School and College Liaison


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Choosing a course and University

When it comes to Higher Education the range of courses and institutions to choose from is vast.

In order for students to maximise the opportunities that are available to them it is imperative that they begin to plan for their future well before the beginning of Year 13, arguably starting to formulate plans as early as Year 10. Ensuring that they have the correct suite of subjects selected for their FE choices and the strongest portfolio of GCSE grades possible will allow students to pursue their chosen path.

Researching a Course and Institution

How do you decide which subject you want to study and which university you want to attend? Watch our video for some hints and tips on how to make this key decision.


For most students their immediate research surrounds choosing the right degree programme, one that will satisfy their academic curiosity and lead into their desired profession. As teachers and Careers Advisors sign posting to relevant information at this stage can be crucial.

Students should be encouraged to closely examine the modules included in each of the potential programmes and reminded that even though courses may have the same title their content can vary significantly. Consideration should also be given to the way in which the individual prefers to learn and be assessed; playing to academic strengths and selecting a degree that is structured in a complementary manner will result in the best possible match.

Attend Open Days

Visiting a university during an Open Day will allow students to assess first-hand the facilities on offer, applicants should make sure they have everything they would need to maximise their learning potential and that any equipment or software is industry standard so that they graduate with the most relevant skills.

Understandably, students and their families are concerned about employability, enquiring as to whether the university and/or course has links with industry and can facilitate placements is one way in which this can be addressed.

Higher Education can not only offer an extended academic experience, the activities organised through the Students’ Union provide exciting opportunities to engage in new hobbies and sports, volunteering and a platform for meeting even more people.

For those hoping to move away from home university accommodation can be an excellent way of making new friends fast and to learn a host of invaluable life skills.

It is important that university is viewed as a complete package, students should review all elements of what is on offer to enhance both their academic and social experience and factor these into their decision making process.

Open Days - A Guide for Students

Open Days are a really exciting element of the university research process. There is so much to see and lots of questions to ask so why not watch our video guide to help prepare you for the event.

Open Days - A Guide for Parents

If you are helping to support a student through the UCAS application process you will undoubtedly have several questions yourself. Our short film highlights how you can ensure that a visit to a university Open Day is useful for all.

HE Fairs and UCAS Conventions

During Year 12 many students have an opportunity to attend events to meet with staff from universities and ask them questions about their institution. These may be local events organised by schools or colleges or large, national exhibitions hosted by UCAS. For a full list of this year’s UCAS events please visit

Whichever type of event a student chooses to attend they will find them to be a great way of beginning their research and a chance to ask lots of questions. This is also an opportunity to gather literature such as prospectuses for future reference.

Downloads and useful links

Next Steps