What, where, how to study

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Choosing a course/subject

As an adult considering higher education level study, you will discover that there are lots of of different courses on offer at local colleges and universities. From childcare to website design, from business management to engineering - there’s something for everyone!

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Choosing the right course for you

Always check that the course you are considering will give you what you want. Also, if you intend studying in order to start a new career or develop yourself in your existing career, check that the course will be what employers are looking for.

It’s a good idea to research what past students have gone on to do after they completed the course that interests you. You can do this by looking at individual university websites or by following some of the links given below.

Although many adults choose higher education as a way to further their chosen career, all higher education level programmes will allow you to develop a range of skill useful in all jobs. Some jobs are open to graduates of any subject, so it isn't always necessary to do a specific vocational course. 

If you are planning to change career, higher education courses that offer work placements and have strong links with employers may help you find employment when you have finished your studies.

Links to help you choose the right course for you

Search for a course online

There are a number of sites that allow you to search for suitable courses; some only show higher education courses, while others cover all levels of programme.

  • You can search for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the UCAS website and for courses at lower levels through UCAS Progress.
  • The Which? University site also has a course-search facility. 
  • Some organisations – such as The Open University – specialise in offering programmes by distance learning, so you can search for suitable courses on their websites.
  • The National Careers Service website has a course-search facility for programmes at all levels.
  • You can search for courses at colleges and training providers nationally through Hotcourses.

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