Parents and supporters

How can I help my son or daughter through the application process?

What types of degree are there?
  • A Bachelor’s degree is a three or four year course (if studied full-time). Students studying an arts subject, such as art, drama or media, will receive a Bachelor of Arts (BA) qualification. Those studying a science subject, such as nursing or computer science, will receive a Bachelor of Science (BSc) qualification. There are some other qualifications – such as Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Music (BMus).
  • Honours degrees are courses with a slightly higher academic standard than ‘pass degrees’ – although nowadays, most degrees are assumed to be Honours degrees.
  • A Joint Honours degree is a course where students study two subjects, such as English and Media.
  • A major/minor degree is a course where students mainly study one subject with another alongside, such as English Language and English Literature
  • A sandwich course is a four-year degree (if studied full-time) where students take their third year out to pursue a year of industry experience in subjects like business management or engineering.

We offer many other types of higher education qualification – like Higher National Diplomas, Cert HEs and foundation courses.

These are a great option for students who want vocational training, but don’t want to take on the expense of a full, three-year degree. Many of these courses are designed so that students can upgrade their qualification to a degree with a year’s or two years’ work.

How should my son or daughter choose a course?

Ask your son or daughter:

  • What do you like?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you want to do as a career?
  • Have you considered courses you haven’t studied yet?

See our full course listings.

Try to talk to your son or daughter without putting pressure on them, and make appointments with teachers and school careers advisers if you can.

Our Pre-Entry Enquiries Team can help. If you feel really unsure, the Stamford Test (a career questionnaire) can also help.

How can I help my son or daughter choose a university?

Ask your son or daughter:

  • Would you like to study close to home?
  • Would you prefer to study on an out-of-town campus or in the city centre?

Encourage your son or daughter to go on open days so they can get a taste of what it’s like to be a student, and perhaps offer to go along with them.

If your son or daughter is torn between the same course at more than one university, try to find out more about the way the subject is taught and take a look at the course modules. Find out if students learn in lectures and seminars, or if they get the chance to be hands on?

What course information is available?

Download a copy of our guide to courses, or visit our courses section for more detailed information.

How do I know if my son or daughter is getting good enough grades and studying the right courses to get into university?

Our courses section contains full details of entry requirements for all our courses.

You can also visit the UCAS website for an explanation of the tariff system, how Clearing works and how to write personal statements.