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Competitive Courses Programme

Competitive Courses Programme

The programme is designed to provide students with tailored support and guidance for the most competitive university courses and Apprenticeships.

The programme aims to develop a variety of skills including research skills, presentation skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

This includes support with university applications and interviews for courses including: Medicine applications and programmes with professional accreditation such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Nursing.

Students on the programme have regular mentoring by the Sixth Form team and access to a variety of additional programmes.

Support includes
  • Subject mentoring
  • The Extended Project
  • Medical Admissions (BMAT) support
  • Interview guidance
  • University Masterclasses
  • Independent University modules (MOOCs)
Students can also take advantage of a wide range of external programmes whilst at Holyhead Sixth Form including:
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • Pathways to Medicine
  • Pathways to Law
  • Birmingham A2B Scheme
  • Oxbridge Mentoring
  • The Nuffield Foundation Research Placement
  • University Masterclasses
  • Skills Test support for teaching
  • Aim Higher Mentoring

We have a wide variety of opportunities available on the Competitive Courses Programme including:

Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people from low-income backgrounds. The programme provides opportunities and networks of support for 16-17 year olds.

As well as extending support to students throughout university across our eleven career sectors (Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Engineering & Physics, Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, Politics, and Technology) they now run programmes to support young people wherever they live in the UK. Support includes a work experience placement and subject mentoring.

Pathway to Law and Medicine

Aimed at non-privileged students in state schools and colleges, the programme offers support from Year 11 and throughout the two Sixth Form years. The Pathways to Medicine and Law activities support both academic work, so that students achieve the grades needed for highly competitive medical school places, as well as providing other support – such as a work placement, a mentor in the profession and soft skills sessions – which will help young people to make a strong and informed application to study medicine or law.

Oxford Pathways Programme

The Oxford Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the Colleges of the University of Oxford. The programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education at Oxford to academically able students and staff members in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford. All of these events are run in Oxford and are free to attend.

Birmingham A2B scheme 

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to help students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education to find out about what studying at university involves. A large number of students at Holyhead are now studying at the University of Birmingham in a variety of subjects as a result of their success on this scheme.

The Scholars Programme

In The Scholars Programme, PhD tutors deliver programmes of university-style tutorials to small groups of students in Year 12, which develop the knowledge, skills and ambition that help those students to secure places at highly-selective universities. They work together with schools, colleges and universities.

Teach First Programme

The programme is targeted at students who come from groups who are currently under-represented in universities, including those whose parents did not go to university and those who have claimed free school meals. It is aimed at students with strong academic ability at GCSE and who would benefit from additional support to help guide them through these important decisions and overcome some of the barriers they face when accessing higher education.

Students on the programme are also matched with a mentor from our community who supports and guides them while they are making choices about university and their future.

Those applying to highly competitive courses or universities, such as Medicine and Law, Oxford and Cambridge, are also offered additional support.