Your choices at 18

University level course

Choosing higher education at 18/19 or later

Many 18 or 19 year-olds choose to go to university (higher education) after school or college. The proportion of young people going on to higher education has increased from one in eight in 1980 to well over one in three now. And although there was a dip in applications following the increase in fees, the number of applicants is on the rise again.

Even if you decide not to go to university at 18/19 there are lots of options to study at higher-education level later, through study alongside work.

There are lots of different types of higher-education level courses available. Higher education means any sort of nationally recognised qualification which is at Level 4 or above (A Levels, BTEC Level 3 and Advanced Apprenticeships are all Level 3 qualifications). A degree starts at Level 4 and progresses to Level 6 in the third year.

Although in the past higher-education courses were just delivered at universities, they are now offered at universities, colleges and also some training providers too.

So, if you have Level 3 qualifications you could explore higher-level study at 18/19.

Getting a degree can be good for your future employment prospects as a report published in 2016 showed that graduates are much more likely to have a job and to earn more than non-graduates. Institute for Fiscal Study (IFS)

The study also showed that the type of degree you choose can affect your future salary.

Read on to find the degrees that seem to provide the best salaries later.

Getting a degree without debt!

Students now have to apply for a government loan to pay for the increased tuition fees (£9,250+ a year for some courses).

Read more about loans and financial support for Higher Education here.

If the idea of taking out a loan for your university course is putting you off, then there are other ways to get a degree with financial support; through an employer-sponsored degree; a Higher Apprenticeship or Degree Apprenticeship; or with reduced fees through The Open University - where you can study part-time alongside work.

Information to help you explore higher education:

UCAS video: Preparing for Higher Education

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