FAQs

What is a University Technical College?

University Technical Colleges are a new concept in education. They offer 13/14-19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, technically-oriented course of study alongside academic qualifications. They are equipped to the highest standard, sponsored by a university and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work.

Find out more at www.utcolleges.org

Are there fees to attend?

No, the UTC is part of government-funded education.

What are the advantages of a student going to a UTC instead of staying on at their previous school?

It allows a student to study a subject they are really enthused by in top quality facilities that reflect the real workplace with teachers who have practical industry experience. Students also benefit from regular input and mentoring from local employers and universities.

What is the reason for starting at 13?

11 is too early to choose a subject path to follow and 16 is too late. Students who know what they want to do can often become bored at school and so underachieve by the time they are 16.

Is 13 too young to specialise?

UTC students receive a broad education including English, Maths and science combined with practical and technical qualifications which are recognised by employers and universities. The skills they learn and the qualifications they receive are transferable to other post-16 provision and are recognised by employers.

What makes the UTC different?

The curriculum is shaped by employers as well as local universities so everything that students learn is connected to the world of work.

What is the difference between the UTC and the AMRC Training Centre?

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC-TC) between Sheffield and Rotherham offers advanced apprenticeships in engineering, which involve a mix of employment and training, as well as higher education opportunities. The UTC is full-time education and provides post-16 students the opportunity to gain A levels as well as a technical qualification: it does not offer apprenticeships. The AMRC and UTC will be working in partnership, and we envisage that a number of UTC students will go on to the AMRC-TC when they leave. UTC students may also use the advanced facilities of the AMRC as part of their course.

Why specialise in one of our five areas?

There are lots of employers working in all of these sectors in the Sheffield City Region and they are searching for skilled young people to fill jobs. Many of these employers are world-famous and employ people nationally and internationally so the job opportunities are not just local.

I am really interested in technology – what’s on offer at the UTC?

The UTC is well-equipped with advanced technology in both its specialist areas. It caters for those who have an interest in creative approaches to the use of computers – both software and hardware – as well as those who want to use technology in their projects.

Will students have to wear uniform?

Students must wear UTC business dress. Full details are on the Business Attire page of our school websites:

City Centre: https://city.utcsheffield.org.uk/information/attire/

Olympic Legacy Park: https://olp.utcsheffield.org.uk/information/attire/

Will there be homework as well as a longer school day?

In general we will not require students to work outside the normal UTC hours of 8:30am to 4:00pm, with enrichment until 4:50pm. There will be time within the day to undertake the personal study required by A levels and other qualifications. Students will be able to access their learning online outside these hours should they want to finish off a piece of work or do more independently, although we think it is important that young people have time to pursue leisure and social interests alongside their studies.

If you already have special support at school would you continue to get this at the UTC?

The UTC has staff who specialise in students with special needs and the building has been designed to provide access for all. Please speak to our Senior Leader for Inclusion about any additional needs your child may have to ensure we can support them.

Will the UTC offer Apprenticeships?

No, UTC Sheffield is offering highly-regarded technical qualifications alongside GCSEs and A Levels. Students leaving the UTC at 16 or 18 will be well placed to take up Apprenticeships or Higher Apprenticeships.

What if I want to go to University?

The UTC will offer A levels as well as other qualifications which will provide sufficient UCAS points for students wishing to move on to University.

Will the UTC lead to a job?

With its specialist learning and the leading involvement of top employers in the UTC at every level, we are confident that students will leave the UTC able to compete with anyone for jobs and for entry to higher education.

Will the UTC select students according to ability?

No, the UTC will not admit students on the basis of selection. In the event that there are more applications than places, there will be an independently verified process of random allocation in order to ensure fairness. The only priority criteria are certain cases of special need.

How can I apply to the UTC?

You can apply online on this website for Year 9 and 10.

You can apply online via UCAS Progress for Year 12 at www.ucasprogress.com

Paper application forms are available in both cases.

Visit the Applications section of our website

Do you have any other questions? Please contact us.
Email: admin@utcsheffield.org.uk
Or use our Contact form to send your question.


The Truth About UTC Sheffield – Three Myths Busted!

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are a newcomer to the educational landscape, and we are aware that there are some misconceptions about them.

Here, we take a look at the top three myths. If you have any queries or want to find out more, then please call us to arrange an appointment with our staff.

Myth 1: UTCs are not suitable for high achieving academic students.

Fact: This is not true.

Our students have got into top universities including Cambridge, Newcastle and Sheffield, as well as many other popular and well respected institutions, and high quality apprenticeships.

All of our students complete GCSEs or A levels as well as a technical qualification in one of five specialisms. They study academic and technical qualifications simultaneously – they do not choose one route or the other.

This dual approach really sets our students’ learning experience apart from traditional schools. Please click here to find out about our fantastic alumni who went onto study at Cambridge University.

Myth 2: UTC students study vocational qualifications and not academic ones.

Fact: This is not the case.

All of our students complete GCSEs or A levels as well as a technical qualification. Our curriculum is developed with leading universities and employers. Students develop academic, technical, personal and professional skills that equip them for top-flight universities, high quality apprenticeships and employment.

Last year, 100% of students progressed to a positive destination after completing their courses. Our academic pass rate last year was 93% for students passing their A Levels with 31% gaining A* to B grades.

Our technical qualification pass rate was 100% for creative and digital, and 96% for engineering. Please click here to find out about our amazing alumnus Tom who went onto an international career whilst also studying at Newcastle University.

Myth 3: UTC students perform poorly compared to those at other schools

Fact: This is not the case.

As with any state secondary school, UTC Sheffield is inspected by Ofsted and our City Centre campus is graded ‘good’. Our Olympic Legacy Park campus has not been inspected yet, because it opened more recently in September 2016.

It is true that we have faced some challenges with the government’s Progress 8 score, which we have addressed. Progress 8 measures a small number of core academic subjects known as the English Baccalaureate. Although these are offered at the UTC, the majority of our students do not choose to study all of these subjects. Their focus is those academic subjects that complement our advanced engineering and creative and digital technical specialisms, such as English, maths and science rather than languages, history and geography.

Even though UTCs are not required by the government to offer all of the English Baccalaureate subjects, because of our technical focus, we are still measured against it – which provides a distorted picture. Also, some of the technical subjects that our students complete do not qualify for inclusion in the government’s performance table and our learners receive a zero score, even though they achieve strongly in those specialisms which are highly valued by employers.

Finally, the UTC has less time to influence students’ progress scores, which are measured over five years from the end of primary school. Young people have joined us at the age of 14 not at aged 11, as is the case with traditional schools. Yet their educational experience for the three years prior to joining us counts on their final score, even though they have attended a different school for three fifths of the time they are measured.

We have taken all of this into account and reviewed our curriculum, so that current Year 10 and Year 11 students are being offered qualifications more compatible with the Progress 8 suite of qualifications. Current progress tracking shows the positive effect of these changes to ensure high levels of academic achievement to meet the demands of the government measures and secure the most competitive destinations.

UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus opened in September 2016. A Progress 8 score is not available yet for its first cohort. Please click here for more detailed information about our response to Progress 8.

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