Higher Education

Here at Richmond Park Academy, we are already connected with various Russell Group universities giving our students an experience of University life to prepare them for further and higher education. Richmond Park Academy has run activities with a variety of universities, including: -

Cambridge - Oxford - Imperial - UCL - St George's University London - Middlesex - St Mary's University College - Roehampton University - Royal Holloway - The University of Sussex - Goldsmiths University - Kingston University - Greenwich University

Massive Open Online Courses - extracurricular learning for free

In support of your learning, applications, and broader interests, there are thousands of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which you can work through, as well as accessing lectures or course materials.

Use the links below to access a vast and varied knowledge base to expand your areas of interest.

Staircase 12 - MOOC-list - iTunesU - Future Learn - Udacity - Coursera - EdX - MIT OpenCourseWare - The Conversation - Nrich Maths - Further Mathematics Support Programme - IHeartIntelligence - Udemy - MyHE+

Direct experience of university

Students in Year 9 at Richmond Park Academy will typically have the chance to visit a local university and gain first hand insight about university life and so consider the impact of a university degree on their careers aspirations.

Year 12 students are invited to take part in the COMPASS scheme with one of our partners; Roehampton University. This benefits students who take part by preparing them for higher education over two years, so they know what to expect when they get to university. 6th form students have the opportunity to visit universities with their peers as well as visiting independently.

For students who want to gain real insight into university, you can browse the OpenDays website, the UCAS Find Open Days page and Taster Courses. These are an ideal way to gain a real insight into studying a course at a particular university. My Student Events website shows various events across the UK, relevant to both GCSE and A Level students.

Are you planning ahead?

The Times Higher Education website collates all the latest news and discussion relating to higher education.

The Guardian has produced its 2019 University League tables for universities in the United Kingdom. The Times Higher Education (THE) publication, has produced its World University Rankings 2019 as well as European University rankings. Pure Potential is an online resource, written by graduates, for 6th form students looking to find support for their next steps to university, or into working life.

If you are already thinking of university and are looking for course information or are considering which university runs the course you want, visit the UCAS website to help with your search. UCAS also have a blog which applicants can use for tips and advice about the application process.

Dental and Medical applicants

Students with a desire to train at Medical or Dental school can find affordable events through Medtalk (found on Facebook and Eventbrite), which advertises full day courses supporting students with the application process. The courses cover elements such as; Personal Statements, Interviews, UKCAT, BMAT and more.

Oxford and Cambridge applicants

Students can apply for direct experiences at these two world class universities in the form of staster events and summer schools. Cambridge University Open Days are advertised on their website, as are Oxford University UniQ events. Places at both universities are highly competitive so students need to ensure that they apply early for events. The Oxbridge Applications website has some free resources which students can register to access in order to assist with preparation for an Oxford or Cambridge application.

Compare student experiences of university

Websites such as; the Times Higher Education, Student Experience Survey 2018 and Student Hub ranks universities according to students satisfaction.

Link to Which? University

UCAS Tariff Points for 2017 and beyond

Which?University have put together this easy visual guide to show how UCAS tariff points are changing for entry into university in 2017, and how much your qualifications are worth.

Entry Requirements for university

Students can browse the latest printed edition of Heap which is kept for reference in the 6th Form office. HEAP outlines the entry requirements for all UK university courses listed by subject.

The UCAS website also displays entry requirements along with course details.

Sponsored Degrees, Degree Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships

Sponsored Degrees and Student Sponsorship. Aren't they all the same thing? Find your answers in this article on the AllAboutCareers website.

Degree Apprenticeships are another option for students to gain direct industry experience whilst studying for a degree and the UCAS website has a page dedicated to Higher & Degree Apprenticeships where students can search directly for a degree apprenticeship, along with the Target Careers webpage which advertises Degree Apprenticeships.

There are Degree Apprenticeships in numerous firms and industries such as; Rolls Royce, Nuclear Engineering, Law, Solicitor apprenticeships with Eversheds, Technology with Goldman Sachs, Human Resources at BP, IBM and management apprenticeships.

Higher Apprenticeships are discussed on the AllAboutSchoolLeavers website.

Examples of current Employer-sponsored Degree Programmes

• Airbus @ Bristol UWE (Engineering); £13K

• Barclays @ Anglia Ruskin/Nottingham Trent (Retail Banking); £16K

• CGI @ Winchester (Business Management); £13K

• Environment Agency @ Bristol UWE (River & Coastal Engineering)

• Experian @ Nottingham Trent (Management & Leadership)

• EY Scholarship @ Bath, Lancaster, Warwick (4-year Acc & Fin); A*AA-AAB/£5K annually

• George at Asda @ Manchester Metropolitan/Leicester HQ (The George Degree, Retail)

• Harrods @ Anglia Ruskin (Retail School Leaver programme, London)

• KPMG @ Birmingham/Durham (5-yr Audit prog); 22 locations; ABB/up to £20K + all fees

• Merchant Navy Cadets @ Warsash/Fleetwood/S.Tyneside; £120pw sea/£175pw college

• Morrisons @ Bradford (Management); £15K

• National Grid @ Aston (Electrical Power Engineering); £24K + car

• Nestlé @ Sheffield Hallam (Gatwick/York; HR/Sales/Marketing/Buying); £17K + all fees

• PwC @ Reading/Newcastle/Nottingham (4-year FlyingStart programme); AAB

What to do with your degree & graduate employers

If you are wondering what kind of salary you might have after studying a particular degree, or the type of career you might get into, visit the Prospects site Options with your subject for an overview of degree sectors and what graduates can go to to after course completion.

Additionally, you can visit What do graduates do? for their 2018/19 report with up to date statistics about graduate employment, six months after completing university.

Once students have graduated there are plenty of graduate employment schemes available. The Guardian UK 300 has published their 2018/19 results for the most popular graduate employers.

Budgeting and applying for Student Finance

You can use the UCAS Budgeting tool to plan your monthly budget for university. Money Saving Expert has a Mythbuster for students, and Save The Student has an array of useful tools for students planning ahead for university.

Apply for student finance through the Student Finance England website before 31st May for courses starting between August-December.

You can apply for: -

  • Tuition Fee Loans
  • Maintenance Loans
  • Advanced Learner Loans

Scholarships & Bursaries

Check out TheScholarshipHub for UK scholarships, grants or bursaries available for UK/EU students. Scholarships available based on a wide range of eligibility criteria, such as academic merit, financial need, special skills and abilities, what your parents do, where you live and more. Read the Scholarships Fact Sheet. Additionally the Grant Fairy website and app helps students to source grants and scholarships suitable for them.

The Guardian have produced a list of universities which offer some of the best scholarships (published in 2015) and the BBC published an article in August 2016 about 10 Alternative Ways to fund your degree.

Local organisations who offer bursaries or scholarships are: Barnes Workhouse Fund (SW13 residents) and Richmond Parish Lands Charity (TW9, TW10, SW14 and SW13 residents).

For disabled students (Physical health, mental health, specific learning difficulty), the Government offers information for financial support.

Repayment of loans

You can use the Student Finance Calculator to see how much you will really pay as a result of university tuition fees.

This table shows what your repayments could be, once you are earning. You'll repay the same amount each month, depending on what you earn.

Fees: Discussion

The BBC discusses tuition fees for American universities and asks the question: Is it really worth it?

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS

This video from experts at Imperial College London covers how to make your personal statement stand out above the rest. The video is 37:30 minutes long.

Roehampton University website has tips for writing a personal statement for UCAS, as does the Personal Statement Builder, the UCAS personal statement worksheet, and UCAS online tool


For any Year 13 students concerned that they may miss their required grades for university, UCAS and WhatUni show courses available through Clearing. Clearing is open between July and mid-October and courses with available spaces are updated on these websites from July onward.

Studying Overseas

For students considering studying abroad: -

  • Go International is a source of very useful information with a variety of contacts.
  • The Erasmus Programme offer student exchanges typically within Europe.
  • Eunicas (European University Central Application Support Service) allows UK students to apply directly to European universities where degree courses are taught in the English language.
  • Study in Europe allows students to search for European courses taught in English, as well as comparing courses fees for students from both EU and non-EU countries.
  • Fulbright Commission offers information about studying in the USA.
  • Top Universities has a guide which can help you decide where to study overseas, as well as a guide to studying in Germany which you can access for free by registering on their website.

Parents' Guide

For parents who are planning ahead, the HE Parents Guide offers clear and concise information for parents about: -

  • The UCAS application process
  • Open Days
  • Student Finance
  • Direct links to
    • all undergraduate courses
    • information on university websites specifically for parents and carers
    • scholarships and bursaries
  • Information and links for study abroad
  • Links and resources to find out more

Students requiring extra support

EmployAbility assist 6th formers, university students and graduates who are disabled, have long-term illnesses, mental health issues or dyslexia - to smooth their transition into the workplace.

The company offers free guidance and advice on: recruitment, transition into the workplace, disclosing your disability, writing an effective CV and success at interviews and assessment centre exercises.

The company also help individuals to gain internships, work placements and graduate opportunities with companies such as: Google, Goldman Sachs, Reed Smith, National Audit Office, FCA, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Shell, Morgan Stanley.

Gap Years

Year in Industry (YINI) is for students who have completed their A Levels and want a year paid employment in a STEM industry. Applications are open all year round, but students who apply earlier are more likely to gain a successful placement.

Success at School and Independent Gap Advice have lots of different articles about taking a gap year such as; Planning a Gap Year; Finding programmes available.

The notgoingtouni website has gap year information and is a useful tool for students to access.

Students with a disability considering take a Gap Year, might find the DisabledGapYears website very useful. Although the primary aim of the site, is to inform students with disabilities about taking a gap year, the information will be useful to any student considering a gap year.

Frontier also specialise in Gap Years and volunteering, broadly within conservation and education, and GapForce offer gap years across the globe in a variety of sectors.