Aim Higher West Midlands | Social mobility | Widening participation

For Learners

The Help Hub

Thinking about going to university?

We know that there is loads to think about and there are some huge decisions to be made. To put your mind at ease, we have collated lots of useful information from our partner universities and colleges and sourced some great advice from other websites to bring all the support you need into one place!

Click on the topic that you would like some help with to get started..

make your move

All words Highlighted in purple font are explained in the ‘jargon buster’ section at the bottom of the page


Personal Statements

Your personal statement is a bit like a great Tweet, you have so much to say but you’re limited to a certain number of characters.

Thankfully UCAS are slightly more generous than Twitter and they’ll allow you to use 4,000 characters to sell yourself as the perfect candidate to 5 universities and colleges. This may be the only opportunity that you’ll have to interact directly with each department that you’re applying to so it’s really important to get it right.

Our partners and a number of third party websites provide support and advice for writing your personal statement and getting it absolutely spot on. Click on the links below to get started.

Aston University

Birmingham City University

UCAS

University of Birmingham

University of Worcester

 

Student Funding & Finance

Higher education students have to meet a number of expenses including tuition fees and living costs. There is financial help available (probably more than you think!) from your chosen university, the government and from other sources such as part-time work.

Every UK student is entitled to a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their studies regardless of their background or household income; this is provided by Student Finance England.

You can also get access to a means tested maintenance loan to support you with living costs such as accommodation, travel expenses and day to day bills. You may also be eligible for a scholarship or bursary, do your research into your chosen university to find out what financial support is available to you. The links below provide you with some more in-depth information about funding and finance, check them out!

Aston University

Birmingham City University

Hereford College of Arts

Newman University

Solihull College

South & City College

University College Birmingham

University of Birmingham

University of Worcester

Walsall College

 

Choosing a Course & Institution

There are over 37,000 university level courses in the UK taught at over 350 institutions, this can make choosing your degree extremely difficult. So what is your dream course and where will you study it? There are a number of factors which you must consider before submitting your UCAS application.

What grades do I need to achieve? How far will I be from home? How is the course delivered? How will I be assessed? These are just some of the questions that you should be answering through your research.

The UCAS and The Complete University Guide websites can help you with your decision-making process and so can our partner institutions, see their websites below.

Aston University

Solihull College

University College Birmingham

University of Birmingham

University of Worcester

Walsall College

 

Post 16 Summer Schools

Residential summer schools are a great way for you to find out what life as a university student is like. You will stay in University halls of residence and get to spend time with current undergraduates. Usually, you will be expected to attend interactive lectures relevant to your academic interests during the day and there will be a full social calendar in the evenings. Check out your local residential opportunities below or visit the UniTasterDays site to spread your wings and go further afield.

Aston University

Sutton Trust

University of Birmingham

 

Supported Access Schemes

A number of organisations offer support to students from particular schools, postcode areas or backgrounds to help them to prosper in higher education. Find out more and check if you’re eligible to apply by clicking the links below.

Access to Birmingham

Realising Opportunities

Sutton Trust

 

Masterclasses

Masterclasses will provide you with an opportunity to sample what learning is like at university. Masterclasses are designed to enrich your current studies and help you to decide what subjects you would like to pursue at degree level. As well as being a great learning tool for your exams and assessments, these informative sessions can provide excellent examples to include in your personal statement.

Check out local masterclass programmes by clicking the links below:

Aston University

Birmingham City University

University College Birmingham

University of Birmingham

 

Taster Sessions

Taster sessions are provided by some universities and colleges to give you the chance to experience what academic life would be like as an undergraduate student. They may introduce you to new subjects or teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, and tutorials.

Aston University

Birmingham City University

Hereford College of Arts

Newman University

University College Birmingham

University of Worcester

 

Other Support

A-Level Revision Guide

Make Your Move Events

Journey to Higher Education Video

Science A-Level Revision Resources

University Experience Days at Aston University

 

Jargon Buster

Alumni - People who have graduated (completed a course and gained a qualification) from a particular university or college.

Bursary - A non-repayable sum of money awarded to students who fulfil specific criteria

Campus - The grounds and buildings of a university or college

Clearing - A process offered by UCAS to allocate students places on courses where there are still available vacancies. Clearing is normally used by students if they have not secured a place at the institution they want to study at.

Degree - A degree is the qualification university students gain on completion of their course

Freshers - Students who are new to higher education are often referred to as ‘freshers’. A welcome week is usually hosted at the start of term to familiarise new students with higher education life.This includes lots of social events as well as an introduction to facilities and staff.

Halls of residence - These are blocks of accommodation where most higher education students live during their first year of study

Lecture - A presentation of ideas and information by a member of academic staff (a lecturer) to a fairly large number of students.

Maintenance loan - A sum of money that a student borrows to cover living costs such as accommodation, bills and food.

Personal statement - A personal statement is a 4,000 character document which you submit to UCAS when making your application to universities and colleges in the UK. Your personal statement is your chance to sell yourself and tell institutions why they should offer you a place on their course

Postgraduate - A postgraduate student is someone who has completed their first degree (e.g. BA or BSc) and is now taking on a higher level qualification (a Masters degree) to advance their knowledge

Residential summer schools - Summer schools are provided by universities and colleges to give students an idea of what life is like as a higher education student

Scholarship - Scholarships are cash grants which do not have to be repaid. They are usually awarded for academic, sporting or musical excellence

Tuition fee loan - A tuition fee loan covers the cost of university studies such as teaching, resources, exams and assessment

Undergraduate - An undergraduate student is someone who is studying at university for their first (Bachelors) degree

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