Careers at Exeter Maths School

Our philosophy

Many people struggle for years to find a career that fits, the issue is that there rarely is one career that is quintessentially “you”. You could be very happy in many areas of work. Take comfort in the fact that you will evolve into your career, don’t fret that you have to get it right from the off. Following the paths which really enthuse you will lead you to the “right” career.

You also need to bear in mind that many our students will find the career that fits best does not exist yet!  So we think it’s most important and appropriate that we equip students to be flexible and innovative – not only just to fit in with the labour and skills market as it stands but to support innovation and new industries of their own devising.

Our curriculum does just that and our careers guidance doesn’t sit alone – provision is interwoven throughout our courses. From industry placements within the Exeter Mathematics Certificate (EMC) to developing problem solving for university entrance tests through regular exposure to stimulating problems in regular lessons and problem solving classes, we do what we do with one eye firmly on our students’ next steps.  The students Academic Tutor supports them with their academic journey through EMS and onto the next stage of their education and future careers.  More information can be found here.

Our careers guidance, which begins before students join the school, naturally has a STEM focus. Almost all of our students continue onto higher education, either immediately, or following a Gap Year (Please see our results page for the latest destinations information).

Our advice, however, is not all about university progression – it is focused on enabling students to continue to do what they enjoy, wherever that takes them. In addition to the more academic institutions, we have successfully supported students moving on to accountancy, degree apprenticeships, the armed services, and those few who have chosen to take gap-years or enter the world of work immediately.

Heading to University

Students will apply to university through the University and Colleges Application Service (UCAS). A detailed overview of the support and process for applying to UCAS can be found here. – a thorough and up-to-date guide to university admissions. – a guide to universities – includes a useful budget calculator. – a guide to universities that shows ranking by student satisfaction and graduate prospects. – a calendar of university open days. – Explore subjects and universities.

Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships 

Degree level apprenticeships have grown in popularity in recent years. Students from EMS are now in programmes working with companies on degree level apprenticeships in the following fields: Engineering, Cyber Security, Finance, Computer Science. We are very grateful for our alumni who return to talk to our students about their experience of applying and the day-to-day experience in these programmes. 

Applications for apprenticeships are normally direct to companies/providers and students are able to apply to both traditional university courses via UCAS and Apprenticeships simultaneously. They will need to make a decision when they receive their results. 

Each company/provider’s application window varies during students final year, and can even change from one year to the next. For example, Dyson’s degree apprenticeship application window opened for three weeks in November 2021, but the following year it had moved to January 2023. We share opportunities that are shared with us, but students will still need to be proactive in seeking out this information and expressing interest with companies directly. – Sign up for apprenticeships here. – Monthly Packs to help your child search for and apply for apprenticeships. – Alternative paths to university on the UCAS website. 

A few examples of higher and degree level apprenticeships that our students might find relevant: 

Reviewing the impact of our provision 

Our careers programme is in place to support students to make the best decisions for them and to ensure they have the opportunity to develop the skills they need for their chosen career(s). 

We review our programme based on: 

  • Destinations of students leaving EMS 
  • Feedback from parents and students 
  • Informal feedback from the employers that engage with our students 
  • Work with our local careers hub enterprise co-ordinator and our enterprise advisor.

Our most recent destination data can be seen on the  Ofsted and Results page of this website. 

We also track whether our alumni complete their chosen training or education and their onward employment destinations. Many students from our first few cohorts have will have graduated from their undergraduate study and will either be in their postgraduate study or in the world of work. From our first two cohorts, at least nine students are now on a PhD programme. Thank you to all of our alumni who have returned to EMS to talk to our students about their studies, work, placement years, or apprenticeships. 


Further links for students and parents

Resources and opportunities are shared with students via the “Careers and Apprenticeships” and the “UCAS” channels in Microsoft Teams. These include opportunities for work experience, courses, summer schools, degree apprenticeships, and other career insights. In each of these channels there are also wiki pages containing a wealth and information and links to resources. 

A good place to start researching possible careers paths is online, here’s a few websites to get you started: 


Heart of the South West Student Padlet 

This gets regularly updated with information and opportunities. 


Exploring Your Options – full of interesting articles – try searching the careers profile to get some inspiration – if you love maths but have no clue what you can do with it, this is probably the best place to start. – From articles in their Catalyst Magazine, to career profile interviews with STEM professionals, find out more about various careers in STEM. – A guide to different routes into Engineering. 


Work Experience (In Person or Remote) 

An increasing number of organisations are creating virtual work experiences and using platforms to run them, such as: – –  


Study Abroad – a guide to American universities including the application process. At least three of our alumni are now studying in America. – a guide to applying to universities in Europe. 


Other Alternatives and Additional Resources – Information on alternatives to university, including apprenticeships. – The National Careers Service. – Find out more about the new Higher Technical Qualifications. – Gap years can be used to enhance your CV, travel, learn new skills, and much more. Find out more and get some inspiration on the UCAS website. 

Further information is available from the school’s Careers Leader, Liam Cantle: , 01392 429020.

The latest Provider Access Policy, setting out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school, can be found at the following link – Provider Access Policy

Brilliant Careers for STEM students in the South West

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Triangle mountains