Preparing for HE study

Futurelearn is an online learning website. There are lots of short courses to explore that have been put together by universities and industry experts.

Our top pick is their Preparing for University short course:

It’s free and you can learn at your own pace. This is great preparation for university learning. It covers topics such as critical thinking, referencing, text or data analysis, and structuring an argument.

Most university websites will provide help and support with the skills needed to be successful at university. For example, The University of Manchester’s library has online resources about how teaching is organised and the skills that are needed to be a successful student:

Once you start your studies, you’ll be able to access a lot more.

If you’re leaving home to go to university, make sure you have applied for accommodation and you keep up-to-speed with how things will look like when you start your course.

It is certain that social distancing will be in place on campus at the start of term and it is up to your firm choice university or college to tell you what this might mean in respect of your learning and teaching, accommodation and the campus more generally.

Your firm choice university will be sending you correspondence on this matter and will also provide updates via their websites.

Check you are receiving these updates (via the email address you provided on your UCAS application). If this is not the case, get in touch with them right away.


This is likely to be the first time you are in control of your own spending and now is an ideal time to project your incomings and outgoings and work out your weekly spending.

The WhichUniversity Finance Calculator is a good starting point.

Also, this student budget planner, produced by, is highly recommended. It will provide different approaches to budgeting, give you some top tips and tell you where to turn if you need additional help.

We also have resources that can help with budgeting, including our top tips:

Making Connections

Yes, your firm choice will have told you about their own social media channels and there’s nothing stopping you starting to make connections now.

Beyond that, why not try the following:

  • The Student Room is the UK’s biggest online student community with lots of different forums. It’s a great place to connect with people from across the UK (and beyond), share opinions and talk to current students at the university or college you’re intending to go to
  • UCAS has partnered with Unibuddy – an online platform that connects current higher education students with applicants who are intending to study at the same university or college

Health and Wellbeing

We know that many young people will be feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or confused at this time. This is completely normal.

We would always recommend that you ask for advice from your school and college in the first instance.

After this, there are a lot of brilliant resources online you can access as the countdown to the start of your course approaches.

For more information about mental health support available to young people in Greater Manchester, please see: