Higher Education

Explore the different ways to study for a Higher Education qualification
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Higher education comes after level 3 qualification and is provided by Universities, Colleges, independent training organisations, and some workplaces.

Know your options 

There are many high education options including:

  • Studying at university
  • Enrolling on a level 4 college course
  • Employment with a structured learning programme  (Higher Apprenticeships)
  • Employment with a sponsored degree
  • Independent distant learning

Instant expert: Find out all about different qualification levels and how they compare.

Local Colleges

You can study at your local Further Education college. This can be great if you need to stay close to home, and may cost less than University. The courses and programmes at Further Education colleges are validated by partner universities.


University applications are managed centrally through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). Your level 3 tutors or teachers will also help you meet application deadlines and prepare personal statements. UCAS has lots of information about applying for University

Crucial: Into University Oxford South East helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who wish to go to University with academic support on schoolwork and exam revision.

Support to study

Universities and colleges provide students with a lot of practical help, advice and additional support according to individual needs. It's important it is to let your university know if you need extra support.

Help available includes

  • Note taking in lectures and tutorials
  • Providing year-round accommodation for care leavers
  • Information about additional financial support

These videos from UCAS show students talking about their experience and the help and support they've received during their time at university.

All places of study want you to do as well as you can, so be open about your needs when applying.

Crucial: If you need to earn alongside study, there are schemes that combine degree study with work. Work alongside study helps reduce levels of student debt, boosts your CV and provides work experience. As well as work/study schemes, you can also find holiday work at university or with companies which have a relationship with your place of study.

School leaver programmes and Higher Apprenticeships

Predicted good grades? Why not see if you can get a job with a company that wants motivated school leavers. Many large firms offer good school leaver schemes and Higher Apprenticeships, allowing you to start your career fast, and without student debt.

Register with the Apprenticeship Finder to get started on your search for the perfect apprenticeship, or visit your favourite employer's website to find out if they offer a school leaver programme.

  • KPMG offers A level students with grades ABB at A Level and B in GCSE Maths and English the opportunity to get a job at KPMG and gain a degree at University with all fees paid.
  • BAM Nuttall offers a Technical Apprenticeship Programme in Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying with excellent progression. After 4 years, you will be as qualified as those who have undertaken a degree in the same field, but with more site experience and no debt.
  • Network Rail offers Advanced Apprenticeships in Track, Signalling, Electrification & Plant, Telecoms and Overhead Lines. The first year is residential and then the next two years are spent hands-on at the depot nearest to you. Applications open in March for a September start.
  • Deloitte has the BrightStart Higher Apprenticeship scheme. BrightStart offers an established programme, excellent training at every step, plus full support to gain professional qualifications that are respected and recognised worldwide.

These are just a few of the apprenticeships available in Oxfordshire; sign up to our mailing list to hear about more or look through opportunities now.

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