Useful guide for students to help choose the right qualifications for post 16 options


What you decide to study post-16 can have a major impact on what you can study at degree level. Whether or not you have an idea of the subject you want to study at university, having the right information now will give you more options when the time comes to make your mind up.  The Russell Group of Universities, with the help of the Institute of Career Guidance, has published a guide that  aims to help students make an informed decision when choosing their course for post-16 education.  The Group believes that it will be of use to parents and advisors too. This is an important document. It would surely help to have a similar one for pupils aged 13 and their parents and advisors as the wrong choice at that  crucial age can massively influence a child’s future options post 16 too and indeed whether they can apply for university courses.  It is the case that many pupils, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, are limited in their choices of HE courses because they have not taken appropriate GCSEs or vocational equivalents, often because they have had poor advice in school  or indeed no advice. One question put by the Guide is – Know what you want to study? – Check out the entry requirements  If you have a university course which you are keen on, have you checked  the relevant university website or UCAS course search to find out whether  this course requires certain subjects at advanced level? Pretty obvious, of course, but some pupils don’t even do this.  The preamble to the Guide says ‘ Getting your post-16 subject choices right is an important first step towards university but it won’t guarantee you a place on your chosen degree course. Entry to Russell Group universities, in particular, can be highly competitive and academic background, while vitally important, is only one of several things universities will take into account when they consider your application. They will also want to select students who are clearly well-motivated and passionate about their subject. In some cases, they may even ask you to gain some work experience in a relevant field. ‘

 Informed Choices; A Russell Group guide to making decisions about  post-16 education 2011



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