Using your qualifications

How to use your qualifications

Adults can use a range of Level 3 qualifications for entry to a higher education level course. Sometimes it’s possible to gain entry with few or no qualifications.

Universities and colleges set their own entry criteria and are often flexible when it comes to considering mature applicants. 

Higher education institutions value adults' professional experience and life skills. The learning that results from the experience you have gained can sometimes be used to get a place on a course even if you do not have formal qualifications. However, most people, who enter higher education have Level 3 qualifications or have taken a suitable programme at this level, such as:

As you can see, you don’t necessarily need A levels but it is important to check the entry requirements for any course you are considering

Admissions staff will want to make sure that you are able to cope with study at higher education level and that you have, where appropriate, sufficient relevant background knowledge for the subject you want to study. If necessary, the institution may ask you to take a test, submit an exploratory essay or do another type of assessment.

Qualifications from outside the UK

If you have qualifications awarded in another country, you'll need to find out whether they are recognised in the UK. See the UK ENIC website to compare your overseas qualification with those offered in this country.

It's also important to know that if your first Language is not English you are likely to need a Level 2 qualification in English or pass a proficiency test as part of the entry requirements for Higher Education.

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register