The Guardian University Tables
These annual tables produced by the Guardian's education section rank universities according to teaching quality and student satisfaction. There is a facility to search rankings by subject.
The UCAS website offers a range of resources to help you make an informed decision about your choice of course, and where to study it. From the homepage there is a Course Search facility which lists just about all the full time courses offered at higher education level across the UK. You can also use this site to search for and link to, any Higher Education Institution in the UK.
Here you can search and compare UK degree courses and universities. Includes student views and student satisfaction ratings.
PlanIT Plus Learning zone
PlanIt Plus has been developed to help people of all ages to find out about career and learning opportunities in Scotland.
Learning Zone provides information about the courses on offer at Scottish Colleges and Universities.
This website allows you to compare course subjects and different universities in relation to employability after you graduate. Using the search options of subject, career or university, you can explore salary ranges and employability depending on where and what you study.
This site shows opportunities that exist outside of traditional university such as apprenticeships, sponsored degrees, gap years
If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships, the Skills Development Scotland website provides information on how apprenticeships work, and links to case studies from people involved in Modern Apprenticeships.
The Apprenticeships in Scotland website is an online apprenticeship and training job board for Scotland, where you can search for apprenticeship opportunities by sector.
The Apprenticeships UK website has links to apprenticeship information for Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Information about getting into a Scottish modern apprenticeship and training at work in Scotland.
Student housing service
The National Union of Students (NUS) advice page has some great tips about student housing, including house-hunting and things to remember on moving day.
Shelter Scotland is a great source for information about finding a place to live and your rights as a tenant.
Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
SAAS is an agency of the Scottish Government giving financial support to all eligible students doing a course of full-time or part-time higher education in the UK. This website provides all the information on student funding and allows you to apply for your financial support.
Student Finance (direct gov)
The student finance section of the Directgov website is the place to go for all the information you need regarding student finance. The Quick Guide To Student Finance section will provide you with information on university costs, when and how to apply, and eligibility criteria. The Extra Help section gives information on Childcare, and the Adult Dependant’s Grant, and details of funding available to disabled students is also explored.
You can also link directly from this website to Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Finance Wales, and the Student Awards Agency Scotland, which detail the differences in funding across the UK.
Student Loans Company (SLC)
The Student Loans Company website offers some information about the different types of funding available, this information can be found under the Services section. The website has a useful contacts page, so no matter where in the process you are, there are dedicated teams to offer further advice: go to Contact Us section on the Home page.
National Union of Students (NUS)
NUS represents all students and advocates for students on all kinds of issues. Local NUS offices in each university are great places for information and advice about the institution. The Website is full of details on campaigns, student life, events, money saving offers and finance.
The Student Room
The Student Room is an online student community. As well as being a source of information on all things university related, it also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues on the Student Forums. There is an A-Z University Guide, useful for those exploring where to study, and links to Student Articles, written by students covering a range of academic, university and careers subjects.
The uni stats website offers you the opportunity to compare different universities using a range of criteria. This helps you to make a more informed choice about where and what to study. Amongst other things, you can search on Job Prospects, National Student Survey Results and UCAS points needed to apply.
OpenLearn : Succeed in the Workplace
Do you want to change jobs? Are you just starting in the job market? Are you returning to work after a break? If so, then this free course, Succeed in the workplace, is for you. It will help you explore career opportunities by starting from you, not the job - getting to know yourself and what you value are the foundations of your career planning. You will gain the skills to write strong CVs and application forms, and to handle different types of interviews. By the end of the course you will have made a start on your own realistic and robust action plan to enable you to find a job that will fulfil your aspirations and suit your lifestyle.
OpenLearn: Using voluntary work to get ahead in the job market
This free course explores how engaging in voluntary work can enhance your employment opportunities.
Skills Development Scotland
The My World of Work website from Skills Development Scotland offers careers information, interview and CV tips and a job searching facility, as well as a Course Choice section to search thousands of learning and training opportunities.
PlanIT Plus Career Zone
PlanIT Plus has been developed to help people of all ages to find out about career and learning opportunities in Scotland. The Career Zone contains information on careers in Scotland with lots of useful job profiles, backed up by career planning activities and online career support services.
National Careers Service
This site provides information, advice and guidance to help you decide on learning, training and work opportunities. Although focussed on careers in England it contains excellent job profiles. You can email or telephone an adviser - contact details available through the website.
Wales and Northern Ireland also provide all age information, advice and guidance services. You can email or speak to an adviser - contact details available through the following sites:
The Prospects website is aimed primarily at graduates though it is useful as a tool to find out information about particular careers, and contains a range of job profiles as well as specific information on different work sectors. For those that are still studying, or thinking about returning to study, the best area of the website to search is the Jobs and Work section located at the top of the homepage. From here, there are links to - What Jobs Would Suit Me, Explore Types of Jobs, and Industry Insights. These tools are useful to those who want to explore the different types of careers available, and can be used to identify what is needed academically, and what experience you may need in order to work in any particular profession.
Careers by Profession
There are websites offering specific information and advice on ways of entering particular careers in particular sectors.Local Government
If you are interested in working for local government have a look at the myjob Scotland website for advice and vacancy information.
If you’re interested in teaching in England, have a look around the Get Into Teaching area of the Department for Education: Getting into teaching website. It outlines routes into the profession, the funding options and what life is like for primary and secondary teachers. For Scotland, practical information on how to get into teaching is available from the Scottish Government Teach in Scotland site.
Use The British Psychological Society (BPS) website if you’re interested in becoming a psychologist. Information around academic requirements and the different routes Into psychology careers are explored in detail in their Careers, Education & Training section.
If you’re interested in becoming a social worker, the British Association of Social Workers is a good place to start investigating routes in. The website provides information about entry requirements, training, funding and has links to the Scottish Association of Social Work.
Whether you want to be a doctor or work as an IT consultant, all NHS careers are explored in detail on the NHS careers website. Two useful places to use on the website are Explore by career, which outlines the huge range of professions available in the NHS, and Working in the NHS, which explores pay, benefits, and long term development.
Volunteer Scotland gathers together Scottish volunteering opportunities across many different sectors.
Below is a link to the do-it website which allows you to start searching volunteering opportunities across the UK straight away.
Job search sites
This offers paid placements for up to one year in small and medium sized companies in Scotland. You have to be university degree-educated (or above), or have an HNC or HND qualification.
My World of Work
My World of Work is Scotland’s careers information and advice web service, with a great job search database.
Jobs and education opportunities in the creative sector.
Search for NHS jobs throughout Scotland.
Goodmoves is a great resource for finding jobs in the voluntary sector.
myjobscotland advertises jobs on offer in local government in Scotland.
An extended list of job search sites For a longer list of job search sites in Scotland, including newspapers and more general search sites, please click here.
Apprenticeships and Vocational Training
Apprenticeships in Scotland
Apprenticeships in Scotland gathers together apprenticeship and trainee vacancies for young people in Scotland.
My World of Work - Modern Apprenticeships and Work Experience
My World of Work has lots of information about what's involved and how to apply for modern apprenticeships and work experience opportunities in Scotland.
Volunteer Scotland gathers together Scottish volunteering opportunities across many different sectors.
Project Scotland is a charity that helps young Scots aged 16 to 30 to get on in life by volunteering full-time with a Scottish charity.
vInspired provides volunteering opportunities for for 14 - 25 year olds throughout the UK.
Do-It is a searchable database of volunteering opportunities throughout the UK.
Distance and Online Learning
BPP University College
BPP University College is a UK degree awarding body providing its own qualification awards dedicated to business and the professions. Students can study part time at different city-centre locations in the UK e.g. London and Manchester or completely online. Students can also study a two year accelerated degree in business or law. All programmes are clearly listed on home page.
University of Essex Online
University of Essex Online courses are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, an experienced online learning provider. The latter offers a range of foundation degrees and a smaller number of top up honours degrees. Degrees online are mainly Business and Management, Marketing and Criminology. In order to start a degree you will need to have GCSE grade C or above, or its equivalent, in English and Mathematics and a pass in any A level. If you do not meet the minimum academic standards, you will need to demonstrate that you are currently working and have a minimum of three years of relevant employment. If you are a UK or EU citizen and live in England you may be eligible for a government-backed student loan so you won’t have to pay any tuition fees for your undergraduate degree course up front.
University of the Highlands and Islands
UHI offer online learning degrees delivered entirely by computer and over the internet. These include programmes in Psychology, Child care, Health Studies and Business Studies
International Correspondence Schools
The ICS is a well established distance learning provider offering qualifications at secondary, FE and HE level. The type of qualifications ICS offer can be identified at the top of their homepage. Click on the qualification you are interested in to see a full list of the subjects offered. Course costs will vary depending on the qualification you choose to study – some financial support may be available to students on low income. To find out more ring the free main enquiry number on the Website.
Open College of the Arts
The OCA is a distance learning provider which specialises in creative subjects up to degree level. From the homepage the Courses section takes you to a list of the subjects offered at OCA, and from which you can explore them in more detail. Follow the link ‘About OCA’ from the homepage to access information on Enrolment, including payment options and financial assistance or ring number on Homepage to speak to member of advisory team. Through accreditation of previous study or of a portfolio of work it may be possible to gain credits which provide exemption from some Level 1 and 2 course units.
The Open University
The Open University is a well established distance learning provider and offers a range of qualifications at degree and postgraduate level which are taught via distance learning. The Study at The OU website provides information on how studying with The Open University works, and what support you gain whilst studying. The website also offers an extensive online prospectus which enables you to search the courses and qualifications available.
The type and level of financial support you are entitled to varies, and depends not only on where you live but on your income, previous qualifications, level of intended study and when you intend to start studying. To find out more about eligibility criteria, use the financial support section of the website for more details.
If you have already completed some study at HE level, you may be able to claim credit for this and apply it to a qualification with the Open University. Use the Credit Transfer website for more details.
International organisation partnered with several UK universities to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees which are delivered by online distance learning. Undergraduate degrees are offered in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and application is made through Rdi. From the homepage you can link to qualifications and subjects available and free phone number for enquiries. If you are a UK or EU citizen and live in England you may be eligible for a government-backed student loan so you won’t have to pay any tuition fees for your undergraduate degree course up front.. Other flexible payment options are available.
Other Online Providers
Many Higher Education Institutions are developing their distance/open learning provision (particularly at postgraduate level) as technology for delivery improves. It is always worth checking with prospective institutions to see if they offer anything by this method either by using their course search facilities or by simply contacting them directly. Some examples of undergraduate degrees can be found on the following linksRobert Gordon University
Lead Scotland, (Specialists in Linking Education and Disability), is a voluntary organisation set up to widen access to learning for disabled young people and adults and carers across Scotland. Their services include:
A freephone telephone and e-mail enquiry service for disabled learners and carers
A range of free information booklets relating to post-16 learning and disability
An electronic newsletter
Lead Scotland Information Service:
Freephone: 0800 999 2569