Support available Scholarships and bursaries Useful websites and links    

The majority of our students following a two-year A Level or BTEC course of study in the Sixth Form apply to university. UCAS (the university application process) requires a reference from the school for each application. We begin preparing our students for the UCAS procedure in Year 12. Through tutorials with their personal tutor, students will be given help to choose the university courses and specialist advice on writing their personal statements.

Support available

Higher Education Fair Visit
University Liaison Officer talks
PSHE modules on how to choose courses
Personal Statement advice
Gap year talks
Funding advice
Interview technique
Additional support for Oxbridge applications 


Scholarships and Bursaries

Scholarships, grants and bursaries are financial awards that are designed to help to support students financially through their studies. They can be awarded for many different reasons and this is often dependent on the type of organisation that is awarding the scholarships. The terms scholarship, grant and bursary often seem to be used quite interchangeably and it can be quite confusing, but the basic principle of each is the same. This is money that is awarded to you which you do not have to pay back.
Although there seems to be no hard and fast rule, generally you could say

  • Scholarships: money usually given for something you have achieved whether this is academic or extra-curricular.
  • Grants: a grant can be given for achievement, personal circumstance or financial need
  • Bursaries: these are usually given for financial need.

There is a misconception that scholarships are only for the very academically gifted, and grants and bursaries are for those in financial need and anyone in between will not be eligible, but this is not true. There are a whole lot of other funding opportunities designed to widen access to universities, or indeed attract certain students to specific universities. Here are some examples of scholarships available:

  1. The National Scholarship Programme - The National Scholarship Programme has been devised by the government since the introduction of higher tuition fees at Universities, to widen access to higher education. The programme is jointly funded by the government and the individual universities so what is offered varies from institution to institution. Your eligibility will be assessed based on your household income
  2. Academic Excellence Scholarships: many universities are starting to offer scholarships to students who achieve specified grades in their A'levels to encourage the higher achieving students to choose their university. They are not all asking for A*AA, some are offering money for ABB or less.
  3. Musical Scholarships: if you have musical talent and would be happy to perform during your stay at the university there are scholarships offering for a wide range of choral and instrumental students. Exeter Cathedral Scholarship Programme offers up to £3,000 a year to sing in the Cathedral.
  4. Personal Circumstances: Scholarships that are based on things that are specific to your personal circumstances, such as where you live, where you go to school, what your parents do, if you have been in care or even if you are a vegetarian!
  5. Financial Need: These are the more traditional type of scholarships, which award money to individuals who are in financial need, and might not be able to go to university without the money. You will need to prove your financial need.
  6. Sporting achievement. It does not matter what you want to study, if you have made outstanding achievements in sport, many universities will offer scholarships to attract the best talent. You will of course have to represent the university at sporting events while studying.
  7. Company scholarships: More and more companies such as BP, Lloyds, and HSBC are starting to offer scholarships and some include work experience as part of the offer.
  8. Your interests and hobbies - there are some scholarships which are based on your extra-curricular activities such as showing a commitment to social engagement or improving the lives of others.

Find out more and search for scholarships at

Alternative Routes

We are only too aware at Penglais that University is not for everyone and that there are countless alternative options available to our learners as they prepare to leave school. We are very pleased to have been able to develop close links with the Business Class Programme please click on the following link for more information: and we are hugely grateful to Emma Thomas at for her support of our school as part of this programme. If your son daughter would like to explore the alternatives available to him/ her other than the traditional university route OR if he/she would like to 'earn while he/she earns' (as many of the apprenticeships available will pay the cost of university while paying a salary) then he/she is welcome to come and ask for further information.

Emma Thomas can be available for a consultation at Parents Evenings for the Sixth Form. A meeting can be booked via the Sixth Form Office - please call our Manager, Donna Owen, on 01970 621 163 or email

Useful links and websites

Preparing university applications

In addition to the university websites, there are a large number of websites which will provide you with detailed information about choosing courses, making an application and making the most of university life.
Some sites are listed below -