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Choosing and applying for a higher education course

Three postgraduate students reading in a seminar room

Finding a course and a university/college

Before you start looking for a course, please read the article Higher education – Universities and colleges for guidance on choosing a reputable institution, plus the article Higher education – Courses and qualifications.

On this Education UK website, you can search through thousands of higher education courses at reputable universities and colleges. Simply click the Courses at the top of the page, then choose Higher education and start looking! Use the filters to pick courses that suit you.

Education UK covers the vast majority of UK higher education courses on offer, but not all (we are working on it!). On the UK government website there is a list of other places to search for reputable universities and colleges: www.gov.uk/higher-education-courses-find-and-apply.

Applying for a course

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  • For postgraduate courses, many universities and institutions handle their own application processes, and you can often apply directly via their website.

    Some institutions use the UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS) scheme. You can see which institutions are part of the scheme and find out more at the UKPASS website. You can apply using the UKPASS service at any time as there are no deadlines. However, your preferred universities and colleges may have their own closing dates, so you'll need to check with them before you apply.

  • The Conservatoires UK Admissions Service (CUKAS) operates a separate application system for undergraduate and postgraduate practice-based music courses, and some dance and drama courses. You can find out more information and apply online by visiting the CUKAS website.

  • UCAS also operates an application system for graduates who want to take postgraduate teacher training courses. Find out more and apply online at the UCAS Teacher Training website.