St Paul’s School / Academic

The guidance we provide about options, careers and courses plays an invaluable part in the development and fulfilment of our pupils.

In their final GCSE year, students take a careers test to establish their areas of strength and possible future careers. Each student is assigned an adviser who will encourage them to research these careers and also discuss their choice of subjects for Years 12 and 13 (Eighth form). In this way, we ensure that pupils may make a set of coherent choices, consistent with their career aspirations.

In Year 12 (Lower Eighth), students are encouraged to start thinking about their university application. The department runs a short course, explaining the process of the application. There’s then time and opportunity for individual research into universities and the courses on offer. There are eight UK university advisers who specialise in different subject areas. In their final year, students will be assigned to one of these advisers who will be responsible for writing their UCAS reference.

In a typical year group of approximately 200, around a third accept offers from Oxford and Cambridge. Other popular destinations in the UK include Bristol, Nottingham, Warwick, Durham, UCL, LSE, Imperial and Edinburgh.

We have our own dedicated team of eight advisers for US university applications. Each year, over 20 boys accept offers from Ivy League and comparable universities, including Chicago, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.

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University Destinations

Exciting times lie ahead as University offers arrive for 2017 entry.

All US University early acceptances were made before Christmas with Oxford and Cambridge offers arriving in early January, the combined total of which is 85. We and final year pupils keenly await other offers from Universities in UK, US (regular application) and the rest of the World the vast majority of which will arrive by the end of April.  We will then be in a position to publicise and to celebrate the University destinations of Paulines in due course.

A phenomenal year for Paulines who started University in 2016 

Pupils starting university in 2016 numbered 189.  Of those starting in the UK in 2016, 95% went on to Russell Group universities, with 53 entering Oxford or Cambridge.  The highest ever number of pupils (34) chose to study in America, at Ivy League or equivalent schools.

Forty-five percent (84 out of 189) of university-bound pupils starting in 2016 are studying at universities ranked within the top 10 in the QS 2016 World University Rankings; fifty-seven percent (108 out of 189) of university-bound pupils starting in 2016 are studying at universities ranked within the top 20 in the QS 2016 World University Rankings.

NB These figures include pupils who left SPS in 2015 but applied post A level or for a deferred place starting in 2016 but do not include pupils who left in 2016 who are applying post A level or for a deferred place starting in 2017. A complete list of university destinations for 2016 leavers will be available in October 2017.

University Destinations of St Paul’s Leavers of 2015

The most recent year for which we have a full list of the destinations of St Paul`s leavers is 2015 since many pupils take a GAP year and apply to university after taking their A Levels. The table here gives the Universities destination and subjects being studied.

Out of 153 pupils who went to UK universities in 2015, 130 secured a place at their first choice university.  A further 18 went to the university of their second choice. The remaining five went into clearing, with one going to the Royal School College of Music, London.

Of those staying in the UK, 91% of the year group went on to Russell group universities, with 41 pupils entering Oxford or Cambridge.

Twenty-eight students have chosen to study in America, at Ivy League or equivalent schools.

Thirty-three percent (60 out of 181) of university-bound pupils who left in 2015 are studying at universities ranked within the top 10 in the QS 2015 World University Rankings.  Forty-two percent (76 out of 181) of pupils who left in 2015 who went to university are studying at universities ranked within the top 20 in the QS 2015 World University Rankings.

Photo of Neville Sanderson
Neville Sanderson