Going to University

The idea of going to a university may seem daunting, but every year roughly a quarter of people aged 18 apply to courses up and down the UK. There is plenty of support available to help you make an informed decision about whether university is right for you.

FAQs about University

A university is an educational institution, which provides access to qualifications beyond level 3 (which is the highest level normally obtained within a school).

There are many reasons why people choose to go to university;

  • To achieve a degree: The main reason most people choose to go to university is because their chosen career requires a degree. Examples of jobs where this would be required are teachers, doctors, banking, dentists and vets.
  • To stand out to employers: Whilst not all jobs require a degree, many employers would look highly upon a degree holder as a potential candidate – so a degree could make your dream job more accessible.
  • To continue with education: Some people choose to go to university to continue with a subject they are passionate about, or because they enjoy education and wish to further their understanding.

The cost of university can be expensive, as you will need to pay the tuition fee for your course and potentially also fund your living expenses. However, there are lots of finance options available so that anyone who wants to access university can do so. Read our page on student finance for more information.

All universities are different, and cater for a range of different students. Some universities demand top grades to get onto their courses, but other universities are much more flexible with their entry requirements. You can find out more about entry requirements for specific universities on their websites.

No – this a common misconception. Up and down the UK there are around 164 universities, with 18 of those being in London, and others close by in Kent. It is perfectly feasible that you could commute to a university like you do to come to school now, allowing you to stay at home or in your local area. Some of our most local universities include Greenwich, Kent and Canterbury Christ Church.

Many young people do choose to move away from home as part of the university experience, but this is not for everyone, and you will find that there are still a lot of young people who choose not to do this. It is always possible for you to consider moving out during your course.

The first step is to decide what universities you want to apply to, and what courses you want to study. You can make an informed decision by attending open days run by universities, where you can meet the staff and current students and ask questions about the course. Universities publish information about open days on their websites, and you normally have to book to attend. You can also find a full directory of universities and courses offered on the UCAS website. UCAS stands for University and Colleges Admissions Service, and they are an organisation which coordinates all applications to UK universities.

Once you have decided what you want to study, and where, you need to apply through UCAS. If you are going to apply, we highly recommend you do so through the school so that we can support your application. Speak with your form tutor for more information on how to do this.

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Universities take people from all walks of life. You could apply to go to university at any time, however many people may find this challenging in later life due to family or financial commitments. It is therefore more common that people choose to go to university soon after finishing school. You could always consider taking a gap year before you start your course.