Where do I start finding out about whether going to university
might be an option for me?
This website is a good start! There is a lot of information
available on the internet – probably too much! One of the best ways
to begin to get a feel for whether it might be for you is to go to
an Open Day
at a local university. Have a look around, talk to people – you
will be very welcome! See if you can begin to imagine yourself in
that sort of environment.
What is the difference between school and university?
University is very different to school – for a start you will be
studying only the subject that you enjoy most, and you will a lot
more independent than you are at school. Also, being at university
is about much more than just studying – it’s about all of the other
opportunities that will allow you to develop into whoever you want
What is the benefit of going? What opportunities could it open
up for me?
Whilst some university courses lead directly to a profession
(such as nursing or teaching), others will help you develop the
transferable skills which you need for graduate level jobs. While
you are at university you will also be offered lots of
opportunities that broaden your horizons, allow you to meet new
people and give you the best chance of achieving whatever you want
from life. This might include
studying abroad, being a member of a
society or sports club or volunteering opportunities.
How do I choose which university and course might suit me?
People make these choices in lots of different ways. People
often decide what course they want to study and then investigate
which universities offer it, and which are likely to accept them
with the grades they think they will achieve. For some it is about
geographical location, the campus and the kinds of additional
opportunities you will be offered to develop your talents –
academic and otherwise! You will also find websites which rank
universities in lots of different ways. The best way to begin to
navigate your way through all this information is to look at a
university’s website or prospectus to see the approach they take,
and if you think it might be for you, go and visit
Would I get help and support at university? Or would I have to
manage everything on my own?
You can be as independent as you like when you are at university
– but you may be interested to know that there is a lot of additional support available to you if you want
it. This includes help with finances, mental health,
accommodation, disability and study skills.
In particular, if you come from a care background many
universities have a dedicated person who will support you, as well
as offer you extra financial help. Click here to find out about the sort of support you
can get at York St John University.
What qualifications do I need to get accepted into
Most universities require you to have, or be studying for, A
level qualifications, or equivalent, to gain admission. However,
there are exceptions to this and many universities are beginning to
offer different access routes if you don’t have traditional
qualifications. Speaking to the Admissions department at a
university can help you begin to plan your route in.
How and when do I apply?
Most university applications are submitted through a central
system called UCAS – this allows you to apply to several
universities, but only fill in one application form! You can submit
an application from mid-September the year before you would like to
start university. Have a look at http://www.ucas.com/ for more
Overall, what should I expect from life at university?
Your university experience is what you make of it – if you put
your all into it you can expect to work hard, have fun, make
friends and have fantastic opportunities that you won’t find in any
other walk of life. If you prepare yourself well you will have the
best possible chance of being happy and successful.
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