Planning ahead

Time can move quickly once you’re in the sixth form or at college, so it’s important to know about important dates to help you get prepared.

School Years 9 - 11

Keep your options open Study towards level 2 GCSE or BTEC qualifications. Keep your options open and think ahead. If you’re thinking about going to university then have this in mind when you choose your GCSEs.

Spring term, School Year 12

Start to think about university courses.

Check to see the courses and universities that interest you. Look at prospectuses but if you still are not sure, a useful site to explore is

Summer term, School Year 12

Go to open days and consider a summer school.

Visit university open days, ask questions, and look at university summer schools where you get a chance to stay on campus, learn something new and meet other students. Ask at school about Make Happen events and travel bursaries.

Autumn, School Year 13

Choose your top five Decide on your top five courses to apply for and write your personal statement. This goes to all the universities you apply to. Some colleges give excellent guidance on this and more help can be found at and some universities provide their own guidance on how to write personal statements.

Spring term, School Year 13

UCAS deadline and A-levels The spring term, after the Christmas break, is the deadline for UCAS applications, usually that’s on 15th January. Then later this term and early summer term it’s time for A-levels. A-level results are published in the middle of August at the end of the school year. Universities usually start the new academic year in September or October.