Elite University Preparation

NCS students visit MIT as part of our Ivy League Preparation
NCS students visit MIT as part of our Ivy League Preparation

At The NCS we help shape you to be the very best version of yourself; providing you with the knowledge, skills and habits of mind that will not only get you into university, but take up positions of leadership in your chosen fields.

With the help of our Emerging Talent Programme, soft skills workshops, lecture programme, BMAT and UCAT preparation, and bespoke super curriculum; over 95% of NCS students receive offers to continue their studies at Russell Group Universities after A Level.

Increasingly, many NCS students are setting their sights for the more elite universities of Oxbridge and the prestigious Ivy League in America. Since opening, The NCS has provided some of the best preparation in the country for applying to these prestigious institutions.

The NCS is now combining the Ivy League, Oxbridge, and Russell Group university applications – along with our MedSchool and Vocational Career access – under one universal Elite University Preparation Programme to provide students with the very best information, advice, and guidance.

The entire world of higher education is open to all NCS students and we will provide you with the resources to explore choices and support you to prepare the very best applications possible.

Our aim is to help and assist you to achieve your deserved next step. Whether that’s a Russell Group university, Oxbridge, an Ivy League education in the USA or work placement / industry programmes across the world, The NCS has the capacity and capabilities to help you realise your ambitions.

Below, you can discover more about how we can prepare you to do the same. Tap on each section to open the content and read more.

Ivy League
NCS students visit Ivy League university MIT
NCS students visit Ivy League university MIT

In 2016, Tafsia Shikdar (from our second cohort) wanted to apply to study at MIT. The NCS supported her ambition by a) providing fully funded tuition to help her ace the US SAT tests and b) mock interviews with former Ivy League graduates so she could excel at her interviews.

When she received her offer, she not only inspired future NCS students to follow in her footsteps she inspired us to create a comprehensive programme to prepare able students to successfully apply to the most competitive universities in the world. Our official Ivy League Preparation Programme launched a year later with our third cohort.

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The programme consists of distinct phases.

In the first term of Year 12 the senior admissions officer from Harvard University  visits The NCS to give an overview of studying abroad. From here students who want to explore studying abroad further have opportunities to attend additional workshops and seminars run throughout the year which cover topics such as completing the Common Application, writing an effective personal statement, Financial Aid and how to make yourself stand out. Towards the end of Y12, interested students begin their SAT preparation.

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The NCS flies in an experienced tutor in the American entrance examinations (SAT) from New York to lead a week long breakout course in understanding and acing the aptitude test. The practice continues throughout the summer holiday and autumn term with regular Skype sessions to fine tune responses.

“We’ve needed all this prep because we don’t study in the same way that they do in America. A lot of the questions are structured differently to what we might expect. There’s a lot more focus on grammar and punctuation. I think this week has been amazing. Last week I was not confident at all. I probably would’ve achieved the worst grade possible. Now I can get a decent grade and by the end of the year I’m sure I can get a very high grade.”
- Isuf (speaking at the end of our SAT course)

In Year 13, a group of students then have the opportunity to attend an exploration trip in Boston and New York. The visit allows them to find out more about MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia’ with universities for tours, application guidance, and the chance to attend lectures.

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On the trip they also had the opportunity to meet Tafsia, who’s currently studying in her second year at MIT. All this experience helped our candidates discover more about how the American higher education system differs to what we do in the UK, soak up the atmosphere at each university, and realise that their dream of studying at one of the world’s best universities is attainable.

“There’s a lot of things you can read on the internet that can help you, but actually experiencing what it would be like here; nothing can beat that. It definitely gives us hope knowing that you don’t have to be a private school student or someone with a super high academic background to attend here. It’s really nice to know that people like us can come to these universities.”
- Isuf (speaking about the trip in October 2018)

A masterclass on the application form with our tutor in New York rounded up the visit and moved them into the final phase of practice interviews. The trip provided many experiences for the students to discuss and cemented decisions on which universities to apply too.

Once the application forms are submitted, students then start to prepare for interviews. Typically these are carried out by university alumni for international students. Interviews tend to differ from the academically rigorous styles that UK students are used too.

“It wasn’t academic at all. It was; what kind of person I am, what I do with my free time, how I’ve been benefitting the community. They were looking for not just that you’re doing a lot of extra curricular activities, but that you’re showing excellence in your extra curricular activities as well.”
- Isuf

Throughout all of this NCS teachers and staff will support you with the admin and paperwork. From arranging the entrance exams, to providing references and evidence, to supporting the writing of any application essays and statements.

Following on from Tafsia’s move to America in 2016, the first year of this programme has yielded exceptional results with offers for both MIT and Harvard. Isuf will be going on to study at MIT with a fully funded international scholarship – equivalent to $320,000.

“To see the fact that MIT would be willing to invest $320,000 into me just to attend is crazy. I didn’t think that they would value me to that sort of extent. I would hope that MIT believe that I could do something great in my life. I want to go out there and achieve something that will hopefully bring a positive change to the world.“
- Isuf
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Oxbridge
Mr Ismail with students in Cambridge
Mr Ismail with students in Cambridge

The NCS has provided students with preparation to apply to study at Oxbridge since our very first year. From the initial induction days, where all Year 12 students attend sessions on critical/lateral thinking, followed by a trip to Cambridge University to participate in lectures delivered by Cambridge academics. Students also have an opportunity to visit Cambridge colleges where students soak in the atmosphere and speak to NCS alumni who are currently studying at Cambridge.

Our goal is for NCS students to see applying to Oxbridge not as a lofty dream, but as something that’s completely normal and highly achievable and the record number of offers we have received demonstrates that.

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The NCS has received more offers for students to study at Oxbridge & Ivy League than any other comparable local sixth form in their first four student cohorts.

We have a dedicated Oxbridge Supervision hour for all students interested in applying to Oxbridge. During these sessions students will meet with their Oxbridge Supervisor once a week and engage in Socratic discussion, improving their thinking skills so that when they have their interview the following year they will be in pole position.

All our Oxbridge supervisors attended either the university of Cambridge or Oxford, meaning their insights into the skills and knowledge required to make a successful application are second to none.

Students benefit from multiple practice interviews with different tutors and ex-students that are designed to prepare them for the rigours of the real thing, so that when that time does arrive they’ll have the confidence to present themselves to the best of their abilities.

Russell Group
NCS students take part in a robotics class at Kings College University
NCS students take part in a robotics class at Kings College University

95%+ of NCS students consistently receive offers to go on and study at Russell Group universities. The NCS adds significant value to our students educational experience which means we are routinely in the top 1% of all UK schools for student progress.

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The process to achieve this begins on the very first day of your NCS studies with critical thinking workshops and industry masterclasses. Throughout your first year you’ll take part in sessions to build your soft skills, have support from your expert teachers who will teach your curriculum to the highest of standards, and enjoy the NCS super curriculum which will give you experience of academic material designed to push and challenge your thinking.

The UCAS application process launches with a day at our strategic partner UCL. You’ll learn more about making a stand out application and life as a student at university. Breakout sessions will focus on specific subject areas and will be led by professors and current UCL students, many of whom also started their journey at The NCS.

Students from UCL and LSE regularly visit The NCS to meet and mentor our students throughout the application process. They also take part in training and preparation for key entrance examinations such as the BMAT and UCAT.

All of these experiences will help shape and mould you into the best version of yourself to present in your university applications.

Medicine & Dentistry (NCS Med School)
NCS work experience in an NHS Hospital
NCS work experience in an NHS Hospital

The NCS is now recognised as the premier sixth form for students interested in studying medicine or dentistry given the number of successful applications for these courses. To date NCS students have secured over 150 offers to study medicine/dentistry in the last four years and this number will continue to grow.

The ‘NCS Med School’ provides students with aspirations to study medicine and dentistry at university with all the preparation needed to be a successful applicant.

These include work placements at leading London Hospitals shadowing consultants, placements at the Department for Health, Research at UCL, weekly BMAT and UCAT sessions and MMI and Panel Mock Interviews.

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The Medicine and Dentistry Society also take the lead on running sessions throughout the year for students interested in studying medicine/dentistry at competitive universities.  They arrange for outside speakers to visit, organise visits to medicine/dentistry related lectures at leading Universities and routinely liaise with NCS Medics/Dentists currently at university.  Our NCS Alumni also take the lead and organise NCS Med School Conferences where they provide students with the latest developments in medicine/dentistry as well as run master classes on key areas of the application process.

Vocational Career Programmes

An increasing number of students are applying and securing places on high status degree apprenticeship with companies such as PWC, KPMG, Credit Suisse, Dyson and BT to name but a few.  The attraction for students who know the profession they wish to join is they earn a competitive salary as they work and achieve an undergraduate degree from a well renowned university for free.  Not having any student debt and earning an income at 18 whilst developing the skills, knowledge an commercial acumen puts our students at an advantage as they begin to seek promotions within the organisation

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The NCS provides information and guidance on degree apprenticeship and has strong links with many of these high profile companies.

Former NCS students who are now on these programmes regularly visit the NCS to support our student applications and conduct mock interviews.  Our success rate is not due to chance but rather a forensic and rigorous approach ensuring every students who decides to apply has a mentor and is given the tools needed to excel.  For students who know the career path a degree apprenticeship is an attractive option and one that is becoming increasing popular.

Learn about our Curriculum