From the course


Progression: Medicine - University of Exeter

Courses studied: A Levels in Biology, Chemistry & Psychology

Extra activities: Medics’ Academy

Previous school: Looe Community Academy

How are you finding university?

I’m loving it so much! It’s been so lovely to explore a different city and build so many genuine friendships that I never thought I would have so early on. At first I was very scared to be this independent but now I couldn’t imagine not being at university. I’ve already been on a range of placements and been able to put my learnt skills to practice on real patients!

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

When I joined college, I knew I wanted to do medicine but I was unsure on the application process. The Medics’ Academy that Biology Lecturer Babs runs really facilitated that process even offering 1 to 1 interview practice and having the chance to speak to medical students who had previously undergone the application process for tips and advice. In addition, all three of my lecturers were consistently supportive about the application and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. 

What did you enjoy about your A Levels?

What I loved about my A Levels is that they were topics I loved and was interested in. It gave me more of an insight into what I’d be learning at university to pursue my career. My lecturers were friendly and made me feel comfortable in the scary change from GCSEs to A levels. I think specifically, I loved the practical side of my A Levels, especially the dissections!

Why did you choose you university course?

After a personal family event and my big interest for science, I knew medicine was the career I wanted to pursue. I also always wanted to be in a career where I could have something new and interesting happen each day yet also be able to make friends with colleagues and build patient relationships! It has the perfect balance of theory and practical learning at Exeter.

How have you A Levels helped you in your degree?

Most of my A Level content is even being repeated in my uni lectures just in more depth! Psychology has extremely helped me with my essay writing and abled me to dive deeper into why patients might be feeling how they do. Biology has helped me with the foundations of biological science which are used daily in my lectures and the chance i had to dissect multiples things has helped me with my anatomy in university! Chemistry has helped with the pharmacological side of medicine which i struggled massively with in the first year of college. However my confidence has now increased massively with chemistry thanks to Pete, my Chemistry Lecturer. 

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future, I hope to go into emergency medicine and become a trauma doctor or possible paediatrics. I haven’t quite yet decided. However I experience new placements regularly so more than likely this will change multiple times!


Progression: Medicine - Aston University 

Courses studied: A Level Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and AS Physics

Extra activities: Medics' Academy, Student Ambassador

Previous school: Fowey River Academy 

How did Callywith support you in your application to university?

My time at Callywith really helped to make my decision about where to study. It gave me the advice and resources to be able to pick the universities that were best suited to me. The Medics Academy at Callywith really helped my application and the support that I received from my Biology Lecturer Babs, who runs the Medics’ Academy and the students from Plymouth and Exeter Medical School, were vital in me gaining my place at university.

How are you finding your course / experience at university?

I am really enjoying my experience at university, it definitely felt like a big change to begin with and it took some time to adjust to, but I think going to a college rather than a sixth-form helped me to transition faster.

As I am now in my second year at uni, I got to experience almost a full year of on campus teaching before moving online. The shift to online teaching was quite difficult but I realised that it's important to still take the time to talk to people when it can be easy to get bogged down in the workload. My friends and I started video calling each other whilst we work so that we had some company and could break it up a bit. It also has caused me to make much more use of the different resources available to me.

For me, I love to study sciences as it gives me understanding of things that are constantly occurring around us. My studies at college directly translate into my higher education, the concepts covered at college are constantly reviewed and built on through my degree, getting the opportunity to see how science is applied in everyday life, has only deepened my appreciation for the subject.

What are your plans for the future?

I am not completely sure of what I hope to do in the future. At the minute I have particular interests in Emergency medicine, Paediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Do you have any tips for students considering university?

I would recommend first looking at which universities entry requirements best suit you. After this, I found it really helpful to pick a few qualities that I really looked for in a university and this helped to pick the place that suited me best. If you can find a comparison tool for your course, this is really helpful. I used the medic portal Medical School Comparison Tool and having a brief direct comparison helped me to pick my final 4 unis. I would also say it's worth considering how far you want to travel and how often you want to be able to come home as I found this really affects people's enjoyment of uni.


Progression:  Natural Sciences (Physical) - Cambridge University

Courses studied: A Level Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths

Extra Activities: Academic Academy

Previous school: Wadebridge School

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

Great! While it is really hard work, being able to involve myself in this type of learning environment and have access to the facilities here is a real privilege. The city itself is amazing, and so settling in and making new friends has been so enjoyable!

How did Callywith influence and support you in your application to university?

Through encouragement early on in college to consider Oxbridge and the College’s 'Your Future Week' programme, which really helped, even in lockdown, to see what my options were. Also, the Oxbridge support sessions offered by Jonny near the beginning of second year were so helpful in guiding me through the application process, by developing my personal statement, giving me interview practice and arranging the admissions exam.

What did you enjoy in particular about studying your A Levels?

The way in which content was made enjoyable to learn by the great class environment. Having lecturers as enthusiastic as Dave, Pete and Garry created a really positive and encouraging work space.

Why did you choose to study your course at university and how have your A Levels helped you?

Because this course features all topics from the A levels that I studied! Which is great because I had really enjoyed studying all of them over the 2 years, and felt like I wasn't ready to specialise in only one of them yet. My A levels taught several fundamentals which I still use frequently here, and I feel like they prepared me well for the work weeks in Cambridge!

What are you hoping to do in the future?

I'm still unsure about which region of physical science to specialise into, but possibly into something material science or physics related.


Progression: Physics - Durham University

Courses studied: A level Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics 

Extra Activites: Academic Academy

Previous School: Wadebridge School

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

I’m really enjoying my experience at uni. Its been very strange studying during the pandemic and through several lockdowns, with the majority of my lectures pre recorded and my tutorials via zoom, however I’ve still had loads of opportunities to explore a new city and become more independent. The course is really challenging and very fast paced, even compared to A levels, but so rewarding when you finally get to the right answer! 

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

Callywith were so supportive when I was applying to university and all of my lecturers gave me some great advice abouts which university/courses would suit me best. The enthusiasm of my Physics lecturer, Dave, especially, really inspired me to consider a future career in Physics, and the new facilities in the science labs meant we had the best possible experience of the practical elements of the course.

What do you enjoy in particular about studying Physics?

Physics describes the way everything in the universe works and links them together neatly through theory, experiment and maths, which I think is so elegant and fascinating. Recently we’ve started studying topics like Special Relativity, which describe really weird effects you would never expect like time dilation, which is mind boggling!

How have your A Level studies helped you in your degree?

The way Callywith encouraged me to study for A levels got me in a good routine for university level work, the key being to work quickly and efficiently to understand all the content and to meet deadlines. All of my A level subjects have provided the foundations required for my degree and link very closely with different elements of it, which has been super useful.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

I’m not too sure what I want to do for a career as of yet, but looking into module choices for the later years of my degree condensed matter physics sounds really interesting. 


Progression: Veterinary Medicine - University of Bristol

Courses studied: A Level Biology, Chemistry and Maths

Extra activities: Medics' Academy

Previous school: Budehaven Community School

How did Callywith support you in your application to university?

My Biology Lecturer Babs has been really helpful and motivational to get me to where I am as I had multiple setbacks receiving offers. She was always there telling me that what I wanted to do was achievable if I continued to work hard throughout my studies at Callywith. Overall, Callywith has been very supportive in me being able to reach my goals.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future, I hope to work with larger animals in zoos or with farm animals. I would also like to be able to go back to Honduras where I went on an expedition with the College in the summer to continue working with conservationists and possibly some other countries too!


Progression: Civil Engineering - Swansea University

Courses studied: A Level Maths, Physics and Geography

Extra Activities: Rugby Academy

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

My time at university prior to lockdown was great! Lectures and lab session were constant and non-stop, I was able to design and test my own bridge in one lab session. Having to adapt to online lectures due to lockdown was a challenge, especially with the increasing amount of work and complexity of the work, however, uni lectures and mentors have tried to make it as easy as possible.

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/ transition to university?

Speaking to friends at uni, it’s clear that the way in which students are taught and treated whilst they are at Callywith really gives a helping hand in the transition to uni. Being treated as a young adult and having to do additional work in ‘free’ periods really makes life at uni easier, you always have more work to be cracking on with at uni.

Why did you choose to study Civil Engineering at university?

I chose to do Civil Engineering at uni, as I was fascinated by how structures were able to stand so tall and withstand all sorts of forces acting on them without collapsing. Knowing how to design structural elements which one day will be used in the construction of a skyscraper or bridge is exciting!

How have your A Level studies helped you in your degree?

I enjoyed A Level Maths at Callywith, as there was always something new to focus on. The lessons were engaging and constantly had a focus on practise questions, the weekly assignments, although tough, really helped with understanding the recently taught material and helped a lot when it came down to exam revision. The assignments also helped a lot with the uni transition, having just a week to complete and hand in the assignment made you manage and balance your time well, which is key whilst at uni.

My A Levels gave me a broad understanding of how forces work and how simple maths can be adapted and used to create super structures. The broad range of material taught, gave me an edge over my course mates as I already had a basic understanding of what we were learning about, many of them found themselves having to do additional work just to get a grasp of what we were being taught.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future, I am looking to do a masters and hopefully become a Chartered Civil Engineer. I hope to be part of team that is developing new methods of construction which help mitigate the effects of earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as help the environment by using more sustainable materials and resources.


Progression: Mechanical Engineering - Swansea University

Courses studied: A Level Maths, Physics, Fine Art and AS Further Maths

Extra Activites: Netball Academy

Previous School: Plymouth High School for Girls 

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

My first term at uni was entirely online with the exception of a couple bits of lab work that needed to be done and then the second term was completely virtual. I spent both terms up in uni halls, doing lots walking and running on the beach to keep myself active. I'm looking forward to finally doing some in person labs next year!

What do you enjoy in particular about studying Maths?

I found the A Level Maths Lecturer at Callywith and how he delivered the material, the best part of the course. Everything was explained so thoroughly and concisely that it made perfect sense.

There were also weekly drop in sessions and workshops that my lecturer ran that I found extremely helpful and was an opportunity to ask questions on work covered in the lesson or simply just a quiet space to work. I always felt supported by my Maths Lecturer and I liked how organised and structured the course was.

I chose to study mechanical engineering at university as I wanted to keep my options open as much as possible, as I wasn’t sure which engineering discipline I wanted to specialise into just yet. I looked through the modules of different engineering courses and decided that mechanical engineering would give me a taste of a bit of everything including coding, materials, CAD design, mechanics, industrial processes and lots more and therefore was best suited for me.

So far, my favourite modules have been fluid mechanics and design and materials. My materials lecturer is very funny and reminds me of my old Physics Lecturer, Dave, who always made physics enjoyable and memorable!

How have your A Level studies helped you in your degree?

Maths is a key building block for any engineering degree, so it was really important that I was fully confident in it and it set me up really well for my Engineering degree.

My Maths and Physics A Levels have helped me massively at university. A large portion of my first term was going over A Level content so I frequently referred back to my A Level notes and textbooks. Even now, everything that I learn in engineering is just building on the foundations put in during my A Levels.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future, I plan on joining the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer Officer. I’m fascinated by ships and propulsion systems and would love to travel the world and explore new places and I think the current advancements in naval technology and autonomy are extremely exiting.


Progression: Environmental Geoscience - Royal Holloway, University of London

Courses studied: A Level Geography, Maths and Physics

Extra Activites: Extended Project Qualification 

Previous School: Sir James Smith Community School

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

This year hasn't been quite what I expected for my freshers year at uni, but have thoroughly enjoyed it either way. Online lectures have been quite difficult as my course is usually quite practical based but lecturers have made sure we have lots of online resources available including virtual microscopes for geology thin sections. Next term, we are back face to face teaching and should hopefully be going on a field trip to Pembrokeshire so that should be really good.

I chose Royal Holloway the second I stepped foot on campus for interviews, it has to be the most beautiful campus university I have seen and everyone was so friendly and approachable.

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

Callywith massively supported my choice of university, I had lots of talks with lecturers and my tutor to help me find the right course and right place for me. I had never even heard of Royal Holloway until one of my lecturers pointed it out to me. Going to Eswatini definitely gave me something unique to talk about in uni interviews too!

What do you enjoy in particular about studying Geography?

I actually applied for five different degrees because I wasn't sure what to do. My original plan was to study Physics but I realised I would miss geography way too much. So now I'm kind of doing both, with lots of geophysics modules in my degree. I love learning about how our planet and other planets work, the problems we face and how we could solve them, as well as how to mitigate the risks of climate change. 

How have your A Level studies helped you in your degree?

My A-Levels have definitely helped in my degree. We have had Maths and Physics modules so far which I have found a lot easier thanks to my Maths and Physics A-Levels. A lot of physical geography overlaps into my degree, including plate tectonics, coastal and fluvial morphology and volcanoes. A-Levels themselves helped me find the best way to take notes and revise so I am fully prepared for exams.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

I am hoping to complete my degree, including my year studying abroad (which I can't wait for!). I then wish to take a year travelling around the world, including Iceland, Hawaii and Australia. I hope to then find work in the field of seismology/volcanology before going on to get my PhD.


Progression: Ocean Exploration and Surveying - Plymouth University

Courses studied: A level Geography, Environmental Science and Maths

Extra Activites: Netball Academy

Previous School: Sir James Smith Community School

How are you finding your course/experience at university?

My course experience out of lockdown was amazing. I have had lots of theoretical lectures as well as lectures based on case studies. Out of the lecture theatres we've also gained practical hands on experience using CTD, ADCP, Velocity Profiling equipment and much more. My experience in lockdown has also been very positive with lectures being held from the boats and streamed to us via Zoom. Normal lectures have also been adapted to make content more engaging from our rooms! We've been able to access software from home that allows us to practice modelling and presenting different datasets.

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

Callywith was very supportive with the transition to uni and wanted you to make the best choice for you. In my case I wanted to study something based on the Geography and Environmental Science route and when looking at universities they were able to show the degrees which wouldn't normally be the generic route but options that could work well for you and are in full support of that. When I found that the University of Plymouth offered Marine Science related degrees it really showed that the advice and guidance I got from Callywith paid off in getting where I wanted career wise.

What do you enjoy in particular about studying Geography ?

I enjoyed Geography at Callywith because not only did it introduce relevant real world content, but it also showed that these things occur locally and it's scenarios that you can encounter in everyday life. For example, the trips that are on offer as part of the Geography A-Level are fun as well as informative and apply classroom teaching to outdoor teaching which I found really helpful when sitting my exam as I could relate well to what I'd seen. The classroom lectures are also made fun to keep everyone engaged and you're treated like an adult where it was easier to make that step to university. I chose to study Ocean Exploration and Surveying because I really enjoyed the Coasts module and the physical geography at A-level as well as the science aspect of the environment which I got from the environmental science A-Level. My degree pulls aspects from both A-levels and is very industry based which I enjoy.

How have your A Levels helped you in your degree?

My A-levels have helped a lot in my degree. Where most people had narrow options for their A-Levels Callywith was able to provide A-Levels that can expand and project your learning and put you ahead of many other applicants. The content delivered in my A-Levels was very broad, and broad enough where such a narrow fielded degree like Ocean Exploration and Surveying encompases a lot of what was taught an A-Level where it is then slightly expanded into your area of interest. 

What are you hoping to do in the future?

In the future I hope to go on to do a masters after my undergrad degree and hopefully look at either consultancy or go into renewable energies in and around Cornwall. I feel Cornwall has a lot of resources that can be used to create clean sustainable energy and it would be great to make Cornwall a hub of environmental change.