The Guidance Department is right at the heart of the College in A House, and has a suite of rooms for research and interviews. It is stocked with plentiful resources, both paper and IT, and boasts its own coffee bar.
A total of 11 members of staff, led by Guy Nobes, advise pupils about Upper School subject choices, work experience, higher education applications, possible gap year projects and future careers.
Events and opportunities are advertised weekly in the Guidance Bulletin which is sent to all pupils, parents and Common Room.
In the (I)GCSE year all pupils in the school (and new Lower Sixth recruits) take MyCareerChoices, a computerised interests questionnaire, and MyAptitude, a series of ability tests, which enable guidance to be given by tutors, HMs and Department Heads when selecting Upper School subjects.
In the Lent Term, around 20 recent OMs run a Careers Speed Dating afternoon which delivers brief insights into a wide range of professions.
After summer exams, work experience is encouraged.
In the Lower Sixth MyUniChoices, an interests questionnaire, is administered, generating a report outlining appropriate higher education courses.
Great care is taken to ensure that all possible courses are considered, and every pupil has a 40-minute individual consultation with one of the Guidance Department. The consultation results in a report that includes the pupil’s own Five Point Action Plan which is sent to parents, HMs and tutors for their information.
Beginning in the Lent Term, a series of sessions on university application and writing personal statements complements the Careers Fair when over a dozen senior professionals run an afternoon of seminars.
At the end of the Summer Term we host a large University and Gap Year Fair. Pupils are also encouraged to attend a couple of open days at universities that promise exciting courses.
At the start of the Upper Sixth every pupil completes a UCAS application form. It is stressed throughout that good qualifications are the passport to the most popular courses at university, and over 80% of Marlburians achieve grades that enable them to take up their first-choice university.
More than three quarters of pupils will take a gap year before beginning higher education, and those planning worthwhile projects can apply for a number of scholarships worth up to £2,000.
‘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 are, 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.
Head of International University Guidance
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 all 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 Guidance team holds individual consultations with all the Lower Sixth, and anyone interested in an Oxbridge application meets the Head of Oxbridge Applications 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.