You might be thinking about going to university or college to study for a Higher National Certificates (HNC), a Higher National Diplomas (HND) or a university degree.
University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) provides details on all courses in the UK, how to apply for university and general information for students, including what student life might be like. The website also has a comprehensive list of courses at universities and colleges in the UK, what subjects are required and what grades you need.
Some courses require you to take certain subjects and achieve a certain grades. This can vary between different university institutions. Some courses, require you to have built up some relevant experience. You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate that you have the required skills. It’s a good idea to find out what skills and experience you need for the course that you want to do. This will help you to figure out where you can build the skills you need, and also to think about how you can get some experience in your chosen area, such as through volunteering or work experience opportunities.
Don’t worry! Even if you know you would like to go to university, but are unsure of the exact course, there is always scope to change direction. Just try to consider what might be the best combination of subjects to give you most flexibility. Keep your options open!
You might be really good at, and really enjoy, lots of different things - that’s ok. It can feel like there’s so much pressure on you to make a decision about exactly what you’re going to be for the rest of your life, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Lots of people study one thing at college or university when they leave school, then ten or twenty years later they change course completely, embarking on a period of study in an entirely new subject area, or starting a new career. Life can be full of possibilities.
Remember, there are no courses which are only for men or only for women. Lots of women are successful engineers, studying computer science, or starting their own successful businesses, and there are lots of organisations out there which can offer you support and advice.
EQUATE Scotland is an organisation which works to make a positive difference for women in science engineering, technology and the built environment, and their website is a great source of information. They support the Interconnect Network, which brings together women studying science, engineering and technology areas with women already working in SET industries.
This week saw the report of the Scottish Parliament Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee inquiry into the gender pay gap. The report No Small Change: The economic potential of closing the pay gap makes 45 recommendations, to Scottish Government, its agencies, and employers, that aim to tackle women’s inequality at work.