A guide to university for students

Should I go to uni?

Why study Nursing?

  1. To make s difference and to have a job with real meaning.
  2. To have ajob that will always be in demand.
  3. For great personal development opportunities.
  4. For a rewarding and challenging career.

What could I do with Nursing?

There are many different types of nursing. While all will lead to you becoming a qualified nurse, based on your passions and interests you might be happier as one rather than the other:

Any of these degrees (all of which should lead to full nursing registration) provide you the opportunity to potentially:

  • Become a clinical specialist (such as a Consultant Nurse) in your chosen field.
  • Become a nurse manager.
  • Become involved in research.

A Children’s Nurse who works with children of all ages suffering from many different conditions. They play a key role in assessing the nursing needs of the child, considering their medical, social, cultural and family circumstances.

Possible degree: Nursing (Children’s) BSc at Bucks New University.

A Mental Health Nurse works with people dealing with difficult mental health issues. They also work to combat stigma around mental health and help patients and their families deal with it.

Possible degree: Nursing (Mental Health) BSc at Bucks New University.

A Learning Disability Nurse who helps children with learning disabilities get the most out of their lives.

Possible degree: Nursing (Mental Health and Child) MSc at Oxford Brookes University.

An Adult Nurse who is probably the person you think of when you think of a nurse. They are responsible for the primary care of people in the hospital.

Possible degree: Nursing (Adult) BSc at Oxford Brookes University.

What about alternative routes?

It’s hard to decide what you want to do when you are older but there are alternative ways to become a nurse such as by doing the new Nursing Apprenticeship or the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship and then moving onto the Nursing Apprenticeship. So, if you’re not sure about going to university, these websites could help:

Other important criteria

No matter what route you take to healthcare, it is important that you are able to demonstrate certain values and behaviours that are vital for a career in healthcare. These values and behaviours are all about how you as an individual make decisions about your actions. There are two sets of values:

Choosing a course

There is a lot of information out there so while you are choosing a subject keep these things in mind:

Entry requirements

These will vary from course to course.

Course content

Always check the modules on the course to make sure you get to study topics that interest you.

Teaching method

What suits you the most: independent study, lectures, seminars?

Assessment types

Do you do best in coursework, practical work or exams? Also does the course provide certifications you need?

Work experience opportunities and careers help

Does the uni you are considering have connections with employers, help with getting a job or a placement, study abroad opportunities, sandwich year, interview process training, etc?

Choosing a university

To make choosing from hundreds of UK universities easier, consider the following things:


Some unis only have 1000 students while some might have over 30,000!


How far do you want to be from home? In a big city or smaller town? Up north or down south?

Campus or city university?

Campus universities have all their buildings on one big campus. City universities are spread around a bustling city.

Cost of living and accommodation

The north is usually cheaper than the south. Cities are more expensive than rural areas. Quality and price of accommodation will vary too.

Bursaries, grants and support for you

Financial awards are different at each university. Check which university will support you most suitably.

Sports clubs and societies you might want to join

Do you want to carry on a sport or maybe try a new hobby? Check if the uni you are looking at has the clubs you are interested in.


What is the university known for? Academics, sport, atmosphere, and so on.

The Higher Education system in the UK is set up so that anyone who wants to go to university, can! So don’t let the finances deter you.


When you apply for student finance you claim two different loans1;

A tuition loan of up to £9,250/annum1 for the cost of your studies – paid in full to the university. None of the tuition fee has to be paid up front by you.

A maintenance loan up to £11,672/ annum1 for living costs – paid in termly instalments to you. This loan is income and circumstance assessed.

Note: These numbers change year on year so please check or for up to date information.


As of July 20192, repayments for student loans:

  • Start the April after you graduate and only once you earn over £25,725.
  • Stop if your income drops below £25,725, which means if you are not earning enough your parents don’t have to cover you.
  • Are taken straight out of your pay check so you never have to go to the bank to pay it.
  • Are 9% of your earnings over £25,725 (see table).
  • Do not affect your credit rating or your ability to get a mortgage.
  • All outstanding debt is written off after 30 years.

University can be expensive, but over a lifetime with a degree you are likely to earn many times more than you will repay. If you have an ambition, a dream, or an interest in a subject, it is worth it to invest in your own future!

For more information go to or

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Jargon Buster

Higher Education (HE) The level of education that leads to a degree.

Gap year A year away from education to gain work experience, save up funds or go travelling.

Undergraduate Students studying for their first degree.

Graduate Someone who has completed an undergraduate course.

Higher National Diploma (HND) A two year work-related qualification; considered to be an equivalent of two years of HE study.

Foundation degree A one year course taken in preparation for an undergraduate degree.

Bachelor’s degree Usually a three year degree course. Bachelors of Arts (BA) are for arts and humanities courses while Bachelors of Science (BSc) are for science courses.

Master’s degree A more advanced degree, either taken after a Bachelor’s degree or as an integrated Master’s.

Joint honours degree A degree comprised of two different subjects.

Postgraduate degree Courses taken after your first degree such as a master’s degree.

Sandwich year A work-placement year taken during a degree.

Admission Team The people who receive and consider your application.

Halls of Residence Student accommodation at the University.

Campus University grounds.

UCAS The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service through which you apply to university.

Open Days Days during which you can visit universities free of charge and be shown round.

Prospectus A printed booklet advertising a school or university to potential students.

Student Loans Company (SLC) A non-profit, Government-owned organisation who provide loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK.

Student Loan A loan students can take up from SLC to cover living costs and tuition fees.

USEFUL WEBSITES All things university related and the portal through which you apply to university. Careers website with details on a huge variety of career options. A list of all the university open days in the UK. A list of taster days available at UK universities. Compares entry requirements, course details and prospects of UK degrees. and University and subject league tables, helpful advice and guides on many university related topics. University guides, articles and question forums. A summary of options at ages 13/14, at 16+ and 18+. Student Loans Company website for financial questions. A list of opportunities if you do not want to pursue university.

Study Higher partner universities’ websites
University of Reading
Oxford Brookes University
University of Oxford
Bucks New University