How to use your qualifications
Adults can use a range of Level 3 qualifications for entry to a higher education level course. Sometimes it’s possible to gain entry with few or no qualifications.
Universities and colleges set their own entry criteria and are often flexible when it comes to considering mature applicants.
Higher education institutions value adults' professional experience and life skills. The learning that results from the experience you have gained can sometimes be used to get a place on a course even if you do not have formal qualifications. Find out more under the section on using your prior learning. However, most people, who enter higher education have Level 3 qualifications or have taken a suitable programme at this level, such as:
- an Access to Higher Education Diploma
- AS and A levels
- a BTEC Level 3 National qualification
- an OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualification
- a Level 3 work-based qualification (e.g. an NVQ Level 3)
- a Level 3/Advanced Apprenticeship
- a Foundation Year programme
As you can see, you don’t necessarily need A levels but it is important to check the entry requirements for any course you are considering.
Admissions staff will want to make sure that you are able to cope with study at higher education level and that you have, where appropriate, sufficient relevant background knowledge for the subject you want to study. If necessary, the institution may ask you to take a test, submit an exploratory essay do another type of assessment.
Qualifications from outside the UK
If you have qualifications awarded in another country, you'll need to find out whether they are recognised in the UK. See the UK NARIC website to compare your overseas qualification with those offered in this country.