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Where to study

Study elsewhere in the UK

There are 165 Higher Education Institutions in the UK, most of them offering some form of postgraduate study. Choosing the right place to study is important and it can be critical if you need funding.
Determine the type of course you are looking for and where it is available first. Then, to help you decide between different Institutions, think about these three areas:

Academic Quality

  • The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is responsible for regulating standards and quality for UK higher education and they carry out inspections of institutions. These ‘Institutional Audit’ reports are published on the QAA website.
  • There are also league tables of Institutions which ‘measure’ teaching, research, facilities, etc.  These can be helpful but should not be the only thing you consider. You can check out the current league tables at the Complete University Guide.
  • The quality of an Institution’s research is measured by Research Assessment Exercises, undertaken by the Higher Education Funding Councils every five years. Every subject area is given a rank and a league table is published. However, a lot can change in five years so it is also worth looking at the research being currently funded at Institutions by the Research Councils.

Will the course and the Institution provide what you want?

  • Always read the prospectus and website in detail. Courses are structured in different ways and modules and options vary. Make sure the content is suitable for you.
  • If you are doing the course to progress your career plans, make sure it provides you with a recognised professional qualification. Also investigate what has happened to people who have completed the course. Has it helped them find relevant jobs? You can usually get this information from the Institution’s website, or the Careers Service.
  • If the course is vocational, does the Institution have links with relevant employers and can it help you find appropriate work experience? Consider all aspects of an Institution’s support and resources.

Personal factors

  • Will you enjoy studying there? Visit the Institution, speak to the staff, and get a feel for the place. Find out how many students will be on the course as this will have an impact on both teaching methods and social interaction. 
  • Consider the living costs and, if appropriate, the availability of part-time employment. 
  • Studying in a different city will bring new challenges and opportunities, requiring you to be adaptable and flexible – skills employers find valuable. Measure this against the familiar – what will suit you best.