The World of Work is ever-changing, with businesses seeing their markets and their working lives changed by globalisation, technological innovation and the information technology revolution. With these facts in mind RBAI realises that Careers Guidance is more important than it has ever been. The school is fully committed to ensuring all our pupils receive comprehensive Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) to prepare them for adult and working life.

The Careers Department at R.B.A.I. is a busy, forward thinking department with the aim of equipping the pupils with the skills and decision-making strategies required to make informed choices in line with their career aspirations.


CEIAG is provided throughout the school by the Staff of the Careers Department:

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





Emerging Instonian Engineer Takes Lead on Fifteen Billion Pound Rail Project

Eagle eyed viewers of the BBC’s The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway this week will have spotted a young Belfast engineer, Paul Chambers, take a leading role in solving a major challenge during the development of Paddington’s Cross Rail Station.


Paddington is one of ten new stations making up Crossrail, the largest construction project in Europe, and the most significant enhancement to the London Underground network since it opened in 1863.

Paul, who attended RBAI between 2004-11, gained an MEng in Civil Engineering from Durham University, before joining Skanska UK, one of the world’s leading project development and construction companies.

In 2016 Paul was recognised internationally for engineering excellence after

winning a prestigious award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). 


The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway is currently available on the BBC iPlayer, and you can see Paul feature after 30 minutes, and 48 minutes:

Key Stages 3 & 4


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
  • Enterpriseand 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
  • A one-to-one interview with Mr McMullan (Year 10 Careers Adviser). *These interviews will take place from Oct-Feb.
  • STEM Careers Awareness Event


  • GCSE Options and Careers Information session, delivered by Head of Careers and Head of KS4.


  • Higher Education Courses and Student Life,  delivered byQueensUniversity,Belfast
  • Project Business, run by Head of Business Studies.


  • GCSE Options Talk, Department of Employment and Learning.
  • End of Key Stage Information Evening (Parents only)
  • ‘Bring IT on’ event, underlining variety of careers available in IT sector.


  • Deadline for pupils making their GCSE Choices. (May vary from year to year. Check school calendar).


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. Enterpriseand 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 either Mr Gamble (Year 12 Careers Adviser) or a DEL Careers Adviser
  • Attendance at the Annual RBAI Careers Convention (March)- with over 60 Universities and Career professions in attendance!
  • The opportunity to attend weekly talks on specific career areas (e.g. Armed Forces, Media, Law, Medicine, Pathology, Chemical Engineering, Software Engineering, Sports Studies, Accountancy, Belfast Metropolitan College).

Key Stage 5

KEY STAGE 5 (YEARS 13 & 14)

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 toOxfordandCambridgeUniversity. 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 60 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, Chemical Engineering, Software Engineering, Sports Studies, Accountancy, Belfast Metropolitan College)
  • General talks (e.g. GAP year, What Graduates Do, InvestNI)
  • Preparation guidance for applying to Universities/Colleges through the UCAS system
  • A one-to-one interview with the Higher Education Adviser/Head of Careers/The Principal
  • 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)

Key Dates/Deadlines


Event Date Time Location Who should attend

Higher Education Information Evening

Wednesday 26th February



Year 13 Parents (no boys)

Annual Careers Convention

Thurs 6th March

7.00 - 9.00pm

Common Hall and Large Gym

Years 12 & 13 and their Parents

Year 10 Individual Careers Interviews

Mon 8th January - Fri 12th Jan



Year 13 Parents only

Higher Education Evening Wed 21st February 7.00 - 8.30pm    
Careers Convention Thur 1st March 7.00 - 9.00   Years 12 & 13


September 2013

Wednesday 11th  – UU Open Day (Year 14)

Thursday 12th - QUB Open Day (Year 14)

Friday 13th – Deadline for pupil completion of UCAS forms for Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry/Veterinary Science applicants (Year 14)

Friday 27th – Deadline for pupil completion of UCAS forms for remaining applicants (Year 14)

October 2013

Tuesday 15th – UCAS deadline for receipt of completed applications for Oxbridge/Medicine/Dentistry/Veterinary Science (Year 14)

January 2014

Wednesday 15th - Deadline for receipt of all completed UCAS applications (Year 14)

February 2014

Saturday 1st- CAO Application Deadine

Career websites


  1. Careers Information, Guidance and Advice:
  • -  Very good website to gain additional careers information, guidance and advice. Pupils are encouraged to go to the A-Z  of Careers link, which brings them onto the Cascaid website. Pupils can then find a range of very useful information including subject links to careers, Higher Education Information and Career families.
  • allows pupils to complete personality quizzes and research jobs.
  • is an online library of career films, news and information helping pupils find the right career.
  • provides case studies and videos on real people who followed their dreams and built their career around their interests.
  • has excellent resources and videos for all subjects.
  • provides information on the full range of careers and further links to research these careers. 
  • Careers in the Creative Industries sector (e.g computer games, animation, film, screen writing, digital media):

   2.  University Application/Courses:

  3.  Further Education Courses:

  4.  Armed Forces:

  5.  Gap Year Info: