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Applying to St Philip Howard Sixth Form

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Our application process is via an online system. Students currently in Year 11 at SPH will receive an email with login details just before our November Open Evening (please do not register again, but email if you have any queries).  Any students not currently at SPH should use the link below to register and then complete the application form.  We ask that applications are completed by the end of the second week of December.  Interviews usually take place during January / early February, after which offers are made.  Once we have confirmed subject numbers the option blocks will be created and any clashes or issues will be notified to applicants asap.

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If you have any queries please contact us
01243 558218

Choosing the Right Courses

Choosing the right course is paramount to you having a positive and successful experience in the Sixth Form, and to your career choices in the future. There are many things to take into account before you make a final decision on which subjects you would like to study.

  • If you already know want you would like to do when you leave school, check the entry requirements with either the Careers’ Advisor or a member of the Sixth Form team (which subjects to study; what grades you will need; what work experience or extracurricular accomplishments may be necessary).
  • If at this stage you have only a general idea of what you wish to do, or are really not sure yet, then select subjects which you actively enjoy and which you are good at.


For higher education, some degree courses require particular subject combinations, whilst others require very high grades in key subjects.

For courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing/Midwifery and Engineering based courses, please check with the Careers’ Coach / Sixth Form Team to ensure that you are looking at appropriate subject combinations. It is also worth taking a look at specific university websites to get an idea of current entry requirements for courses such as Medicine and Dentistry, as requirements will vary from one establishment to another.

If you want to study for a degree in a Science, at A Level it is advisable to study at least two Sciences or possibly one Science plus Mathematics. Some subjects support each other: eg Biology and Chemistry A Levels for a Biological Science degree, or Physics and Maths A Levels for a degree in Physics.

Degree entry requirements are usually more flexible with Arts subjects as subsequent career choices are generally broader.

If you change your mind once you have started your courses, it is not easy to swap courses and catch up. So, it is crucial that you do your research properly before you make a final decision.

Good Reasons for Choosing a Course


You’re passionate about the subject. 


You have read through the course content, visited the exam board website and you like the topics being covered .

Future career

The subject links directly to future career plans or allows you multiple opportunities should you not have decided yet.

Complamentary courses

Your choice of subjects complement each other and go well together.

Right style of assessment

The style of assessment suits you e.g., end-of-unit examination vs coursework/practical work.

Bad Reasons for Choosing a Course

You like the teacher

There is no guarantee that you will be taught by them.

Your friends are doing the course

They won't be able to do the course work for you. 

Your parents/family members said you should choose a particular subject

it has to be your choice.

You did not look at any other course and you do not know what else to do

you must be committed to the course and may have found that other courses would have suited you better.

You are too scared to try something new

new subjects can complement more familiar subjects well and may become your new favourite subject.

You do not think you will get the grades for anything else

you need to be positive and committed to doing your best, having a defeatist outlook will not help you do that.

You just cannot be bothered to get a job instead

getting a job requires effort from you and so, too, do good results - there is no opt out choice.

You think the subject is ‘easy’

there is no such thing as an A Level or BTEC course that is 'easy'.

View Our Sixth Form Courses