Further study

Exploring Higher Education (HE) after Further Education (FE)

Higher education is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make - but in terms of career progression and lifetime earnings, research shows the investment is well worth it.

Each year, around nine out of ten UCA graduates are in work and/or further study six months after graduating. Competition for jobs is high, especially in the creative sector, so continuing your studies can help you to develop your skills and boost your chances of landing your dream job.

 

Selecting the right course for you

Before you take the next step of your journey, there are a few important aspects to think about.

Passion for your subject
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What subject/specialism appeals to you? Remember you’re more likely to do well studying a course you really enjoy.

Is the course theoretical or studio based?
Many creative arts courses have highly practical components and provide plenty of time for studio-based activities. Do check carefully in advance though! You might also want to consider studying an HND or Foundation Degree, (FdA) which are work based related two-year, full-time courses. These can generally be topped up to full degree status with an additional year of study.

How is the course taught and assessed?
Check the balance between lectures/self-directed study and exams/coursework.

Entry requirements?
Make sure you have the right predicted grades and have studied the right subjects to apply for the course - some courses have specific work experience requirements as well as qualifications. When you search for courses on the UCAS website, you’ll now find additional information about each course within the Entry Profile and Entry Requirements tab, which will help you to research courses in depth before making your shortlist.

It’s a good idea to have a back up plan too, just in case – make sure that your Insurance choice doesn’t need such high grades as your Firm choice.

Can you study more than one subject?
If you have a burning desire to study more than one subject, you might be able to study a combined or joint degree, but you’ll need to check where you can do this before finalising your shortlist. Combined degrees allow students the flexibility to pick and mix the modules they want to study to suit their pathway at the start of each year. If you don’t get all the answers you need from an Open Day or interview, try contacting the Admissions tutors directly.

Location, location, location
If you plan to study away from your home town, make sure you know what the potential universities and local areas are really like by attending as many Open Days as you can.

  • On a UCA Open Day, you can take a campus tour, attend subject talks, meet our academic staff, talk to current students, get expert portfolio advice, and explore our facilities and accommodation. Visit ac.uk/opendays for more details.
  • While most postgraduate courses start in September/October, some start at different times (for example, in January) and will have different application deadlines
  • If you’re considering applying for an AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) award, you may also need to make an early application.

 

Finance – how much will it all cost?

Home (UK) and EU students can expect to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000 - another good reason for making sure you choose your course carefully. UCA tuition fees for full-time Home and EU undergraduates are set at £9,000 for 2016/17.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay any fees upfront and there is financial help available, depending upon your household income - plus many universities now offer a range of bursaries and scholarships. The tuition fees will accrue interest, but you don’t start repaying anything until you graduate and are earning over £21,000 per year. If your income drops below this amount, your repayments will stop.

Information about the financial support and bursaries available to you at UCA is available at: ucreative.ac.uk/fees-financial-support or talk to a Gateway Adviser at any of our four campuses. More details can also be found via gov.uk/student-finance

 

Thinking ahead about postgraduate study?

With such a wide range of postgraduate options on offer (including here at UCA), it can take a lot of research to make a good course choice. Start researching your postgraduate options during the second year of your degree, if possible – it’s a good idea to do this early because:

  • While most postgraduate courses start in September/October, some start at different times (for example, in January) and will have different application deadlines
  • If you’re considering applying for an AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) award, you may also need to make an early application.

For further information on UCA postgraduate course options, visit ucreative.ac.uk/postgraduate and ucreative.ac.uk/postgraduate-research

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