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Careers Advice and University Applications

‘Students are given very good advice in order to make the right decisions about what to study’ Ofsted 2014



Initial decision making

The decision making process begins in Year 12, with students having individual interviews with our careers adviser.   In addition to our apprenticeship evening in November, we offer two trips in January of Year 12 to help with the decision-making process.

  • The Oxford Brookes Higher Education Conference – an opportunity to experience what studying at university is like and find out more about life at university from current students.
  • The Oxford Careers Fest – an event bringing students together with over 40 local employers and educationalists offering apprenticeships and further vocational training.

In the Summer Term we hold a Higher Education Evening providing parents with all the information they need to help their son/daughter make an application to university.

A presentation can be found here.

Not going to university?

In the Summer Term we hold a Higher Education Evening providing parents with all the information they need to help their son/daughter with making an application of university.

Following these events students who decide they are not going to make a university application are given support with CV writing and mock interviews. They have meetings with our Careers Adviser, who ensures that they know of all the relevant opportunities locally for employment, further education or training. Help with applications are provided, together with references when required.

In addition, we recommend that students take a look at the Moving On website which contains lots of articles about careers and qualifications, as well as a ‘careerometer’ which allows students to compare wages, working hours and job prospects for different careers that they might be interested in

The notgoingtouni website has links to live apprenticeship opportunities.

Support with university applications

Wysdom Block Opening 003Most of our students make the decision to go on to university and we have a carefully planned programme of support to help with the application process. Year 12 students (and parents) have a series of presentations about what to consider when choosing courses and universities, how to write Personal Statements and Student Finance. Ex-students return to share their experiences of making the transition to Higher Education, we publicise Open Days and encourage students to visit their prospective choices.

During the application period (September-January of Year 13) tutors and the Head of Sixth Form discuss course and university choices with students to ensure that the decisions made are carefully thought-through and appropriate. Help is given with drafting Personal Statements and completing the online application accurately. Subject teaches as well as tutors will also write references to support applications. The emphasis is on early applications (by October half-term), which means that most of our students are holding multiple offers long before the final UCAS deadline in January.



Find out more about student finance at:

Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science

Each year a number of students decide to apply for Oxbridge or for competitive courses like Medicine, all of which have application deadlines of 15 October. Our Gifted and Talented Programme ensures that we know as early as possible in Year 12 what student intentions are, and our Gifted and Talented Coordinator makes students aware of the relevant enrichment activities that will benefit an application for such universities/courses. Gifted and Talented students are also taken to the Oxford and Cambridge Higher Education Conference in March so that they can make an informed decision about whether to apply for Oxbridge or not. Once the applications have been made we provide mock interview practice as well as acting as an exam centre for the admissions tests that many Oxbridge courses require, and for the BMAT.

Our aim is to offer all of our students the support necessary for them to make a smooth and successful transition from school to the next stage of their life, whatever that may be.

‘Moving on’ calendar

Year 12

October – Burford School Apprenticeship Evening

January – Oxford Brookes Higher Education Conference, Oxford Careers Fest visit

March – Oxford and Cambridge Higher Education Conference

April – Presentation from Oxford Brookes University – ‘Choosing a Course at University’

June – 

  • Ex-students talk about their first year at university
  • Presentations on how to complete the online UCAS application
  • Presentations on writing a Personal Statement
  • Higher Education Information Evening for parents

June/July – Open Day visits

Year 13


  • Support with UCAS applications
  • Presentation about Student Finance

15 October – Deadline for Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science

October half-term – School deadline for university applications


  • Apprenticeship opportunities begin to be advertised
  • Student Finance begins accepting applications
  • Further Student Finance presentation

15 January – UCAS application deadline


Parental support for UCAS Applications

UCAS is the organisation that processes all full-time applications to UK universities and colleges.  It supports parents, as well as students through every step of the application process.  UCAS sends all applicants a monthly newsletter, full of useful information, reminders, advice and competitions.

It also provides a monthly parent newsletter quickly and simply online.  These are free and contain timely information and advice about your son or daughter’s journey to higher education and suggest ways in which you can support them.  For further information about the UCAS process take a look the advice for parents and guardians.


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