Higher education courses can help you gain qualifications like a degree, which can help you gain the skills you need to get a job or become more independent.

University courses usually last between 3 to 4 years, but it depends on what you choose to study. To go to University a young person usually needs to have completed their GCSEs and A-Levels.

'You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.  You must then do one of the following until you’re 18: 1) stay in full-time education, for example at a college, 2) start an apprenticeship or traineeship, 3) spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training.'    (www.gov.uk/know-when-you-can-leave-school)


What level are further education courses and what qualification will I get?

Further education courses are usually University courses.  They are higher level courses and can involve academic research.  Normally you must choose a subject you want to study, for example English Literature, Art History or Engineering.  There are different levels of courses you can do and most people people start with an Undergraduate Degree.

At the end of a further education course you usually get a degree.  Every course is designed to help you get a qualification or reach an outcome at the end of it.  At the start of any course you should be aware of what the qualification or outcomes a young person is aim to reach by the end of the course.  Being able to tell whether you have met the qualification or outcome of the course will depend on the course you are on.  For most most University courses you will be assessed to see if you have earned the relevant qualification through a mixture of exams and coursework.


How do I get on a further education course?

Each University course will have 'entry requirements'.  The are qualifications and grades they expect young person to have to go on to the course. A young person will need to meet the entry rquirements to get a place on the course.  The entry requirements for University courses are published with their course details.  You will need to apply to UCAS for a place on a University Course.

UCAS have infomation on the further education courses in the UK, including their entry requirements.


What support might I be able to get on a course?

There is support available for disabled students who choose to go to University. Every University should have information on what ‘adjustments’ they make for disabled students and most also have Disabled Students Services.  Once a disabled student begins a University course any Education, Health and Care plan that they had will stop. A copy of the Education, Health and Care plan will be given to the University, who should use this to make a Support Plan.

Find out about University of Bristol's Disabled Students Services.

Find out about University of West of England (UWE)'s Disabled Student Services.

Find out about support for Disabled students going to University from UCAS

Disabled students can access Disabled Students Allowance when they start at University. This fund gives some financial help towards the cost of their studying.

Disabled Rights UK have information on financial support for disabled students in higher education.

Disabled Rights UK have a Disabled Student Helpline 0800 328 5050.


Who can help me choose the right course for me?

Your school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) will be able to talk to you about whether University might be the right for you.

Every school must provide independent careers advice.  Careers advice can help you think about what course or skills you might need to reach your employment goal.  Ask your setting about how they're providing careers advice. 

This page has information for residents in the City of Bristol.  Find out about what other Local Authorities do.

Last Update 1 December 2016 by Findability Team.

We make sure we keep information on Findability as up to date as we can.  If you think this page is out of date or inaccurate please contact us on sendplus@bristol.gov.uk.  Findability is not responsible for the content of external websites.