Considering applying to university and wondering what to expect when you get there can leave you with a lot of questions unanswered. Speaking to friends, family, teachers etc is invaluable in helping you to make the decisions you will be faced with in relation to university. There are however a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that seem common among prospective students. The aim of this page is to help answer some of those FAQs and in turn support you with your progression into higher education.
Do I have to live in halls of residence as a first year student?
No. Many universities pledge to provide accommodation for all first years that have firmly accepted their offer and applied in time, the University of Exeter being one of those, but you don’t have to stay in halls if you don’t want to. All universities will have a range of options which may include catered or self catered, en suite or shared bathrooms, more or less expensive. Alternatively you can find your own accommodation or you can save the money and stay at home.
Can I apply to my local university?
Yes. Where you live does not determine which universities you can apply to so for example if you live in Exeter there is no reason why you can’t apply to the University of Exeter, if it offers the degree you are interested in.
If I want to do a Law degree do I have to study Law at A level?
Entry requirements for all programmes differ from university to university, however you do not usually have to take a Law A level to do Law at university, and similarly with studying business and a whole range of other degree subjects. Some programmes do require particular A levels and you need to make sure you know what these are before you apply. To find out the entry requirements for any university or programme that you might be interested in applying to visit the UCAS site.
Do my GCSE results matter once I’ve moved on to A levels?
This is one to do some research on. Some degree programmes may require you to have achieved certain grades in subjects such as English and Maths at GCSE as well as meeting the grades through your further education. University prospectuses and the UCAS website will be able to help you with this.
Does my family have to be well off for me to apply to certain universities?
No. Your family income does not impact on which university you can apply to. Where it does have an impact is in the amount of financial support you can get, both directly from universities and from the government. To find out more about government support for entry in 2012 and beyond visit www.bis.gov.uk/studentfinance, for individual university funding contact universities directly and to search for a whole range of scholarships on offer try the funding pages of www.whatuni.com/scholarships
Will taking out a student loan have a negative impact on my ability to get a mortgage in later life?
No. The Council for Mortgage Lenders advise that a student loan is very unlikely to materially impact on an individual’s ability to get a mortgage.
Do most social events at university involve alcohol?
No. Most universities will have a whole range of social activities on offer with something to suit everyone. At the University of Exeter for example there are over 140 societies and 50 sports clubs that you can join at the Exeter campuses and around 80 societies and sports clubs at the Cornwall Campus. Each year over 9,000 of our students join at least one society or club making it one of the best ways to meet people and make friends on campus. Each society is run solely for the benefit of its members, by the students themselves. And if you have a particular interest you can set up your own society! You will also have the support of your students' union to help you find out about these opportunities and here at Exeter we are proud to have an award winning Students' Guild who in 2010 won the National Union of Students (NUS) Student Union of the Year Award.
Will where I went to school have an impact on my ability to get into university?
No, this is certainly not the case for Exeter. Each application we receive is considered individually. For most of our programmes we publish typical offers made as a range, and when deciding what offer to make for any one student, we take a range of factors into account, including predicted grades and other contextual information. In certain circumstances the average performance of students at a school may be considered alongside other factors.
Once I have received my A level grades can I decide to go to my insurance choice university even if I do well enough to be accepted by my firm choice?
No. It’s really important to understand how the application process works. Once you have accepted an offer from a university as your firm choice, and if you achieve the grades that they ask for, you have three choices – either to go to that university, be released to go into clearing or to withdraw altogether and apply again the following year. You cannot change your mind and decide to go to your insurance choice university. This will only be possible if you are unsuccessful in being accepted to your firm choice and your insurance university accepts you instead. Make sure whichever university you accept as your firm choice really is the one you want to go to!
Are all English degrees the same regardless of the university I study at?
No. Programme content and module options can vary significantly from university to university. In order to ensure that what you are applying to study is what you expect it to be you will need to do some research. Most universities will provide details of the course structure and the modules available on their websites.
If your question hasn’t been answered here then try having a look at the rest of the university website to see if it can help. If you’re still struggling then please feel free to get in touch.
Telephone – 01392 724043
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org