The starting point

Giving good advice

Research is key

Regardless of what Level 3 qualification the learner is studying, or whether they are in full-time employment and looking to study part-time, they will need to spend a lot of time and effort in researching options effectively and in making a strong application.

Where non A-level learners will often need additional support is in identifying suitable HE programmes to apply to, because entry information can be unclear. When researching course entry information on the UCAS website, information for non A-level learners is often of variable quality.

When learners are unable to identify entry criteria for their qualification they will sometimes assume that the HEI is not interested in applicants studying their qualification. This is not always true, so encourage learners to make contact with the HEI to find out more information. The starting point should be to call or email the admissions team or the university department they want to study in.

Part time HE courses 

Applicants to part-time HE provision are not as well served as full-time applicants who can research and apply through the UCAS system. Information on part-time provision is not as centralised as the UCAS full-time model, so applicants will need to either contact the HEI directly and/or use search engines like hot courses (

There is also no common admissions process; HEIs will have their own individual admissions processes, and applications will have to be made individually to each HEI.

More information on part time study can be found here.