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Better Decisions: Guidance for University Choice and Preparation 

CCPD are delighted to launch a new short course specifically aimed at sixth formers who are applying to university.

This course is the answer for schools' Head of Sixth Forms and Head Teachers who now need to provide impartial career guidance for their pupils.

Over two or three days it offers a stimulating experience in a University environment and will put an end to last minute and ill-considered applications.  Led by impartial career professionals, participants will consider in groups all aspects of taking their next step and applying to university.  The course guides sixth formers in taking a strategic approach to their university applications, making a careful selection and improving their chances of success.

All students who attend the course will complete a draft of their UCAS personal statement.  The third optional day includes a personal career tutorial.

The Learning Outcomes are as follows:

  • Engage in self-evaluation and personal development planning
  • Evaluate a range of relevant factors related to University choice
  • Write a draft UCAS personal statement

Course Content

The course will focus on a range of issues related to university choice. These will include where to study (e.g. do I study close to home or at a distance; at a campus or city based university?), what to study (e.g. what type of course will suit me best? How do I research relevant courses?), finance issues (e.g. understanding more about the student loan system, bursaries available, managing your finances whilst at university) and decision making skills. Through the vehicle of the course, students will engage in the process of preparing themselves for university study. 

Where will I Study?

The course will normally be delivered on one of the CCCU campuses where they will be taught by staff from CCPD, giving them a direct experience of university life. It may be possible to arrange a course at a university campus in other locations.


Their work will be assessed against the university’s Level 4 (first year of undergraduate study) thereby giving them a first taste of academic work at this level.

Duration and structure of Course

The course will be delivered over two days. If assessment is requested, the preparation and support for this can be done on a third day. 

A large cohort of students will be split into groups of 25-30 and taught on a carousel. All sessions will be very practical and interactive with lots of opportunities for research, discussion and practical activities. Some sessions will be delivered in IT rooms. 

Day One

Session One

  • Introduction to the course
  • Aims and outcomes
  • What do you feel you need to consider in relation to University choice?
  • What do you hope to gain from this course?
  • How do I make my decisions?

Session Two

  • How do I prepare for the labour market of the future?
  • Do I take a gap year?

Session Three

  • Where do I want to study? Location, location, location
  • Different kinds of universities – campus, city centre, collegiate, new, Russell group etc.
  • Which part of the country?

Session Four

  • Which course do I want to do?
  • Types of courses (academic, vocational, single/ joint/ combined honours, full time, part time etc.)
  • Range of courses on offer
  • How to do research into courses

Day Two

Session One

  • What makes a good UCAS personal statement 1?

Session Two

  • What makes a good UCAS personal statement 2?

Session Three

  • Financial issues – Money, money, money
  • Fees
  • Loans
  • Bursaries
  • Living on a budget
  • To work or not to work

Session Four

  • Getting the most from a University visit

Day Three

  • Review of decision making theory
  • How would you describe a ‘good’ decision in relation to university choice?
  • What factors do you now want to bear in mind over the coming months?
  • Assignment preparation
  • Continued work on the draft UCAS personal statement
  • Writing the reflective evaluation of learning on the course
  • Tutorials – the opportunity for students to discuss their work individually with a course tutor
  • Evaluation of the course – what have I learned about university choice

Further Enquiries

For a more informal discussion please contact Dr Barbara Bassot on 033 3011 7100  or by email at|