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Key Professions Programme gives opportunities to show commitment to your chosen subject and allows universities to look beyond your academic grades.

Our innovative CATS Key Professions Programme (KPP) offers a range of targeted support, advice, guidance and extra-curricular activities to set you on the path to a successful career. We’ll help you research your career, plan your route and develop the skills to achieve it. Choosing the ideal combination of subjects in your academic qualifications is perhaps the most important first step in preparing for university and also your chosen career. That’s why we offer discipline-specific guidance, which you can read more about on the following pages.

Available at every CATS college, the Key Professions Programme supplements your academic study and is open to all students.

your career

your route

your skills

Research your career

If you have a clear idea about the profession you want to enter, we will give you the support you need to prepare for the appropriate degree. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clear idea; we’ll help you discover new interests, develop your strengths and learn new skills.

Plan your route

Choosing the right combination of subjects is essential to give you the best chance of getting a place on your chosen degree. We’ll give you subject guidance and talk to you about the range of degrees on offer so that you can achieve your career ambitions.

Develop your skills

Develop the skills you need to succeed on the Key Professions Programme. It comprises:
▪ university visits, lectures and application support;
▪ career preparation;
▪ personal development opportunities.

Extra-curricular activities

We offer a range of different extra opportunities designed to stretch your knowledge and passion, including science Olympiads and competitions, Maths Challenges, Business days, the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge competition, BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) preparation and UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) classes. We also have a range of clubs to extend your subject practice, such as robotics society for engineers or debating society for aspiring lawyers.

Visiting speakers

Including: lawyers, architects, bankers, representatives from the finance and accounting sectors, doctors, researchers and students from policy groups. We also host regular talks from University Admissions Tutors, Masters, Dons and alumni.


Visits to places relevant to your planned career e.g. financial, legal and political institutions, professional bodies or landmarks. We also host visits to universities – including visiting faculties specific to your target degree course – and to relevant profession conferences.

Career Research placements in holiday periods

If your university course requires experience in the workplace, we help you organise a placement that gives you a unique learning opportunity. Recent CATS students have worked with international charity the British Red Cross, the NHS, as well as with architects and local businesses.

University exam preparation

To ensure that your journey to university is well prepared, we support you with specialist classes on the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) and UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). We are also a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Centre, meaning that we can offer extra support if you want to sit American entrance exams.

Meeting with professionals

We are keen for all of our students to get real-world experience by taking part in an interview with a professional company. We also provide subject specific support – for example, Law students take part in mock trials lead by industry professionals, and Economics students create their own companies supported by local Business advisors.

Global academic development competitions and challenges

To make sure your university application stands out, we will enter you in competitions and events in your chosen field of study. From Maths Challenges and Science Olympiads to Essay competitions, the Extended Project Qualification and Business Challenges, we allow you to expand your interests. Recently our students won first place in an engineering contest, allowing their names to be written on the fastest car in the world.

Mock interview preparation

We want all of our students to feel as prepared and confident as possible when applying to university. If your university requires you to attend an interview we ensure that you have several practice interviews tailored to the specific style of your prospective university – these are held with staff experienced in admissions so that you can achieve your best.

Application assistance

We help you with your personal statement and any additional information/work requested by universities. You will also receive one-to-one tutoring when needed.