Category Archives: Careers & College

Information about the different options open for pupils after they leave school whether that is college, university or work. Also includes work experience.


Year 12 Medics Workshop

medic1 Led by Mrs. E. Mitchell, Head of Science

Tuesday 15th July, lessons 3-4

To complement the UCAS Induction programme, a workshop, targeting the Medical students, will be run by the Head of Science, Mrs. E. Mitchell.

The workshop will address some of the current issues in medicine which will allow students the opportunity to be prepared for the university application and interview process. Students will also be given advice on suitable reading material that can be carried out in the summer holidays.

This will be run on Activities Day and so school uniform need not be worn. It is, however, advisable to let Mrs Mitchell know that you are attending the workshop in advance.

Please note the application for Oxford, Cambridge and most professional courses in medicine is the 15th of October 2014.

If you need any more help and advice please go to

Work Experience Thumb2

Year 10 work experience

Year 10 students are on work related learning next week.  As part of their Welsh Baccalaureate qualification they are required to carry out 30 hours of work experience or work related education. Most of the provision for this will be carried out during the following dates:-

Monday 30th June- Thursday 3rd July


  Work Placement Pupils Non work placement pupils
Mon 30th June Work Placements RCT Careers Day x 30 pupils (bus to Pontypridd) Careers and world of work activities  x 40- 50 pupils
Tue 1st July Work Placements Young Enterprise activity for all pupils 
Wed 2nd July Work Placements Anti-Racism Workshop x 40-50 pupils RCT Careers Day x 30 pupils (bus to Pontypridd)
Thu 3rd July Talk the Talk- Effective Communication Workshop Talk the Talk- Effective Communication Workshop

Careers Newsletter 2

careersYou haven’t heard from me for weeks and now 2 reports in as many days!! Very interesting information which I felt needed to be passed on to those thinking of entering university. It is from Liverpool University but I am sure is echoed by many other good universities. Includes information on graduate recruitment, application procedures, employability, avionic engineering, environmental careers and lots more.

University of Liverpool Connexions Conference 21.11.12

Introduction and Welcome – Julie Bond, Education Liaison Manager

The University of Liverpool believes itself to be ‘Life Changing and world shaping.’

It was established in 1881 and was the original ‘red brick university’ – the current Victoria Building designed by Alfred Waterhouse. The University is a member of the Russell Group and has 27,500 students. Julie suggested the total student population of the city of Liverpool is approximately 100,000.

The University has 3 faculties:
• Health and Life Sciences
• Humanities and Social Sciences
• Science and Engineering

The University offers over 400 programmes of study.

Julie claimed the University’s defining attributes as:
• Research orientated
• Global
• Dynamic
• High profile
• Accessible

The University is engaged in ‘ground breaking ideas and research that is helping to shape our world.’ In particular in the areas of:
• Environment and climate change
• Security and conflict
• Sustainable energy
• Materials for the future
• Personalised and global health care

However, higher education presents a changing landscape. The recent reshaping began with the publication of the White Paper, ‘HE: Students at the Heart of the System.’ The aim of the legislation was to increase student choice and to support greater diversity in higher education. To encourage this public funding of HE was aimed directly at the students in the form of tuition fee loans.

With students far more seen as consumers of HE they naturally want to know not only what the degree programme entails but where and what it can lead to.

In 2012 student number controls on HE were relaxed with universities able to attempt to recruit additional numbers from a margin of 20,000 students with AAB grades at ‘A’ level or better. In 2013 the margin will be all students with ABB or better – a number estimated at 120,000. The result of this is, Julie said the University believes that students who do get ABB or better are very likely to get into their first choice of university. Across many Russell Group institutions ‘the offered grades’ are being lowered.

The University of Liverpool are spending £600m on the campus and this includes the development of Vine Court a 730 en suite Eco Hall of Residence on the campus which the group visited later in the day.

The University’s Careers and Employability Service – Diane Appleton

In 2009 the year immediately after the start of the current recession vacancies for graduate positions dropped by 17.8%. However, they have started to pick up again since 2010. However, different sectors have experienced very different challenges over the last 4-5 years e.g. look at retail – Comet, JJB etc have obviously had very tough times, but others e.g. Aldi have been very successful. Diane stressed there is not one typical graduate job market.

The Outlook for 2012:
• ‘Top’ recruiters are predicting a 6.4% growth in vacancies
• Almost a half of recruiters expect to recruit more graduates this year than last year and a quarter expect to recruit the same number as last year
• Public sector employers are planning to expand their graduate intake by 21.9% in 2012

These figures from High Fliers Research 2012

The sectors with the biggest growth in vacancies were:
• I.T. and communications – up 31.6%
• Engineering – up 22.4%
• High St banks – up 16.0%
• Retailers – up 11.5%

The largest individual recruiters of graduates in 2013 will be:
• PWC (1200)
• Deloitte (1200)
• Teach First (1000)
• KPMG (800)
• Ernst and Young (740)

However, across all organisations featured within the research, graduate recruitment in 2012 is still 6% below that recorded in 2007. However, 50,000 more students left university in the summer of 2012 than left in 2007.

The Careers and Employability Service recognise that a trend is developing i.e. a third of the year’s entry level positions for graduates are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for the organisation. Indeed, Investment banks say that 75% of recruits have previously been on placement with them. Consequently, sandwich degree courses, work placements, internships etc are becoming ever more important.

The University have established a placement team to source work placements for their students.

Diane said that most ‘top companies’ on average approach no more than 19 universities seeking graduate recruits.

The median salaries for graduates with one of the Times Top 100 companies was £29,000, but the average starting salary of all graduates was between £18,285 and £23, 635 depending on occupational area and region of the country.

Undergraduates must apply earlier in their final year than previously. One recruiter told the University that they had so many applications they rejected all that had even one spelling mistake. This meant they whittled the pile down by 92%. The moral is: ‘take very good care with your application!’

The Future Track Survey revealed that 4 out of 10 graduates are working in non graduate roles 18-30 months after graduation. The University of Liverpool put all their destination information on the careers section of the website.

The Times Top 100 companies have approximately 20,000 graduate vacancies. Of these 46% are in the financial services. The ratio of applicants to jobs is 50:1.

It is still the case that between 60 and 70% of graduate recruiters don’t ask for any particular degree subject. However, recruiters are finally increasingly devious ‘weapons of mass rejection.’

In a 2009 survey:
• 70% only accepted online applications
• 2% only accepted paper applications
• 40% used telephone screening
• 36% used online exercises
• 64% used personality tests
• 80% used numeracy tests
• 71% used verbal reasoning tests
• 79% put candidates through assessment centres

TOWIE – The Only Way is Employability
‘Employability is being able to get a job, keep a job and if the need arises, find another job.’ (Carl Gilleard, Association of Graduate Recruiters)

Active, enterprising students are what employers want. The Future Tracks survey mentioned earlier found that 79% of respondents said that work experience had helped them get their job. Internships are increasingly important but are, of course, open to abuse, especially in the supposedly more glamorous industries.
The University of Liverpool won’t advertise unpaid internships but if students have the contacts and can afford to work for free there’s nothing to stop them.

Graduates can distinguish themselves by showing:
• Focus and drive
• Commercial awareness and business acumen
• Emotional intelligence
• Innovation and added value
• Studying or working overseas seems attractive too

The University of Liverpool have an employability strategy. They work with each faculty to develop employability plans based around CBI identified business skills. They are seeking increased opportunities for work experience in the curriculum and offering more employability sessions in the departments and more centrally held employability events (over 200 such events this year!)

The University have a part of their website called Liverpool Life which helps students identify what they can do outside their studies to boost employability.

The University of Liverpool Careers and Employability Service have a formula for enhanced employability. It is Q+WE+SxC=E or
Qualifications plus Work Experience plus Skills times Contacts equals Employability.

Aerospace Engineering and Avionics- Dr Mike Jump

Avionics and Aerospace engineering are distinct subjects at the University of Liverpool.

Avionics is mainly concerned with electrical and electronic systems that help a plane to fly. The vast bulk of the cost of any aircraft is consumed by avionics.

Avionics deals with radar, sensors, antennae, control systems

The University offers an Avionics with pilot studies course (there’s also an aerospace options with pilot studies). This course gives you the chance of flying an aircraft (only offers a taste of being a pilot you can’t qualify as a pilot by doing the course). ‘It’s a proper engineering degree with a bit of flying.’

The quickest way to achieve Chartered Engineering status is by doing a 4 year Integrated MEng degree that is appropriately accredited. All engineering degrees need to meet the requirements of the accrediting bodies and all engineering degrees at Liverpool do meet the requirements of the appropriate accrediting body.

There is also an Avionics with a Year in Industry option. This is a 4 year degree course or a 5 year one if the MEng route is followed. The Year in Industry is assessed.

Aerospace Engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of air and space craft.

Aeronautical – is concerned that craft that remains within the Earth’s atmosphere
Astronautical – is concerned with craft that operate outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

Liverpool do offer some astronautical engineering in their degree programme, though Dr Jump recommended Southampton and Surrey as better bets if that was a particular area of interest.

The current entry requirements for Engineering at Liverpool are ABB including Maths and Physics, though for Civil Engineering it is Maths and two other subjects. For the MEng it is AAB, though students can transfer from the BEng to MEng while on the course dependant on satisfactory academic performance. It is pointless applying to both the BEng and MEng at Liverpool as that uses up two choices on a student’s UCAS form.

Students are encouraged to take a take a ‘gap year’ or rather an industrial placement between their second and third years. However this is not mandatory, though they find that the placement can really help students with their final year project.

Applicants are encouraged to attend a Post Application Visit Day (PVAD) but if the applicant lives miles away and have already attended an Open Day, exceptions can be made.

Dr Jump maintained that engineering at Liverpool’s Key Selling Points are:
• Their approach to teaching and learning – Liverpool is different because students don’t just learn about it, they do it
• Their approach to employability – they are trying to make students employer ready
• The facilities

Graduates from Avionics and Aeronautical Engineering have in recent years worked in the aerospace industry e.g. Westland helicopters, but also in wind and wave technologies, yacht manufacturers, the Armed Forces, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), but also financial services careers.

Some of the transferable skills that engineering graduates have are:
• Management of the creative process
• Project cost and risk management
• Experience of interdisciplinary collaboration
• Communications and team working
• Experience of ethical consideration
• and numerical ability

In answer to questions Dr Jump said that further maths at ‘A’ level would help engineers when they start on their degree course and that Advanced Apprentices would need maths at ‘A’ level standard to be accepted onto an engineering degree at Liverpool.

The split of male to female engineering students at Liverpool is 90/10.

Environmental Management and Urban Regeneration: Planning- a career? – Dr. Peter Brown

Dr Brown started by asking ‘do you want a profession where caring for the environment will be an important part of your work?’ For example tackling the effects of climate change; promoting energy efficiency; finding sustainable transport solutions; or talking to people to find out what they want in their locality.

Previously much of the employment in planning was in the public sector, but there are more and more planning consultancies springing up.

Liverpool is the oldest school of planning in the world. The original School of Civic Design was founded in 1909 by a deed of gift from William Hesketh Lever, the result of his success in a libel action against the Daily Mail!

The degree seeks to train students to go out to work as professional town planners and the degree is professionally accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

If a student opts to follow a 4 year MPlan degree in Year 1 they will concentrate on Neighbourhood Planning and there is field trip to York; in Year 2 they concentrate on Urban Design and there are two field trips – one to Manchester and one to Cumbria; in Year 3 the concentration is on Environmental Planning and Project Management and there is a field trip to Lille in France; and in Year 4 the concentration is Spatial Planning in Action and there are field trips to Belfast and London.

Students can also do a planning practice placement, usually in the summer holiday between years 3 and 4. They also have the opportunity to specialise in years 3 and 4 and Dr Brown feels this increases their employability.

Liverpool offers a Postgraduate Masters of Civic Design which is a one year programme.

Liverpool is an excellent place to study planning, especially now as there is so much urban regeneration in the pipeline. Dr Brown referenced the Liverpool and Wirral waters schemes of Peel Holdings (‘Shanghai on Mersey’) and the ‘Atlantic Gateway’ which Dr Brown believed could create as many as 250,000 new jobs.

The current entry requirements for the courses in the department are:
• BA Hons Environment and Planning BBB
• BA Hons Urban Regeneration and Planning BBB
• 4 year Undergraduate Master of Planning (Town and Regional Planning) ABB

The department will accept General Studies as one of offered ‘A’ levels. Geography at ‘A’ level is desirable but not essential.

All 3 degree programmes have a common first two years and students who have done well academically can transfer to the 4 year Masters programme at the end of year 2 if they wish.

Planning has little recognition beyond ‘A’ level Geography students which Dr Brown feels is a shame as the subject offers good job opportunities (especially if the Peel Holding plans go ahead) and plenty of transferable skills.

Bachelor of Nursing (Honours degree) – Vicky Thornton

The professions allied to Medicine that are offered at the University are:
• Physiotherapy
• Occupational Therapy
• Diagnostic Radiography
• Orthotics
• Radiotherapy
As well as degree programmes in Nursing, Dentistry and Medicine.

Nursing is still an NHS funded degree and there are currently no tuition fees. Students can be eligible for a means tested NHS bursary which if awarded would be paid monthly as students on these courses are in university for much longer than other undergraduates. Typically they get 8 or 9 weeks off per year.

Why choose a career in nursing?
• You are helping towards the health of the community
• It is an internationally recognised qualification
• The career offers continual professional development
• There are opportunities to study for higher qualifications
• Nursing has a structured career ladder and good promotion prospects

Nursing graduates can also move into:
• Health service management
• Teaching
• Research
• Private practice

Most University of Liverpool Nursing students are 18 year olds. They have far fewer mature students than at other local universities.

Liverpool’s Nursing degree is 7th in the Guardian University Guide 2012’s league table. It offers strong future job prospects and has small cohorts – typically about 45 students per year, though they receive over 1000 applications. The small cohort means the students get very good support.

Students do a variety of clinical placements including international ones.

Entry requirements: Nursing
• BBB at ‘A’ level (General Studies is NOT acceptable)
• BTEC in Health Care – DDD
• Access to Health, Nursing – 60 credits, 45 at level 3, all at Distinction.
• 14-19 Diploma in Society Health and development. An advanced diploma at B+ and a Biological Science at ‘A’ level grade B. They have had very few applications from this route.
• All students must have 6 GCSEs at C or above including a Science, Maths and English
• Mature students must have GCSEs in Maths and English at grade C or above

Occupational therapy
• 6 GCSEs at C or above including a B in a Science subject
• ‘A’ levels BBB including a mix of Sociology or Psychology or Human Biology or Biology

• 6 GCSEs at C or above including a B in Physics
• 300 UCAS points including a ‘hardcore’ Science subject
Diagnostic Radiotherapy
• 6 GCSEs at C or above including a B in Maths
• ‘A’ levels BBB including a Biological Science subject

• 6 GCSEs at C or above including a B in Maths
• BBB at ‘A’ level and preferred subjects including Biology, Human Biology or Physics

• 6 GCSEs at C or above including Maths, Science and English
• 300 UCAS points at ‘A’ level

Work experience
The department expects evidence of recent work experience dealing with the general public. Voluntary work is valuable and an observation of nursing in practice is encourages as is experience in a hospital or community setting. These can help breakdown preconceived ideas about what nursing actually involves. However, the department realises it can be very difficult to get experience in such work experience, but feel that students should be able to work shadow. Volunteer work in a care home or a hospital café was suggested as especially useful.

The department places great store by the academic reference and there was a complaint that many references received are far too brief.

Nursing and Physiotherapy both interview candidates. The other 4 disciplines encourage candidates attend post application visit days.

On the Nursing selection day candidates:
• Attend a talk about the degree programme
• Go on a tour of the campus
• Sit literacy and numeracy tests. The numeracy tests are based around medical dosages so are obviously relevant to the degree.
• Take part in a group interview where they are assessed on how they interact with others

The qualities the admissions tutors are looking for are:
• The confidence to take on responsibilities
• Good communication skills
• A caring and empathetic nature
• Evidence of reflection
• A team player

All health profession course are 50/50 theoretical/practical and are made up of short terms, long placements and reading weeks which allows students to catch up with academic study.

All nursing placements are on Merseyside. Radiotherapy and Orthotics placements can be anywhere in the UK. While on placement the student is expected to fall in with their appointed mentor and so they will be expected to work shift work including weekends, but excluding nights. The first placement starts 6 weeks after the start of the course.
NB: The University of Liverpool only offers Adult Nursing training.

Computing: What is it all about? –Dr. Boris Konev

Computing science is NOT ICT as taught in schools. It is NOT about populating databases or creating spreadsheets.

It IS about what it is possible to do with computers; about making computers faster and more powerful; enabling computers to deal with complex problems; it can be theoretical e.g. reasoning about the behaviour of programmes; and it is very close to the boundary of Maths. Much of it is also practical.

Computer science is very important as computers are everywhere. The computer chip embedded in a mobile phone is more powerful than the computer services that were onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

Some questions they try to answer on the Computer Sciences degree are:
• How do we tell computers precisely what we want them to do?
• Should we trust computers?
• Can we always guarantee computers get it right?
• Can we make computers intelligent?

Dr Konev used the example of Computer Games. He said computer games are nearly as old as computers. Playing them is fun (each to their own!) and creating games is even more fun.

The skills required for computer games development split into two main pathways:
• An art pathway (design, art, animation – definitely not computer science)
• Technical pathway –
 Programming (languages, data structure, algorithms, quality issues, software engineers)
 Maths (2D and 3D manipulations)
 Physics (how objects interact)
 Artificial Intelligence
 Mobile intelligence
All these are core computer science subjects

They offer 15 undergraduate degree programme options. There are 6 key undergraduate degree programmes, all with the option of a Year in Industry. Students can decide at the end of year 1 if they want to take up the Year in Industry option.

The department also has a joint programme with the management school – BSC e-Finance

100% of computer science students who have gone into work are in graduate level jobs. However, 50% of the graduates have gone onto postgraduate studies and 11.3% of 2012’s graduates are ‘still seeking’ (compared to the national average of 14.6%)
More information:

Electrical Engineering and Electronics – Dr Harm van Zalinge

The department offers 32 degree programmes. However, only 3 – electrical and Electronic Engineering, Electronics and Electronics and Communications Engineering are exclusively within the department. The others are joint honours programmes with other departments.

All degrees have BEng and MEng options and offer a Year in Industry.

Electric Engineering is anything to do with electrical motors and generating electricity.

Electronics is making microchips smaller and more powerful and looking at ways of making computers smaller.

Electronics and Communications Engineering is for students interested in fixed and mobile communications, signal processing and associated techniques.

All programmes are accredited by the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) and have the entry requirements of ABB or equivalent.

What makes an engineer?
• Someone who understands the basic underlying science
• Someone who can identify needs and problems
• Someone who can apply science to create solutions and to troubleshoot

In 2012 50% of graduates went into postgraduate study; 42% went into employment; and 8% are ‘still seeking.’

‘Engineering is the ultimate transferable degree’

More information:

Evolutionary Anthropology – Prof. John Gowlett

Anthropology is the study of humankind and humanity. Biological Anthropology adds the study of genetics and bloods while evolutionary anthropology adds the time dimension. How we became human.

Evolutionary Anthology is related to ‘A’ level subjects like Biology, Human Anatomy, Psychology, Sociology, History, Archaeology, Earth science and Geography.

The degree at Liverpool involves:
• Archaeology (earliest materials/cultures)
• Anthropology (hunter gatherer/ethnology/primatology)
• Biology (Anatomy, Evolutionary biology, genetics)
• Earth sciences (Geology/Environmental reconstruction)
• Psychology (Cognitive evolution)

Why study Evolutionary Anthropology?
There can be no more important subject than the origin of the species. It offers graduates a series of valuable transferable skills e.g. analytical and computing skills and there is a focus on inter disciplinary study and how subjects relate to one another.

Liverpool is the only Evolutionary Anthropology undergraduate course, though there are similar courses elsewhere in the UK. At Liverpool the degree has a small intake – approximately 10 – but they can find themselves being taught in much larger groups in certain modules.

They normally ask for ABB at ‘A’ level, but if you apply and are predicted BCC or equivalent they will probably make you an offer, though that offer wil be higher than BCC.

More information: or or

Combined Honours – Dr Kathy Johnson

5 good reasons to do a combined Honours degree at the University of Liverpool:
1. The University
2. You can study more than one subject as part of your degree on an equal basis; to the same level of achievement as a single honours student; and without doing more studying
3. You can get exposure to subjects that you may not have studied at school
4. you mix science and humanities subjects e.g. Maths with Music; Biological Sciences and Business Studies
5. You graduate with a degree that has a breadth of subject knowledge; that shows you are willing to be flexible; demonstrates an eagerness to stand out from the crowd.

Until 2013 it works like this:
• BA Combined Honours – 3 subjects in first year (Y001)
• BA combined Honours – 2 subjects in first year (L000)
• BSc Combined Honours – always contains at least one science
• All subjects offered in all 3 as 3 year degrees except Modern Languages – 4 year degrees.

From 2014 it will work like this:
• Single Honours – only 1 subject though doing a subsidiary module in another subject may be possible
• New Humanities Curriculum – (“ humanities subjects; no science subjects – can be taken equally or with one as a major and one as a minor)
• The New Humanities Curriculum offers named degrees e.g. English and History
• Combined Honours – 2 science subjects or 1 Science and 1 Humanities or 3 Humanities in first year and no science and then 2 Humanities
• The New Humanities Curriculum is a work in progress and full details should be available in spring 2013.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
• Economics, Business Studies
• Law, Sociology, Criminology
• English, Communication Studies, Philosophy, Music
• Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese)
• Latin American Studies, Irish Studies, History, Politics
• Classics – Egyptology, Archaeology, Ancient History, Anthropology

Faculty of Science and Engineering
• Chemistry
• Maths
• Geography, Geology, Planning, Earth and Ocean Sciences
• Computer Sciences

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
• Psychology
• Biology, Microbiology, Zoology, Biochemistry, Genetics

Students can choose 2 or 3 subjects from across all 3 faculties of the university or can do one from one faculty and one from another. If a student does one subject from the Science and Engineering Faculty and one from the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty they can choose whether to graduate as a BSc or BA.

Combined Honours-Key Facts:
• 50/50 weighting in terms of content and mark contributions
• Students follow the core of the corresponding single honours programme – consequently may have less option choice
• Modules and assessments identical to corresponding single honours programmes
• Project or dissertation in final years depending on subjects
• Administered by the Combined Honours office
• Psychology curriculum in Combined Honours as BPS recognition
• Language students study abroad in Year 3 so the course is a 4 year degree
• The Combined Honours Law curriculum offers some exemptions on the Graduate Diploma in Law but is not a qualifying Law degree
• Entry requirements – ABB. There may well be subject specific requirements
• Personal statements – look for evidence of a range of interests, extra curricula activities and curiosity

More information:

Iain Logan


Careers Newsletter

For those of you considering applying to medicine, dentistry or veterinary training you may be interested in the following interesting information recently sent to me. Read on for additional information about the Pharmaceutical, Creative and Horticultural Industries and also about working abroad.

INTERVIEW SKILLS: The use of ‘multiple mini interviews’ (MMI), originally developed in Canada, is spreading to more medical schools, and has been taken up by the Royal Veterinary School (RVS). Students have a series of 1-1 mini-interviews, solving problems and taking part in role-plays, rather than answering general questions about themselves. After 5 minutes they move on to the next ‘date’. The interviewer scores the applicant independently and is unaware of how the student has performed at other stations. Institutions using MMI include St George’s, Queen’s, Dundee; Cardiff School of dentistry; and the RVS. Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Queen Mary, and Sheffield, are also considering whether or not to use MMI.

The assessments are seen as fairer by the users because they reward innate skills, such as empathy, rather than eloquence. At St George’s, which has pioneered MMI in the UK, students have been asked to imagine they have accidentally run over their neighbour’s cat and must break the news to them. Kenton Lewis, head of student recruitment, said, “Potentially, someone who is educationally advantaged may have had a lot of opportunities to practice interviews and be more used to high level discussion, pulling together a higher level argument, going through that debate process. Rather than getting an interview panel to say ‘Tell me about the skills you have,’ we are drilling down deeper and saying ‘Demonstrate those skills. One of the reasons we believe it is fairer is that we are less likely to be assessing how good somebody is at doing an interview and more likely to be assessing how good they are in the competency.”

Other scenarios that have been used include:
You are given details of 15 individuals, including their age, sex and occupation. A nuclear attack is imminent and you are only allowed to save 5 of them from destruction. Which ones and why?
(This is a prioritisation exercise. The emphasis is on problem solving and rational thinking)
Without using your hands, explain how to tie shoe laces.
(This tests verbal communication skills, the ability to break down the task into a series of small steps and the interviews ability to check that the interlocutor understands what they are saying)

Oxford interviews of course are very different. Amongst this year’s questions have been; “Why do animals have stripes?”, “Why do human beings have two eyes?” and “Does poetry have to be difficult?” Potential history undergraduates were asked: “Imagine we had no records about the past at all except everything to do with sport, how much of the past could we find out about?” another question was, “Why are strawberries and ladybirds both red?”

The point, according to Mike Nicholson, director of undergraduate admissions, is that there are no right or wrong answers. “The interviews are an academic conversation in a subject area between tutors and candidate, similar to a tutorial, and, like tutorials, the interviews are designed to push students to think, not recite specific facts or answers.”

A SATURATED MARKET: The British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA) has warned that the growth of students studying pharmacy will lead to a saturated market and that in the near future there will not be enough work based placements for students to train at or eventual jobs for them to go into. The BPSA president, Vikesh Kakad, said that it was ‘unethical’ to offer degrees that do not lead to jobs. The BPSA say that the number of students studying pharmacy has doubled since 2009 and with 3 new courses opening next year at Birmingham, Durham and Lincoln there will be a saturated market. Unlike other healthcare courses there is no central control over student numbers for pharmacy which means VCs may be tempted to increase numbers because it is a very attractive course that is easy to fill. The BPSA has called for pharmacy to be treated like medicine and dentistry with a body to oversee entry to ensure a regulated supply.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Given the UK job market, it may be a good idea or graduates to look at other countries for permanent or temporary jobs that can give skills and experience, as well as potentially a long term career opportunity. Please note that many countries want proof that you have enough money to support yourself and will want evidence of cleared funds before letting you in. Here are some options you may wish to consider. There is also a strong worldwide demand for teachers of English as a foreign language (TEFL). Make sure you take a British Council approved course.

CANADA: Working visas to people aged 18-35 under the International Experience Canada programme. Apply at (£90 fee). You will need to demonstrate cleared funds of C$2,500 (£1,600).
USA: Visa restrictions mean you would need to have a job already arranged. There are various organisations, such as BUNAC and a variety of books that can advise you on opportunities, you can also work as an Au Pair
AUSTRALIA: Can work up to 12 months for people aged 18-30. Apply online (A$280/£190 fee) at You can do any kind of work in Australia, but can only be with the same employer for six months. You may be asked on arrival to prove that you have ‘sufficient funds’. Anything less than A$3,000 (£1,950) is considered risky. The greatest demand is in Western Australia, home to the mining boom.
NEW ZEALAND: There are two options: a 12-month visa or a 23-month visa for UK citizens aged 18-30. Apply at With either option you are only entitled to work for 12 months, and each is based on certain requirements – one being access to £180 (NZ$350) per month of your stay.

BEING CREATIVE: The sector skills council for the creative industries run events for young people aged 14+ across the country. For more information see or email Other useful websites are and www.getintolive

A GROWING AREA: The horticultural industry has launched a new initiative to counter the negative attitudes in young people towards the industry. The ‘Grow’ initiative includes a new website, a facebook page and a twitter account @growcareers. The initiative wants to stress the number of highly skilled jobs in the sector, such as crop technologist, plant breeder, landscape architect, nursery manager, propagator and golf course manager.

Hospitality Management Apprenticeships with Accor

Accor are having an Open Day in Cardiff for those interested in working in the Hospitality Industry. It will be taking place in the Novotel Hotel, Schooner Way, Atlantic Wharf, Cardiff, CF10 4RT on 23rd October 2012 between 2 – 7 p.m. for those who feel they may be interested. The following is an extract from their publicity information:-

Who are Accor?
We are the world’s largest hotel operator and leading hotel employer with more than 4,200 hotels worldwide, including over 180 across the UK. We employ over 145,000 employees in our chain of hotels which include Sofitel, Pullman, Mc Gallery, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis.

A caring employer, providing training and supporting staff to progress through:
• developing all employees’ skills thanks to a worldwide network of 17 Accor in-house training academies
• encouraging regional or international mobility
• fostering career development
• promoting diversity
• bringing teams together in an international group

Why choose Accor?
Kickstart your hospitality career with Accor, supported by the first class training and development offered by our in-house academies. We offer training and development while you’re learning on the job, gaining first-hand experience in a working environment and earning money at the same time. You’ll benefit from support and guidance while in the workplace – and throughout your Management Apprenticeship. On completion, successful management apprentices will have been fasttracked up the ladder to a supervisory level and will be well on the way to a successful management career within the Accor network. Successful completion of the programme will also pave the way for exciting opportunities to work across a range of hotel brands, both in the UK and internationally. So start your career now!

Management Apprenticeship Programme
Getting paid while you learn might sound too good to be true, but with Management Apprenticeships from Accor you really do get the best of both worlds.

Académie Accor offers a Management Apprenticeship Programme (MAP) to 16- to 23-year-olds who are looking to start a career in hospitality, allowing them to take their first steps in the job market and giving them an opportunity to quickly progress to a supervisory level. Working in conjunction with Babcock, the UK’s largest provider of work-based training, you will gain invaluable experience and high quality training, while building up your knowledge and skills within the industry and gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

Read on to discover what you could learn…

Accor Apprenticeship Programme
Job roles in the Hospitality and Catering Apprenticeship Programme
Multi-skilled Hospitality Services
Food and Beverage Service (18 years of age +)
Kitchen Food Production and Cooking
Front of House/Reception
Fitness, Spa and Leisure

Foundation Apprenticeship (NVQ 2)
• 12 months’ duration
• Learn the basics in your chosen area e.g. Reception, restaurant, housekeeping etc.
• Work within a team and gain an excellent understanding of customer service
• Gain the knowledge and skills required for your specialist area and role

Advanced Apprenticeship (NVQ 3)
• 12 to 18 months’ duration
• Develop working relationships with colleagues, giving them direction and support, and starting to lead the team
• Learn the supervisory role of your specialist area
• Gain a nationally recognised qualification: Diploma in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership in your chosen field

Benefits include:
• Develop new and existing skills
• Training delivered in the hotel
• Designated Learning Advisors offer frequent support and guidance
• Enhances future career prospects
• Gain a nationally recognised and valued qualification
• No tuition fees!

Entry criteria
• Not in full-time or part-time education
• Must be a European citizen
• Must not already be qualified to degree level

To find out more,
visit or join AccorJobs on Facebook


Sixth Form Newsletter


21st September 2012

Year 12 in particular should be looking at attending Open Days this year to help in your decisions as to which university and which course you would like to apply for next year. The following may help you along the way. For other universities visit

Swansea Metropolitan University. The Admissions Officer for Swansea Business School at Swansea Metropolitan University wrote to me recently to outline the range of courses they are offering within the Business School plus to provide his contact details if you have any specific enquiries.

Throughout the academic year, they will be arranging formal open days for prospective students, their friends and families to visit the existing and the new Swansea Business School campus. The initial open day for 2012/2013 is Wednesday October 3rd 2012 (details provided below).

They can also arrange individual visits for prospective students who are not able to make the open days.

Courses offered at Swansea Business School and covered at all their Open day events include:

BA (Hons) /HND Business
BA (Hons) /HND Business & Finance
BA (Hons) Human Resource Management
BA (Hons) Management & Leadership
BA (Hons) Markeitng Management
BA (Hons) Accounting
BA (Hons) Financial Services
BA (Hons) /HND Sports Management
BA (Hons) /HND Tourism Management
BA (Hons) International Travel & Tourism Management
BA (Hons) Events Management


The Open day event will start at 1pm at the Mount Pleasant Campus. Doors will be open from 12pm.

They request that students or staff book places in advance via phone (01792 481151) or e-mail

Venue details including postcode for sat nav directions can be found below.

Please do not hesitate to contact them in the meantime for any further information

Mount Pleasant (A-R/T) –
Mount Pleasant, Swansea
Mount Pleasant, near the city centre, is the largest of the sites in terms of student numbers. Two of the University’s three Faculties are located here.
For more details please visit

Contact Details
Steven Osborne MBA, MA, PGCE, BA(Hons), FHEA

Swansea Business School/ Ysgol Fusnes Abertawe

Swansea Metropolitan University/ Prifysgol Fetropolitan Abertawe
Telephone /Ffôn: +44(0)1792 481151
Email /E-bost:

What is the Explore Volunteer Internship Programme?
A wide range of short-term volunteer placements across the whole of Wales! Placements provide a meaningful experience to boost your skills and enhance your employability, while giving you an insight into a challenging and rewarding sector.

What is an internship?
Internships differ from regular volunteering as they are specific projects, part time, for a limited period, usually for 2-3 months. They are arranged on a flexible basis to suit your needs and those of the organisation.

Who can be an intern?
Interns can be of all ages and come from all walks of life, the only criteria being you have the requested knowledge or skills.

What kinds of internship can I do?
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or an IT whizz, we have something for everyone!

Here is a selection of internships:
• Research Project
• Film making & photography
• Marketing & Promotions
• Business Development

Where can I find these placements?
• (follow the link to GO Wales Jobs)
• Third sector recruitment site
• Via our mailing list, please email: to be added to our list

Are the internships paid?
Most of our internships are unpaid, but travel expenses will be paid in all cases.

How do I apply?
For more information please contact your local CVC or the
To request an application form please email: The same application form can be used for more than one position.
Send your completed application to: along with your CV and we’ll send this on to the organisation.

For all of you who love the idea of travel then what about a travel apprenticeship with one of the biggest travel companies, TUI (Previously Thomsons).
TUI Travel Agency apprenticeships – Aberdare; Merthyr; Tonypandy; Neath; Port Talbot; Gorseinon; Llanelli


6th Form Newsletter

For those students interested in becoming a doctor or lawyer the following may be of interest to you.

Epoc Careers organises focused careers events for students. Places are available at their 2012/13 Careers Conferences:

* Improve Your Chances of Becoming a Doctor

* Improve Your Chances of Becoming a Lawyer

For full details, including costs and the application form, please visit .

The Careers Conferences are particularly designed for students in Year 11 and Year 12. Other students, staff and parents are welcome too. Attendees find them a valuable and enjoyable experience.

They hold the events in London and Manchester, and people travel from all over the country to attend.

CHRISTMAS VACANCIES 2012 (Mainly Cardiff Stores but look on company websites to see if more local vacancies are available)

Monday 10th September 2012
Accessorise – November–January – Call in with CV
Argos (all stores) – End Sept-Xmas Eve – Call into Store with CV
Anne Summers – November-January – Call in with CV beginning November (must be 18 or over)
Bank Fashion – Sept–end of December – Call in to store with CV
Boots (Cardiff) – September-New Year – Apply on
Build a Bear Workshop – November–mid January – Call in with CV beginning Oct
Card Factory (Barry) – October-January – Call in for application form at end of Sept
Card Factory (Cardiff) – Sept–end of December – Call in with CV
Disney Store – October-January – Call into Store for application form when sign displayed
Debenhams – September-January – Apply on
Dorothy Perkins – October-January – Call in to store for application form during October
Entertainer Toy Store – October-January – Call in to for application form
Essential Jewellery – October-January – Call in to for application form
Game (Cardiff) – November–Mid January – Call in with CV & covering letter
H Samuel – October-January – Apply when jobs appear on
HMV – October-January – Apply when jobs appear on
Iceland – November–end December – Call in for application form when advert in windows in Oct
JD Sports _ December-January – Call into Store with CV end of September
Lakeland – October-December – Call in for application form
Lego Store – October-January – Apply when jobs appear on
Lipsy – October-January – Apply when jobs appear on
Marks & Spencer, Queen St, Cardiff – October–January – Apply when jobs appear on – Must work on 24th & 27th Dec
Matalan – October-January – Call into Store with CV
Monsoon – November-January – Download application form on & take to store in November, stating you are applying for Xmas work
New Look – Oct to end of Jan. – Call into Store with CV
Peacocks (St David’s ctre) – November-December – Call in to store with CV
Primark – October-January – Apply when jobs appear on
River Island – October-January – When available advertised on
Sainsburys – November-December – From Oct on
Smyth Toys – October–Christmas Eve – Apply on
Sports Direct – November–January – Call in with CV
TK Maxx – October–end of December – Call into store for application form
Top Shop – October-end of December – Call into store with CV
Toys R Us – October-December – Download application form from and take to store
USC (St David’s 2) – November-January – Call in with CV
W H Smith (Cardiff) – September-January – When available apply on
Waterstones – December-January – Apply on during October/November

Vacancy Bulletin

Current vacancies are good this week with jobs going in office work with South Wales Police. Plus plenty of Jobs Growth Wales vacancies for any ex- Y Pant pupils looking to break into the job market. Visit for more information

Latest Jobs Growth Wales Vacancies include:-
Trainee Glazier – Pontyclun
Brewer’s Assistant – Pontypridd
Nursery Nurse Assitant – Ynysybwl
Administrative Assistant – Bridgend
Scheduler – Treforest
Renderer – Treforest
Labourer – Treforest
Delivery Driver – Treforest
Carpenter – Treforest
Accounts Administrator – Treforest
Sales Person – Treforest
Catering Assistant – Treforest
Service Desk Agent – Bridgend
Administration Assistant – Bridgend

Apprenticeship Vacancies include:-

Waiter/Waitress – Bridgend
Subtitlor/Audio Typist – Pontypridd
Quality Technician (Metals) – Bridgend
Production Operative (Textiles) – Bridgend
Production Operative (Metals) – Bridgend

Other Vacancies: -
Administration Assistants – South Wales Police area