The Royal Belfast Academical Institution


Head of Department: Mr. D. O'Neill

Members of Department:

  • Mr. C. Leathley (Head of Higher Education)
  • Mr. G. Russell (Senior Careers Advisor)
  • Mr. A. Douglas (Oxford and Cambridge Advisor)
  • Mr. S. Gamble (Head of Year 12 Careers)
  • Mr. S. McMullan (Head of Year 10 Careers)

Teaching and Learning:

Years 8 & 9

Pupils need to develop a much broader base of skills, knowledge and understanding, particularly in relation to career planning as early as possible in the post-primary school. This is essential, bearing in mind that pupils will be expected to make decisions and choices mid-way through Year 10. Therefore right from Year 8 all boys at Inst are delivered an Education for Employability module as part of Learning For Life and Work (LLW). The individual lessons incorporate 4 key dimensions:

  • Work in the Local and Global Economy
  • Career Management
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Skills and Qualities for Work

The whole thrust of this module in Year 8&9 is to enable each pupil to begin to plan their own personal career development on a more informed basis. Such a basis should then contribute to them making a more rationale career decision in later years.


Year 10

The Careers department begins to play a bigger role at the end of Key Stage 3, when pupils are in Year 10. Before pupils make their vital GCSE choices, they are provided with detailed Careers Information, Advice and Guidance, to enable them to make informed choices. The Year 10 Careers Programme is outlined as follows:


Careers Event


  • 12 week Careers Module, delivered 1 period per week through Employability, designed to prepare the boys for making their GCSE choices


  • Introduction to Careers Programme.
  • Careers Library Tour


  • Year 10 Careers Day
  • End of Key Stage Information Evening (Parents only)
  • Project Business, run by Head of Business Studies.


  • GCSE Options Talk, Department of Employment and Learning.
  • Individual Careers Interviews
  • ‘Bring IT on’ event, underlining variety of careers available in IT sector.


  • Deadline for pupils making their GCSE Choices.


Key Stage 4

Year 11

In Year 11&12 pupils are again taken through the Education for Employability

Programme. In Year 11 the focus is on:

  1. Work in the Local and Global Economy
  2. Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

In addition in Year 11 pupils will take part in an ‘Entrepreneurship Master-class’ event, run by the Business Studies department at Inst.


Year 12

In Year 12 pupils are taken through the Employability programme with the focus very much on Career Management, with an additional module on Work in the Local and Global Economy. There is 1 period per week of Employability – this is broken up into two sections:

  • Section A: This focuses on Career Management (identifying skills & qualities, target setting, personal career planning, post-16 options). At the end of this section the boys will produce an ‘Action Plan’.
  • Section B: The main focus is on Recruitment and Selection (where to look for jobs, applications, interviews). At the end of this section the boys will produce a CV.

In addition, pupils will be provided with the following careers education, information, advice and guidance:

  • Career/ Options Post 16 Presentation
  • A one-to-one interview with both Mr Gamble (Head of Year 12 Careers) and a DE Careers Adviser
  • Attendance at the Annual RBAI Careers Convention (March)- with over

80 Career professions and Universities in attendance!

  • The opportunity to attend weekly talks on specific career areas (e.g. Armed Forces, Media, Law, Medicine, Pathology, Engineering, ICT Industry, Accountancy).


Key Stage 5

The majority of our sixth form pupils proceed on to Higher Education. In preparation the Careers Department delivers a comprehensive weekly Careers Programme to ensure all our pupils have the most up-to-date information, guidance and advice to enable them to choose the correct career pathway most suited for them. In addition a number of guest speakers will be visiting the school to deliver talks on a variety of careers and career-related issues.

Every year we have sixth formers who are prepared for and gain entry to Oxford and Cambridge University. The schools’ Oxbridge Adviser, Mr. Douglas, advises and supports all RBAI Oxbridge applicants through this rigorous process.

In addition to the weekly careers programme, the Careers Department also provided the following for our 6th form pupils:


Year 13

  • The Annual RBAI Careers Convention (over 80 Universities and Career professions in attendance)
  • Work placement (3 days max) anytime during the first two terms.
  • The opportunity to attend talks on specific career areas (e.g. Media, Law, Medicine, Pathology, Engineering, ICT Industry, Accountancy, Belfast Metropolitan College)
  • General talks (e.g. GAP year, What Graduates Do, InvestNI, Post 18 Options)
  • Preparation guidance for applying to Universities/Colleges through the UCAS system
  • A one-to-one interview with the Higher Education Adviser/Head of Careers/6th form team
  • A Higher Education Information Evening for parents (February)


Year 14

  • Completion of UCAS forms (Sep/Oct)
  • Attendance at University Open Days (e.g. QUB, UU)
  • Presentations by staff & guest speakers (e.g. Interview skills, Student Finance, Preparing for Student Life, School Leaver Programmes)


22 2024
GCSE Results Day
27 2024
Scouts International Jamboree - Summer Camp
14 2024
AS/A2 Results Day
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2024 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution