The first step is securing your place. Apart from waiting for your exam results, check whether you need to do anything else to get your place.
Your uni or college might have given you other conditions, like health or financial requirements, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) checks.
If you have a student loan or funding, check that all the details are sorted. Before you can be paid your first loan instalment, make sure:
- you've submitted your application and all the correct supporting evidence
- your uni or college and course details are up to date (they may have changed since you originally applied) - use your online account to update these if you need to
- your bank details are correct on your application – check your online account
- you've signed and returned your declaration form
- you've registered at your uni or college
- your uni or college has confirmed your attendance to the Student Loans Company (SLC)
- you’ve allowed a few working days for the funds to be paid into your bank account
Many students also choose to open a student account with a bank or building society. These sometimes come with freebies and other useful features like student overdrafts.
Going through Clearing could affect how much student finance you can get – find out what you need to do now.
Studying at uni is different than at school or college. It’s a different type of learning which is more independently led.
We’ve worked with the National Extension College (NEC) to produce a set of study skills guides to help you get ready for studying. You might also want to:
- check resources on the uni website to see what support they have for new students
- ask the uni about study skills sessions and workshops that can help with any knowledge or skills gaps
- check if there’s a pre-reading list for your course that you can get ahead with or any research you need to do before you start
Finding somewhere you'll be happy to live is an important consideration when you're deciding where you want to study. There are lots of options, from halls to shared houses. To help you make the right choice, use our accommodation search to research your options and find both uni and private student accommodation.
You also need to think about insurance, bills, and other supplies.
Look at the uni’s website or get in touch with them to discuss accommodation. Even if you’re waiting for exam results, it’s best to check where you could live if you do get the place.
Make sure the uni is the right fit for you. Make sure you’ve researched the following things:
- If you’re moving away, you’ll need to plan your moving day and how you’re getting there, as well as what transport routes you might need to get to your campus.
- It’s a good idea to research the area and the societies and events the students’ union provides.
It’s important to keep yourself safe wherever you are, but especially when you’re somewhere new, like at university. Stay one step ahead and always protect yourself and your stuff.
Ten top tips from the police for staying safe at uni
- Lock up: make sure your doors and windows are always locked securely
- Hide your gadgets: don’t leave your keys or gadgets like laptops and phones out on display
- Not expecting visitors?: don't answer your door to anyone you don’t know or aren’t expecting
- Back it up: always back up your personal data and uni work to a separate source, in case your laptop gets stolen, lost, or broken
- Heading on a night out?: make sure everyone gets home safely and no-one is left by themselves
- Think about your online presence: check what other people can see about you. Set your privacy settings accordingly if you only want people you know to see your posts and stories
- Keep a list and photos of any valuables: including serial numbers for gadgets. Insurance companies won’t pay out unless you can prove your claim; sending photos and precise descriptions of your stolen items will help. You can use an ultraviolet pen to mark your property. This is invisible but can be detected with a special light
- Engage locally: each area of the UK has its own safety initiatives, and the police often visit campuses to talk about them. Try and attend these talks where you can for more tips
- Spotted a crime?: call 999 straightaway. Want to report a crime which has already happened? Call 101.
The different police forces across the UK will be able to provide you with specific advice about the area you’re living in and what they can do to help you.
More about getting ready for uni
Check out our getting ready for higher education page for resources around studying, wellbeing, friendships, moving away from home, and more.