HE Progression Adviser sessions at Thomas Rotherham College


Four full days of careers activity took place in Thomas Rotherham College delivered by HeppSY’s Higher Education Progression Advisers to kick off 2020 coordinated by Ashleigh the Higher Education Engagement Assistant based at the college and the careers service. All year 12 students received an hour lecture on options after leaving the college, delivered in five sessions throughout the week. The session covered exploring career ideas, Higher Education available, apprenticeships, and advice on choosing between the options available. Delivered jointly with a representative from TRC’s careers team, it also highlighted the ongoing support and careers events taking place at the college.

58 students shared their views about the session and

  • 95 % said they knew more about how to plan their next steps after college
  • 86% agreed they were more likely to apply to Higher Education in the future with 33% strongly agreeing

When asked what was most useful to them, responses included:

  • The slide showing opportunities that universities and apprenticeships offer because any decision I make is more informed
  • Knowing the different types of degrees available
  • That there are summer schools available to experience
  • The discussion on how to get apprenticeships
  • How many different course options are available

When asked if views about Higher Education had changes as a result of the session, responses included:

  • Yes as it looks more appealing to me now
  • Yes, want to do a wider search of opportunities
  • No I was already going to uni
  • Slightly because of the opportunities they give you

Also throughout the week seven 90 minute sessions were offered to subject groups focused on career options and Higher Education progression routes linked to their subject. Groups included Y12 and Y13 students from Music technology, Sport, Computer Science, Business and Media with 43 students completing a feedback form. Key findings included:

  • 97% said they knew more about careers linked to their subject following the session
  • 68% said they were more likely to apply to Higher education in future

Selected quotes: What did you learn?

  • I discovered some careers I was genuinely interested in
  • Experience is just as important as qualifications when searching for a job
  • What jobs are available to me and what I need to do to get into them (e.g what qualifications I need)
  • More in depth information in my desired area and more about a PhD

Selected quotes: Have your views about Higher Education or careers changed as a result of today? If so, why?

  • Yes, I feel more confident with what the course has in store for me.
  • Maybe – knowing a lot of jobs require higher qualifications made me consider university options or degree apprenticeships
  • Yes as I’m more likely to pursue higher education now
  • Slightly because I wasn’t going to go but I’m unsure now because of the opportunities it can give you

Staff feedback from Careers in the Curriculum sessions

Liam, Music Technology teacher: “The session was well received by students and was found to be informative and thought provoking for the class. Some students likely hadn’t considered many of the employment possibilities in music technology and, along with the trip to Huddersfield University, increased their aspirations for the subject.”

Nick, Sports Studies teacher: The session raised the awareness for our students of the following: types of jobs available in sport, pay levels, profiles for the types of people / background who did these jobs. All in all, useful to increase the focus of our students on what they can now do to make themselves more employable.”





Following Caroline’s Careers input in their classroom at TRC, Music Technology students across both year groups visited the University of Huddersfield’s Music Technology department for a hands-on practical session. This was led by lecturer in Music Technology and Production, Chris Dewey and two undergraduate students. The session was all about live sound production, specifically experiencing what it’s like to be a live sound engineer. Students worked as a team to set up and configure a professional “front of house” P.A. and on-stage monitoring system. As well as learning about the fundamentals of live sound reinforcement using a range of professional equipment in a purpose-built live sound room. Students also received an additional session around Student Finance accompanied by a budgeting activity and given a tour of the university campus by student ambassadors.


Feedback from 16 students revealed that

  • 75% of students feel more knowledgeable about their options at HE and the benefits it has to offer
  • 81% of students feel more prepared to make a HE and/or student finance application
  • 81% of students feel more confident about progressing to HE


Students felt the the biggest benefit of having taken part in this visit was

  • Getting to experience Music Technology in the form of a university course.
  • Learning about student finance and budgeting.
  • Learning more about university life.
  • Experiencing live sound engineering.
  • Learning about the facilities available in the department.