Study Support

DLD College students have access to a range of support outside the class timetable to improve their studies.


Director of UCAS: Daniel Woodley

DLD is proud to have an extremely high entry rate to universities each year, placing students at prestigious institutions in an incredibly wide range of disciplines. This is proof that students and academic references from DLD are unanimously respected and are greeted with high expectations.

In the 2022-2023 cycle, 160 year 13 and year 14 students applied through UCAS and many more applied to non-UK universities in Europe and North America. This cohort is growing, and roughly 200 students are expected to university in the 2023-2024 cycle.

At DLD, students are advised by a dedicated team of University Admissions Tutors (UATs), led by the Head of Universities. The UAT system ensures that applicants are known well by their referees, who are able to guide them in making appropriate choices of course and institution.

Preparation commences in the Spring Term of Year 12 to ensure that students are ready to apply in good time in the autumn. Preparation of new Year 14 students commences as soon as they begin their IFP Programme in September.

UATs offer advice on how students can enhance their academic and extra-curricular profiles; this is necessary to compose a unique and impressive Personal Statement and to evidence academic achievement and relevant work experience.

Throughout the academic year we provide a series of presentations to guide students through the process of completing their online UCAS applications and to prepare them where necessary for academic interviews. Guidance is also provided on broader themes to introduce students to the wider cultural and historical knowledge that will be expected of them at university, and insights into the changing global labour market is provided by the Head of Careers.

University Admissions Tutors at DLD

Managing students’ university applications is a key function of the college. A dedicated team exists to advise students on university admissions and career choices. This team consists of:

  • Head of Universities (Dr Daniel Woodley)
  • Head of Careers (Mr Paul Schoonenberg)
  • Seven University Admissions Tutors (UATs)

This team works with students and parents to advise on the most appropriate courses linked to interest, future careers and previous and academic level. Each student is given extensive individual and tailored support to ensure they apply for the right university courses. For students wishing to pursue a career or other training after DLD College, advice and guidance will be offered and this is usually designed specifically for individual cases or targeted groups rather than delivered en masse to large cohorts.

Students are responsible for completing the online application form with guidance/support from UATs. They must enter: Personal details, Course Choices, Education, Employment and Personal Statement. Specific guidance is given on choosing appropriate universities, courses, entry requirements, English and Maths qualifications, etc. UATs must also check that their international students meet their T4 visa requirements (continuous academic progression).

The online application form must be completed in the year before university progression. All external deadlines set by UCAS and all internal deadlines set by the Head of Universities must be met.

For the UCAS cycle to run smoothly, students and staff are mindful of deadlines – which are essential to ensure that key stages in the cycle are completed and that all applications are given equal treatment by the universities.

UATs are responsible for ensuring that the students under their supervision are aware of the key external and internal deadlines. Students also have an obligation to meet deadlines and are supported in this by teaching staff and Heads of House.


Head of Universities: Dr Daniel Woodley

The Russell Group is a consortium of the UK’s most powerful research universities, among the most prestigious and respected in the world. A large proportion of DLD students secure places in the Russell Group, and in 2023 two students won offers to Oxford and Cambridge respectively. The most popular Russell Group destinations for DLD students include Queen Mary University in London, The University of Warwick, St Andrews, UCL and King’s College.

University Admissions Tutors identify potential high-flyers in year 11 and year 12 to prepare them for applying to competitive higher education providers in a range of academic disciplines. DLD provides a tailored schedule of practice sessions in the autumn term to prepare applicants for challenging admissions interviews at Imperial College London, Oxford and Cambridge which take place in December.


At DLD College London we celebrate diversity within our mission statement, and this includes neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity rejects the idea that there is one “normal” or “healthy” type of brain, or one “right” style of neurocognitive functioning.


Celebrating Strengths within Neurodiversity

We recognise that every young person experiences the world, processes information and acquires knowledge and skills in different ways. This means that each student at DLD College London will have a unique range of strengths and challenges.

We value creativity, ability to think outside-the-box, problem-solving skills, unique insights and perspectives, as well as perseverance and resilience.


Supporting Challenges within Neurodiversity

To try to remove some of the barriers that young people may face day to day, we have a neurodiversity department and wellbeing team within college who support the needs of students who may find some aspect of learning or college life challenging.

Feedback from students who are comfortable with an academic challenge but who struggle in a busy environment often report that the small classes at DLD College London can help them to learn.


Neurodiversity department 

The Neurodiversity department works closely with teaching staff to ensure that individual learner’s needs are met within the classroom. We also ensure that opportunities arise to meet fellow students with similar interests in a structured and safe environment, such as bespoke Co-Curricular Activities.

Our Head of Learning Support, Kymberlee Biggs can be contacted by email



Students have access to college counsellors and as part of a holistic approach to wellbeing, which is independent but integrated into DLD. Students who wish to access this provision are assessed in the first instance to ascertain level of need and where we cannot support that with our counselling provision, we offer support with referrals to specialist external providers e.g. CAMHS & Clinical Partners.



DLD makes decisions about admissions with a student’s best interests at heart. At the point of admissions, we make an honest and informed decisions about how best to support neurodiverse young people within DLD by taking on board all the information provided. For any further questions, please contact the admissions team here or call us on +44 (0)20 7935 8411.


We offer a range of Academic English courses based on students’ individual needs and aspirations. Outlines of these courses are provided below.


Academic English forms the educational foundation for any international student studying with us, whatever course they follow, as English is the language for both teaching and learning.

Every student’s language target is to achieve a minimum of 6.5 in the IELTS exam (International English Language Testing System). It is compulsory to study this course until this is achieved, although we recommend students study beyond this score. There are various courses to follow to do this, depending on the English level at the start (which we will assess upon arrival).

The IELTS exam is as important as any A level subjects, Foundation course, BTEC qualification or GCSE and must be taken alongside these, because the demonstration of academic English skills of a certain level (generally 6.5) is a pre-requisite for entry to all good universities. Further to this, universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial and UCL often ask for 7.0/7.5.

This exam focusses not only on the four main language skills areas (reading, writing, speaking and istening) but also on the academic learning skills required through the sixth form, into university and beyond; for example, discursive essay writing, argument analysis and note-taking.

At DLD, we believe in an integrated skills and topic based approach to learning, as language is learnt best in context. Wherever possible, we will link the relevance of our lessons to the other subjects across the curriculum. We believe strongly in working together with other subjects, in order to help you more easily, and successfully, understand and work with the language of your subject. Therefore, you will see strong connections between how all subjects present and work with language, so that you can have a collective and consistent learning experience.

DLD College London has been a British Council approved IELTS exam centre since 2018.


At interview, the College will establish which main course you should study for and place you at the correct point in this progression table for the Academic English component:

2 Year GCSE students will study and prepare for:
PET Preliminary English Test
APC (Academic Preparation Course) and 1 Year GCSE students will study and prepare for:
Years 12 to 14 will be placed in one of the two following levels:
IELTS 1 Bands 4.0 to 5.0
IELTS 2 Band 5.5+
in preparation for the IELTS exam.

These exams are all paper-based and externally assessed, with an even ‘mark weight’ balance across the four main skills areas.