2016-17: Key dates for the year ahead

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Academic calendar

With an action-packed year in front of you, it's good to plan ahead. That's why we've brought together all the key dates for you – from UCAS application deadlines and closing dates for school leaver opportunities, to term dates, exams and results days.

We'll be updating our careers and academic calendar throughout the year – so don't forget to save it to your bookmarks! And let us know if we've forgotten anything.

September

30th: 2016 clearing vacancies removed from UCAS site

You can still apply for clearing vacancies up to the 20th October, but you won't be able to search for them on UCAS after this date.

October

1st: Music conservatoire applications deadline

If you're applying for a music course, you need to make sure your UCAS application is submitted no later than this date. For other performing arts courses, check the college, university or conservatoire website to find out the deadline.

10th: World Mental Health Awareness Day

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It's something you should particularly look after at times of change, such as when you go to university or start your first job. Exams can also be a time of anxiety. Make sure you know how to cope with stress.

12th: Yom Kippur (Judaism)

15th: Deadline for UCAS applications for Oxbridge applicants

If you're applying to Oxbridge, you must submit your application by 6pm on this date. You should also visit your department's website to find out whether you need to complete any tests outside UCAS as part of your application. Cambridge will email you a questionnaire to fill in once they've received your UCAS application.

15th: Deadline for UCAS applications for medicine, veterinary science and dentistry applicants

UCAS applications are due for most medical courses by 6pm on this date. Double check the details for your course on the UCAS website.

20th: Last date to apply for 2016 university entry through clearing

This is the last date for you to apply to university through UCAS clearing. It's also the final date for universities and colleges to make their decision about clearing applicants.

21sh: Schools/colleges break up for half-term holiday*

30th: Divali (Hinduism)

31st: Term resumes*

November

2nd: National Stress Awareness Day

Another reminder of the importance of good mental health, and finding the right balance between your home life and your school/college or work life. If exams, coursework, university and work applications have left you feeling anxious, start with our guide to coping with stress and talk to someone if you're not managing. It's important to learn to manage stress early on as it can be a factor at all stages in your career.

8th: US general election

25th: Black Friday

Traditionally, this is when the high-street goes crazy before Christmas, and it's quickly followed by online by Cyber Monday after the weekend. If all this excitement gives you shopping fever, it could be time to think about careers in retail and merchandising.

December

1st: Giving Tuesday

If the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is all too materialistic for your liking, Giving Tuesday could be your chance to find some peace and quiet by thinking about how you might give something back. If contributing something to the world is important to you, a career with a charity or non-profit organisation might be a good career choice, so now's your time to find out about the options and give it some serious thought.

2nd: British Mathematics Olympiad 1

If you've seen the movie X+Y, you'll know what we're talking about. The BMO is the UK version of the maths challenge from the film. Today's the day when star mathematicians from up and down the country compete in one of the toughest and most prestigious events of the calendar. If you live and breathe maths and are thinking about taking it on at university, this could be the perfect opportunity to push yourself to the limit. Talk to your maths teacher if you're interested.

2nd: Team Mathematics Challenge and Senior Team Mathematics Challenge deadlines

The next step down from the BMO, these two challenges give young mathematicians of all ages the chance to compete in regional heats. Today's the deadline, so if you want to get a team together, make sure your maths teacher knows about it well in advance.

16th: Term ends*

25th: Christmas Day (Christianity)

31st: IBM Futures Gap Year Programme deadline for 2017 entry

If you've got a knack for solving problems, have bags of enthusiasm and love to take charge of a project, but are unsure whether to head to uni or embark on your career, IBM's gap year programme could be perfect for you. Try out your talents on a one-year placement in the world of work. Interested? The deadline's on 31st December, so give yourself plenty of time to put your application together.

January

TBC: Applications open for IBM apprenticeship scheme

IBM love to adapt their technology to suit the times, and they’re looking for talent, energy enthusiasm, not outstanding grades, in the next generation of apprentices. January sees applications open for apprenticeships starting in summer 2017, so if you've been thinking about a career in business or computing, make sure you give this incredible opportunity some serious thought.

3rd: Term begins*

15th: Deadline for UCAS applications

All university and college applications for autumn 2017 must be submitted to UCAS by this date.

February

7th: Senior Team Maths Challenge (Years 11-13)

10th: Schools/colleges break up for half-term holiday*

20th: Term resumes*

March 

1st: Start of Lent (Christianity)

TBC National Apprenticeship Week

Apprenticeships are a real alternative to university today, with higher and degree apprenticeships often offering the chance to work towards a degree while training for a high-skilled job in areas as varied as engineering, law, technology and management. National Apprenticeship Week shines the spotlight on what you can get out of an apprenticeship, but whatever career you're planning, we give the apprenticeship option some proper thought.

6th-10th: National Careers Week

It's highly likely you'll spend the next four to five decades of your life in the world of work, and when you're busy with exams, school work and – let's be honest – having some fun as well, it's not always clear how much can depend on the decisions you make in your late teens. National Careers Week takes place every year to get young people thinking about the right career and how to prepare for it through education and work experience, and by gaining relevant skills.

10th-19th: British Science Week

It's a hands-on week to help you connect what you learn in the classroom with what's going on in the real-world – and see how you might take maths, physics, technology and other science-based subjects into your career. Talk to your teachers to get your school involved.

13th: Holi (Hinduism)

31st: Term ends*

April

10th-18th: Passover/Pesach (Judaism)

13th: End of Lent (Christianity)

14th: Good Friday (Christianity)

16th: Easter Sunday (Christianity)

17th: Easter Monday (Christianity)

24th: Term begins*

May

2nd: SQA exams (Scottish highers) begin

5th: Deadline for universities and colleges to respond to applications

If you made your UCAS application before 15th January, you should hear back from all the universities and colleges you applied to by no later than this date. You've then got till 8th June to respond to any offers you receive.

8th-14th: Mental Health Awareness Week

With exams coming up and lots of big changes on the horizon for many, it couldn't be a better time to raise the profile of mental health problems – which afflict many more people than you perhaps think. If you suffer yourself, remember that you're not alone, and that there's plenty you can do to help you manage. If you haven't had problems in the past, now is a good time to listen to and be there for friends who do suffer – and to build your own emotional resilience to help you cope with the challenges ahead of you, whether it's at school/college, university, work or home.

12th: GCSE exams begin (most start 15th)

Exams are here. Eek! Whether you're headed for GCSEs or A-levels, you'll want to plan your revision carefully – and actually have some idea about how to do it.

15th: A-level exams begin

26th: Schools/colleges break up for half-term holiday*

June

2nd: SQA exams (Scottish highers) finish

5th: Term resumes*

8th: Deadline for responses to university and college offers

Make sure you've responded to any offers you've received by this date, otherwise you may not be heading off to university in the autumn.

28th: GCSE exams finish

29th: A-level exams finish

July

14th: Term ends*

Don't waste your summer! Use it to think about your ideal career path and get skills and experience through work experience. Find out how.

August

8th: Scottish higher results received by post

17th: A-level results day

Feeling a little anxious? Find out what to expect and how to beat those nerves. If you worked hard, the chances are things will go as you expected or even better, but sometimes, things don't go quite as you wanted. Find out about the many things you do if your exam results aren't quite what you were hoping for.

24th: GCSE results day

31st: UCAS Adjustment deadline

UCAS Adjustment lets you find university places with higher entry requirements if your exam results are better than you expected.

September

20th: Final UCAS deadline for regular applicants starting in 2017

30th: UCAS clearing vacancies removed from UCAS site

Don't forget, if your exam results weren't quite what you were hoping for, there are plenty of alternatives to university. But if you decide uni's for you, UCAS clearing is your way to find a place with more suitable entry requirements.

October

23rd: Last date for UCAS clearing choices

We hope you found our careers and academic calendar useful – please let us know if anything's missing. To get the latest opportunities and careers advice straight to your inbox, sign up for a free account and get our email newsletter.

* Term dates used are Mondays and Fridays (unless Bank Holidays) closest to the most common holiday periods for schools in England and Wales, as taken from School Holidays Europe.

Image credits

https://www.flickr.com/photos/puresugar/20277848564

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