Post 18 Higher and Technical Education

Preparing in Sixth Form

It is important in year 12 that you start to build up experiences that can enhance your personal statement when you are beginning the process of applying for university or pursuing other advanced technical routes.  Attending clubs and trips offered by teachers at the Purbeck School can enhance a student’s personal statement along with super-curricular wider reading and attending academic workshops / webinars / subject taster sessions.

In Year 12 students are encouraged to apply for widening participation schemes such as Realising Opportunities and residential summer schools.

Year 12 students with Oxbridge aspirations are invited to attend the South West annual Oxbridge conference.  The conference is attended by the schools’ liaison officers from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and admission tutors from science and humanities. Cambridge University student union invites a small number of Year 12 students to apply for a ‘students shadowing opportunity’ and Oxford offer a summer residential through the scheme UNIQ

Students who are have an interest in Law and have achieved highly at GCSE (five grade 8 or 9 in academic subjects) may apply for the Exeter Scholars Law Pathway Programme run by Exeter University. They may need to take the LNAT which can be supported by the Sixth Form HAP Co-ordinator. There is also a Cambridge Sixth Form Law Conference which students can apply to.

Students applying for medicine and veterinary courses will need to take the UCAT and / or the BMAT. The BMAT can be taken at Purbeck School. Students need to register for this with our Examinations Officer Mrs C Lyons. UCAT is taken at driving test centres. Applications to take this test are made on line. These exams usually take place between August and November, students will be required to organise this independently. Support may be given to students from the Sixth Form HAP Co-ordinator and a charity Unireach.

Those applying to Oxbridge may also be required to take additional tests.  Support for these tests is available online and in the Mathematics and Science Departments.

A STEM club runs every Wednesday after school.

It is advisable to start researching your university choices and attend open days early on, in year 12 so that you are fully prepared in year 13.

It is important for veterinary, medicine and Oxbridge candidates to be fully prepared to complete their personal statement and apply to university by the start of the Autumn Term of year 13 as closing date for UCAS applications is 15th October.

The universal destinations platform.
We help students compare every university course, every apprenticeship, every Further Education course – and then apply successfully.

As degree apprenticeships are becoming more commonplace, we support our sixth formers in their applications to top companies such as: Sky, Barclays, BAE Systems, QinetiQ,  PWC, KPMG, Wessex Water, GCHQ & Atkins. Our Careers Department offers a fortnightly apprenticeship drop in club and can offer 1:1 support in completing applications and preparing for interviews & assessment days.


A significant amount of support is given to students to assist with:
Personal Statements
Interview techniques – including Mock Interviews
Preparation for tests as closing date for UCAS applications is 15th October.


Although work experience can be useful, top universities will be more interested in exam grades and other interests. Students can volunteer to do outreach work in our lower school and within the local community.

Students aspiring to join the medical or veterinary professions will require work experience.  Local hospitals and care homes can offer some interesting placements.

Top universities are interested to see if you have taken an active part in school life and supported your school and community.

Useful websites:

University Colleges Admissions Service

Guardian University Guide 2023: find your subject

Oxplore is an engaging digital resource from the University of Oxford.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge – mock admission interviews –

Sutton Trust & Headstart run summer schools:

The Arkwright Engineering Scholarships programme

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