Post-18 Options

Welcome to our Higher Education advice page for Parents and Students

Post-18 Option Presentations from 02/05/2024

Post-18 Option Evening 2024 Presentation MMU Degree Apprenticeships 2024 Presentation Post-18 Alternative Option to University 2024 Presentation

We hope the information and links provided here will assist you in your decision making.

Which routes are possible?

  • Full time employment
  • Apprenticeships
  • Full time employment with a course, such as those provided by the Open University
  • Part-time university
  • Gap Year, work and/or travel
  • A Year in Industry, then on to university
  • Full time university in the UK or abroad

Full Time Employment or a Professional Apprenticeship

  • In the Autumn Term, our Careers Advisor Amy Marshall, will first see all students who are not sure if they want to apply to university.
  • This will be followed up with as much support as possible. Local job opportunities and apprenticeships generally start to be released from February onwards, but we communicate all opportunities.
  • Amy has all the contacts for apprenticeships and will help students with applications and making appointments.
  • Key providers deliver presentations on their apprenticeships.


  • The group, 'Year in Industry' usually present to students.
  • Project Trust may present on experiences working abroad.
    Many Gap Year companies have stands at the MCCC Higher Education Convention in March and booklets are always available in school.

Applying to University and Making Choices

  • From September of Year 12 there is a comprehensive programme of support offered to students to help them to make the right university and course choices.  This includes preparation for the Higher Education Convention in March.
  • Tutors deliver an options and choices session

Presentations include:

  • An Introduction to Higher Education

  • Life as a student

  • Making use of Open Days

Applying to University: What Next?

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services

Sign on to for further information

  • Use the ucas web site course search to link with the universities which offer courses that you are interested in. Check the Course/Entry Profiles carefully, either on the internet or in the prospectuses.


  • Degree: 3 or 4 years of study resulting in a BA or BSc.
  • Joint Honours (2) or Combined Studies (3)
  • Sandwich course: a year in industry, often paid employment. Languages often require a year abroad
  • Foundation degree: 2 year vocational course which prepares students for a degree
  • HND: 2 year course, which if you achieve high grades can lead to the 3rd year of a degree course

Types of University

  • CITY – e.g. University of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool
  • CAMPUS – Lancaster, Keele, Nottingham, Warwick
  • NEW (often city) – Edge Hill, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • RURAL – Cumbria or Aberystwyth
  • COLLEGIATE – Oxford, Cambridge, Durham

Where to Study?

  • The university that has the course that interests you most, so long as you can meet the entry criteria.
  • Decide how far away from home you want to be. Do you want to be within 1/2 hours travelling distance?
  • Find out if the university guarantees First Year students a place in halls of residence.
  • What are the facilities?
  • What is the cost of living like in that location?
  • Do you need to pay a deposit to secure a place in you preferred halls?

The Courses

  • Be thorough. Check the content and choices of each year of the course. Entry Profile (EP) or Course Profile.
  • Check the grade/point score requirement and allowed combinations of AS & A2.
  • Check subject requirements for certain careers.
  • Are there any bursaries available at that university, for a particular course or for a student with a talent or from a certain background.
  • for how students rate the quality/quantity of the teaching.

Useful Websites

Course Choice and Admissions Tests

  • Students select 5 courses
  • MDV may only select 4 courses but a 5th may be non-MDV
  • Oxbridge students must choose between Oxford and Cambridge
  • Admissions Aptitude Tests are needed by all Medical, all Dentistry (UKCAT/BMAT), many Law (LNAT) and others.

 Open Days

  • Visit: 3 years is a long time if you don’t like the location
  • Ask to see the buildings where your lectures will take place & the halls of residence.
  • Ask what proportion of the time is taught in each year of the course.
  • Check out the library and leisure facilities
  • Talk to students already on your course
  • If an interview is likely, discover as much as you can about the format it will take

Interviews – which subjects, who is selected and the format?

  • MDV, Oxbridge, Languages, Teaching, Music, Theatre, Health Care, Art & Design, Architecture, Journalism, LSE, UCL etc.
  • What determines if you are asked for interview?
    Subject choice, uni selection policy, distance, numbers of applications, special cases
  • Interviews are often individual but are increasingly observations made of your interaction within a group.

The Application Process

  • In June/July students complete the online Apply form using the school buzzword
  • £27.50 for 5 individual choices
  • Personal Statement: Advice from university admissions tutors and tailored support from sixth form mentors.
  • Chance to personalise the application and sell yourself. Explain why you want the course and are most suitable for it.
  • References: A written by the sixth form mentor team, including Miss Lingwood, Mrs Mohamed, Mr Neale and Mr Kennedy-Fowler.


  • UCAS is now open but will not forward applications to universities until 1st September
  • Personal Statement: First Draft – final fortnight of Year 12 term 3. Students should aim for 3 reviews with staff.
  • MMU come in to give advice early in October.
  • Send UCAS application to referee, preferably before middle October so that we can write the reference.
  • Reference written and application dispatched.
  • UGS closing date 4th December. Official deadline for receipt of applications, 31st January 2024.

Early Deadlines

  • Oxford & Cambridge
    Medicine, Dentist and Veterinary Sciences
  • UGS closing date 9th October, official deadline for receipt of applications, 16th October 2023.
  • Personal Statement: First Draft – final fortnight of Year 12 term 3. Students should aim for 3 reviews with staff.

What Next?

  • Students receive a Welcome letter with Personal number needed for all communication with UCAS or universities.
  • Track: UCAS online system to view an individual application. Offers and invitations to interviews are made on Track:
    Conditional Offer: require certain grades or points.
    Unconditional Offer: no requirements
  • Students only accept or reject offers when all five universities have replied. The deadline for students to decide is in May. Only TWO offers can be selected:
    Firm Acceptance: a student’s first choice
    Insurance Acceptance: a student’s second choice

Further guidance

The Russell Group of Universities have published their own document aimed at advising Parents and Students how best to apply for their Universities. It is entitled "Informed Choices". Click here to go to the Russell Group website where you can download the full document.

The current membership of the Russell Group is:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London, (University of London)
  • University College London, (University of London)
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics, (University of London)
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Nottingham
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Warwick

And finally...