Choices at 17+
Whatever route you are considering - further/higher education, starting an apprenticeship or perhaps a gap year, it’s important to do your own research and give yourself time to look into all the options.
Watch the UCAS introduction video which explains about higher education, titled, 'What is higher education?'.
Thinking about HE? - do your research
- At the UCAS website you can search over 37,000 courses at over 370 higher education providers. The whole application system is online so you can track what is happening with your application, visit: www.ucas.com
- Doing your research includes getting along to universities and colleges open events. There you can speak to course tutors, current students about 'life at uni' and see the campus.
- Attend a higher education convention event organised in partnership with UCAS. A range of universities and higher education colleges attend these to meet potential students like you. One is held each year in Suffolk in June. Find a UCAS event.
- Compare each university/HE provider that you are considering applying to on the Office for Students website.
- Get all the facts you need on student finance, loan repayments and what it could mean for you - student loans mythbusting
- Disabled students and students with learning disabilities have the right to ask higher education providers to make reasonable adjustments, provide support and make things accessible. To understand what support they should provide and questions you should ask read the Disability Rights UK factsheet about adjustments for disabled students
Be prepared if you're leaving home for uni
Leaving home to move away for uni is a big deal, and can be really scary. It's important that you feel prepared for this change, and that you know where to go for support if you need it.
Take a look at the film below titled 'Moving on', which follows a group of young men on their journey to uni, and the impact this can have on your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Higher apprenticeships are level 4 qualifications. That means you can move on from a successful higher apprenticeship opportunity into higher education. For example a foundation degree, if you want to later on in your career. To find out more take a look at our page about apprenticeships.
"If you are confident about getting A Levels and want to progress but not necessarily into higher education, a good alternative is the the higher apprenticeship. These are aimed at young people who have the ability to get into higher education but want to develop professional, job-specific skills while working and earning a salary."
Thinking about a gap year?
If you're thinking about doing a gap year, it needs to be properly planned. Whether you want a year out to work and save up some money or have plans to go travelling, check out our advice on planning a gap year.