Higher Education

At Charterhouse, almost all our pupils go onto Higher Education and our team of specialist advisors place a great deal of emphasis on providing information and support to help every pupil make a successful application.  We offer guidance on choosing degree courses and universities as well as support on writing personal statements.   We have dedicated specialists for Oxbridge, Medical and Law applications and applications for the USA and every academic department has a teacher in charge of Higher Education to offer specialist subject support. Housemasters and tutors are also always on hand to advise pupils. 

Higher Education Programme

University Applications Programme

We encourage pupils to start thinking about university at the Fifth Form subject choice evening in the Spring term. It is very important that Sixth form subject choices dovetail with potential degree courses and career aspirations so that pupils have a broad range of options when they leave Charterhouse. 

First Year Specialists (Year 12) take part in a full induction programme covering the range of options available to them in a series of lectures, events and small group sessions throughout the year.  

In January, they are introduced to the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) and the USA application process and learn how to research courses and institutions. Pupils are encouraged to access the HE & Careers pages on the School intranet, which has links to useful websites.  Pupils have the opportunity to attend the annual University Fair held at the University of Surrey in March and the USA College Day held in London in September.  At the end of the summer term, all First Year Specialists participate in our dedicated University Preparation Programme, attending a series of workshops and lectures offering practical information and expert advice including interview training.  This is also a good time to make university visits and most run Open Days in June. 

Second Year Specialists submit their UCAS or American university applications between September and December.  This involves a considerable amount of research and work so any preparation over the summer holidays is always beneficial. 

UK University Open Days

Choosing the right university is a complex and personal process, and it is important that pupils do as much research as possible before making a decision.  

Open days usually take place in June or September and October, with additional post application open days sometimes available after receiving your offer.  While you may build up an impression from reading the university or college’s literature, there is no substitute for seeing a place in real life.  An open day gives you the chance to explore the site, see the accommodation and talk to staff. 

To book a place at an open day, you can register online on the university website. If you cannot make the dates for the open days, you may be able to sign up for a guided tour instead, or you can visit informally under your own steam. 

The website www.opendays.com gives a list of Open Days that are coming up, and university websites will have more up-to-date information about their open days as well as virtual tours of the university facilities. 

If you wish to visit a university during term-time, please complete the forms below:

University Visit Request Form for Parents


Oxford and Cambridge Applications

An application to Oxford or Cambridge is undeniably designed for the extremely bright, highly motivated candidate. Although the competition for places at these universities is particularly stiff, Charterhouse has a strong track record of success. The Revd Adam Watkinson (ajmw@charterhouse.org.uk)  is Head of Oxbridge Admissions and is supported by a team of designated Oxbridge teachers in each Department to help each candidate make a successful application.  We offer a number of talks and presentations for Oxbridge candidates throughout the year and run extensive practice sessions, mock interviews and tests. 

All prospective candidates should consult the Oxford or Cambridge websites or the undergraduate prospectuses available in the Higher Education and Careers Library.  Entry involves conditional offers based on the UCAS Application Form which must be submitted by 15 October, an interview and in some subjects additional aptitude tests and submitted written work. Interviews are held during the first three weeks in December and there is no flexibility in the timings. The dates are published in advance in the prospectus and on the website. 

Both Oxford and Cambridge require candidates to take aptitude tests for almost all courses. These are generally held on the first Wednesday in November. Please see each department within the Oxford University website and the Cambridge University website for more information.  

There are special arrangements for Organ, Choral and Instrumental awards. The application forms are available online and prospective candidates must consult the music department in order to complete their application forms by the earlier deadline. 

Medical Applications

A Medical application can be seen as a job application at the age of 17. Medical courses are the most competitive of all subjects, and the application process is arduous. Medical courses almost always require pre-tests, interviews, expect work experience and test a much broader range of competencies that other courses. So, for example, personal statements and school references need even more careful thought than usual.   

Charterhouse have a comprehensive framework to support pupils with Medical applications (including Dentistry and Veterinary Science).  

  • There is an active pupil lead medical society.  A typical meeting will involve a pupil presentation followed by a debate on ethical questions posed by the presenter over a pizza. As well as being interesting and fun, this builds vital interview skills.  In addition, external speakers present on the application process or on medical issues.   
  • There is a programme to support pupils in medical reference writing and advice on choice of medical schools.  
  • Pupils have in school training for UKCAT and BMAT which involves question practice, mock tests and personalised feedback. 
  • Interview training for MMI or panel style interviews is conducted in conjunction with other local schools.  
  • The group of medical applicants get to know one another very well through the programme and can be of considerable mutual support through what can be a very tough process. 

While the school provides this specialist support, it is important to note that those pupils who are proactive in driving their own applications, using the guidance and help provided, are generally the most successful.  Please contact Mr Peter Bagley (pab@charterhouse.org.uk) for further information. 

Law Applications

For those pupils interested in a legal career, there are two main options when considering further study. Pupils may study a degree in Law, or alternatively a degree in another subject, followed by a law conversion course.

Prospective Law students are required to take the National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) if making applications to any of nine popular UK institutions, including the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham and Durham. For more information about the LNAT, including how to register for the test, please visit www.lnat.ac.uk

Please contact Dr William Baugniet (wrb@charterhouse.org.uk) who is our specialist advisor for law applications for any further information. 

These sites are a useful resource for application as well as useful information about a legal career: 

USA Applications

The number of Carthusians interested in applying to universities in the USA and Canada (either exclusively or alongside applications to the UK) increases every year.  In the last few years, pupils have been offered places at UC Berkeley, Boston, Cornell, Columbia, NYU, USC, Pennsylvania and Wellesley College. 

Charterhouse is at the forefront of schools' provision of US applications support.  There are more components to these applications than to UK Universities. These include standardised tests (SAT or ACT and SAT Subject Tests), personal essays, teacher recommendations, grades, and co-curricular. This is a good deal of work, but it is manageable if pupils think ahead.  We provide an ACT/SAT preparation course, aimed at First Year Specialists (Year 12) run by UES Education, a leading organisation in supporting students entering Higher Education in the US.  We run a number of talks and events throughout the year, host representatives from a range of universities at Charterhouse and work with Ethos College Recruiting who advise athletes seeking scholarships to study in the USA. 

Additionally, Charterhouse has an on-site, dedicated US applications consultant who’s in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30pm - 6:30pm, to offer help and advice with all aspects of US applications to parents and students.   Our consultant, Dr Loni Reynolds, grew up in the US and attended the University of Virginia. She holds a PhD in English and has taught at university level. In addition to her role at Charterhouse she is a Senior Tutor and Applications Consultant at UES Education, where she has worked for the past four years providing private tutoring and application support for pupils and can be contacted at usacollege@charterhouse.org.uk

US University Applications at Charterhouse | pdf

European and Overseas Applications

The Higher Education and Careers Department can assist with any overseas university applications and pupils should seek advice as early as possible, as there can be a considerable amount of work attached to these applications. 

A Star Future specialises in providing information on international study alternatives for students, including detailed information on a wide variety of destinations and courses. A Star Future are invited to Charterhouse at the start of LQ to speak to interested pupils and parents, and answer questions on the option of studying overseas. 

The following links provide further information: 

  • Bocconi University - International Economics, Management and Finance - Italy 
  • Waseda University - School of International Liberal Studies - Japan 
  • i-student - information and resources for prospective international students 
  • Study in Holland - English speaking programmes at Dutch Universities 
  •  Study in Europe - Information on how to apply for university studies in Europe 
  • Study in Australia - Information on Australian Education options 
  • Study Options - Free, independent service about studying in Australia and New Zealand 
  • CAO - Irish University Application Site 

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