Careers

  • This page contains excellent advice to help you choose the right options.
  • You will have to consider your future careers path and choose your options wisely.
  • You need to consider how many subjects to take, whether they will be A levels or BTEC / OCR Cambridge Technical / AQA Level 3 Certificate.
  • You also need to consider the subject specific requirements.

Careers

All Year 13 and Year 14 students at St. Louis have a timetabled period of Careers Education each week. A variety of presentations and information seminars take place facilitated by Sector Skill councils, Sentinus, Higher Education Institutions, Business Mentors and Entrepreneurs, Young Enterprise NI, Student Finance and Welfare services and also past pupils.

Students are given the opportunity to attend Open Days at universities as well as relevant university faculty information seminars and specific career related workshop events.

In Year 13 St. Louis works in partnership with Charter NI to help support students seeking relevant work experience placements. The Easter holiday period (21st - 24th March 2016) is designated block release Work Experience Week and students are given leave from timetabled classes to engage in relevant, meaningful work placements prior to UCAS and/or CAO course selection.

Students in Year 14 are fully supported during the UCAS and CAO application process and are also personally guided through the application and interview procedures for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing and Midwifery and courses at Teacher Training Colleges. St. Louis makes every effort to offer a personalised approach and in addition to timetabled classes students have the facility of Career Guidance sessions during the pastoral period each Friday morning.
Pupils are encouraged to discuss career plans with the Head of Department during non-teaching time.

The menu of activities is extensive and will alter according to the career needs of the students and the academic curriculum and exam timetable.




Selecting Post-16 options

Greater numbers of students are applying to universities, resulting in higher levels of competition for places on degree courses. It is therefore important to engage in careers research and consider Post-16 subject options very carefully. The most important questions you need to ask when choosing Post-16 subjects are:

  • What subjects do I require for the future career path I am considering?
  • Which subjects will I enjoy most and potentially gain the highest level of success in?
  • Should I choose general or Applied A levels or Applied courses such as the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma, a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, a CoPE level 3 course or a mixture of courses?

The answers to these questions will come from reflecting on your skills and interests, evaluating your past academic performance and learning experiences as well as thorough analysis of new subjects on offer at A-Level and new Level 3 Applied courses.

Mature decisions are made when students spend time researching the options in the light of past performances and future career plans.

Students are advised to engage in discussion with parents, teachers and careers advisors before finalizing Post-16 choices.

Large numbers of students are applying to universities resulting in higher levels of competition for reduced places on degree courses. The lower tuition fee in NI universities has resulted in a higher demand for places and as a result the grade requirements for many popular courses have increased. It is therefore important to engage in careers research and consider Post-16 subject options very carefully.

The most important questions you need to ask when choosing Post-16 subjects are:

  • What subjects do I require for the future career path I am considering?
  • Which subjects will I enjoy most and potentially gain the highest level of success in?
  • Should I choose general or applied A levels or Applied courses such as the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma, a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, a CoPE level 3 course or a mixture of courses?

The answers to these questions will come from reflecting on your skills and interests, evaluating your past academic performance and learning experiences as well as analysis of new A-Level subjects and applied courses on offer. Mature decisions are made when students spend time researching the options in the light of past performances and future career plans. Students are advised to engage in discussion with parents, teachers and careers advisors before finalising Post-16 choices.

How many subjects will I select?

Students are normally required to select a maximum of four subjects for Post-16 study. Students may drop an A level subject at the end of Year 13 and accept an AS grade in this subject. Applied courses are accredited after two years of work and a student is not permitted to opt out of a BTEC or Cambridge Technical at the end of Year 13.

Before considering a reduction of four to three subjects in Year 14, students must consult a careers advisor and research degree entry pro- files very carefully.

There are five main points to consider:

  • Competitive and popular courses in the South of Ireland currently have such a high entry profile that students may require four subjects to meet the entry requirements

  • Applicants to prestigious universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and London Imperial may be required to offer four A-Level subjects with at least one achieved at A* standard

  • Irish universities may not accept Applied A level subjects with a coursework element of 40% or more. Applied level 3 courses such as BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas, Cambridge Technical Level 3, and CoPE Level 3 Awards are also unacceptable to most ROI institutions. DKIT (Dundalk Institute of Technology) is an exception to this rule

  • Queen’s University and St Mary’s University College accept only one applied course in an applicant’s academic profile. Please refer to the admission guidelines at both institutions

  • The Russell Group of Universities, for example Queen’s University and St Mary’s University College Belfast ask for a specific grade profile for BTECs and Cambridge Technical Level 3 courses rather than an overall grade.

Specific Subject Requirements

A large range of careers prospectuses are available from the Careers Department. Year 12 students are welcome to take copies of the University of Ulster and Queen’s University prospectuses to research degree course requirements.

Students are strongly encouraged to take time to engage in independent career research.

The entry profile for many degree courses will state only the grades or UCAS points required. In this situation many subject combinations are deemed appropriate. Some degrees require specific A-level subject combinations and the information presented below is a basic guide to some of the requirements for entry.

Students considering any of the degree courses outlined below are advised to research requirements across a range of university websites, not all universities apply the same selection criteria.

Veterinary Science – A number of universities accept two A-level Science subjects and one other academic subject but other universities require three A-level Science subjects or alternatively two A Level Science subjects plus Maths. (Minimum grade requirement AAB with a grade A preferred in Chemistry). Most universities will require applicants to have studied 3 science subjects at GCSE level or have completed a course in Double Award Science.

Medicine – A number of universities accept two A-Level Science subjects but others require three A-level Science subjects. The minimum A-level grade requirement is AAA along with an AS grade A in a fourth subject. (Grade A required in A level Chemistry). All universities will require applicants to have studied 3 science subjects at GCSE level or have completed a Double Award in Science.

Pharmacy – Two Science A-levels and one other A-Level subject. (Minimum grade requirement is AAB with a grade A in Chemistry preferred in some universities, essential for others. Biology is preferred as the second Science subject).

Dentistry – A minimum of two A-Level Science subjects to include Chemistry. If Biology is not taken at A2, an AS Biology at grade B is required. (Minimum A-Level grade requirement AAA along with an AS grade A expected in a fourth subject. Grade A expected in A2 Chemistry). All UK universities will require applicants to have studied 3 science subjects at GCSE level or have completed a course in Double Award Science.

Dietetics – Two Science A-level subjects from Chemistry / Biology / Physics / Home Economics / Mathematics with Chemistry preferred in many institutions.

Engineering – Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering courses demand a Maths A-Level and one other subject taken from Physics/ Chemistry/Biology/Technology and Design. Take note that most universities will require A levels in both Maths and Physics for Engineering degree courses.

Computer Science – Universities place a strong emphasis on A level Mathematics in addition to A levels in Computing / Software Systems Development and other Science based subjects.

Physiotherapy – One A-Level Science or Mathematics required.

Radiography/Radiotherapy – One A-Level Science Subject required. Applicants must have GCSE Physics or Double Award Science.

Optometry – Two A-Level Science subjects from Chemistry / Biology / Physics / Maths. Applicants must have GCSE Physics or Double Award Science.

Environmental Health – A grade A is expected from one science based subject Physics / Chemistry / Biology / Maths or Home Economics.

Teaching - Applicants to St Mary’s University College may require AAA grades or equivalent and there are specific A level subject combinations that must be researched. In England, the A level entry requirements for teacher training courses range from ABB– BBC. All applicants are expected to have a grade C or higher in English, Maths and Science. Some institutions will favour a grade B in English and Maths.

Nursing and Midwifery - Many competitive Nursing and Midwifery degree courses in the UK favour students with an AS or A2 Biology. Queen’s University states a preference for students to have achieved GCSE Mathematics and English at grade B.

QUB Management school - All applicants to degree courses in Actuarial Science, Accounting, Business Management, Business Economics, International Business with a language and Finance at Queen’s must have a grade B in GCSE Mathematics.

*It is not possible to detail subject specific guidelines for all UK degree courses and students are advised to check subject choices with a careers advisor and university admissions departments before finalising options.

Contact Us

If you do not already go to St. Louis and you are thinking about joining us in sixth form then please fill in the form below to receive an electronic version of the prospectus or to arrange an interview with the Senior Management Team.