CCHS Aspire: University and Employment

Interested in joining the CCHS Sixth Form? View our films to hear from students and staff about the wealth of opportunities that await you.

CCHS students’ achievements in the media

The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide (published December 2023) provides information on the Summer 2023 public examinations, as well as other insights into schools from across the country.

As an indicator of our students’ ability and hard work, the support and encouragement of their families, and the talent and industry of staff, we were so pleased to see our students’ successes being celebrated. Our students’ results (GCSE and A level) are ranked 12th nationally. As last year, the collective achievements of GCSE and A level students mean CCHS is the top-performing girls’ state school in East Anglia, and 4th in the country.

Behind all this success sit so many individual stories, with students embracing life at CCHS beyond the classroom to enrich and develop themselves through House evens, the arts, sport, public speaking, volunteering and charity work, and in so many other ways. Each individual student brings something particular and special to our school community and we are richer for that. How fortunate we are to work with our students across the school.

University and Employment

CCHS is proud of the wide variety of university places and career opportunities which students take up after their time at school is over. Our hard-working and ambitious students are very well supported by a dedicated team who offer high quality advice and guidance at all stages of each student’s time in the Sixth Form.

UCAS and University

The vast majority of our students go onto Higher Education. Throughout Year 12 and Year 13 there is a continuing program of support and guidance for applications to Higher Education. This is overseen by Mrs Hopkins, our Higher Education Adviser. She works closely with the Sixth Form pastoral team and with subject teachers to advise students on their choices and support their applications through UCAS. CCHS also has experience of supporting students applying to universities elsewhere in Europe or in the USA.

Our students study a wide range of subjects at university. In 2021 CCHS alumnae started their degrees in 73 different course types. Whilst Economics and Psychology are currently the most chosen courses after Medicine, the breadth of courses which our student apply for, from Accounting to Philosophy and Civil Engineering to Classical Civilisation is testimony to their ambition as well as to the breadth of opportunity and stimulus which they are able to access in the CCHS Sixth Form.

More information on the UCAS process can be found here: UCAS Parents Guide 2023

2020 to 23 University Entrance Headlines

The table below indicates the most popular universities and courses amongst those who left the school in the recent past.

University destinations

University Average percentage of cohort
Oxford and Cambridge 10%
Other Russell Group destinations:
Bristol, Durham, Leeds, LSE, Nottingham, Sheffield, ICL, Exeter, York, Warwick. 50%

University courses

Subject area Average percentage of students
Medicine 15%
Medically related 8%
Dentistry 1.5%
Veterinary medicine 1%
Law 6%
Mathematics, Economics, Finance and Business 12%
Science and Engineering 14%
English and MFL 10%
Psychology and Sociology 5%
Humanities – Geography, History, Philosophy, Politics, Theology etc. 12%
Creative – Art, Architecture, Music, Drama 5%

Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry,
Veterinary Medicine – The Highly Competitive Courses

CCHS students have a particularly distinguished track record in terms of applications to and success in the courses for which applications are highly competitive. In 2021, nearly 20% of our leavers took up places to read Medicine. In 2019, nearly 20% of leavers took up places in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As well as reflecting the high ability and ambition of our intake this success is a consequence of the excellent support which CCHS is able to offer. This support includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consistently excellent stimulating teaching in lessons; many sixth form lessons at CCHS are akin to university seminars and this really helps students to practice thinking quickly and precisely about complex issues.
  • Specialist guidance and preparation for university admissions tests and the UCAT and BMAT tests.
  • Extension classes, lectures and seminars focusing on helping students to think beyond the curriculum.
  • Detailed support with reading, work experience and other opportunities.
  • Specialist interview practice and feedback.
  • Annual Oxford and Cambridge Information Evening, addressed by Dr Sam Lucy, Director of Admissions for the Cambridge Colleges. Please see below for a link to Dr Lucy’s presentation from January 2021.

Success Stories

Here are some examples of the successes our students have achieved in the past few years.

  • Student A – A levels in Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Mathematics(A*) and History (A*). Medicine, Queen’s College, University of Cambridge.
  • Student B – A levels in French (A), Spanish (A*), Latin (A*) and EPQ (A). Spanish and Linguistics, Hertford College, University of Oxford.
  • Student C – A levels in French (A*), History (A*), Latin (A*), Mathematics (A*), EPQ (A). History, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.
  • Student D – A levels in Biology (A*), Chemistry (A*), Mathematics (A*), Physics (A*), EPQ (A*). Natural Sciences, Newnham College, University of Cambridge.
  • Student E – A levels in Biology (A*), Chemistry (A), Mathematics (A*), EPQ (A). Medicine, Imperial College, London.
  • Student F – A levels in English Literature (A*), French (A), Geography (A), Psychology (A). English Literature, Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • Student G – Biology (B), Chemistry (A), Mathematics (A). Chemistry, University of York.
  • Student H – Art, Craft and Design (A), Government and Politics (B), History (B). Law, University of Exeter.
  • Student I – Chemistry (C), Mathematics (A), Physics (B). Aerospace Engineering, University of Nottingham.
  • Student J – Biology (A), Mathematics (A*), Psychology (A). Psychology, Queen Mary, University of London.

Degree Apprenticeships and other opportunities

We are very keen to support those of our students who do not wish to pursue a traditional university degree. Information and guidance is offered each year on the increasing range of degree apprenticeships which are now available. In the same way we are pleased to support students applying for a whole range of courses or jobs; the skills and knowledge our students develop in the sixth form gives all our students a huge range of opportunities to choose from.

Career Guidance

Dr Hiner, Leader of Careers Education is always available to offer advice and guidance to any student. All Year 12 students are also able to access independent advice from the Directions Careers Service. We have a developing programme of regular lunchtime Careers Talks and are grateful to all those speakers (many of them CCHS alumnae) who have made the time to come in and speak to our students. Our students are involved in planning for these talks and the range of careers featured is always a response to current student interest.

As part of our commitment to meeting the expectations of the ‘Gatsby Benchmarks’ we also assist our Y12s in accessing ‘experiences of the world of work’ on a number of set days in the summer. These experiences will certainly prove useful to our students as they weigh up the merits of different career paths.

Similarly our Careers Evening which takes place each February offers Y12 students the opportunity to meet a wide range of employers and to find out more about both their current roles and the university and career paths which they have followed. Each year we have between 30 and 40 careers represented and our students find the opportunity to interact with a wide range of professionals to be most interesting.

As well as supporting students in accessing a huge range of competitions and opportunities, Dr Hiner is pleased each year to oversee our Young Enterprise Team. The Young Enterprise Company Program gives each team the opportunity to find out more about the demands of running a company, from product development and sourcing all the way to marketing and financial reporting. Teams from CCHS are regularly among the top performers in Essex and our students certainly relish the competitive challenge which Young Enterprise sets for them.