Research Higher Education courses (degrees/foundation degrees) on their course pages online, attend open days and compare choices, paying attention to entry requirements, personal statement advice and selection methods.
You could also start looking at the government apprenticeship database and job NHS job vacancies and work out what steps you need to take to be able to make good applications for similar opportunities next year i.e. how you can develop relevant skills and experience.
Start following news stories and policies related to health especially those related to the roles you are interested in. This will help broaden your understanding of current issues and prepare for writing applications and interviews.
Become familiar with the NHS values and constitution and how you could demonstrate these - the NHS use values-based recruitment so this is really important.
Sept-November: attend open days and finalise choices and personal statements for UCAS application for school/college to add reference and predicted grades for submission by 15 January at the latest. Universities arrange interviews from late autumn so an earlier application can be helpful
December: start looking for degree apprenticeship opportunities, apply and keep a record of your applications
Jan-March: Check UCAS Track for replies from HE providers and prepare for and attend interviews (school/college may provide mock interviews) which may include psychometric and physical tests (eg paramedic) and group tasks
Feb-May: receive offers and add an extra choice if you get no offers
Undergo selection for degree apprenticeships: online and/or in person tests, interviews and group tasks
If unsuccessful, research a backup plan – related degree + postgrad training, alternative healthcare/science career path via apprenticeship/degree apprenticeship or full-time degree, gap year and apply again (consider how you will boost your application)
As an alternative to degree apprenticeship, consider an entry-level job or apprenticeship at Level 2 or 3, to enhance your skills and experience, or foundation degree, HNC/D, or Cert HE (level 4/5 Higher Education courses) at college full or part-time, or via distance learning eg HND Health and Social care
Accept firm and insurance offers (you’ll go to your firm choice if you get the grades they’ve set) by reply deadline (shown in UCAS Track)
Apply for student finance from Feb, preferably by end of May, and any scholarships or awards you may be eligible for eg that the NHS/HE provider offers
Research location, course materials, budgets, travel etc and apply for accommodation (usually around May). If your degree is eligible for the NHS learning support fund (Training grant of £5000 per year of studies), you can usually apply from June.
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