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Be Aspirational

There is a range of academic extracurricular activities to get involved with at HSDC! Take a look below.

At all HSDC campuses, we offer a special Be Aspirational Programme that our gifted and talented students can access alongside their study programme. The extracurricular programme is designed to ensure our students maximise their potential and go on to study at Russell Group and Oxford and Cambridge universities. You can view the Be Aspirational Programme in full here.

Want to aim high?  Interested in applying to a top university?
We want all of our students to have the self-confidence and belief that they can apply to and flourish in a competitive university.
In addition to the extension and support provided through the Be Aspirational programme, we offer students the opportunity mentored by a member of the Oxford University Society.  These mentors will help you to develop your application to the top universities, provide intellectually stimulating topics for preparatory reading and discussion, develop your interview skills, support you in preparation for Admission tests and even put you through your paces in a Mock interview.
Please contact our Be Involved Coordinator, Karina Grainger, at for more information.

Indulge your passion and gain extra credit. You can create an outstanding piece of personal study worth half an A Level by engaging with our Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) initiative.

As well as giving you the opportunity to explore an area of study-related interest, the EPQ will give you academic credit and a notable addition for your growing CV. This means it will help you stand out on your university or job applications and interviews.

The EPQ is open to both A Level and Vocational Level 3 students. The EPQ can take one of four different forms. These are:

  • An extended essay of 5,000 words
  • An artefact (e.g. a piece of art or music)
  • A performance
  • A multi-media item (e.g. a short film)

Here’s what Russell Group universities say about the EPQ:

“UCL welcomes the introduction of the Extended Project into the curriculum, recognising that it will develop many of the skills necessary for successful study at university.”

– University College London

“We value the EPQ, and appreciate the hard work that goes into completing one.”

– University of Southampton

Here’s what some of our students think about the EPQ:

“I really enjoyed doing an EPQ, and feel it really enhanced my research and essay writing skills. I can’t think of any improvements!”

 – Jemima Willoughby

“It was great for exploring what I enjoyed learning about on a highly academic level, which led me to the degree I want to do.”

– Jono Hall

HSDC’s careers team is able to assist and inform you about scholarship opportunities for your ongoing progression. These can be within the UK or internationally and we will support you in application and through the process in order to maximise your potential for success.

Being a Student Ambassador is a great way to boost your employability and will look great on any UCAS application.

Alongside your studies, you have the option of becoming a Student Ambassador or a Social Media Ambassador (or both!). Find out more about the two ambassador roles on our Student Ambassador page and apply today.

There is the opportunity to undertake additional courses and qualifications, that complement the subject(s) that you have chosen to study. These can be accessed through your curriculum area in your area of study, or alternatively the College offers students the chance to undertake MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). These are offered in a whole host of subject areas, and can really differentiate you from others when applying for progression opportunities. Subject extras let you explore your passion for a chosen subject and develop your underpinning knowledge to help you in your future aspirations.

The HSDC careers team has an extensive network with links across the whole of the country. Links that the College has include local universities, Russell Group Universities, Prestigious Universities, as well as specialist Universities.

You will have the opportunity to meet representatives from the universities, subject-specific facility tours, visit open days, attend lectures and course-specific activities. This can help you decide on your options after college: what do you want to study, why you want to study it, and where you would like to progress to.

Visits from university representatives include talks and Q&A on ‘Choosing a University and Course’ and ‘Applying to Competitive Courses’ provided by Royal Holloway and the University of Exeter respectively.

Some universities and some courses require students to sit an admissions test alongside their application to university. HSDC will support all students through the admissions tests process, in addition to application support, to ensure that you are fulfilling your potential.

Our South Downs Campus students regularly participate and achieve success with WorldSkills UK. WorldSkills UK is part of WorldSkills, a global movement supported by over 80 member countries, which celebrates young people achieving world-class standards in the biennial ‘skills olympics’.

Three of our students placed at the WorldSkills UK National Finals in 2019, claiming Gold, Silver and Highly Commended awards. They managed to obtain their winning places by competing against more than 500 apprentices and students. Ex-Catering student Bella Skipp won Gold for Confectionery, while ex-Sport students Jake Francis-Chin and Luke Keogh were awarded Silver and Highly Commended for Fitness Trainer: Personal Training.

Left to right: Anthony Millon, Bella Skipp & Gary Poole-Gleed

Bella with her Gold medal and her lecturers. Left to right: Anthony Millon, Bella Skipp & Gary Poole-Gleed

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