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An Introduction to Higher Education (HE)

We understand that choosing your next steps after your college course can be daunting, for a number of reasons. Here at Hartlepool FE we have put together an Introduction to Higher Education presentation, to help myth bust any queries or concerns you might have about HE:

How To Apply

If you are applying for university you apply via UCAS APPLY. Apply is open from August until January 15th but the college deadline is November 30th so your tutor can ensure a refrence is written for you. If you miss the college deadline there is no guarantee that your reference will be completed in time for the final deadline. If you miss the final Jan 15th deadline, your chosen institution doesn't have to reply to your application*. To support you there are dedicated UCAS, Student Finance and Personal Statement workshops available from September - November in college as well as 1:1 support.

*Some Art and Design courses may have March deadlines. Please check with an adviser.

Your application will require you to input all of the qualifications you have gained since school. (If you cannot gain access to these, please speak to an adviser in Student Services). Your UCAS application will also require all modules of your current and previous college courses as well as details of any employment you have had. You will also be required to write a personal statement and attach it to your application.

To apply you need to register for the year you will be starting University and then create an account. You will be asked if you are applying through a college/school. You will need to click "yes" and put the college Buzzword in the requested box. The buzzword is always HCFE20XX (XX would be the year you are applying to start your HE course). There are then multiple fields to complete as part of your UCAS application. As this is complex we have included a video link below to take you through each section of APPLY. You only need to complete the questions with a green asterix next to them.

UCAS charges an application administration fee and can vary depending on how many courses you apply for. You can pay this before submitting your application. Once submitted the college advisers will ask your tutor for your reference and work with UCAS to process your application. At this point you can track the progress of your application through UCAS TRACK. To log in to track you will need your UCAS application number and the same username and password. UCAS will also keep you posted via letter/e-mail on what's happening with your application. You will receive important reminders for when to apply for student finance or when to attend an interview (if required).

If you apply for a course and it isn't on UCAS, please speak to an adviser as the application process may be different.

Applying for Higher Education gives you the chance to fully explore your options and involves making big decisions about your future. We are here to support you every step of the way and have a track record of succesfully supporting learners ensuring you find an option that best suits your personal and professional preferences.

For more advice and support please visit Student Services or contact us
Access students can register with the HCFE Access Students Facebook Group for guidance and support
Students can also access HE information via Twitter @HCFEAdvisers

Useful links:

  • UCAS Apply and search for courses using the Uni and College Admissions Service
  • The Student Room An online forum/message boards for undergraduates and graduates
  • UniStats Statistics on each university. Includes employability, student feedback and more


Whatever course you choose, you'll get the highest level of training from specialist tutors, benefiting from their knowledge and experience of working not just in education but also in industry.