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This information will help you think through what and where to study. If you are in college, you can also ask your teachers and careers advisors for help.

How do I choose a course and a university?

How do I choose a course to study?

If you do not yet know what course you want to study, you should spend some time looking at the ‘Course Search’ section of the UCAS website. Try thinking about a course which brings together the things you enjoy, the things you are good at and the careers you are interested in.

Depending on which course you want to study, you will be able to apply to four or five different universities. There are some important questions to consider when you think about which universities to select. These include:

How do I choose which university to apply to?

1. Which is the best option for me with my finances and immigration status?

If you are not eligible for student finance, it will be particularly important for you to think about this when you make your UCAS application. If you cannot self-fund your studies, you should only apply to universities who offer additional support with paying your tuition fees through scholarships or bursaries (see below), as well as universities closer to home so that you won’t have to pay as much for your accommodation.


Some universities offer scholarships for asylum seekers and those who cannot access student finance due to their immigration status. A list of these universities can be found on Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website and on the Article 26 website. If you are not eligible for Student Finance, and cannot self-fund your studies, you should only apply to universities who offer these scholarships.

2. Which universities are best for the course I want to study?

You can compare statistics on student satisfaction and employment for different universities and courses on the Discover Uni website. Some students also find it helpful to look at league tables on The Complete University Guide or What Uni.

3. What are the entry requirements?
Each university has different requirements that their students need to meet before they can start a course. Some universities ask for a certain number of UCAS Tariff Points (which are points gained by completing qualifications). Please see here for more information about the qualifications and documents needed for university.
4. What is the best location for me?

The location of your university will have a big impact on your university experience. Some universities are in the middle of big cities, some are in the countryside and others are on ‘campuses’.

You will also need to think about where in the country you want to study. Some students like to be really close to home and others may be keen to explore new places. You may wish to consider checking out exactly how long it takes to get to the universities you are considering and how much this journey costs.

5. Where will I have a community that supports me?

Find out if your university has a STAR group and if so, you contact them. Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is a national charity of 34,000 students welcoming refugees to the UK. STAR is made up of 50 groups at universities and colleges across the UK and has a national team which coordinates and supports these groups.

6. What happens next?

Once you have chosen a course, and the universities you want to apply to, you are now ready to make an application via UCAS. See here for more details on applying through UCAS.

Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward

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