If the aim of the student is to attend university after leaving Palma College preparation begins in Lower Six with careers advice, university searches, understanding of the rigours of the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) application (UK) or SATS testing requirements for the USA. Other European universities will accept A Level qualifications and choices will be made after exploring all options with students, staff and parents.

For UK Universities the student makes five choices, depending on the course and where they want to study. The responses come back through the UCAS Tracking system which is a personal account between UCAS and the student, although the staff can also access this.

Based on the applications sent through UCAS the universities will often take the following steps:

  • Make a rejection
  • Offer an interview before making a decision
  • Make a conditional offer – conditional on grades or points in A2 examinations
  • Make an unconditional offer – this means the student is guaranteed a place on the course

In Lower Six the UCAS Personal Statement procedure is begun, where students are required to make frank assessments of their skills, achievements and suitability for the chosen course. If the aim is to study Medicine or Vet Science, or an application is going to be made to an Oxbridge College, then the Personal Statement has to be completed before the end of September of the Upper Six year, as early applications for the above close in mid October. Reports from subject teachers and predicted A2 Grades also form part of the application procedure, as do prior examination results so it is necessary for students to realise that all sets of examinations are important!

If the application is for a course (apart from the above), the submission date is slightly later; in January of the Upper Six year. However, it is advisable for the application to be ready as early as possible as some students receive offers before the closing date.

Applications to Art Schools are dealt with in a slightly different manner and are conducted by interview together with a portfolio.

Some Drama Courses are dealt with through UCAS and some are by application to the College (mostly private colleges), and consist of interview and audition.