At New College we provide tailored support for you so that you have the very best chance of progressing from New College to a great university, apprenticeship or job. We’ll ask you to review your career plans at key points, so that we can signpost relevant talks by visiting universities or employers, or arrange for you a careers interview. We’ll support you in finding high quality work placements if you have particular careers in mind, such as medicine or teaching, or if you’re studying BTEC courses which include work placements, or if you’re considering work or apprenticeships rather than university.  

The broad range of activities available as part of our Excel@NCP programme have been specifically designed to prepare, support and engage all students in their applications to university and degree level apprenticeships. This includes applications to Russell Group universities, Oxford and Cambridge, and for very competitive degree courses which have extra hurdles to overcome. We’ll also create opportunities for you to engage with universities, employers or apprenticeship providers within the courses you are studying. 

The Excel@ programme is tailored to each individual student, and could include:


The Achieving Aspirations Programme focuses on supporting students in successful applications to competitive courses and universities such as the Russell Group, including Oxford and Cambridge. The programme offers dedicated advice, information and skills development related to all aspects of the application process from a specialist team, allowing students to maximise their chances of not only securing places at centres of academic and excellence, but of thriving once they are there.


  • Visits to Oxford and Cambridge
  • Visiting speakers from the universities
  • Support from former New College students who have attended Oxford and Cambridge
  • Dedicated support at every stage of the application process
  • Highly experienced support with personal statement and interview preparation
  • Information and support on external pre-interview assessments


  • Aptitude test information (BMAT & UKCAT)
  • Support with interview preparation through mock Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs)
  • Talks from ex-New College students and other medical professionals
  • Support with arranging work experience/voluntary work required for university applications


Working closely with a number of local universities, we promote opportunities to help students throughout Years 12 and 13, where they have limited experience of higher education.  Such support includes:

  • Attending subject taster sessions
  • Preparing for independent living at a university
  • Access to undergraduate mentors
  • Specialist advice on personal statements and interviews
  • Attending summer residentials
  • Lower conditional offers awarded as a result of participating in the programme


  • How to find and evaluate appropriate sources and to reference them correctly
  • Reading and note-taking strategies
  • Interpreting data and analysing evidence
  • Academic writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Nationally recognised qualification accepted by universities
  • Research Skills Project: a bespoke, NCP mini-EPQ programme – offered as a stand-alone enrichment or as a springboard to the EPQ


  • Work experience support
  • Advice and access to extra courses (Summer Schools, online courses such as MOOCs)
  • Advice and support with wider reading beyond your subject
  • Communication skills: develop confidence in debate, discussion and public speaking
  • Oracy award


The Russell Group represents 24 leading universities who are at the cutting edge of academic research and provide an outstanding teaching and learning experience
for their students. Many of our students go on to attend Russell Group universities, studying subjects such as English, History and Maths, or Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Science. Russell Group universities, like Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester and York are the most competitive HE institutions in the country. The Russell Group have high expectations of their undergraduates, particularly focussing on academic achievement.

Our careers team have helped thousands of students get places on degree courses at these universities and, along with the support from Progress Tutors and subject staff, are well placed to maximise your chances of success.


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