Priestley College ensures our students have first-hand information, expert advice and guidance relating to the HE progression process. Beginning in January of the students first year at College they will begin researching into degree courses and Universities as an option, with intentions to join over 400 Priestley students at one of the largest UCAS conventions in the country, held at Manchester Central Convention Centre (in March of year 1). This is the start if an intense progression programme that is run across college through the students’ tutorial programme to prepare them for the actual UCAS online application process. Students are then guided through the following stages of the HE process:
- Research into universities and course
- Open days and events
- University visits into college by admissions staff
- Student Finance England to inform students of key details and National deadlines
- Online application process
- Personal statement writing
- Reviews and predicted grades
Throughout the academic year a rolling programme of over 40 external University Liaison staff attend Priestley to deliver focused sessions on HE progression. Every tutor group will experience these sessions and every student will have access to University staff to answer any HE related questions impartially.
All Year 1 Level 3 students participate in ‘Choices/Progression Week’ that normally takes place in June of year 1. This event held at Priestley is delivered through the students’ tutorial and curriculum sessions. A wide and varied range of post 18 progression providers including Universities, apprenticeship providers, employers, ex-students, and industry specialists, deliver over 120 individual sessions across the week to ensure students gain an in-depth overview of each route from these external professionals.
Students are guided by their Personal/ Progress Tutor, whilst completing the HE process, then each individual application is quality checked by senior staff before sending to UCAS for distribution to the student’s choice of Universities.
Following the submission of the UCAS application, students are supported further to track the university decisions and responses to prepare for any additional requirements such as interviews, admissions test, auditions or applicant days. Student’s awareness of UCAS Extra and Clearing are also covered to ensure they are fully prepared for the second and third phase of applications if needed following either a withdrawn, rejected or unsuccessful application.
Priestley College offer an evening session run by expert staff to support and inform parents and carers on the UCAS/ College HE application process and Student Finance England application.
Additional HE opportunities offered to students include Realising Opportunities, Higher Horizons, Timeline events, HE+, Pembroke North, Oxford and Cambridge Hub, Theology and Philosophy programmes, Science and maths, Masterclasses. These schemes and programmes target a wide variety of student categories ranging from priority students to stretch and challenge.
Any students wishing to apply as an early applicant follow the same support process as above, but receive additional guidance through our Graduate Programme from specialist staff that focus on Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry courses.
Priestley College students and staff use Unifrog software to complement the research and application process, together with apprenticeship applications. Unifrog is integrated into the tutorial programme and used as a diary for all of the student’s experiences both academic and related to the super curriculum to ensure they have personal evidence to use when applying for post 18 progression options.
Throughout the process all students can access the two college Careers Advisers, based in Student Services, in order to discuss their ideas and gain an additional perspective on their university application.