College Advice Team

Advice and Guidance for School Leavers

We understand that making decisions about your future can feel a little overwhelming. Our College Advice Team are trained in information, advice and guidance and work in schools across the South West giving face to face advice and guidance about all courses and opportunities for school leavers at Exeter College!

The College Advice Team regularly visit a number of different schools, so if you would like to meet with the team to discuss your options at Exeter College then please speak to your school Careers Coordinator to find out if they will be able to arrange an appointment. If we aren’t available in your school then don’t worry, you can book an online appointment using the link below or you can still contact us by phone on 01392 400600 or email us at

Virtual Individual Advice and Guidance Appointments

We are pleased to offer individual advice and guidance appointments to year 11 students wishing to join us in September 2021.

We are offering these 30-minute appointments as a pre-bookable, virtual service and we will use Microsoft Teams to deliver these sessions.

During appointments, we can provide advice on the different types of courses that we offer at Exeter College and what might suit you. We can discuss extra-curricular opportunities and academies, as well as the application and interview procedure. We can signpost you to other departments across the college where you can find more specific guidance about learning support, wellbeing, travel, and financial support. Lastly, we can also point you in the direction of useful resources and websites for further independent course and careers research.

If you would like to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity for some individual advice and support, please click on the link below and fill out the booking form to secure your appointment.

If you’re a current student with Exeter College and would like advice on your course options, contact our Future Steps Team on

How to make a decision about your next steps

Here are some hints and tips that we hope will make the process of choosing your options for college a little easier for you:

  • Think about what you enjoy: Consider your hobbies, favourite subjects at school, work experience or part time job.
  • Talk to family, friends and your teachers: Though this is your decision, it’s a good idea to talk things through with the people who know you best.
  • What are your strengths? Think about your predicted grades and the subjects you doing well in at school. Have your teachers recommended that you study any subjects further?
  • Future plans: Are you considering university? Have you got a future career in mind? If so, it’s important to select a course which will ensure these options remain available to you. If you’re still not sure about your future plans it’s a good idea to pick something that really interests you and that keeps your options open.

Frequently asked questions

For answers to some frequently answered questions please see below.

What level should I study at?

For school leavers we offer courses from Entry Level to Level 3, and the level you will study at college will be determined by your GCSE results. We will ask you to include your predicted or target grades on your application form, and we will use these as a guide to make sure you are offered the right level of course for you. Your college offer is conditional upon your GCSE results, so the level of course you study at will be finalised when you enrol at college after you have received your results. When researching courses in the college course guide or on the college website you will see the entry requirements listed clearly on each course. Be sure to check these and make sure you are on track to achieve the grades required for your chosen course.
How do I find out more about courses?

We recommend that you begin researching our courses using the college website, or college course guide. Another great way of finding out more about your course options is our open events. We run open events in October, November and January, and this academic year they will be taking place virtually. We usually hold our Showcase event (subject fair) in the spring term, and more information about the Showcase will be available on our website nearer the time.

What courses can I study together?

We offer a wide range of courses from Entry Level to Level 3, including A Levels and vocational and technical qualifications. Students who choose to study an A Level programme will ordinarily study 3 different subjects, with their programme of study being made up of either 3 A Levels, or 2 A Levels and a BTEC certificate. Level 3 BTEC Certificates are each equivalent to one A Level choice, so can be studied as part of an A Level programme. We are flexible about the A Levels and BTEC Certificates you can combine together, meaning you have the freedom to put together a programme of qualifications which really suits your strengths, interests and aspirations for the future. All of our other vocational and professional qualifications, including BTECs, UAL Diplomas and other vocational courses such as T levels, are full-time study options which cannot be combined with other courses.

How do I apply?

You can apply to us during the academic year prior to the September you wish to join, which for most students will be during year 11. We accept applications all the way through the year, however we recommend that students apply by the end of January if possible, in order to secure an early interview and college offer. You can easily apply online through the college website. In order to apply online you will need to create an account, which will allow you to manage your application and keep your information up to date. When registering online, we recommend that you use a personal email address rather than a school address, as we will use this address to contact you during the summer holidays and right up to the start of your course. For further help with completing your application, please watch this handy guide.

Will I need to come to an interview?

All students will have a college interview in order to secure an offer of a place on a course. This is a really important part of our process as it helps to ensure you are supported to find the right course for you. We interview regularly throughout the year, and we will be in touch shortly after we receive your application to confirm the details of your interview.

If you just have a quick question, our School Leavers’ FAQs video might have the answer. You can also reach the team by phone on 01392 400600 and leaving your details to request a call back, or by email to

Can I look around the college?

Due to current restrictions our October, November and January open events will be virtual. We hope to be able to offer face to face events later in the academic year, but please keep checking our website and social media pages for updates. In the meantime you can contact the College Advice Team with any questions on 01392 400600.

What can my courses lead to?

When researching our courses on the college website or in the college course guide you will find that each course listing features a section about what the course can lead on to. On completion of an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course then you may be able to progress to the next level of course at college. Level 3 qualifications, including A Levels and full-time vocational and technical qualifications, allow students to progress to university, an apprenticeship or employment.
We also offer our own higher education courses at Exeter College which are a great progression route from a number of our courses.

I know what job I would like to do in the future. How do I find out which course I should take?

There are lots of useful websites which you can use to research your future career plans, and which can help you to ensure that you choose the right course or courses at college. The National Careers Service and Career Pilot are two good examples. You can use their job search tools to research different careers, and check the entry requirements section of the job profiles to make sure you are choosing the right courses at college. If you’re planning to go to university then we recommend that you use the UCAS website to research university degrees and their entry requirements. For some degrees it will be essential that you have studied certain subjects at college, so it’s important that you do your research now to make sure you are choosing the right courses for your future.

What if I’ve still got questions?

Don’t worry, the College Advice Team are here to help! We are available all year round to support you to make the right choices. Contact us on 01392 400600 or

Quick Question? Check out the FAQs video below

Useful Resources

We understand that making decisions about your future can be daunting and that you need to research your options in detail. Below are some resources we’ve created or compiled to assist you in making informed decisions about your future studies.

How do I decide on my course choices activity

This resource has been specifically designed by the College Advice Team to introduce you to Exeter College and to help you find out more about the courses which may be suited to you. This resource includes:

  • Link to Buzz quiz to get you started
  • Quiz and further information about learning styles and course options
  • General information about entry requirements
  • Course lists to help narrow down choices
  • Links for further research

This resource is compatible with any device with internet access, but some features work better on either a laptop or desktop computer.

Helping you decide document

This document accompanies the How do I decide on my course choices activity. It can help you to reflect on the course types and subjects you’d like to consider as well as the further information needed and what steps you need to take next to aid your decision-making.

How to apply to join Exeter College

How to decide leaflet

This leaflet contains useful tips on choosing the right course for you as well as information about the types and levels of courses on offer. On the reverse we have listed some handy websites for you to carry out research into careers, higher education and apprenticeships.

Virtual Exeter College Experience Presentations

If you’d like to find out more in-depth information about the curriculum, assessments and opportunities on offer in specific subject areas, then you can now watch the subject presentations from our Virtual Exeter College Experience. There are also videos on a number of other aspects of Exeter College including; Health and Wellbeing support, Careers and University Advice, Enrichment and Travel and Financial support amongst other things.

Introduction to Exeter College

This presentation aims to give you a brief introduction to your options at Exeter College, so whether you’re beginning your decision-making process or you’re a school leaver looking to finalize your decision, watch this presentation to find out more about the options available to you at Exeter College.

Understanding your strengths

The Buzz Quiz is a quick, fun, multiple choice quiz that’s designed to help develop self-awareness based on personality type theory. It may help you to discover new things about what makes you tick. Being self-aware and knowing what your strengths are can make a huge difference to making informed decisions about your future study and career options.

Useful Careers research websites

Careers Pilot:

A wealth of useful further education/ careers information.

National Careers Service:

Offering a range of careers information through their explore careers tool.


Find out about higher education course options., including entry requirements, course content and more.


Advice on university options and a wealth of careers information including job profiles