Taster Days, Higher Education Seminars and University open days. A variety of further courses and opportunities are advertised weekly in our newsletter and on the UCAS notice board. The Centigrade psychometric questionnaire is offered in the spring term of Year 12, followed by individual interviews by COA’s experienced careers advisers. In the autumn term of Year 13, Sixth Form Tutors advise applicants on how to improve their personal statements, check their UCAS applications and collate the UCAS reference.

Oxbridge and Medical Applications

Intensive support and guidance are offered to potential Oxbridge or Medical candidates. Oxbridge and Medical candidates formally apply to join the Oxbridge group, commit to a Thinking Skills programme in the Spring Term of Year 12 and attend the Oxbridge student conference. Applicants who receive offers are offered professional interview training. Due to the highly competitive nature of these applications, it is our policy that Oxbridge candidates must hold a minimum of 5 A* grades at GCSE.


The school is committed to supporting leavers applying post qualifications, provided that they make timely contact with us on results day.