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Universities & Careers

Over 95% of Canfordians move on to university each year, with at least 80% to institutions in the Russell Group.  In the past five years, 57 pupils have gained offers from Oxford and Cambridge, with on average 12 per year.   The school also has an excellent record of success with applications to highly competitive medical schools.  In the past decade, over 100 places have been offered to Canfordians. 

Careers advice is not left to chance.  There is a structured programme of guidance to help the pupils with their decisions at various stages of their passage through the school, beginning with advice over GCSE choices at the end of the Shell year. Much of this advice at this stage is delivered through the House-based tutorial system. 

Later, aptitude and interest testing is offered, work experience is encouraged and the options for Higher Education are considered.  Careers experience courses, including those organised by ISCO, the Independent Schools' Careers Organisation, are much valued options and interview training forms a part of the preparation for university application.  Seminars and lectures are organised, for pupils and parents, designed to explain and offer advice, and pupils attend university Open Days and Higher Education Conventions. The very popular and worthwhile option of a gap year is also thoroughly explored.




Careers Symposium

Each March, Canford holds a Careers Symposium for Sixth Form pupils. This event includes a keynote address on an aspect of career planning, followed by an afternoon of panel discussions led by Old Canfordians and parents.  Panels range across several industry sectors, and speakers provide useful insights about their professions and their own experiences. 

More information is available on our Careers Symposium page.


The school has a good working relationship with Connexions, and uses the services of Cambridge Occupational Analysts for testing programmes.  The armed forces careers liaison officers visit the school termly to talk to those interested, and other organisations such as "Year in Industry" are regular visitors.


Please follow this link for a list of destinations and courses.


Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child's career planning, and are very welcome to contact the Head of Careers direct at any time.

Michael Doherty – Head of Careers


Careers Programme


  • Advice on GCSE Courses

Fifth Form

  • Careers Aptitude & Interest Tests
  • Careers Interviews
  • Introduction to Careers Resource Room
  • Advice on A level choices

Lower Sixth

  • Careers Courses & Conferences
  • Advice on Gap year work experience and sponsorship
  • Academic Tutors’ advice on higher education

Upper Sixth

  • Interview Experience Course
  • Completion of UCAS forms
  • University visits