Higher Education & Careers

“We believe one of the most important skills you can have is self reliance. The combination of guidance, support, information and encouragement for self management which underpins our work with the Sixth Form will prepare you more fully for the transition from school to the greater independence of university life or employment.”        

The pace of change in education and employment reinforces the need to equip the next generation with the right skills and personal qualities, as well as qualifications, to thrive in the world beyond school. Young people have so many opportunities but they will experience many changes in their adult lives and need to be empowered to make informed and wise decisions; Career Management skills are key to this.

In recognising these challenges, the role of the Higher Education (HE) & Careers Department at Bishop’s Stortford College is highly valued, with its three qualified members of staff beginning to prepare pupils for the future as soon as they enter the Senior School at the age of thirteen.

Bishop's Stortford College is committed to achieving the Quality in Careers Standard, awarded by Investors in Careers.  The Quality in Careers Standard is a national quality assurance award for a school's careers, work related education and information, advice and guidance programme.  The accreditation criteria incorporates the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, and fully complies with the DfES latest statutory guidance on careers guidance.

Specialist Advice

  • Higher Education & Careers staff – who encourage pupils to discuss their ideas, action plans, or queries at any time, and as often as they need to, as well as ensuring comprehensive information about all aspects of Careers, Higher Education, taster courses and work experience opportunities is available.
  • The regular HE & Careers Bulletin provides all the latest information on events ranging from work experience opportunities, taster courses and insight days.
  • Tutors and subject teachers are closely involved in preparing pupils for academic and personal success.
  • A comprehensive resource library is available to pupils at any time during the school day.

Contact Us

Mrs Deborah Hearne
Head of Higher Education & Careers

Registered professional logo 2016Mrs Michele De-Win
Careers Development Professional

Mrs Louisa Piercy
Higher Education & Careers Advisor


Qics logoBishop’s Stortford College is committed to working towards meeting the Quality in Careers Standard incorporating the Gatsby Benchmarks

Read our Higher Education & Careers Policy

CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Programme)

Our aim is to provide information, advice and guidance on Higher Education, career opportunities and the world of work, enabling pupils to make informed choices at all stages of their education. We do this through a combination of planned activities (e.g. tutorials and assemblies), specific events and individual support.  Please see the back page for an outline of the programme. 

The Department is open during school hours (including Saturday) for pupils to seek advice or to use the resources. Pupils and parents are welcome to contact us at any stage. 


Careers education for Senior School pupils is embedded in the Empower Scheme of Work, ensuring that all students in the Senior School enter the Sixth Form with a well-rounded and informed foundation of relevant careers information.  Topics covered include, but are not restricted to, LMI (Labour Market Intelligence), Enterprise, Making Informed Choices and presentations from Employers, Academics and Professionals. 

Higher Education 

Advice and information are available throughout the Sixth Form, via a specific Higher Education programme and on an individual basis at any time. We can advise regarding degree course and university research, short-listing courses, entry requirements, understanding the UCAS* process and personal statement preparation. We also help with more specific information on the requirements for applications to Oxford or Cambridge and for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Law, international universities, etc.  The UCAS website is an invaluable resource. 

You will find the following information in the Department: 

  • Prospectuses – the principal UK university prospectuses, together with a number for international universities, colleges of further education and tutorial colleges. Information can also be found via institution websites. 

  • Directories & Guides – we hold current copies of a range of guides, including The Times Good University Guide and Brian Heap’s Degree Course Guide.  

  • Taster Days – a good way to gain an insight into different degree subjects and careers. Places often have to be booked in advance and courses usually take place at a university. Details are available in the HE & Careers Bulletin (copies available to view in the Department). 

Higher Education & Careers Bulletins 

6th Form - A termly comprehensive bulletin is emailed to students and parents with details of taster courses, work experience opportunities, internships, academic essay competitions, and alternatives to university, gap year suggestions and many other useful resources. A short weekly update is also sent to students. 

4th/Lower 5th/Upper 5th - A similar bulletin is published on a termly basis for pupils and parents with articles and opportunities for current interest or future reference. 

Apprenticeships / Employment  

We work with individual students who are interested in applying to apprenticeships and internships.  This can take the form of helping with applications, advising how to prepare for online tests, preparing for assessment centres and providing interview practice.  A large portion of the Bulletin is dedicated to information on companies who offer these opportunities. 

Careers Information: Morrisby 

Most of the careers-based research is undertaken online. Pupils are introduced to resources and given guidance to research their own areas of interest. Younger pupils may spend time exploring their personal strengths and interests in order to build a profile of suitable career opportunities. Careers and aptitude profiling take place for all 4th Form and Lower and Upper 5th pupils using the Morrisby platform. This includes a personal careers interview in the Upper 5th.  Sixth Form students then research options using the Morrisby portal. 

Work-Related Learning 

The College runs a work experience programme, offering pupils in Upper 5th the opportunity to experience one week in the world of work. A wide variety of placements are sourced each year, ranging from architecture to accountancy, law to medicine, merchandising and teaching.  

Pupils are also encouraged to gain work experience through their own personal or family contacts whenever possible, and we are available to provide guidance with this where appropriate.  

Gap Years 

We can discuss the pros and cons of gap years, especially in relation to university applications and provide information on various opportunities, such as Year in Industry, teaching English overseas, sports coaching and overseas conservation work.  

We work closely with: 

  • UCAS* – Universities & Colleges Admissions Service 

  • University admissions advisors 

  • Morrisby 

  • Employers 

  • Parents 

  • Old Stratfordians 

Preparing Pupils for Choices in the Senior School

Senior school cv writing competition winners

While a significant part of the work of the department is with the Sixth Form, Careers Education and Guidance is an important part of the personal development of pupils throughout the Senior School. During Fourth Form (Year 9), Lower Fifth (Year 10) and Upper Fifth (Year 11) this is achieved through:

  • The Futurewise Scheme (careers and aptitude assessments)
  • A work experience programme (end of Upper Fifth)
  • On-line careers exploration 
  • Tutorials and the PSHE programme 
  • Work related learning - eg. Writing a CV and covering letter
  • Career assembly programme

Pupils can also meet individually with the department staff to discuss ideas and seek advice.

The College works in partnership with Morrisby Profile. We also work with many employers and organisations offering taster courses and career experience events.

Options after Sixth Form

HE+Careers Photo p4

Advice and guidance are particularly important in the Sixth Form as students prepare to make important decisions about their future.

The Higher Education Programme

Each year, 98% of our students continue on to higher education and to help prepare for this we have a Higher Education Programme which runs throughout the Sixth Form starting in December of the Lower Sixth year.

We believe that:

  • One of the most important skills young people can have is self reliance;
  • The combination of guidance, support, information and encouragement for self management as well as Career Management, underpins our work with the Sixth Form. This prepares them more fully for the transition from school to the greater independence of University life.
  • It is important that students are aware of all options including university, apprenticeships and employment routes.

This principle is reinforced by the way in which the programme is organised:

  • Advice and guidance are provided through presentations, tutorials and specific Higher Education and UCAS events.
  • Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their research and their decisions.
  • Information and guidance supports research into degree courses, universities and entry requirements.
  • Students receive a regular bulletin alerting them to opportunities such as subject and Career Taster courses, Essay Competitions, Lectures etc.
  • Specific advice is given regarding applications for Oxbridge, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry.
  • Information and support is provided for those considering international university applications.

UCAS Applications

The College supports and advises students during each stage of the UCAS** application process, including advice and guidance on A Level results day.  In 2018, 81% of leavers went to their first choice university.

During the lockdown in 2020, students accessed remote education through an online portal and Zoom lessons. End of year examinations were cancelled and predicted grades were determined by teachers’ professional judgement of their progress throughout the year and likely progress in the Upper Sixth year.  


For those students who choose to enter employment or Further Education after A Levels we provide individual guidance which can include CV preparation and job applications.

Specialist Advice

Specialist advice is provided by:

  • Higher Education & Careers staff who encourage students to discuss their ideas, concerns, or queries at any time, and as often as they need to.
  • The Head and Deputy Head of Sixth Form, tutors and subject teachers who are closely involved in preparing students for academic and personal success.

**UCAS – The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service