There are thousands of courses available at hundreds of universities and colleges, all of which are listed on this website : www.ucas.com It is essential that students research courses and institutions as much as possible before applying. Many students drop out or change course in their first year because they did not do their homework regarding the content of the course or the type of university which best suits their needs. You can access each institution’s website individually (essential to be absolutely sure of entry requirements) or through the UCAS website. www.ucas.com/students/coursesearch/
Students should get a feel for the institution, subject and course : e.g. Open Days/Taster Courses/Subject Specific Events. A calendar of events at all institutions can be downloaded from the UCAS website.
This website is an excellent place to start looking for jobs and careers. It describes the skills you acquire from your subject area/degree course and the kinds of jobs that you will be able to do after studying that subject. Click on “Careers Advice”, “Options with your subject” and find your A level course(s) or the course you might be interested in following at university. The site is easy to navigate and has a wealth of information on employment, the job market and how to identify your own particular skills.
If you aren’t sure what you would like to do, check out “ukcoursefinder” , a website which matches your interests to a range of HE courses and has an online guide to selecting the right university and course for you.
This website is full of essential university and course information and features independent student reviews from current university students and graduates covering what they think about their course.
This website is designed to help prospective students compare universities and colleges in the UK. It provides a wealth of accurate, official and up-to-date information enabling you to :
• Compare UCAS points and other information for different subjects and higher education institutions.
• Find out the achievements of recent students and discover what sort of jobs they are doing six
months after finishing higher education.
• Read what students felt about the quality of their higher education experience
On this website you can read profiles for more than 120 UK universities. If you subscribe, you can use the interactive “Choose your ideal university” tool.
The student-only website supported by UCAS, is a one-stop shop for people thinking of moving into higher education. Potential applicants can speak directly to people in the same position who are about to apply, or to students who are already studying within a higher education institution. You can search for people heading for the same course, university or town and get the facts before making one of the biggest decisions of your life.
Sandwich degree courses usually include an extra year of paid work experience (or language training) 'sandwiched' between two or three years of concentrated study. During the extra year the student usually goes on work experience with an employer, organisation or department in their subject field. Placements are normally identified by the university and students need to go through an interview process.
N.B. If the degree is in languages, the extra year will usually involve a trip abroad. Sometimes the sandwich year can involve an exchange with a university overseas.
Sponsorship while studying is not currently easy to find but it can help with funding your degree course.
http://www.nationalgridcareers.com gives you a range of opportunities for support.
http://bursarymap.direct.gov.uk details extra financial support available from universities or colleges. This could be a bursary or a scholarship if you meet certain conditions. Some charities and educational trusts also offer grants and awards.
The Year in Industry
The Year in Industry helps young people who have completed A levels and may be thinking of going to university to find structured gap or sandwich year placements in engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics.The organisation provides good quality, paid placements which offer challenging and invaluable experience in the world of work. The best time to apply is from September onwards through the above website.
Erasmus is a European exchange programme for higher education students. If you are applying to a higher education or further education Institution in the UK and wish to study, do a work placement or be a language assistant for between three months and an academic year in a European country you may be able to participate in the programme. Students from all subject areas can participate as long as the university or higher education institution has a formal agreement with a partner in one of the eligible countries. You will be eligible for an Erasmus grant for study/work placement.
Studying in America
If you are interested in studying for a degree in the USA you can apply through the Fulbright Commission. The US application process follows a similar timeline to. Ideally, the process begins 1-1½ years before enrolment. For most students, this is during the spring/summer at the end of Year 12. Interested students should explore the website www.fulbright.co.uk