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The World of Higher Education: What do I need to do?

How to apply for university?

If you are unsure about which university you would like to go to, it would be a good idea to find out if there are any HE fairs/conventions in the UK which you can attend; alternatively you want to make sure that you go to the best university for your course (after all you are paying for it!), this can be done by accessing the following website:

You need to ensure that you have written a personal statement for your University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application well in advance. Preferably this should be done between January and March whilst you are still at College; your tutor can help you with this. As the title indicates your personal statement should be ‘personal’ and show the university why you would be a perfect student for their university. Aspects to include in your personal statement are: what you want to study at the university and why, your interests and skills, and what you did on your gap year (if applicable). It is vital that you use the correct language and structure it as clearly as possible. This will set you apart from other students who are applying for the same course at the same university. Never be satisfied with your first draft, even if you have to draft it ten times, until you are satisfied it is worth it in the end!

Once completed you will need to fill in your application form online, this is a fairly straightforward and simple process, but you will need to take your time and ensure you have communicated all information simply.

Based on your application form you will get university offers in May/June, these can be conditional or unconditional.

An unconditional offer means that you have secured a place at the university regardless of the academic requirements, a place is yours!

A conditional offer means that you will have to meet certain requirements in order to secure your university place. It is likely that your place will not be confirmed until results day.


The clearing process is the process you take if you have had no offers. The clearing process will find you a place at a university or college that still has places on your course. For more information about the process visit -

UCAS System:

Most universities use the UCAS Tariff System; this is used to calculate a score of your post 16 qualifications, sometimes to determine entry onto your chosen course. Not all post 16 qualifications have a point score on the UCAS Tariff system so you will need to investigate this. For a breakdown of grades and subjects on the UCAS Tariff System please follow the link below:

Financial Support:

The big question is: How will I be able to pay university fees? There are many financial support services that are available to assist students facing financial difficulty.

You can get support of up to £9,000 to help you with your course costs, you will have to pay this back at some point, but not until you are earning over £21,000. This type of loan is called a Tuition Fee Loan.

You may even qualify for a maintenance grant! This will help with your living costs such as food, accommodation, travel expenses, books. With a grant you will not be expected to pay this back unless you do not complete your course.

Who can qualify for a maintenance grant?

  • Anyone who lives in a household that has an income of £25,000 or less can get a loan of up to £3, 250 a year
  • Anyone who lives in a household that has an income of £25, 001 - £42, 600 can get a partial grant depending on your household income.

Other financial support options are:

University Courses:

  • Bachelor Degrees
  • Foundation Degrees
  • Higher National Diplomas*1
  • Higher National Certificates*1
  • Diplomas of Higher Education*2
  • Foundation courses, Foundation years or Access/Bridging courses

1*HND (Higher National Diplomas) and HNC (Higher National Certificates) are 1 or 2 year career-related HE courses equivalent to the first stages of a degree. Areas include engineering, sports studies, art and design, media and communications and music technology. After this you can get a job at junior level or transfer to a degree and complete the later stages.
2* DipHE (Diplomas of Higher Education) is awarded after two years study at university or higher education institution.

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