Where to study
Choosing the right university or college can make all the difference. There are many different kinds of college and university, each with their own distinctive mission, character, facilities, support, and student profile. Here are some things to consider:
Stay closer to home?
Increasingly, higher education courses are also available at further education colleges. For students who want to stay close to home, or save travel or relocation expenses, this widens the number of options available locally.
Full-time, part-time, or distance learning?
A significant number of mature students opt for part-time study. For some, this is primarily to fit around work or family commitments, while others simply feel more comfortable with this mode of study.
UCAS search tool gives you more information about the type, length, and level of courses on offer.
The admissions teams at each university and college can also advise you on studying part-time.
Distance learning can provide a flexible approach to studying for a qualification by allowing you to study remotely, so that you can learn in your own time, wherever you choose.
Other options include work-based learning (WBL) and blended learning.
If you're currently in work and are considering higher education, a degree apprenticeship may be an option that you hadn't previously considered.
Degree apprenticeships are educational programmes developed by employers, universities, and professional bodies. They combine working with part-time study. Apprentices are employed throughout the programme – they spend part of their time at university, and the rest with their employer.
Employers and the government pay for the degree, and you receive a salary while studying.
Most applicants find it very useful to attend open days. They’ll give you an opportunity to look at the academic facilities, accommodation, the students’ union, and to ask questions. It also gives you a chance to meet and chat to current students, and to discuss any support needs you may have with the student support team. It’s advisable to attend an open day before you apply for a course, so take every opportunity to visit places that interest you.