Higher education (HE) is mostly delivered by universities and colleges that offer degree-level courses. Some of the local colleges have also separated their HE departments into dedicated university centres. Whilst others are specialist providers such as art schools and theatre schools.

Higher education qualifications include:

  • Diplomas (e.g. HNDs) – Level 5
  • Foundation degrees – Level 5
  • Bachelor degrees – Level 6+
  • Sandwich degree courses – (Level 6+) usually 4 years including a placement
  • Degree Apprenticeships

There are also Sponsored Degrees which are usually Level 6+ courses where an employer offers a sum of money, paid work experience in the holidays or on a part-time basis during your degree.

Types of additional funding for higher education include (in alphabetical order):

  • Bursary (or Fund) – means-tested, but usually gifted direct by the Uni.
  • Grant – usually gifted by others to students matching their criteria (e.g. awarded by a charitable trust in recognition of a relevant talent or for those matching a specific criteria).
  • Loan – usually means-tested finance that will need to be repaid at some point.
  • Scholarship (or Award) – usually gifted directly by the Uni in recognition of a specific talent.



By choosing Higher Education (HE), you will have decided to continue studying in a classroom-based academic environment and will (usually) be aged 18 or older.

However, your next career path (e.g. Vet) might influence your decision so research this carefully before choosing if, what, why and where to study.



Most important of all, make sure you choose a course that you’re happy to study for the next few years!

After that, your choice could be influenced by a number of factors including (in alphabetical order):

  • accommodation – halls of residence / student flats / old or new buildings / rented house
  • bursaries & scholarships – additional funding available to support your studies
  • campus – if on a split site, will you be travelling between classes every day?
  • course structure – modular? / independent study time? / single, joint or combined honours?
  • entry requirements – are you studying the right subjects and have the predicted grades
  • facilities – academic / recreational / social / accommodation
  • graduate prospects – and the strength of any Uni links with employers
  • location – live at home or do you want/need to be near a particular location (e.g. the sea)
  • reputation – either the Uni as a whole or your chosen department and course
  • size – student numbers can vary hugely between the different Unis
  • student mix – ratio of mature:teenage students / student:staff / male:female students
  • suitability – course descriptions often mention preferred skills, interests or experience



The main local HE providers are listed below. Each has a Bristol or Bath (BS or BA) postcode as part of the Careersnearhere.com criteria for being local to the area.

Click on each one to find out what they offer. Most deliver a wide range of subjects and pathways, whilst some offer specialist courses. The individual websites will explain further.

Access Creative College
Bath College
Bath Spa University
Bristol City Community Trust
Bristol Institute of Modern Music (BIMM)
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Bristol Rovers Community Trust
City of Bristol College
DBS Music
South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS – Filton)
Strode College
University Centre Weston (UCW)
University of Bath
University of Bristol
University of Law, Bristol (legal courses)
University of the West of England (UWE)
Yeovil College University Centre

Why not also explore Careersnearhere.com as the local colleges and universities can advertise (for free) on the noticeboards under the relevant industry / career sectors:



Each college and university website should list their available subjects, open days, taster courses, contact details, any available bursaries and scholarships, as well as the application process. Remember to also check for any admissions criteria as this will be worth researching carefully before making any decisions.

Always try to visit in person before applying and remember to first seek permission if taking time out of school to attend.

Applications are made online via the UCAS website where you can also research in detail all the different courses and Higher Education providers.

To explore local Higher Education adverts on Careersnearhere.com:

  • Click on Explore Local Careers (TOP)
  • Scroll down
  • Select your favourite local industry/career sector
  • Discover any relevant, local adverts on the noticeboards
  • Follow the link in each advert to find out more or to apply direct to the college or university



There are overviews on the government websites if you search online under higher education, education, student finance, grants and bursaries.

To compare HE providers, look online for some of the many websites including (in alphabetical order): Compare the Uni, The Complete University Guide, Push, Times Higher Education, UCAS search, Unistats, and Which? University.

On Careersnearhere.com, why not also take a look at Careers Advice & Guidance Online and other headings under the Help section at the bottom of the page.

And perhaps search YouTube and the internet for relevant videos including those made by some of the local colleges, universities and by their students.

It’s Your Future – Let’s Get It Started!