Higher Education (University)

What is Higher Education?

Higher Education (HE) is the continuation of study after the age of 18. It takes place at Universities and Further Education colleges. HE gives you the opportunity to study a subject you are interested in more closely and can boost your career prospects and earning potential. It is not limited to a three-year degree from a university – it covers lots of different courses including degree level apprenticeships and other courses that allow you to build gradually towards a degree level qualification. 

Your choice of career might be a key reason in deciding whether to go into HE, and what course to take. Some careers, including medicine, dentistry, chartered engineering and architecture require you to have a degree. Other professions, such as law and speech therapy, require you to have a postgraduate qualification on top of your degree before you can practise.

Or, you may just want to study a subject that really interests you or helps you broaden your knowledge in a certain area! Although it can be helpful to have a career path in mind before choosing a course to study, a higher education qualification helps you develop skills and qualities that all employers value, such as problem-solving and communication.

Funding for HE

The cost of higher education can vary depending on where you study and the length of the course.

There is a wide range of financial support available to students which can help pay tuition fees and support students through their study including bursaries and scholarships – which you do not have to pay back. You might get extra money on top of this, for example if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children.

Please see the Useful Websites page for more information on opportunities in HE.