Y12: Preparing Post 18

Year 12 Next Steps Checklist

Year 12 is the year you need to begin exploring your next steps. This will give you more time to be prepared and make more informed decisions.


1, Know your Post 18 options.

  • What are the options available to you and begin to map out a Plan A and B. If you are considering university, begin to explore UCAS for degrees and go along to open events.
  • Apprenticeships; if this is an option and how to apply and where to find them.
  • Employment with or without training. You may not wnat to go to university nor apply for apprenticeships, so find a path that suits you.

For more information on Post 18 options, please look at the section below.



2, Work Experience

Whatever your next steps, universities and employers will expect you to have had some form of work experience or voluntary work relevant to your chosen course or career.

These experiences are invaluable to your development for the following reasons:

  • Opportunties to develop your skillset if required for a particular course or role, or you have areas to develop.
  • A careers insight- would you like it as a career?
  • Work place behaviours- expectations of the work place and employment rights.
  • Experiences to use to apply for further employment, university courses or apprenticeships.

Health and Safety Forms For Work Experience

Employer Health and Safety Form Click Here

Sixth Form Student Health and Safety Form  Click Here



3, Know the university and job application processes.

If you're thinking of applying to university, then explore the process and begin to draft your personal statement. You can begin the application process in May of Y12.

Understand the recruitment process for apprenticeships and employment. This would be how to right an adequate application form, CV or cover letter and learning interview techniques. 

Not knowing the recruitment and application processes can reduce your chances of getting the jobs and courses you want.

Remember this is an area you will practise and build up over time.


Your Options At Post 18


If you're looking at a professional career or to keep your options open then have a look at the degrees on offer in the UK. ou can study more than one subjects within your degree if you have other interests.

If you don't want to study a full degree, you can opt for a one or two year  course at uni.

HNC- Higher National Certifcate- 1 year

HND- Higher National Diploma- 1 or 2 years

Foundation degree- 2 years

Online Universities- Study from home 


The Higher National Certificate (HNC), a one-year work-related course, is equivalent to the first year of a university degree programme. The Higher National Diploma (HND) is a two-year, work-related course, which is equivalent to the first two years of a bachelors degree. As with a foundation degree, it is possible to progress from these courses to complete a full bachelors degree at a university, either through a specific top-up course, or by directly entering a degree in year three.

If you wanted to study a degree in stages, or exit after one or two years of study, the following qualifications may also be suitable. They don’t directly lead to a degree, but you may be able go on and join the second or third year of a full degree (perhaps at the same university/college, or elsewhere) if you change your mind and want to graduate with a bachelors degree after all.

You can also study HNC/D part-time alongside a job. Your employer may want you to increase your knowledge or skills relating to your role and offer to pay for your course in which you attend one day a week.


Sandwich degree

 If you would an intergrated work experience placement within a degree, consider a 4 year sandwich course with 1 or 2 work experience placements and internationally if you wish. 



Unsure about your next steps? Trying to decide on further study or employment? Well why not do both......gain your degree in the workplace for free and get paid!

For more information on aprenticeships click here Info On Apprenticeships and Where To Find Them - Ralph Allen School


Want help exploring and choosing a subject to study at university?

What University Course Should You Study? (ucas.com)

Subjects | UCAS

Need guidance on how to apply and personal statements, gap years or clearing?

For more information, click here Undergraduate | UCAS


Online University

You can gain a HNC, HND or degree online in the comfort of your own home. You don;t need any spectic entry requirements and you can get a student loan to pay towards your first degree. 

You may want to consider online uni if you:

  • You may not want to go to university but want to further your education
  •  Feel want other options to reduce cost of courses
  • Want to build your own degree
  • Retrain in the future
  • Or just add another string to your bow and continue to study other areas of interest
  • Or you find further education, university or employment a little challenaging at the moment for whatever reason, you can study from home full time or part time.

Here are two online universities to explore:

Open University:The Open University | Courses and Qualifications

Cambridge University: Course search | Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) (cam.ac.uk)


University Residential and tasters days

Residential Insight into University 2023 applications is 3rd of January 2023. Spaces on each course are limited,  don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience STEM studies at university for Y12  flyer 

 For more information click here and don’t miss out – places on each course are limited!


Industrial Cadets accredited summer school can help you decide which STEM degree course might be right for you and also enhance your UCAS application. Courses run over 4 or 5 days where Yr12 students get a taster of university life and an insight into a specific STEM subject. In summer 2023 these will include:


Ø  Materials Science at University of Oxford

Ø  Maths at Lancaster University 

Ø  Broad-based Engineering at University of Sheffield

Ø  Materials Science at University of Cambridge

Ø  Robotics & Autonomous Systems at University of Liverpool

Ø  Mechanical Engineering at UCL

Ø  Life Sciences at University of Warwick – details coming soon

Ø  Aerospace Engineering at University of Liverpool – details coming soon


It’s just like studying at university! You will get the opportunity to experience university style lectures and work on activities and group projects with the support of academics and student mentors. Throughout the duration of the course, you will stay in halls of residence and will take part in social activities in the evenings.


For dates, cost, requirements, content of each course and the application form, please click here.


Check out our FAQs page if you have any questions or contact our student support team on studentrecruitment@etrust.org.uk


To hear what students had to say about their residential summer course last summer, please click here



The Russell Group Universities


University of Sheffield Taster days

Subject tasters | Undergraduate study | The University of Sheffield

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