Priestley is just a stepping stone on the way to securing your future in the world of work. For many students this will be via university whilst others will go straight from Priestley into prestigious jobs or apprenticeships.

Our focus is to ensure that you reach your full potential in all qualifications you take and that you are given every opportunity to hone those skills and talents that every leading university and employer seek from today’s generation of young people.

In addition to the broad range of activities and individual support you will receive via your Tutor Group and Personal Tutor we also offer a range of specialist opportunities including:


Our second year students are able to benefit from this programme where you gain an insight into legal professions such as a solicitor or barrister. You will take part in Mooting competitions and work with local Magistrates as well as taking part in specialist trips and visits. You will also be helped to prepare for specialist university entrance tests.


This programme has been extended to include an option for those who are considering becoming a Secondary Teacher as well as those looking to go into Primary Teaching.


Here students gain the latest insights into the leading medical professions through work with Universities such as Liverpool and Manchester, whilst also benefitting from guest speakers including practitioners and current medical students and visits.

This is ideal for those seeking careers in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science.


Unique to Priestley the Graduate Programme aims to raise the aspirations of the very best students to ensure we unlock your potential. It gives you every opportunity to be ready to apply for some of the most competitive degree courses in the country and/or to apply for top companies in the UK and abroad.

Through the Graduate you will benefit from:

  • Specialist coaching
  • Exciting opportunities at leading universities including, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Durham, London, York and Warwick
  • Challenges that take you out of your comfort zone and help prepare you for application and interviews
  • A bespoke support group
  • Visiting lecturers
  • Specialist advice and guidance

In 2014 leading lecturers and professors from Oxford, Cambridge, York, Leeds, Salford, Liverpool and Chester Universities judged our unrivalled annual essay competition where first year students are given invaluable feedback prior to completing university applications.


The engineering scheme allows students to develop real life solutions to production problems. In recent years teams from Priestley have successfully worked with top engineers from Sellafield on a number of tasks developing team work, problem solving and presentation skills.Through our links with leading Universities our scientists have benefitted from practical demonstrations from leading lecturers from Nottingham University and Computing students have benefitted from our close links with the University of Salford.


Solvay is a highly respected international chemical company with a local base. It has supported the running of the Priestley/Solvay Science conference looking at issues around the sustainability agenda for the benefit of Year 10 pupils whilst working alongside our current students.


Our Maths and Science students are challenged each year to enter the Olympiad programme where they set themselves against the best students from across the country through a series of tests and assessments. In 2014 our students achieved more than 30 Gold, Silver or Bronze medals. One of our students was even chosen to represent the UK in the international finals in Vietnam for Chemistry.


We are keen to help all students develop their language skills and we currently run beginners courses in German and Spanish for those looking to pick up a new language from scratch.


This is aimed at AS/A Level language students and is an excellent opportunity for language learning and to build your confidence.


Our inspirational Performance Companies give you every opportunity to hone your skills and talents through practical experiences with regular performances of the highest standard. These are Breathe, the College Choir; Oxygen, a contemporary Dance Company and Respiration, our theatre company.

International Aspirations: Priestley has an outstanding reputation for widening students’ experiences by running a series of overseas educational visits that enhance both learning and personal development.

In recent years we have seen students travel to: New York, Washington, Berlin, Geneva, Lanzarote and Iceland for course-related experiences.

In addition cross college trips have been run to Mozambique and Moldova to support charitable activities.


Priestley is extremely proud to be a licensed Duke of Edinburgh Awarding Body. Each year over 50 students take part in the programme with many going on to achieve Gold or Silver Awards. A Duke of Edinburgh Gold or Silver Award is highly regarded by universities and employers.


Our specialist Guidance Team works to ensure that every opportunity is taken to engage leading local, regional and national employers in activities that ensure students are ready for the world of work.

Opportunities include: live briefs for projects