When people consider higher education, they tend to think of degree courses. There are, however, several other qualifications that can be gained at university or college. View the types of courses available at higher education level
A list of available courses is on the Course Search section of this website: your son or daughter can choose to search by subject, qualification, location, institution, course code and other specific options. This search tool provides Entry Profiles for some courses, which include general information about the course (including grades and Tariff points required) and institution, with links to the institution's website.
Some subjects require applicants to take an admissions test for particular institutions. Although it can be daunting, passing the test is a valuable experience which can also prepare your son or daughter for the work they will encounter on the course. Here are some of the admissions tests required
The UCAS Tariff is a points system used to report achievement for entry to higher education in a numerical format. It establishes agreed comparability between different types of qualifications and provides comparisons between applicants with different types and volumes of achievement.
View more information about the Tariff and the qualifications included.
If your son or daughter wishes to study more than one subject - for example, German and accountancy - they may be able to combine the subjects into one qualification. Some universities and colleges are more flexible about subject combinations than others and so a lot depends on where they choose to study.The length of time spent on each subject can often be chosen by the student:
joint: the two subjects are studied equally, 50/50
major/minor: the time spent is usually 75%/25%.
Certain vocational courses require the student to spend a year in industry, working that year as part of the course. This will usually be for the third year of a degree course or the second year of an HND and, depending on the employer, may be full-time paid employment. The purpose of this is to introduce students to the world of work, whilst gaining valuable experience in a profession they might consider after completing their higher education course.
With some four-year language courses, students study abroad in their third year. The focus of the year abroad is to learn the language of another country while living in that country, which will improve their understanding. They would probably work within a school, teaching English. They would be assigned to a teacher who would help them throughout the year. Not only does this strengthen their language skills, it can also improve their confidence and independence. Those studying two languages may be able to spend time in each of two different countries where the languages are spoken.
Some courses will cost more than others, depending on the subject studied and the length of the course. For example, studying to become a doctor can last six or seven years, whereas gaining a psychology degree usually takes three years, so the tuition fees for medicine will be much higher overall. Course Search has more information about specific course fees.