HE stands for ‘Higher Education’. This is an optional level of education that you might move onto once you finish at school, sixth form or college, and once you finish you receive a qualification called a degree.
You can study Higher Education courses at lots of different places. Universities are some of the best-known providers, but lots of colleges also run HE courses and there is also the option to study online.
There are several different types of degree courses available such as Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Foundation Degree or Degree Apprenticeship. There are also thousands of different subjects you can study at HE and hundreds of different institutions you can study at.
Most degrees take three years to complete, but it depends on what subject you choose to study. For example, if you want to study Medicine it will take you five years to complete your degree. For Architecture, it can take between seven and ten years. Degree Apprenticeships take between three and six years to complete. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can choose to study either full time or part time, and part-time courses will take longer to complete. When you’re researching your course choices, make sure you check how long the course takes to complete so you’re prepared.
Whilst it’s not compulsory to study at HE level, it can be a fantastic opportunity to boost your career options and improve your chances of getting a well-paid job (graduates are likely to earn more money over their lifetime than non-graduates). On top of these very practical reasons, studying at HE also allows you to study your very favourite subject, as well as meet loads of new people, take part in a huge range of extra-curricular activities, volunteer, earn money, live away from home if you want to… the list is endless! However, it’s also important to remember that HE isn’t for everybody, and it’s certainly not the only way to be successful. Make sure you do what’s right for you!
Most applications to HE are submitted via UCAS, the University and College Admissions Service. Applicants complete one application form, which is the sent to all of their choices. You can find out more about applying through UCAS here.
Higher Education courses are not free, and can be paid for with a combination of loans, grants/bursaries and personal finances. Student Finance England (SFE) manage all student loans, and a separate application must be submitted to SFE in order for a student to get a loan. How much money you are entitled to depends on your household income and location. To find out more about Student Finance, click here.
Additional funding may come from a student’s own (or family) finances. Students often take on part time work to help pay for their studies, or they might receive financial support from family members.