Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find our frequently asked questions surronding all topics of higher education.
Any further questions? Please submit them below.
Also see our Glossary for definitions for any frequently used terminology
Who can I contact if I want to talk to someone about potentially applying?
Most universities will have a general enquiry team, that is trained to answer questions ranging from entry criteria to how to book your gown for graduation.
The way you contact them can differ from uni to uni, but look out for a phone number, a live chat option or an email address, depending on your needs and resources.
A good way to talk to someone about a specific university before you apply is attending an open day. Open days are designed to give possible applicants all the necessary information to make an informed decision.
They will give you a chance to view the campus and accommodation premises, as well as sit in with taster sessions and talk to staff first-hand. Open days usually can be booked through a university’s website and are held a couple of times throughout the years.
What is Clearing and how does it work?
Clearing describes a very specific period over the summer just before the new student intake for September starts. It is aimed to offer the still available places on courses.
A range of people apply through clearing each year. It is available to people who had not yet applied to university at all, people who might have changed their mind about the university they want to attend, or people who did not receive the grades they needed and got rejected from their firm and insurance choice.
You will need an active UCAS account to apply through Clearing (UCAS accounts are only active for one academic year) and you won’t be able to hold any offers elsewhere. If you already hold an offer but want to scope out your options, you can call up a university’s clearing team to enquire about courses available and their requirements, as these might vary from main cycle criteria.
Clearing can be handled differently at different institutions, so it is always good to check with the university of your interest directly, what their procedure is like.
How can I calculate my UCAS points?
UCAS points can be calculated from most Level 3 qualifications, such as A-level, BTEC, T-level, Access to higher education, NVQ, Scottish highers and Irish leaving certificates.
The higher the grade in your qualification or subject the more points it will carry. You then can add up all the points of all your Level 3s together.
There is a UCAS tariff calculator which is an extremely helpful tool as long as you know the exact title of your qualification (exam board included).
Some qualifications are non tariffable so it’s always best to check with your school or college.
Are there different options to finance a degree?
The most common way to pay tuition fees is through Student Finance England (SFE). They will provide you with a loan as long as you are eligible. For an undergraduate degree SFE will pay the £9250 per year directly to your university in three instalments during the three terms, once they have confirmed that you did indeed enrol on your course.
Postgraduate loans are also available, but this money is paid directly to you and does not have be used for tuition fees directly. You Both of these loans have to be paid back with interest once you earn a certain amount per month. More information can be found on Student Finance England.
SFE also provides students with maintenance loans, which also would be paid within three instalments and is based on your, your parents/household income and other circumstances.
If you are set to do a degree apprenticeship, your employer tends to finance the course for you.
Scholarships are always a good way to potentially get a discount on your fees. There is a lot of different scholarships available and it is definitely worth to check out your chosen universities offers.
What if I want to do a degree and an apprenticeship at the same time?
Some universities will offer specific degree apprenticeships, which you can apply to through your employer. Most of the time the university required you to already be employed by the time you apply.
Degree apprenticeships can last from three to six years full-time depending on how many days a week you are scheduled to attend classes. Usually you will be splitting your time evenly between work and university.
At the end of your yearlong studies you will be rewarded by having an apprenticeship and a degree qualification to your name.
What if I already have completed a full degree but want to attend individual modules or short courses?
To start this question off, we have to say not all universities offer short courses or individual modules, so it is always best practice to reach out to the general enquiry unit first.
Short courses are often ways for individuals to further specialise in certain areas within their employment. They can also be mandatory from their employer to complete on a regular basis to keep up to date with changes in their industry.
Who do I need to contact to get proof of my student status?
Once you have fully enrolled on your course you are able to request student letters from the Student Centre. Student letters are offered in various forms all serving different purposes.
The majority of students will need them to open student bank accounts or to provide their insurance companies. You can also request council tax letters, as students are exempt from paying council tax while in full-time education.
If you are an international student, that is relying on a loan from your home country, your bank will most likely request proof of your enrolment before providing you with the loan.
If you have a SFE student loan you won’t need to notify them of your enrolment as your institution should be doing this on your behalf.
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