Many students who enter Higher Education do so at a later stage in their lives. There are many reasons why they didn’t enter HE study after they finished their education – they chose a different career path, they may not have had the financial means to study at the time, they may have had other commitments or raised a family or they may not have thought that studying at university was for them at the time. However, it’s never too late to take up an undergraduate course.
It can feel like a minefield when setting out on the path to applying for a course. Whilst prospective students who may be studying for A-levels tend to receive a lot of support for applying to university from their college, mature students don’t always have the same level of access to information and advice. Many universities, like Birmingham City University, have dedicated staff who can help with any questions mature students have about applying for their courses – our Choices department has a dedicated adviser who can help with queries made in person, by email or by phone.
We’ve put together a few key points for mature students to consider to help try and make sense of the process and what sort of things to consider if you’re a mature prospective student and are thinking about applying for a university course. Continue reading Mature Students: An Overview of Applying for a University Course
In the second part of our Parents’ Guide series, we look at some of the paperwork you’ll need to consider completing for your son or daughter’s course.
Student finance forms
Student finance forms for tuition fee loans and maintenance grants and loans are usually completed from March onwards but application forms for support can be submitted once an application for an undergraduate course has been made. It’s important to ensure that these are completed and submitted in good time. For continuing students the Local Authority will continue to process these and then confirm personal eligibility to financial support. This information is then passed to Student Finance England who will process your application for payment. New student applications must be made directly through Student Finance England. When your son or daughter enrols at university, the university confirms this with Student Finance England who will then release the payment.
Continue reading Parents’ Guide | Part 2: In advance – the paperwork
With the advent of a New Year, people often take time to reflect and start thinking about future aspirations. Maybe:
- There’s something you’ve always been interested in – like learning a new skill or hobby, for example.
- You’re considering a change of direction in terms of your career or professional development.
- You want to do something to because you’re motivated by improving your knowledge in a particular area.
There are a whole host of ways you could go about making these changes – there may be local workshops, adult education classes or short courses provided by education providers in the area. For more significant changes, you could be looking at retraining through a degree or professional qualification.
If you’d like to explore avenues for developing yourself or doing something different but you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, perhaps talking to a careers advisor could help. Visit http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/ for more information about contacting a qualified careers advisor.
If you do decide to take up study; it doesn’t have to mean studying on a full-time course; there are a multitude of part-time or short course options that might be appropriate, depending on the subject you’re interested in. But, if you do want to consider more substantive study options, it’s important to be fully clued up on what’s available and what you’ll need to do. You’ll need to research courses, study commitment and costs for starters.
Finding a course to suit you:
Tools such as www.hotcourses.com can help you to find everything from short courses to postgraduate study in your area or further afield. Postgraduate study options can be researched at www.prospects.ac.uk. The UCAS website has a great course search function, allowing you to explore available full-time undergraduate courses. And, of course, university and college websites will tell you more about what’s on offer at particular institutions.
How much will the course you’re looking at cost? Is there any financial support available? Here are a few starting points you can use to find out more about possible sources of funding:
- Information about financial help for adult learners can be found here.
- Want information about student financial support for University and Higher Education courses? Look here for more details.
- Postgraduate funding is different to undergraduate funding and there is, generally, no financial support available through the government. However, there are exceptions to this, such as certain NHS-funded courses, Social Work courses and PGCE qualifications. Prospective postgraduate students often need to be resourceful in seeking out funding opportunities. If your proposed study is related to your current job role, is it feasible to talk to your employer about support for the course – either as study leave or in terms of paying for the course? Are there any relevant scholarships or bursaries available? The Prospects website has links to resources which can help you find any such schemes.
Whatever spurs you on, you can start taking steps towards your goals and exploring options open to you. If you’d like to chat to a course adviser about any courses offered at Birmingham City University, please contact Choices on 0121 331 5595 or email us.
When considering studying at university, many people think about the benefits of embarking on a course which will allow them to not only progress academically, but one which will prepare them for a specific profession. The healthcare field provides challenging, rewarding and fulfilling careers to many people who enter into a variety of different roles, from clinical or medical through to more general support services.
Here, we look at key information for a number of health-related courses which offer both professionally focused and more general routes for prospective students seeking out opportunities in healthcare. For links to further information about careers in these different areas, please visit here.
Nursing is a highly rewarding career. Qualified nurses to work closely with patients to support then in the delivery of their care and administer treatment. Nurses work closely with members of the multi-disciplinary healthcare team and have a crucial role in the planning and delivery of client care. With options to initially train in one of four branch specialisms: Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, qualified nurses may then progress to further specialise within their professional area.
Continue reading Think about: studying for a career in health
You’re due to start a course but the dreaded last minute doubts sometimes creep in for a whole host of reasons. Many people who are about to join a course may feel apprehensive as the time to start their studies draws nearer. It’s quite natural and totally understandable to feel like this as studying at university is a big step and can mean many changes for you.
Here, we talk about three typical last minute niggles and give you ideas about how to deal with them.
Worry 1: I’ll be away from home and won’t know anyone!
Studying at university may mean studying a new subject, moving away from home and will certainly mean meeting new people so can seem a little overwhelming! Try and remember that there will be many other people in exactly the same situation as yourself. Freshers’ Week takes place at the beginning of the academic year and is a great way for students to get together and meet each other in a social environment. The Students Union organises the event and you’ll usually also be introduced to the full range of social and sporting events, societies and activities on offer to students at the university during this time.
For some students, settling in at university seems to come as second nature; for others it may take some time to get used to the course, the city and student life away from the family home. Like anything new, starting university takes a certain amount of personal adjustment to accommodate the changes that come with it. Remember – you won’t be the first and certainly not the last person in this situation to feel like this! Talking to your friends, getting involved with student societies, sporting activities or social events, and establishing a routine for yourself can help to ease the transition. Continue reading How to… deal with those last minute pre-course worries