A Handy Guide to the Application Process

When to Apply

Applications for most colleges open in September of your final year at school. Some colleges have early deadlines than others, so make sure you do your research and try to get your application in nice and early.

You can apply for a place at Richard Taunton from September onwards. We don’t have an official closing date deadline – but you should aim to get your application in before the end of March to ensure that you get placed on your preferred courses, and get invited to the transition events that we run, such as our Welcome Evenings and Freshers’ Day.

Choosing your courses

Have a good idea of what courses you want to study before you start applying. Choosing the right courses for you can be a daunting process as there are so many out there to choose from, but don’t fret; to make this process a little easier, make sure you do the following:

  • Research: Attend open events at colleges, look at their websites, read through the course materials and get a good feel for which ones are right for you
  • Get advice; arrange an interview with your school careers advisor or contact our careers team here at the college, they can help guide you in the right direction
  • Know yourself: What motivates you? What do you enjoy? What are your strengths – these are key indicators that might help you choose the right courses for you
  • Begin with the end in mind: If you have a goal in mind, start there and work your way back. Do you want to go to university or into employment? Have you thought about apprenticeships or sponsored degree programmes? This will have an effect on which courses you choose. Do your research about the kind of qualifications you will need to access your chosen career and any entry requirements required.

Entry Requirements

Generally, to study a Level 3 Programme you should be aiming to achieve the following:

A LEVELS: At least five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, to include English Language.

VOCATIONAL: At least five GCSEs at  grade 4 or above, to include English Language.

For some courses, there may be more specific entry requirements, so make sure you check the entry requirements for each of the courses you are interested in.

If you don’t quite manage to achieve a 4 or above in your English Language and Maths, our level two study programme enables you to achieve these alongside a vocational pathway over three years.

The Application Form

The most convenient way to apply is by completing our online application. If you prefer to fill out a paper copy you can print an application form off or email admissions@richardtaunton.ac.uk who will send one out to you. You can also grab one from when we visit your school for careers events and application days.

Your personal statement – top tips!

If you need to complete a personal statement for your application, here are a few ideas of where to start:

  • Let us know why you have applied; what was it about the college that made you want to attend?
  • Tell us why you have chosen the subjects you have selected and how they link to what you have studied in school
  • Outline any future plans or goals you might have; university, employment, specific career paths.
  • Tell us anything you are particularly proud of achieving- in school, or outside of school
  • What are your hobbies and interests? Part of a club? Let us know!

Your Pre-Enrolment Interview

Your pre-enrolment interview will usually take place within a few weeks of making your application. You will discuss your course choices, entry requirements and any enrichment options you’d like to take.

Here’s what to expect from your interview:

  • It will take between 20-30 minutes
  • You’ll have your interview with a trained advisor or subject leader
  • We’ll tell you if you need to bring anything with you on the day (e.g. an art portfolio or a prepared audition piece/school report etc.)
  • You can bring your parents/guardians if you like
  • We’ll give you time to ask any questions you might have about the college and your courses, so feel free to prepare some beforehand if you’re worried you might forget what it is you want to ask us
  • The sort of questions we may ask during your interview might be: Why have you chosen to apply for a place at the College? Why have you chosen the specific course(s) you have listed? What are your interests and hobbies? What are your future aims?
DON’T FORGET – You must bring some form of identification with you on the day of your interview- either your passport or birth certificate.

Receiving an offer

If you are successful we will give you a conditional offer for the courses you have chosen, you will receive this either at the interview or in the post shortly after. A conditional offer means that it is based on the predicted grades that you have provided in your application. So make sure you keep working hard to ensure you are accepted onto your chosen courses when enrolment comes around.

Important Dates for Your Diary

During the application process, it is important to keep the following dates free in your diary so you can get all the information you need about starting college and making sure that the courses you have chosen are the ones for you. It is especially important that you keep the enrolment days in August free to ensure you get your first choices (try not to book any holidays during this time!)

Welcome Evening | Wednesday 22 April 2020 | 6.00pm – 8.00pm

Welcome Evenings will give you an insight into the college and offer you and your parents/guardians the chance to talk to your future teachers, current students get some top tips for success in your subjects. As well as getting the chance to hear from staff in the Q&A session.

Freshers’ Day | Monday 29 June 2020 | All Day

Fresher’s Day is when you’ll get a real taste of college life at Richard Taunton. Not only will you try out the subjects you have chosen, but also some in similar subject areas too. This is so you can make an informed choice about which courses are right for you when you get your results and enrol at the college in August. The day is also a great time to meet new friends who will be studying the same subjects as you, as well as meet the teaching and support staff who will help you reach your potential.

GCSE Results Day | Thursday 20 August 2020

Our careers team are on hand to talk through any of your concerns and options on the day of your results, just give us a call to make an appointment.

Enrolment | Friday 21 August – Friday 28 August 2020

You will receive a letter in advance of your GCSE results inviting you to an enrolment appointment. You can finalise your courses, enrol as a student and become a fully-fledged RTSFC student!