Higher Education & Careers


Careers Education at Richmond School and Sixth Form College

We achieved the Quality in Careers Standard in May 2018 and our Careers Plan is available to view here.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College is committed to providing a high-quality, planned programme of careers education and guidance for all students. Our aims support those of the Department for Education and, in particular, prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. Key themes running through the programme are:

  • Self-awareness - helping young people assess their own interests, skills, strengths and weaknesses, recording their experiences and developing their capabilities
  • Careers research - using resources, accessing specialist knowledge, investigation and weighing up the opportunities in learning and work
  • Career decisions - helping young people make realistic but ambitious careers decisions

Sixth Form Guidance

In the Sixth Form you will be making decisions which will influence your future career. Whichever option you choose after Sixth Form, you will get advice and guidance to help you plan ahead. Our aim is to help you make realistic and informed decisions about your future. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own decisions.

Our service includes:

·         Dedicated teams of staff to support progression into careers and university

·         Access to web-based careers software including Fast Tomato, Morrisby.com and e-clips

·         Access to face-to face advice and guidance from professional Careers Advisers

·         Advice which is confidential, impartial and which promotes equal opportunities

·         Work Skills - CV and letter writing support through an industry expert

Sixth Form tutors actively encourage their students to book career appointments. Specific issues which impact on Sixth Former students include UCAS Personal statements, CV writing, extended work experience, support with interview techniques, degree and advanced apprenticeships, and higher education options. Personalised support is key.

We have a very active programme of Careers Education and Guidance in the Sixth Form, which looks at all the options. Our programme includes:-

·         Working links with the universities of Durham, York, Leeds, Newcastle, Leeds Beckett, Newcastle and Teesside

·         Visiting speakers from local universities, gap year organisations and “Speakers for Schools”

·         Mock interviews

·         Attending UCAS Higher Education Conventions

·         Events and support for applicants for degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Science and Nursing

·         Support for Oxbridge and Russell Group universities

There is a dedicated lesson per week in which a varied enrichment programme takes place. This includes outside speakers and the opportunity to undertake an Extended Project Qualification. Examples of Enrichment activities are Student Finance, Volunteering and Gap Years.



UCAS Support


We support students at every step of the way with the UCAS process, this includes research into university options and choices, support for using the UCAS system, help with competitive personal statements and ongoing support throughout the interview and offer process. We also support with the UCAS Clearing process if needed on results day and beyond to help students secure higher education places.

Students use the Unifrog system which helps students to choose the best Universities and Apprenticeships for them, and it allows teachers to track their progress.

Degree and Advanced Apprenticeships

We work collaboratively with local, regional and national employers including

·         Randall Orchard Construction

·         Cummins Inc

·         Glaxo Smith Kline

·         Richmond District Council

·         North Yorkshire County Council

·         The City Secret

·         ProPharma Group

·         Purple Creative Studio

·         Pipeline Engineering and Supply Co Ltd

These networks mean that we are well connected to support students who are considering employment and apprenticeship routes. We are also able to support students to secure work experience to help them achieve their career goals.

We also work closely with ESH Employability on the “Building My Skills” programme and students have a range of guest speakers, for example Nestle and Boots.



Work Experience

All students in Year 12 have the opportunity to carry out a “professional placement” in the summer term. The timing of the placements varies depending on the needs of the student. It may be part-time over a number of weeks or as part of a block placement during July each year.  What is important is that it is related to students' university or career plans.



If you would like more information about any aspect of careers support at Richmond School and Sixth Form College please contact Ms Mannion, Manager, Careers and Employability.


Choosing subjects for university

Some University degree courses require specific A level choices although not all higher education establishments have the same requirements, and there is often a level of flexibility. However, if you apply with an unconventional combination of subjects for a particular course you may put yourself at a disadvantage in relation to other applicants. Some A level subjects will be cited as ‘Required’ and are therefore essential and others will be ‘Recommended’ which means that whilst they are not necessarily essential they will be the qualifications held by the majority of people applying for that course. The most up to date information is usually on the UCAS website which may also direct you to individual university websites, and university Admissions Officers will respond to specific queries if the answer cannot be found on the website.

Although they may not be specified as required subjects, many successful applicants to popular courses in some of the most prestigious and Russell Group Universities do have A level qualifications in at least two of the facilitating subjects (see below).

Some of these courses may still have a preference for some of the facilitating subjects and one or two universities may be more prescriptive in their subject requirements – check the Entry Profiles on UCAS Course Search.

  • Maths and Further Maths
  • English Literature
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (Classical and Modern)

There are some A level subjects which provide suitable preparation for entry to university generally, but which are not included within the facilitating subjects, because there are relatively few degree programmes where an advanced level qualification in these subjects would be a requirement for entry. Examples of such subjects include Economics and Religious Studies.

Some courses will be happy with a subject at a lower level (for example, at AS-level instead of A-level). This will be something to check before you apply.

Some popular degrees will often be open to you without any specific subject background; these include: Accountancy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Business Studies, History of Art, Law, Management Studies, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Surveying although there are often preferred subjects – see notes below.

NB. Sustained and relevant work experience may be a requirement for some courses.


Some courses require Maths, and Business Studies and Economics can be useful.

Animal Sciences / Zoology

Biology and Chemistry preferred. Relevant work experience is useful.


History, Geography, English and / or a Science subject may be preferred. 2 Sciences required for Archaeological Science courses.


Biology and Geography preferred for some biological anthropological courses, however for Social Anthropology there are no specific requirements.

Architecture / Architectural Engineering

Maths and/or Physics required or preferred for some courses. Graphics or Art are sometimes a requirement and a portfolio of art work is often requested.

Art / Design

Art A level and portfolio of art work required by many courses. You may choose to complete an Art Foundation course prior to university.

Bioscience / Biochemistry / Biomedical Science / Genetics / Physiology

Chemistry required. Biology usually preferred, one or two Maths / Science subjects required.

Business and Management Courses

Maths is often essential or desirable. There is a wide range of courses, some show preference for Economics, Business Studies, Geography, English or a Foreign Language.

Chemistry / Chemical Engineering

Two Science subjects including Chemistry (Chemistry, Physics and Maths is a good combination).

Computer Science

Maths and Further Maths, with some preference for Physics and Computing. STEP used by some universities as part of conditional offer.


Chemistry and Biology usually required. Another Science subject may be required or preferred. Proof of precision motor skills required, examples might be model making, painting or playing an instrument.

Drama / Theatre Studies

English and Theatre Studies may be required. Extensive record of involvement in theatre productions often required. Not all courses involve acting – you need to check.


Maths and Economics may be required or preferred. Check university websites carefully for other preferred subjects.

Education Studies / Teaching

A level in the main subject of choice required plus one or two other A levels. Other useful subjects for Primary Teaching are English Language or Maths, a language, a practical subject, Health and Social Care.

Earth and Ocean Science

Sciences required – usually at least two out of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography.

Engineering - including electronics, civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc

Maths and/or Physics usually required. Further Maths sometimes recommended and for some courses Graphics may be an advantage. Some universities may use STEP as part of conditional offer.

Environmental Science

One or two Science subjects are usually stipulated. Maths may be required.

Events Management / Marketing

Relevant work experience is required. Business studies is an advantage together with subjects that show your communication skills.


Geography with two other subjects. Maths or Science required for BSc.


Maths / Science subjects usually required. Geography may be accepted as an additional Science. Chemistry, Maths and Physics often preferred.

Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies

No specific subject requirements but students should have studied at least one subject in which significant experience of academic essay writing has been gained (e.g. English Literature, English Language, History, Government and Politics, Economics). Students should also show an interest in the world of current affairs.


A very high standard required in 3 subjects. Focus should be on the facilitating subjects, preference for at least some essay based subjects.

Management Studies / Marketing

Useful subjects include: Maths, Economics, Business Studies

Materials Science

Maths, Physics and/or Chemistry

Mathematics / Statistics

Maths and Further Maths, preference given to Physics. STEP may be used.


Chemistry required together with Biology, often Physics or Maths. Subject requirements vary – check university websites carefully. High grades at GCSE and AS level and relevant work experience are essential and an interview will be required. Additional admissions test may also be required (BMAT, UKCAT)


A level Music plus instrumental grade usually required.

Nursing and Midwifery

Usually Biology or another science will be required. Psychology or Health and Social studies can be helpful. Relevant work experience required.

Occupational Therapy

Some courses ask for Biology. There may be a preference for Psychology, Physical Education or another science.

Optometry (Ophthalmic Optics)

Two from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics (some courses prefer Biology as one of the choices).


Biology is essential; some universities prefer candidates to have one or more out of Chemistry, Maths, and Physics.


Chemistry and one from Biology, Maths and Physics keeps the vast majority of courses open to you. Some courses like to see Chemistry, Biology and Maths. Doing Chemistry and Biology keeps most courses open.

Philosophy / PPE - Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Usually ‘No specific subjects required’ but in our experience Maths is often essential and very useful for logic (and Economics) and an essay-based subject can give evidence of ability to expand on ideas.


Physics and Maths (and Chemistry sometimes preferred). Further Maths is desirable for some courses.


Most courses will consider you with just Biology. However, some also require a second science from Chemistry, Maths or Physics. Other useful subjects include Psychology.

Physical Education / Sports Science

PE and Biology are required for some courses.


No subjects specified. History or English are useful.


Look carefully at individual course outlines – some are more science based than others and so may require Biology or another science. Others will be more arts based.

Town and Country Planning

Geography may be specified.

Vet Science

Excellent GCSE grades essential. Extensive and varied work experience over a long period of time essential. (Work experience in as many different situations as possible – small / large animals, etc.) You should do Chemistry and Biology and one from Maths / Physics so that you have all universities open to you.

More information can also be found at - http://university.which.co.uk/advice/six-things-you-need-to-know-before-making-your-a-level-choices

Labour Market Information

Richmond School and Sixth Form College is committed to ensuring that all students, parents and carers have access to good quality information about the labour market and future opportunities. The web link below provides an overview for North Yorkshire and also national trends.

Link to labour market in North Yorkshire:




If you would like more information about any aspect of careers support at Richmond School and Sixth Form College please contact Ms Mannion - EMannion@richmondschool.net.