Pathways into Higher Education

Higher education is for everyone and it can be a life changing experience. There are a number of ways in which you can embark on this journey, be it through traditional qualifications or more practical experience.

If you have a course in mind, you can look it up on our portal by subject, location and study mode. Check the entry requirements under the ‘Starting your Application’ option listed beneath each course description.

For part-time or flexible courses, check the ‘course study mode option’ when sorting through the courses on this site.

What you need to enter higher education

Universities and colleges set their own entry requirements. When you find a course you’re interested in on our site, click on the ‘Start your Application’ option listed directly beneath the course description for specific entry requirements.

Work experience

Sometimes work experience will be taken into account, along with other qualifications, when applying for a Foundation degree course. Contact the relevant college or university for more details.

Higher education qualification

If you already have a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND), you may be able to start a course at the beginning of the second or third year. Contact the relevant college or university for more details.

Foundation Years

Some universities and colleges offer Foundation Years as preparation for certain degree courses. They aren’t a stand-alone qualification, merely a way of entering the degree course itself.

Foundation courses

Foundation courses are similar to Foundation Years, but may not be held at the same university or college as the full degree. A Foundation degree is different from a Foundation course. The former is a qualification in its own right.

Access to Higher Education courses

Many further education colleges and some universities provide access courses to prepare students for higher education. Contact the relevant college or university for more details.

International students

If you’re an international student, qualifications equal to A Levels may be considered. Contact the relevant college or university for more details.

Mature students

If you’re a 'mature' student (21 years or older) and have work experience but lack qualifications, you could enter higher education through a Foundation course or Access to Higher Education course.

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

If you have Special Educational Needs (SEN) you may be able to enter higher education without formal qualifications. Contact the relevant college or university for more details.

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