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, we do what we do with one eye firmly on our students’ next steps.

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.

This page provides an overview of our careers programme.  Further information is available from the school’s Careers Leader, Liam Cantle: , 01392 429020.

Prior to arrival

At interview, applicants discuss their careers aspirations and we ensure that their curriculum choices are wise in light of their ambitions.

First term Y12

Year 12 get a taste of life as a researcher through the first EMC project, collaborating with university academics.

Formal careers guidance is a part of the pastoral tutorials using specialist resources, and we benefit from events such as the Exeter University STEM careers fair and the Christmas lectures.

Second term Y12

The second EMC project gives students a feel for real-world applications with industries as diverse as the National Hydrographic Office, ATASS Sports and Dyson. It is in this term that we launch the UCAS/Apprenticeships pathway with the South West UCAS Fair and the national apprenticeship show. One-to-one guidance is offered along with peer-support. Where it is needed, we arrange specialist provision in this term- e.g. meetings with armed forces recruiters, medical work experience, etc.

We also welcome our alumni back to talk about their experiences and share their insights of the world beyond EMS.

Third term Y12

In the summer term students continue with research and the focus of our Inspire sessions shifts towards careers. Students register their details on the UCAS website and begin to complete their applications.  Parents are invited in to discuss UCAS and other needs at an evening event. By the end of the term personal statement workshops have helped the students get much of a first-draft completed. Students going to other destinations will have an outline plan and a CV ready.

This term also sees the beginning of the university open days season; has an excellent calendar.  EMS usually runs a school trip to the most popular destinations including Oxbridge and Russel group universities.

First term Y13

In the first term of year 13, the University open days are in full swing, personal statements are finalised and the applications come together to be completed by 14th October.

Students who are applying for courses with competitive entrance interviews will have a mock interview arranged by the school, often with an academic from the University of Exeter.  Those preparing for university entrance tests (STEP, MAT, TMUA etc) will be supported by peers and teachers through timetabled problem-solving lessons.

Students applying to the US and other overseas institutions may need to complete their initial applications this term.

Second term Y13

This brings the final UCAS deadline for outstanding applications (15th January) and offers from Universities continue to arrive.  Many of the apprenticeship opportunities start to appear this term and we assist students in their preparations for interviews.

Students applying to the US and other overseas institutions will receive further school transcripts.  Decisions are often made by US universities by April.

Final term Y13

The final term at EMS arrives all too soon and students are swiftly confirming “Firm” and “Insurance” UCAS choices, confirming places to overseas universities, signing apprenticeship contracts, sitting examinations and searching for work. Before we know it, GCE and Advanced Diploma results day rolls round and the students are away on the rest of their educational journey.


Once an EMS student, always an EMS student and we would hope to keep in contact with our Alumni to assist in whatever way we can, and in the hopes that our Alumni will in turn offer their perspectives on the world.

Reviewing the impact of our provision

Our careers programme is in place to support student 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).  As a relatively new school we have limited information on which to judge our overall effectiveness (our first cohort of students are currently in their third year at University).  We therefore currently review our programme based on the following:

Destinations of students leaving EMS

Feedback from parents and students

Informal feedback from the employers that engage with our students

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

In the future we will also track whether our alumni complete their chosen training or education and their onward employment destinations.

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


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. – Information on STEM careers – My Future Finder is a useful tool to discover the wide ranging STEM careers in all walks of life.


Heading to University – 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 univeristy open days


Study Abroad – a guide to American universities including the application process – a guide to applying to universities in Europe.


Alternatives to University – Information on alternatives to university, including apprenticeships. – Sign up for apprenticeships here

Brilliant Careers for STEM students in the South West

Click on the pictures below for more details

Triangle mountains