The Futures Department (Higher Education and Careers) works with pupils from Shell through to the Upper Sixth providing a comprehensive programme of careers education. This includes career advising, higher education application support and preparation (UK and global), as well as educating all Marlburians about the world of work, developing employability and career management skills to help equip them for their future career.

Alys Langdale leads the Department and she is a member of the Career Development Institute (CDI) and near completion of her L7 PgDip Career Development (with QCD), the highest level of qualification in this field.

The Department follows the CDI Code of Ethic and is developing its work around meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks and the CDI Career Development Framework.

In the Shell and Remove, careers education is delivered through their curriculum and Heads of Year programme. All pupils will begin using the Unifrog platform and the Interest profile quiz as well as receive support through their option choices for GCSE. The Remove will begin to develop their career management skills with a focus on Enterprising Mindset and a mock interview event in the Summer Term.

The Hundred will receive independent careers advice during their 1-1 meetings delivered by Future Smart Careers. Following this they will attend the A level Options Choice Fair in November. In the Lent Term, during National Careers Week, they will attend the Employability Fair and workshops, including learning all about apprenticeships. Through curriculum time, pupils will be guided to write their first CV and encouraged to secure work experience for the summer after their GCSEs.

In the Lower Sixth, we begin with our Welcome to Sixth Form talk to pupils and parents where the two-year Higher Education and Careers programme is introduced. We build upon the conversations started in the Hundred and meet again for 40 minutes with Future Smart Careers to receive impartial advice and a full report. Pupils will become adept at using the Unifrog platform including the suite of psychometric tests. The Futures staff team will work with pupils to offer specialist advice whether for universities in the UK or internationally, or to support alternative pathways, such as apprenticeships.

In addition, pupils will be invited to attend the Launch series of evening talks given by Old Marlburians and parents, designed to cover a range of employment sectors to give Marlburians a first-hand understanding of paths into a broad range of careers. They will also have the opportunity to attend OM Business Network events in London. As part of the World of Work support programme, all Lower Sixth pupils will be asked to develop their CV. Work experience is strongly encouraged for the holidays.

At the end of the Summer Term, we host a large Higher Education and Gap Year Fair. Pupils are also encouraged to attend a couple of open days at universities that promise exciting courses.

The Oxbridge, Medic, Veterinary and International University specialist programmes are run concurrently by specialist members of the Common Room and Futures staff team.

Although the majority of the Upper Sixth will complete a UCAS application, we are pleased to support any Higher Education or future pathway. In the Michaelmas Term, the Department works with pupils to complete applications to the UK and global destinations. Pupils will be offered the chance to receive specialist interview practice, CV and LinkedIn advice.

Around 50% of Marlburians opt to take a gap year and we offer a number of scholarships worth up to £2,000 to support these ventures.

Of all HMC schools, Marlborough is the leading UK school. Their Marlborough global university programme is not just about facilitating applications but engaging with the global admissions community to ensure that students not only submit good applications but that admissions officers understand the quality of a Marlborough education.’ Hawkins Global Education

Interest in international university destinations has never been greater. Fuelled by the considerable success of recent pupils, we are regularly supporting more than 30 Lower Sixth pupils through the application process to the US, with others applying to Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Holland.

We are delighted to have pupils enrolled at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, U Penn, Brown, Georgetown, Chicago, Notre Dame, University of North Carolina, Duke, Tufts, UvA, USC, U Washington, Santa Clara, Berklee College of Music, NYU Tisch, NYU Stern, NYU Abu Dhabi, McGill, University of Toronto, Leiden, Utrecht, Maastricht, IE Madrid, Bocconi – the list goes on. We are proud that Marlborough goes further than purely satisfying academic ambition, as it is clear that universities in the UK and beyond look for breadth of skills, meaningful community engagement and an interest in the world around them. We make sure, whatever the pupil’s potential and university aspirations, that we focus upon the most appropriate ‘fit’ for the individual, so that Marlburians can happily thrive in their global education.

Scholarships are common, and with approximately $400,000 awarded annually, our pupils are in demand in the US. Our range of applications is impressive, from Product Design at Syracuse (a top research university with a considerable merit scholarship) to the military, Sport and Art.

Our application support programme includes the Why US? briefing and fair, and an Introduction to Standardised Testing workshop, which leads to SAT/ACT diagnostic testing. The SAT or ACT course fits in with December and February test dates (we are an ACT test centre, and one of the few schools in the country to offer CBT testing) so that testing is completed in the junior year (Lower Sixth). The US East Coast tour for the Hundred and Lower Sixth is picking up momentum, and builds on the mock admissions and common application essay workshops over the Summer Term which have ongoing specialist support.

Our international university programme extends beyond the application for each pupil. We have worked over the last ten years to be a leader in the global advising community. Through sitting on committees (International ACAC, University of Toronto UK Advisory Board and Intl ACAC Standardised Testing), attending conferences (International ACAC in Oregon, Rutgers, Cleveland, New Orleans and London Ontario), visiting universities – over 50 global universities over the last five years – Marlborough is now the first port of call for universities trying to gain a better understanding of the UK system, as well as the go-to centre for other UK schools needing advice. It is evident that the quality of the Marlborough education is highly valued and the influence of attending Marlborough as a pupil continues to grow internationally.

Click here to read the 2023 school profile

Each year between ten and 20 Marlburians are offered places at Oxford or Cambridge University. Chosen courses range from Engineering, Biomedical Sciences and Psychology to English, Modern Languages, History, History of Art and Music.

Preparation for the application process begins long before the Upper Sixth, with a range of enrichment opportunities in the Lower School, at the forefront of which is our academic scholar programme of weekly meetings. We run an annual trip to Oxford, open to Remove pupils, where we meet Old Marlburian undergraduates and small groups of pupils spend time with them in their colleges. In addition, we offer a number of other subject-specific trips and talks given by visiting academics.

The first term in the Sixth Form enables pupils to form an idea of where their interests lie, and those considering Oxbridge are encouraged to be involved in the societies and other enrichment opportunities each department offers, and to seek advice and reading lists from their beaks.

In the Lent Term, the Futures team holds individual consultations with all the Lower Sixth, and anyone interested in an Oxbridge application meets the Head of Oxbridge to discuss the details of their chosen course. They are assigned a mentor (usually the Head of Department in their subject). Towards the end of term, a talk is given by an Oxford or Cambridge don for all Lower Sixth pupils interested in applying to Oxbridge, with a question-and-answer session at the end. A further meeting at the end of the Summer Term gives pupils more information on what they should be doing over the summer holidays to further increase their chances. Our successful Upper Sixth Oxbridge applicants attend this meeting and talk to pupils about their experiences and to offer advice.

Interview and test preparation sessions take place in the Upper Sixth, helping to ensure applicants are confident and well prepared.

We stay in touch with all Old Marlburians currently at Oxbridge and find that they are extremely helpful and happy to be contacted by prospective applicants.

Click here for the Oxbridge Guide

We are delighted to offer the new Futures Directory, a curated collection of Careers and Higher Education links and opportunities for our pupils. Click here for access.


Futures Contacts

Alys Langdale
Head of Futures

Ginny Brown
Second in Futures

Andrew Oxburgh
Head of Oxbridge