Higher Education

Higher Education

Whilst all of the various websites and resources below will be useful in supporting you to make decision about your future Higher Education plans, you should NOT rely on any one source alone. It is ALWAYS best to use a range of different resources to make this decision. In addition to the websites below, why don’t you organise to speak to Harton’s Student Progression Manager, your form tutor or other members of the teaching staff at Harton. In addition, we highly recommend that you visit the university/college that you are interested in attending to see the facilities, meet the staff and to ask some relevant questions about the course and the future progression it offers.


The UCAS website: www.ucas.com contains key information on all UK university courses, with links to individual institutions websites – so that you can continue your research. It is also the website that students use to make their university applications at the start of Year 13.


Unistats: www.unistats.com is the website used for displaying the government’s Key Information Sets (KIS). It has up-to-date statistical information on each individual course at all the UK’s universities. There is information displayed on the following categories: student satisfaction, average salary after graduation, progression, accommodation costs, time spent in lectures & seminars, how it is assessed and student satisfaction with the university’s student union. You should also find a link to Unistats from individual university websites.


The school has recently purchased Unifrog: https://www.unifrog.org/, which is a very useful website that brings together the information from a wide range of other resources that help students to search for suitable university degrees. Students can register and then use Unifrog to search for degrees taking into account location, quality of research, student satisfaction, contact hours, costs, assessment methods etc. It also has a section on apprenticeships/school leaver programmes. For log-in details, please see your form tutor, Mr Burroughs or Mr Joyce.

UK Course Finder

UK Course Finder: http://www.ukcoursefinder.com is a website where you can search for universities based on course title, location and entry grades. If you are unsure of your plans but know that you want to progress onto Higher Education you can register (free of charge) and complete a short questionnaire that will ‘suggest’ degree courses that might interest you. This process is not an exact science but it can help you to start a search or to confirm your plans.

Which University

Which University: http://university.which.co.uk/ is another website that provides key information on individual degree courses, including the average UCAS points achieved by students actually starting the course, employment prospects and drop-out rates etc. For students unsure of their plans, they can also use the A level explorer tool: http://university.which.co.uk/a-level-explorer that suggests degree courses – based on the subjects that a student is studying or plans to study at A-level.

Apply to Uni

Apply to Uni: http://www.applytouni.com/ has information on applying to university, including a series of university guides and information on finance and open days.


Push: http://www.push.co.uk/ describes itself as being a “ruthlessly independent” guide to UK universities and comes from, at times, a very different perspective from other resources.

Other useful websites

Pure Potential: http://www.purepotential.org/ is a website with information on the UCAS process, writing a personal statement, succeeding at interview and student finance. It also contains information on revision techniques and alternatives to university.

bestcourse4me:  http://www.bestcourse4me.com allows you to search about “the relationship between what people study and their employment records afterwards”.

My Student Halls: https://www.mystudenthalls.com/ is a website that allows you to research the university accommodation at any of the universities that you are considering applying to.

The Student Room: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/ is a student only networking site that links students and prospective students with each other for discussions.

Open Days: http://www.opendays.com/ allows you to search for open days, and other events, being hosted by universities across the UK. Details of these are, of course, available on individual institution websites as well.

QAA: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews-and-reports allows you to read reports on the ‘quality’ and ‘standards’ of the various higher education providers.

People & Planet: https://peopleandplanet.org/university-league is a website that contains a comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance.


Good University Guides

The primary aim of the rankings is to inform potential undergraduate applicants about UK universities based on a range of criteria, including entry standards, student satisfaction, staff/student ratio, academic services and facilities expenditure per student, research quality etc. They can be very useful, however, be aware that different guides use different criteria to rank the various degree courses/universities and also that they are not without their critics.

The Times has a Good University Guide, which you can buy or access via an online subscription.

The Guardian has a Good University Guide: www.guardian.co.uk/education/universityguide

There is also the Complete University Guide: www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk

In addition to these UK based websites there is also another website, Top Universities: http://www.topuniversities.com/ that has information on where the ‘top’ universities are located, globally, and what courses they offer.

Graduate Employment

There are also a number of websites/resources that highlight the type of graduate employment opportunities that students can progress onto once they have completed their degree. They are worth looking at to broaden out your ideas and see what a degree can lead to. It is interesting to note that most do not require specific subject qualifications:

The Times Top 100 http://www.top100graduateemployers.com/ includes details of the top 100 employers in the UK, as ranked by graduating students i.e who they want to work for.

The Guardian’s Top 300: https://targetjobs.co.uk/uk300 is a similar list to the Times Top 100 but 3 times as big!

What Do Graduates Do? is a website: http://www.hecsu.ac.uk/current_projects_what_do_graduates_do.htm that outlines what students from particularly subject areas progress onto after they complete their degree.

Prospects: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree is an excellent website where you can explore what students studying a range of different degree subjects, typically, consider for future careers – once they graduate.

Local university websites

Durham University: https://www.dur.ac.uk/
Newcastle University: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/
Northumbria University: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/
University of Sunderland: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/
Teesside University: http://www.tees.ac.uk/

Some of the local FE colleges also offer a selection of foundation degrees that students can study for two years, before having the option to ‘top it up’ to full degree level, either through the college or an affiliated university:

Gateshead College: http://www.gateshead.ac.uk/
Newcastle College: http://www.ncl-coll.ac.uk/
South Tyneside College: http://www.stc.ac.uk/
Sunderland College: http://sunderlandcollege.ac.uk/


If you are interested in finding out more about studying at, or applying to, Oxford or Cambridge you can use this website which has been put together by the two universities: http://www.oxfordandcambridgeoutreach.co.uk/. If you are interested, Harton also has a link college at each of the universities. At Cambridge we are linked to Jesus College: http://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/ and at Oxford we are linked to St Anne’s: http://www.st-annes.ox.ac.uk/home.

Widening Participation (WP) programmes

Each of the local universities has a WP programme that aims to address the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between individuals from different social groups. This can involve a variety of different events, during Year 12 or 13, and can even lead to a reduced offer. For more details (including eligibility details) go to the individual university websites:

Durham University (Supported Progression): https://www.dur.ac.uk/supported.progression/

Newcastle University (Partners): http://www.ncl.ac.uk/schools/partners/

Northumbria University (NU Entry): https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/information-for-schools-and-colleges/northumbria-university-supported-entry-scheme/

In addition, every year we have students involved in the Realising Opportunities programme: http://realisingopportunities.ac.uk/, which is a WP scheme organised, collectively, by 15 of the UK’s research-led universities.


Additional Reading

Universities are keen on students getting involved in a range of super-curricular activities, which help a student expand their subject knowledge and demonstrate their passion for the subject that they intend to apply for.

If you want to read around your subjects, broaden your understanding of them or learn about new ideas then you can use a number of resources that are located in the library, including specialist journals and books, or you could use the following resources:

TED Talks

These are a series of “riveting talks by remarkable people”. Search under a subject and then watch/listen to any number of 10-15 minute videos on a wide range of different subjects. There is also a TED app for your phone so you can be inspired when you are ‘on the move’ or have a spare 15 minutes – wherever there is Wifi. To find a TED talk go to: www.ted.com.


Alternatively, the BBC has some excellent radio programmes on Radio 4 which are available as podcasts although, don’t forget, you can also listen to them live. There are programmes on maths, economics, business, health (including medical ethics), history, science, English, politics, philosophy, psychology, music, computing – to name but a few! To access this huge and free resource click on the following link: www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/

Other resources

You could also use Unifrog (https://www.unifrog.org/), to gain access to a huge number of MOOCs or use iTunes U, Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/), Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/), Iggy (https://www.iggy.net/) or a range of other websites/apps/podcasts.

Applying for HE abroad

UK students are increasingly looking at studying overseas, and overseas universities are increasingly marketing themselves at UK students. Here are some websites that students can use to explore some of the options available: 

A Star Future: www.astarfuture.co.uk – A website dedicated to students considering applying abroad.

Study Portals: http://www.bachelorsportal.eu/ – Another website that allows you to search undergraduate degrees outside of the UK

The European University Central Application Support Service (Eunicas): www.eunicas.ie –has information on courses taught in English at European universities.

Study in Holland: www.studyinholland.co.uk is a website dedicated to students considering applying to study in Holland – a country that has relatively low fees (with possible financial support) and a relatively large number of degrees taught in English.

Study in Sweden: https://studyinsweden.se/ – A website that explains the application process, as well as providing course information, for applying to university in Sweden. It also has a map, so you can find out where in Sweden you might be studying if you decide to apply.

Study in Germany: https://www.study-in.de/en/index.php – A website that allows you to search for degree courses in Germany that are taught in English.

Study in Denmark: http://studyindenmark.dk/ – A website that allows you to look at what Danish universities have to offer you in terms of Higher Education.

Study in the USA: http://www.fulbright.org.uk/ – The Fulbright Commission website gives information on studying in the US.

Study in Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/ – This Canadian government website has information on studying on Canada.

Study in Australia and New Zealand: www.studyoptions.com – Study Options is a website designed to help students who are interested in applying to universities in Australia and New Zealand. The Australian government also has a website: http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/global about studying in Australia.