Careers Advice and Post-18 Options

Careers advice and guidance is facilitated by Joanne Marshall, our Adviser, supports and advises Sixth Form students throughout their time in Arden creating many opportunities to help them make the right choice for their futures, including career talks, Career and Apprenticeship Fairs, university visits, business mentoring and work experience placements.

Post-18 Options


There will be students who have considered university from a very young age. You may have chosen a career that you can only do if you have studied at university. Some students may look into university as one of the possible options following Post 16.

Students who successfully graduate will earn more in the main than a student who has chosen not to go to university.

There are in excess of 50,000 degrees so it is important that you choose the right degree.

Unable to decide what course to study? Have a go at…

To research into the different courses with links to the universities look at

If you have decided on going to university but cannot decide on a course, try the Stamford test on the UCAS site.

You can also try the Course Finder questionnaire on

This is another free test which may help you choose your degree subject. There is additional information which may help you with your university decisions.

Centigrade is an online test by Cambridge Occupation Analysts. They offer a further test to identify a small section of degree courses and institutions which may suit you, however, there is a small charge for this online test.

Useful Websites

Having selected a number of universities you should now be considering visiting them. It is important to visit the universities as you will be spending three years or maybe four years in your chosen location. University is about Higher Education but it is also about you experiencing different environments and you must be happy with all of your five choices that will appear on your UCAS application form. Some universities like you to book their open days so it is important that you plan for your future.

  • Open Days – check out the dates of university open days.
  • Skill – disability support.
  • The Complete University Guide
  • BestCourse4Me – offers students the opportunity to link different degree courses and salaries that they may achieve in the future.
  • Unionviewcom on YouTube – just prior to organising to visit universities you may be able to do a virtual tour of the university on YouTube. This could save you valuable time and money if you see something that you do not like online before you have travelled to the other end of the country.
  • Push – an alternative guide to researching universities.

Going to University is a big decision and one that we will help and support you through should you decide that this is your preferred destination on completion of your studies here at Arden Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy. If you decided that going to university is your preferred option you will need to apply through UCAS which is the central admissions application process for all university courses.

If you are unsure about what and where you want to go you can use the UCAS website to search for courses by subject or location. For every university course you will find details about the admissions policy, what are the entry criteria, when the course starts and what the course covers.

Going to University is now also expensive.  On the student finance link you will find information about the cost of going to university and also what government and student loan support you are entitled to. You can apply for financial support up to the end of the first year of your course and it will be back dated to the start of your course. The 2 different areas of support are Grants and Loans.  Grants you do not have to pay back and are based on your parents’/carers’ income. Loans you must pay back after you complete your course and are earning over £21,000 you will pay back a proportion of your earnings on a monthly basis, however if your salary falls below £21,000 at any point or for whatever reason you will cease to pay back your loan until you are earning at or above £21,000 again.

Throughout your time in Arden we will have visiting students and speakers to talk you through their experience in terms of students finance at university. We will also offer a session for parents so that they are also clear on what they are signing up for.

For further information on UCAS and Student Finance, click on the links below:

UCAS Website Student Finance


Students who are looking to secure an apprenticeship should click on the link to access a wealth of information on companies who offer apprenticeships and links to their websites

Looking for local employment or apprenticeship opportunities? This site is a good place to start.

Useful Websites

Studying Abroad

Following the rise in tuition fees a number of students are considering combining a gap year with their studies by studying abroad. Certain European countries teach their university courses in English so it is a real possibility to spend three years in a foreign country while gaining a degree. University fees for some countries are considerably cheaper than studying in the United Kingdom.

Students can choose to study at a British university and spend a year abroad. Look into the different programmes of study on These foreign courses are four year degree programmes with the third year in a foreign university.

Some students may consider studying at a British university and then spending a period studying at a European university. Erasmus Programme is a student exchange programme which promotes the growth of International Studying. Further details can be found at

Useful Websites

  • Fulbright – for students looking to apply to an American university.
  • Study in Europe – for students interested in European universities.
  • Study in Holland – for students interested in studying a degree in Holland.

Gap Years

Students who have chosen some of the competitive courses like Medicine, Veterinary, Law  and Dentistry may choose a gap year as they may feel that they require additional work experience would enhance their personal statement. It is sometimes hard to complete all of the relevant work experience when you require a number of A grades at A level to be considered for a course.

Students who have aspirations of Cambridge and Oxford will have their grades before  making an application if they have chosen to take a year out. Cambridge and Oxford look for the top academic students and as it is competitive students with guaranteed results may be selected over and above students without their results.

Students choose a gap year if they would like to gain some work experience. This may be to help finance their time at university or they may have chosen to gain some valuable experience in an industry which will ultimately help when they have graduated.

Students could choose a gap year to travel, either for a short period or maybe for the whole year giving themselves the opportunity to experience different cultures and meet new people.

Talented sport students may choose a year out to compete before committing themselves to full time study.

Career Paths

Not sure of your Career Path yet?

We have been given a substantial discount for an online assessment that matches students likes and abilities to the 10 best matched careers paths.

My Careers Options (MCO) have worked with the National Careers service and Cambridge university to put his package together and our students who have been involved in a trial run have found it very useful indeed. The assessment takes over an hour to complete and is designed to be completed over a number of sittings rather than all in one go. It involves both questions about interests as well as Maths, literacy and non-verbal reasoning questions. The assessment can be taken anywhere and if parents sign their children up they will be able to see the results themselves as will the school. Normally costing £47.00, but using the Academy discount code will mean you only pay £18.00.