Here at Richmond Park Academy, we are already connected with various Russell Group universities giving our students an experience of University life to prepare them for further and higher education. Richmond Park Academy has run activities with a variety of universities, including: -
  • Cambridge - Oxford - Imperial - UCL - St George's University London - Middlesex - St Mary's University College - Roehampton University - Royal Holloway - The University of Sussex - Goldsmiths University - Kingston University - Greenwich University

Massive Open Online Courses - extracurricular learning for free

In support of your learning, applications, and broader interests, there are thousands of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which you can work through, as well as accessing lectures or course materials.

Use the links below to access a vast and varied knowledge base to expand your areas of interest.

Direct experience of university

Students in Year 9 at Richmond Park Academy will usually have the chance to visit a local university and gain first hand insight about university life and so consider the impact of a university degree on their careers aspirations.

Year 12 students are invited to take part in the COMPASS scheme with one of our partners; Roehampton University. This benefits students who take part by preparing them for higher education over two years, so they know what to expect when they get to university.

For students who want to gain real insight into university, you can browse the OpenDays website, the UCAS Find Open Days page and Taster Courses. These are an ideal way to gain a real insight into studying a course at a particular university. My Student Events website shows various events across the UK, relevant to both GCSE and A Level students.

Are you planning ahead?

The Times Higher Education website collates all the latest news and discussion relating to higher education.

The Guardian has produced its 2017 University League tables for universities in the United Kingdom. The Times has produced its World University Rankings 2018
Getting In is a multi-functional website with useful functions, such as Personal Statements, Apprenticeship search facility, University open day booking and much more. Pure Potential is an online resource, written by graduates, for 6th form students looking to find support for their next steps to university, or into working life.

If you are already thinking of university and are looking for course information or are considering which university runs the course you want, visit the UCAS website to help with your search. UCAS also have a blog which applicants can use for tips and advice about the application process.

Dental and Medical applicants 

Students with a desire to train at Medical or Dental school can find affordable events through the Medtalk website which advertises full day courses supporting students with the application process. The courses cover elements such as; Personal Statements, Interviews, UKCAT, BMAT and more.

Compare student experiences of university

The Times Higher Education, Student Experience Survey 2017 ranks universities according to students satisfaction.

Students can browse the latest printed edition of Heap which is kept for reference in the 6th Form office. In addition, the Heap online website gives pointers to students looking to discover degree course entry requirements for courses across the UK.

Sponsored Degrees, Degree Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships 
Sponsored Degrees and Student Sponsorship. Aren't they all the same thing? Find your answers in this article on the AllAboutCareers website. Degree Apprenticeships are another option for students to gain direct industry experience whilst studying for a degree and the UCAS website has a page dedicated to Higher & Degree Apprenticeships where students can search directly for a degree apprenticeship.

Higher Apprenticeships are discussed on the AllAboutSchoolLeavers website. 

Examples of current Employer-sponsored Degree Programmes

• Airbus @ Bristol UWE (Engineering); £13K 
• Barclays @ Anglia Ruskin/Nottingham Trent (Retail Banking); £16K 
• CGI @ Winchester (Business Management); £13K 
• Environment Agency @ Bristol UWE (River & Coastal Engineering) 
• Experian @ Nottingham Trent (Management & Leadership) 
• EY Scholarship @ Bath, Lancaster, Warwick (4-year Acc & Fin); A*AA-AAB/£5K annually 
• George at Asda @ Manchester Metropolitan/Leicester HQ (The George Degree, Retail)
• Harrods @ Anglia Ruskin (Retail School Leaver programme, London) 
• KPMG @ Birmingham/Durham (5-yr Audit prog); 22 locations; ABB/up to £20K + all fees 
• Merchant Navy Cadets @ Warsash/Fleetwood/S.Tyneside; £120pw sea/£175pw college 
• Morrisons @ Bradford (Management); £15K 
• National Grid @ Aston (Electrical Power Engineering); £24K + car 
• Nestlé @ Sheffield Hallam (Gatwick/York; HR/Sales/Marketing/Buying); £17K + all fees 
• PwC @ Reading/Newcastle/Nottingham (4-year FlyingStart programme); AAB

If you are wondering how your salary might look after a particular degree or the type of career you might get into, visit the Prospects site Options with your subject for an overview of degree sectors and what graduates can go to to after course completion.

Additionally, you can visit What do graduates do? for the Autumn 2016 report with up to date statistics about graduate employment, six months after leaving university.

For useful advice, check out the University of London's Careers Group with ideas about future employability.

Want some light-hearted fun? Download the UCAS UniLeap App onto your phone to join the game.

Budgeting and applying for Student Finance
You can use the UCAS Budgeting tool to plan your monthly budget for university. Money Saving Expert has a Mythbuster for students.

Apply for student finance through the Student Finance England website before 31st May for courses starting between August-December.

You can apply for: -

  • Tuition Fee Loans
  • Maintenance Loans
  • Advanced Learner Loans

Scholarships & Bursaries

Check out TheScholarshipHub for UK scholarships, grants or bursaries available for UK/EU students. Scholarships available based on a wide range of eligibility criteria, such as academic merit, financial need, special skills and abilities, what your parents do, where you live and more. Read the Scholarships Fact Sheet.

The Guardian have produced a list of universities which offer some of the best scholarships (published in 2015) and the BBC published an article in August 2016 about 10 Alternative Ways to fund your degree.

Local organisations who offer bursaries or scholarships are: Barnes Workhouse Fund (SW13 residents) and Richmond Parish Lands Charity (TW9, TW10, SW14 and SW13 residents).

For disabled students (Physical health, mental health, specific learning difficulty), the Government offers information for financial support.

Repayment of loans

You can use the Student Finance Calculator to see how much you will really pay as a result of university tuition fees.

This table shows what your repayments could look like, once you are earning. Whether your course costs £6,000 or £9,000, you'll repay the same amount each month, as that purely depends on what you earn (9% above £21,000). In other words, whatever your tuition fees (and maintenance loan) if you earn £22,000, and haven't cleared the debt, you repay £90 a year.

Animated Video: The Facts about student fees (2012)

This 3:44mins animation puts tuition fees into context and explains the rate at which they are paid back.

Fees: Discussion

The BBC discusses tuition fees for American universities and asks the question: Is it really worth it?

Writing a Personal Statement for UCAS

You can apply to universities through the UCAS site. Watch the video below from experts at Imperial University on how to make your personal statement stand out above the rest. This video is 37:30 minutes long.

The Getting-In and Roehampton University websites have tips for writing a personal statement for UCAS.

The Personal Statement Builder, the UCAS personal statement worksheet, and UCAS online tool are all online tools to help students write a statement to support their application.


For any Year 13 students concerned that they may miss their required grades for university, UCAS and WhatUni show courses available through Clearing. Clearing is open between July and mid-October and courses with available spaces are updated on these websites from July onward.

Studying Overseas

For students considering studying abroad: -

Parents' Guide

For parents who are planning ahead, the HE Parents Guide offers clear and concise information for parents about: -

  • The UCAS application process
  • Open Days
  • Student Finance
  • Direct links to
    • all undergraduate courses
    • information on university websites specifically for parents and carers
    • scholarships and bursaries
  • Information and links for study abroad
  • Links and resources to find out more

Students requiring extra support

EmployAbility assist 6th formers, university students and graduates who are disabled, have long-term illnesses, mental health issues or dyslexia - to smooth their transition into the workplace. The company offers free guidance and advice on: recruitment, transition into the workplace, disclosing your disability, writing an effective CV and success at interviews and assessment centre exercises. The company also help individuals to gain internships, work placements and graduate opportunities with companies such as: Google, Goldman Sachs, Reed Smith, National Audit Office, FCA, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Shell, Morgan Stanley.

Gap Years

Students have so many things to think about and taking a Gap Year is one of those. Success at School and Independent Gap Advice have lots of different articles about taking a gap year such as; Planning a Gap Year; Finding programmes available. 

The notgoingtouni website has gap year information and is a great tool for students to access.

Students with a disability considering take a Gap Year, might find the DisabledGapYears website very useful. Although the primary aim of the site, is to inform students with disabilities about taking a gap year, the information will be useful to any student considering a gap year.

Frontier also specialise in Gap Years and volunteering, broadly within conservation and education.

Link to Which? University website

UCAS Tariff Points for 2017 and beyond

Which?University have put together this easy visual guide to show how UCAS tariff points are changing for entry into university in 2017, and how much your qualifications are worth.