Rydal Penrhos School

Universities & careers

Universities, Colleges and Gap Years

A diverse range of subjects were chosen by the many Rydal Penrhos School leavers who went on the Higher Education in September 2015, including Medicine, Physics with Particle Physics, Psychology, English, Politics and Modern History, History and Mechanical Engineering. Furthermore, a number of our 2015 leavers will be studying for their degree in an overseas institution, not only in Europe but also further afield in the USA and Australia.

The majority of our pupils decide to apply to their chosen university once they have received their exam results and take up their place in the September/October of that year. However, the school is also happy to advise on how to plan a gap year prior to commencing further study. We recognise the value of a properly planned gap year and encourage our pupils to take advantage of the huge range of opportunities available, enabling them to broaden their horizons and bring invaluable assets to their CV.

The routes to Higher Education:

  • University Open Days
  • ‘Centigrade’ careers programme – can be helpful in providing a starting point to help pupils narrow down their choices
  • Mock interviews
  • Higher Education seminars
  • Job shadowing
  • Work experience
  • UCAS electronic application assistance
  • Careers Conference
  • Personal research (UCAS website)

Applying for competitive courses in the UK

Pupils wishing to apply for competitive courses at Oxford or Cambridge, or for Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry are identified at the beginning of year 12. They are then encouraged to attend taster courses and apply for programmes like Medlink and Headstart. UCAS applications are prepared in early September to make sure they meet the October 15th deadline. Additional practice interviews are then arranged in November and December to maximise the chances of success of the pupils.


Careers guidance is offered from the outset through the PSHE programme. Guidance focuses on making correct choices and is particularly relevant in Year 11 as pupils begin to prepare for the selection of their Sixth form programme of study. The Head of Careers, Mr Michael Pender, oversees this process, liaising with the Head of Middle School and the Head of Sixth form, as well as the Head of PSHE to ensure continuity across Key Stages.

The Head of Sixth form and Head of Careers run the Sixth form lecture series at which guest speakers – often former pupils – come to talk to current pupils about their areas of work and how to succeed in their future professions.

Rydal Penrhos pupils have accomplished great things after leaving the school, excelling in careers as diverse as law, medicine, business, acting, journalism and sport. We have a dedicated Rydal Penrhos Society, which helps to keep pupils in touch with one another and to support the school as a whole. Please contact Sarah Ritchie on SJRitchie@rydalpenrhos.com with any questions or queries about the Society or visit the Rydal Penrhos Society website.

Site information

Rydal Penrhos School
Pwllycrochan Avenue
Colwyn Bay
LL29 7BT

Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 155 (Senior)
Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 381 (Prep)
Fax: +44 (0)1492 531 872

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