University Tips Blog
Image of a student holding cars to illustrate a tick or a cross relating to choices ahead of them
A headshot image of the author, David Handy

by David Handy

Director of Admissions, Marketing and Progression at King Edward VI College Stourbridge

posted on 19 Nov '23

Making school and college option choices with university in mind – avoiding the road blocks

As you progress through Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, you will be exploring lots of different opportunities in the wider world. Through your exposure to colleges, higher education institutions, apprenticeship providers, employers and other opportunities, you will have a myriad of choices to navigate.

Teachers and careers advisors will signpost you to potential futures and help to guide you through the process, making sure you have an ambitious but also a realistic vision for the future. But you can also conduct your own research, to make sure you have the correct qualifications to study a course you love.

GCSE pre-requisites

English Language and Mathematics at GCSE are imperative for students who are looking to progress to higher education. It is important that you achieve a Grade 4 or above for you to progress onto both Level 3 and higher education provision.

For some courses GCSE Science will also be very important, particularly if you are thinking of studying science courses (including Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Psychology and Veterinary Science).

Level 3 course selection

When you are investigating Level 3 courses, I would recommend that you always have one eye on your next steps, to make sure the courses you are selecting are going to enable you to progress to it.

You may have ideas that are potentially going to prove challenging in terms of your academic abilities and you may need guidance towards appropriate opportunities. For example, whilst you may not be able to progress towards a Medicine degree, there may be other opportunities within the NHS or healthcare sector that you could explore.

Entry requirements

It is important that throughout the process you review entry requirements for both your Level 3 and higher education options.

Alongside this, it is also crucial for you to look closely at university prospectuses and websites, to ensure you are considering the right option choices for the higher education course you may wish to pursue in the future.

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