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Sixth Form: University and Other Options

Most Sixth Form students at St Columba’s progress to university after A levels. The focus of the Sixth Form careers programme is exploring higher education options, using the CourseFinder questionnaire as a resource. Alternative support is available for students considering employment, training or a further education course at eighteen. The Head of Careers and Higher Education, has individual discussions with Lower Sixth students in the Lent Term about their options at eighteen and can be consulted on an ongoing basis, as required, through the Sixth Form. There is additional specialist support for students considering an Oxford or Cambridge University application.

The Head of Careers and Higher Education also supports the House Tutors in the pastoral programme by providing them with relevant and comprehensive resources and activities to promote discussion and reflection on such aspects as personal development, coping with transition and developing decision-making skills, the variety of post-eighteen options, including alternatives to higher education, higher education choices and the UCAS and applications cycle, lifelong learning, the meaning of “work” and adapting to an ever-changing world of work.

The following activities are the main elements of the Sixth Form Careers programme:

Lower Sixth

Lent Term:

  • Students consider the range of options at eighteen in small groups and then complete the CourseFinder questionnaire.
  • The Head of Sixth Form and the Head of Careers and Higher Education host an ‘Introduction to Higher Education Evening’ for Lower Sixth students and their parents.
  • Students attend a Careers Day in March with input from outside speakers.

Summer Term:

  • Lower Sixth students visit the Hertfordshire Higher Education Convention in June.
  • Students may attend university open days and taster courses as appropriate.
  • UCAS personal statement preparation begins with support from UCAS referees.
  • Lower Sixth students undertake a formal, term-time one week work experience programme.

Upper Sixth

Michaelmas Term:

  • All students participate in interview skills training and student finance / budgeting sessions.
  • UCAS applications are completed.

Lent and Summer Terms

  • Students reply to their university offers and apply for student financial support.
  • The Head of Careers and Higher Education is available from A level results day during the summer holidays to support Upper Sixth leavers as required.

If you would like to contact Mr Andrew Macdonald, the Head of Careers and Higher Education, please email him at:


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