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Parents & Carers

There are lots of decisions that a student may have to make before they join a university course or apprenticeship, and we know that it might seem overwhelming! It could be choosing where to study, what course to apply for, or selecting the type of qualification they will gain at the end.

To help your child make an informed and ambitious decision about their future, we’ve gathered a wide range of resources and information to help you explore the benefits of higher education, and provide answers to any questions.

Your questions answered

In year 12 and year 13, students will be studying for Level 3 qualifications typically through BTECs, A levels, or an apprenticeship. After completing these, students will be able to move into Level 4, which can be studied at university, college, or a higher apprenticeship.

You don’t need to worry about the cost of university – all students will receive help with the cost of going to university. You will not have to pay any up-front costs and tuition fees are paid by Student Finance England directly to the university. Everyone is entitled to a maintenance loan to help cover the costs of living (food, books, transport, rent etc.) and how much your child will receive depends on your household income. There are also bursaries, scholarships, and grants available that are different for each university.

An apprenticeship provides hands-on working experience and a salary whilst gaining a qualification. This gives students the opportunity to focus on a specialism and start a career straight after school. University allows a student to study their favourite subject in depth and gives them more time and flexibility to work out what they would like to do in the future, whilst also increasing their independence and confidence.

Click here to visit our Apprenticeships page.

Higher education is not compulsory, but it may be a good option depending on what career someone would like to undertake. There are some jobs that require a higher education qualification, this includes nursing, teaching, and law. This could be studied at university, or through a degree apprenticeship.

It is important that a student chooses a subject that they are both interested in and good at, as this qualification will help to steer their future career. Some careers do require certain degrees, which is why it is important to do plenty of research into career pathways. All courses will provide students with transferable skills, so they will not be limited later in life, for example a person that studied English might go on to have a career in marketing or advertising.

For help with choosing the right subject, students can speak to the careers teacher in their school.

The UCAS website is the centralised service where all students can apply for university. It offers a variety of support and information relating to various universities, different courses, application guidance, and comparing choices to find the perfect combination.

Click here to visit our UCAS page.

Apprenticeship applications are submitted individually and directly to employers or training providers throughout the year when vacancies become available. You can search for an apprenticeship at

No, students do not have to move out of their home to go to university. A lot of people choose to live in halls in their first year of university, however this is not a requirement. Students often choose to live at home and commute to a local university.

UCAS Tariff points are used to convert grades and qualifications into a numerical value. The A levels and BTECs that a student achieves at school/college will have a UCAS Tariff value which you can check on the UCAS website.

The value will depend on the grades awarded, for example a C in A Levels is 32 points, and an A at A Level is 48 points.

UCAS Tariff Calculator 

Yes, each course will have a minimum amount of UCAS Tariff Point’s that a student will need to achieve. For examples, 96 points which is equal to CCC in A Levels.

Universities have different entry requirements for different courses. Subjects like nursing and teaching will have mandatory interviews before a place is offered, whereas art subjects may require a portfolio review. Other subjects such as English may not have any requirements at all, other than achieving minimum grades in Level 3 qualifications.

We encourage students to do their research on university websites and in prospectuses.

Zoe and her mum Tracey

Zoe and her mum Tracey

Careers and employability

Universities and colleges offer a wide range of services to help students launch their career, through careers services, on-campus jobs, and graduate opportunities. These services help students investigate their careers options, organise their career plans, and develop the important skills needed to make these plans happen. In addition to this, students may be able to access funding to support a business idea or charity they want to launch, and receive advice from a business adviser.

Further useful resources

  • Choosing the Right Course

    Some students fear that they may make the wrong choice when it comes to picking what to study, we have broken this down into the 4 C’s of key things to consider.
  • Student Finance

    We understand that going to university is a significant investment in your future. Here is information on the range of financial options available to you.

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