Everything in one place
We've gathered a wide range of resources to help you explore the benefits of Higher Education & how to get there.Take a look
Bust some myths
- I have to live away from home if I go to Uni
- Uni doesn’t offer ‘hands-on’ work experience
- I won't get a job or a good salary after uni
- I won’t get the grades to go to university
- There's too many graduates and not enough jobs
- I can only go to Uni if I like academic subjects like Maths and English
- I will always be paying my student loan off
- I won’t be able to afford to make my student loan repayments
For many, university remains a chance to move away from home and embrace all the thrills and spills of living independently. However, an increasing number of students choose to stay at home and commute to their chosen university or college.
Having confidence in your choice, of course, remains your priority, after which, the choice of where you want to live is completely yours.
An increasing number of courses offer industry experience, for Bachelor degrees this may be referred to as a ‘Year in Industry’ or ‘Sandwich degree’. It is an opportunity to spend a year working in the industry related to your course. This is usually taken in the second or third year and gives you a great introduction to the reality of working in the job you are working towards.
On average, those with a higher education qualification will earn more over their lifetime and will be less likely to experience periods of unemployment (compared to those who leave education at age 18).
Higher education also equips students with a range of transferable skills. While some courses take you directly into a chosen profession, many employers recruit regardless of the choice of degree subject. They’re more interested in the skills you have and how you will apply them.
During your research, ask universities and colleges about opportunities to gain work experience as part of your studies. Also, explore options around higher and degree apprenticeships.
Websites such as UniStats will allow you to compare universities and their courses across a range of criteria – including graduate employability.
You will need to complete Level 3 qualifications (A level, access to higher education diploma, advanced apprenticeship) to access higher education. There is a range of courses available with a variety of different entry requirements. Don’t rule it out until you’ve looked into all the possibilities.
By 2022, the UK is predicted to not have enough graduates compared with the number of jobs demanding them! There will be a need for workers with Level 4+ qualifications – that includes degrees, as well as other vocational qualifications such as HNDs.
So there is a need for people to be going to university and gaining the skills needed for the jobs of the future!
You can study almost anything that interests you and it doesn’t have to be all academic-based. Courses can be practical, theory-based, creative – or a complete mixture.
If you like the sound of a course, find out more - what is the content of the course? How is it assessed? Speak to current students on that course – either when you visit a university or college or via online platforms such as studentroom.co.uk
Look at the course content and assessment sections to find out what type of work you’ll be doing.
Ignore misleading press headlines. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, just 17% of students will have to pay back everything they have borrowed. How long it takes depends on how much you earn, however, after 30 years, your student loan is wiped regardless of how much you have left to pay.
According to Martin Lewis from moneysavingexpert.com:
“What you repay solely depends on what you earn after university. In effect, this is financially a ‘no win no fee’ education. Those who earn a lot after leaving university will repay a lot. Those who don’t gain too much financially from going to university will repay little or nothing."
You do not start repaying anything you have borrowed until you start earning £25,000 or more after you have graduated. Repayments are taken each month from your salary and are charged at 9% of what you earn.
Let us help you answer those big questions
What are my higher education options?
Take a look at the variety of qualifications and courses you can take after finishing Level 3.
Which Uni 4 me?
Universities and further education colleges come in all shapes and sizes and there are plenty of factors to consider when making your choice.
Higher education costs money, but everyone is entitled to some form of financial support, so money should not be a deciding factor in choosing whether or not to study higher education.
What other learners have to say
I just wanted to say a massive, huge thanks to you again for organizing the event. I’m beyond grateful for being able to attend something so fab! It’s been such a useful 3 days that I will carry with me for the rest of my acting ca...Blanca Corbelli
Uni:4U Performing Arts, Arden School of Theatre and PerformanceRead Blanca Corbellis story
The programme had an impact in a way where I’ve gained a greater insight into the young people of today…It’s eye-opening with what dreams they have and what they would like to achieve in their lives. Working on the programme has been ben...Phill Evans
Mentor, Y12 MentoringRead Phill Evans story
The Higher Education Thesaurus
Money awarded by a university/college that does not have to be repaid. Given as a result of strong Level 3 grades, or acknowledge personal circumstances.
The grounds and buildings where a university or college is based
Further Education (FE)
The compulsory study that is taken at age 16+ (after your GCSEs) eg. A Levels or BTECs
Awarded when you complete your undergraduate studies – which typically takes three years
Each university or college course will make an “ask” of you – around sitting certain qualifications or achieving certain grades. If you are worried that you may not meet the exact requirements, always speak to the university/college first
The title you receive when you complete your higher education course
Halls of Residence
Purpose-built accommodation, owned by universities or privately owned, popular with first-year students
Higher Education (HE)
Optional study that is taken from age 18+, after completing Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A Levels, BTECs)
Information, advice and guidance
The name of the university, college or private company where you will study
A presentation in front of a large gathering of students where the key principles or concepts of a topic will be given
Money that can be borrowed from the government to cover your tuition fees and living costs
An important part of your UCAS application. Your opportunity to describe your ambitions, skills and experience
Additional study that can be taken after you complete your undergraduate studies (typically from age 21+). Qualifications include a Masters or a Doctorate (also known as a PhD)
Money awarded by a university/college, or a business or a charity, that does not have to be repaid. Often to recognise academic achievements, showing excellence in a particular field (e.g. music, sport); or overcoming adversity.
A small class, typically a follow-up to a lecture, where students can discuss topics in more detail
A group of people with shared interests, who form a social club, usually with help from their Student Union
An organisation, found in all universities and colleges, that is run by students for students. Often the hub for social activities. Also provides support on academic and welfare issues
Either a small group meeting or individual meeting, with an academic member of staff
‘Universities and Colleges Admissions Service’. The organisation which manages applications to study full-time at a university or college
UCAS tariff points
A system, used by some universities and colleges, for course entry requirements
Courses for those who are studying higher education for the first time. The most common being an undergraduate (Bachelors’) degree
Full time study
The most common way, at age 18+, to study for a higher education qualification. Ask about the number of ‘contact hours’ for your chosen courses before you apply
Part time study
An option for many courses and popular with those returning to education after a break (e.g. those with parenting responsibilities)
A choice to study online and remotely. You can learn at your own pace.
Not all courses offer this, so it is always better to check
On-the-job learning, supported by university and college tutors
Uni:4U is a programme of free events that take place across Greater Manchester. They give you the chance to gain experience of university life, through taking part in activities and working with current HE students and students from other schools. Some of our Uni:4U events are residential, which provides the opportunity for you to stay in halls of residence.
For all events, food and transport are provided.Download our Uni:4U programme
All communication is via Brightside’s online platform, which means secure access anytime, anywhere! You will be matched with an online mentor and they will send and receive messages, and complete e-learning activities designed to support you.
HE Explore Programme
Duration: 12 weeks
You will receive support with the researching of institution/course choices, including what to do at open days. Your mentors will be a current HE student.