University Tips Blog
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by Ashleigh Little

Head of Post-16 Outreach and Recruitment at the University of Sunderland

posted on 13 Nov '20

How to support your students to make post-16 choices with university in mind

Every student from every background should have the opportunity to go to university, should they wish to; it can truly be a life-changing experience. With that in mind, the subjects chosen at post-16 level can have an impact on the degree they choose to study at university. Therefore, being able to support your students in choosing the right subjects at post-16 level is really important.

This blog will introduce you to some of the ways in which you can support your students when the time comes for them to make their post-16 subject choices.

Arrange university visits for your students

Universities offer an array of pre and post-16 activities for your students that can be delivered on campus or at your school - and during current challenges, online. These enable your students to gain valuable insight into higher education. These activities can be selected to meet your student’s needs; they can find out what it’s like to be a University student and gain information and advice on what to study at post-16 level. Guidance can also be offered so your students can successfully apply to their chosen course.

Encourage your students to look at university entry requirements

If your student decides they want to study a science based degree such as Pharmacy at university, and selects Business Studies, Information Technology and English at A-Level, they are unlikely to meet the entry requirements, as most universities teaching Pharmacy and other science based subjects require at least one science based A-Level, such as Chemistry. Encourage your students to find out whether the subject they would like to study requires a certain amount of work experience alongside qualifications, and if you can, support them in finding a placement.

If your students know exactly what they want to study, it is really important that they understand what they need to achieve, and through which subjects, to gain a place on that course.

Arrange for your students to have access to an Information, Advice and Guidance professional

You may have careers advisors based at your school - so if a student is undecided on what they would like to study, arrange for them to meet with a careers advisor so they can talk through their options.

If your students know they want to go to university but have not decided on a course, reassure them that this is incredibly common; try to encourage your students to take subjects they are good at and know they will do well in. You know them best. Achieving high grades in their A Level subjects can increase their university options.

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