• 6th science 1
  • Art Raphelle

Opportunities abound - carpe diem

There are lots of opportunities for GCA students to learn from professionals, gain work experience and develop their academic skills – competitions, work placements, mentoring schemes, master classes, tasters, university visits and residentials, summer schools. Many are offered through GCA but some determined students just use their brains to research opportunities and their feet to get out there and make an impression.

We'll be posting details of opportunities open to GCA students on this page as we find out about them. Keep checking and see Mr Baxter for more details on any opportunity.

Last updated October 19 2017


Find out about Uni-link at UCL here:


Uni-Link is a long-term programme for Sixth Form students based in Greater London. It is designed to offer support and guidance throughout Year 12 and 13 so that students are better prepared to apply to UCL and other competitive universities.

The guides below are specific to the previous 2016-18 cohort

Click here to apply, the deadline for applications is 5PM 31 October 2017.

UCL is running a series of 'Bring Your F'amily to University' days for students from Year 5 right up to Year 11, and their families. They all take place on a Saturday.

Find out how to apply here: 



SOAS courses for students in Years 12 & 13.

  • Religions and Philosophies - Wednesday 8th November , 1.00pm - 4.00pm - Application deadline Wednesday 1st November 2017 
  • Development Studies - 'How Does Communication Play a Role in Development' Friday 10th November, 1.00pm - 4.00pm- Application deadline Thursday 2nd November 2017
  • History - Friday 8th December, 10.00am - 1.00pm - Application deadline Thursday 30th November 2017 
  • Finance and Management - 'How Others Get You To Do Things and How Your Can Get Others To Do Things  - 'Wednesday 13th December, 10.00am - 1.00pm - Application deadline Wednesday 6th December 2017
You can also find more details and further application forms at - http://www.soas.ac.uk/widening-participation/outreach/sixth-form/masterclasses/ 

Lots to read here about University of London taster days/courses at Queen Mary College and King's College:

University of London taster courses

E.g. psychology, nursing, global health, geography.

The Step into the NHS schools' competition is back.

Prizes for Year 8 and 9 students, include a tablet or a £50 Amazon voucher.

Competition entries must be received by 31 January 2018.

Students are challenged to research and select one of the 350 plus careers available within the NHS. Once selected, they create materials to promote it, starting with a job description to demonstrate their understanding of the role followed by a fun and lively job advertisement to appeal to other people their age. Students can enter individually or in teams of up to four.

Read more here:



London School of Economics and Political Science

Applications are invited from Y12 students for two Pathways programmes. The programmes run from the beginning of Y12 to the end of Y13 and students may apply only for one.

Pathways to Law

Pathways to Law (London) runs at LSE, University of Roehampton and Queen Mary University of London. The programme aims to give students the information, advice and guidance they need to succeed in a career in law through a regular, engaging and hands-on programme of activities including lectures, seminars, mock trials, law in practice sessions and university advice sessions. Students will have the opportunity to apply for an undergraduate law mentor and will be invited to apply for a law work experience placement.

Successful applicants will be allocated a place on either the LSE, University of Roehampton or Queen Mary University of London Pathways to Law programme. Students will not be able to apply to a particular university, although consideration will be given to any preference expressed in the personal statement. 


Pathways to Banking and Finance

Pathways to Banking and Finance is a brand new programme at LSE for students interested in studying finance or a career in the financial sector. The programme will provide students with the information, advice and guidance needed to succeed in a career in financial services. Modelled on the format of the successful Pathways to Law programme, students will attend academic and university support activities, off-site visits such as an insight day at a financial service provider and a work experience placement. Students will have the opportunity to apply for an undergraduate mentor and attend a residential conference.

Eligibility and selection

Who should apply?
To be eligible for either Pathways programmes, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded, non fee-paying school/college
  • Be in Year 12 at the start of the programme
  • Have achieved 5 A* – B grades at GCSE (with a minimum of 2 A* or A grades), including grades 9 – 6 in Mathematics and English
  • Live within a reasonable commuting distance of the university to which they are applying

and should meet criteria from at least 3 of the following 4 baskets:

  • Basket 1
    Have been eligible or be in receipt of Free School Meals during secondary school and/or the 16-19 bursary and/or the Pupil Premium
  • Basket 2
    Be the first generation in your family to attend university 
  • Basket 3
    Attend a school or college with a low overall A level points score and/or low levels of progression to university 
  • Basket 4
    Live in an area with low progression to university and/or live in an area with high levels of socio-economic deprivation 
  • In addition, priority will be given to students who are (or have been) looked after or accommodated in care. Priority will also be given to young carers. 

Additional Information for Law: Students will be allocated a place at either LSE, University of Roehampton or Queen Mary University of London. Students will not be able to apply to a particular university, although consideration will be given to any preference expressed in the personal statement.

Additional Information for Banking and Finance: Students will be required to demonstrate an interested in studying Finance (or related subject) at university, and priority will be given to students studying Mathematics at A-level.

Application Process

For both programmes, students are required to complete an online application form which includes personal information, GCSE results and a personal statement. Parental consent and a supporting reference from the school or college will be required. Copies of GCSE results may also be requested. Students can only apply for one Pathways Programme.

Applications should be made online at www.apply.suttontrust.com/pathways-2017

Pathways to Law Deadline: Sunday, 1st October 2017

Pathways to Banking and Finance Deadline: Sunday, 15th October 2015


UCL Widening Participation programmes for Years 10 and 11

The Year 10 programme helps students achieve their full potential at GCSE by giving them the chance to perfect their study skills, as well as introducing them to exciting new methods of teaching and learning. Students will be given the opportunity to take part in academic sessions at a world class university and also to hear from current students about what studying at a university like UCL is really like. The Year 10 programme includes academic study skills and speaking skills Saturday sessions from September to March, and concludes with a non-residential summer school.
New students are recruited in September of Year 10 and re-enrol for Year 11.

The Year 11 programme focuses on attainment at GCSE and beyond. Returning students attend revision and careers focused Saturday sessions from October to March. They can then apply for either a residential Summer School or a weeknight Summer Researchers Programme. The programme concludes with a Welcome to Year 12 evening in September, where students learn about the Year 12 opportunities at UCL and receive guidance on the UCAS process and transition to post 16 study.


SOAS Scholars: Thinking Globally

SOAS Scholars is a project that will take place across the following 5 Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm, at SOAS University of London, WC1H 0XG (near Russell Square)
October 14th, February 3rd, November 4th and 25th,  March 3rd

During the project, you will:
• Explore subjects in interactive sessions with SOAS students

• Experience masterclasses with SOAS lecturers

• Find out more about university

• Develop the skills to do well in your current and future studies

• Be mentored by a SOAS student in an e-mentoring project

• Identify personal goals and work towards them

• Think globally, and enjoy yourself!

Get all the details here:


ESRC Photographic Competition - The Bigger Picture


The challenge is to take a photo which shows 'the bigger picture' of society today, where you live or in the wider world. How do things like politics, education, climate change, healthcare, technology, migration, poverty affect you or others?  Your photo should fall into one of five competition categories. In addition to your image you need to supply an imaginative title and explain the social science behind it in a supporting statement of up to 100 words.

This year social media entries to the competition are invited allowing you to submit up to a further three photographs via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #esrcphoto.

You will be able to enter the competition from 1 September 2017 until 15 December 2017.


Oxbridge Outreach Event

Varsity Match offers students the opportunity to find out what it’s like to study at Oxford and Cambridge. Aimed at Year 11 this year, the event will take place as part of a day of rugby at Twickenham stadium, on the day of the Varsity Matches. Not only will students get to attend the outreach event but they will also witness the spectacle of live sport in a top stadium – and all at absolutely no charge.

Although the event is primarily aimed at Year 11, a few Year 12 students who are serious contenders for a place at Oxford or Cambridge, may attend.

The closing date for applications is Friday 20th October. For details see Mr Baxter.