your guide to university

if you are supporting someone considering university, you may have many questions. from researching universities through to enrolment, the university application process is a busy and exciting time.

by understanding how the process works you will be able to support them to make a successful application. you can also help them make the right decision by encouraging them to thoroughly research their course, where they want to study and what they plan on doing after studying.

familiarise yourself with their choice of course, university location and accommodation. this way you can chat to them about the options.
stewart cowley
familiarise yourself with their choice of course, university location and accommodation. this way you can chat to them about the options.
stewart cowley
of graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation
dhle survey 2016, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.
of graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation
dhle survey 2016, for all respondents available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.
  • is university the right choice?

    there are many reasons why someone might consider university, from career development to passion for their subject area.

    alongside academic qualifications, higher education provides students with independence, confidence, and skills that transfer into the world of work. university gives them the chance to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, and undergo a huge life experience.

    is it worth the cost?

    we passionately believe that going to university is a worthwhile investment in your child’s future. research from the department of education indicates a degree from a uk university increases a person’s net earnings by £100k or more on average over their lifetime.

    when it comes to funding a degree, all full-time students are entitled to a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of their study. students can also apply for maintenance loans to cover living costs. repayments for these loans are directly linked to how much they earn after university. students only start to repay their student loans when they are earning at least £26,575 per year.

    outstanding loan repayments don’t count against their credit rating, and won’t affect things like buying a car or applying for a mortgage. if they earn below the minimum threshold, they won’t repay anything.

    why study at manchester metropolitan?

    at manchester met, we are home to a thriving population of over 34,000 students, in one of the best student cities in the world (qs best student cities).

    they’ll get the chance to choose from hundreds of undergraduate courses and study in an academic environment that we’re committed to constantly improving.

    we help prepare our graduates for life after university, and provide lifelong careers support to our alumni.

  • we’re here to support

    student wellbeing

    we provide a whole host of wellbeing support here at manchester met, and work hard to ensure students can access the services they need. whether they want to meet new people, try something different by getting more active, or need some advice and a friendly chat, we’ve got it covered.

    find out more about our wellbeing offer to students

    study skills

    our academic and study skills team are here to provide advice and support to help students achieve their full academic potential. whether it’s help planning an assignment, support to improve numeracy skills or feedback on written work, there’s lots of ways to access advice and help. this includes one-to-one appointments with tutors, group workshops and online resources.

    find out more

    there is a variety of support from the university, such as wellbeing advisers, a counselling service, residential advisers and support from the students’ union. as well as academic and pastoral support, i also receive regular updates about job vacancies that are relevant to my course, and the careers service can assist you with finding graduate jobs which helps me to feel prepared and well-supported for when i finish my degree.

    niamh roberts bsc (hons) psychology
  • supporting their application

    the university application process is done exclusively through ucas. your child’s application should be supported by their school or college, who will talk them through each stage and help them with things like writing a personal statement.

    you can help by keeping track of key dates and having an understanding of the ucas tariff system, and the grades your child is aiming for. you can also help make sure they fully research the universities they are applying to by ordering a prospectus or attending an open day.

    for more information on how the application process works, see the ucas guide on how to apply.

    we tried to be supportive and act as a sounding board – without trying to sway any decisions one way or another. be engaged in the process so you understand what’s expected of them at different times – and can provide gentle reminders! understand that they will have various demands on them – from personal statements and applications, to revision for exams, not to mention their busy social lives – so just being aware of these different priorities can help navigate any of the more difficult times!

    ellie holmes, parent
  • finding the right course

    there are a number of things that might influence the course and university your child chooses. it might seem difficult to know where to start, but here are a few key things to consider:

    choice of course

    what subject are they interested in? are they interested in studying one subject area, or do they want to study two subjects together in a joint honours degree? what would they like to do with their degree after studying? it’s important to check the entry requirements, as these vary from course to course.

    course content

    does the course contain units that your child finds motivating and enjoyable? how will the course be assessed? think about their strengths – are they suited to coursework or exam based assessments? would they like the option of studying abroad or doing a placement year?

    professional accreditation

    is there a specific profession that they want to enter that requires a degree with a professional accreditation? for example, our psychology degrees are accredited by the british psychological society, which allows graduates to take the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.


    where do they want to study? do they want to stay at home or move away? if they are looking to move away, what accommodation options are available?

  • how our students learn

    studying at university is different to sixth form or college as students are expected to develop as independent learners.

    in addition to attending classes, seminars and tutorials, they are provided with learning resources, reading lists and journals, and will be expected to do a substantial amount of independent learning.

    moodle is our virtual learning environment that provides students with additional resources related to their course and is a one-stop shop for access to timetables, email and coursework.

    lectures are timetabled sessions that provide talks, presentations and group activities that cover the key theories and principles for the unit being studied. to get the most out of lectures, we advise that students do some wider reading on the topic and key terms beforehand, following them up with any activities set on moodle.

    seminars are scheduled sessions that will usually be in smaller groups than lectures. the exact nature of a seminar may vary from course to course; they often follow on each week from the material presented in lectures and provide an opportunity to discuss themes or issues raised in the lecture.

    tutorials are generally individual or group meetings with a personal tutor, and are arranged to discuss particular pieces of work, or provide an opportunity to discuss personal and pastoral issues.

    assignments and deadlines are critical to students’ success at university. students will be provided with information about each assignment, including the deadlines, in the moodle area for each unit being taken.

    assessment and feedback is the information students receive about their assignments, and they will be advised on how it will be given and how to use it effectively. we recommend students take their time to review it and think about how to use it. learning from feedback will help students to improve their marks in the future.

    covid-19: we have a flexible approach to delivery of our teaching which includes a mix of online and face-to-face tuition. we are continually reviewing our approaches to ensure we can provide the best experience for our students, in line with the latest government safety guidance.

    kyla’s typical tuesday

    • 9-11am lecture in geoffrey manton building.
    • 11am-12pm free time (chat with my friends, studying, prayer).
    • around 12pm lunch with my friends somewhere around university or in town.
    • 1.30pm library time.
    • 6pm active campus fitness class.
    • 7pm home or dinner with friends.

    kyla schneeberger, ba (hons) tesol with modern standard arabic

  • understanding student finance

    student finance helps cover the costs of higher education but it can be daunting to understand for new students and parents or guardians. understanding how much your child will pay for university, how they apply for the funding, and when it will be repaid will help make the process easier.

    students need to apply for student finance separately to their application and ensure they complete their application before the deadline to be guaranteed funding. you will also need to provide details of your household income to support their application.

    visit to find out how to apply for student finance.

    tuition fees

    this is the amount each student pays per year for their course at university. these costs are covered upfront by a tuition fee loan, which is a non-means tested form of funding available to all new, eligible undergraduate students in the uk. tuition fees are paid directly to the university, so you don’t need to worry about making sure they’re paid on time.

    wondering how tuition fees are spent? see how we invest fees to enhance learning experience.

    maintenance loans

    students can apply for help with living costs through the form of a maintenance loan. this is money from their funding provider to cover things like accommodation, food, travel and other essentials. how much students can borrow depends on your household income, length of course and whether or not they will be living at home.

    if you have more than one dependent young person attending university at the same time, they will each be entitled to borrow more in recognition that you’ll be supporting multiple students at once.

    maintenance loans are paid in three instalments each year - one at the beginning of each term. this helps students budget and manage their money throughout the year.

    to find out how much your child can borrow, visit our funding your studies page.


    repayments start from the april after graduation, and only when students earn over £26,575 per year. if their earnings fall below this, repayments are suspended.

    the amount they repay each month depends on their income. repayments are 9% of earnings above the £26,575 per year threshold. for example, someone earning £27,000 per year will repay around £3 per month.

    a different rate may apply to people who work outside of the uk after graduating. find out more about repaying student loans at

    bursaries, scholarships, and support

    universities also provide funding to some students in the form of bursaries, scholarships, or other support systems. typically, these are pots of funds managed by the university and don’t need to be repaid.

    manchester met offers support in a number of ways to ensure fair access and encourage the success of students of all backgrounds.

    you can find out what kind of bursaries, scholarships, and support we offer on our funding your studies page.

    paid for work on campus

    manchester met students can apply for casual, paid work on campus with our jobs4students scheme.

    to ensure they remain focused on their studies, during term time jobs4students cap the amount of hours they can work to 16 hours per week. as research suggests that working more hours may affect their studies.

  • jargon buster

    navigating the process of applying for university can be challenging, so we have created a handy jargon buster to help you recognise certain terms you may hear.

    adviser – someone who provides your child with advice and supports their application. this could be a teacher, tutor, or agent.

    application centre – a school, college, or organisation that can help students apply to higher education. for undergraduate students this will usually be their sixth form college.

    clearing – a service your child can use to look for alternative courses. whether they didn’t receive offers, declined their offers, or didn’t get the required grades. clearing runs from early july to mid-september and allows students to apply for courses that still have vacancies.

    conditional offer – your child may receive an offer of a place at university subject to meeting certain conditions – usually exam results.

    confirmation – applicants that meet the terms of a conditional offer on results day will get a confirmation message, meaning they have successfully achieved a place on a course. applicants can track confirmation decisions online with ucas.

    entry requirements – this is what a university expects the student to achieve to secure a place. these vary from course to course.

    firm choice – a way of selecting your first choice once offers have been received. if it’s a conditional offer, it’s subject to getting the required grades. if it’s an unconditional offer, the place is yours.

    further education – the level of education completed at school or college before university.

    higher education – education at universities or similar educational institutions.

    insurance choice – an offer marked as a second choice, just in case the student doesn’t meet the conditions of their first choice (firm choice). typically, this should have lower entry requirements.

    open day – gives a broad taster of university life and are typically attended during the application process, when students are thinking about which universities to apply to.

    placement year – an additional year of a course where the student works in the profession they’re studying towards.

    ucas application – undergraduate students apply to university through ucas, which drives the application process for british universities.

    ucas extra – a service used to apply for alternative places if no offer is held from your first five choices.

    visit day – once your child has received an offer to study at university they might be invited to attend a visit day. this is where they will find out about their chosen course, meet tutors, and have the chance to look at the department where they will be studying.


    a-level – the general certificate of education advanced level (gce a-level or a-level) is an academic qualification taken in england, wales, and northern ireland by students.

    as level – the common term for the advanced subsidiary or first part of a full a-level qualification.

    btec – stands for business and technology education council qualifications which can be taken to gain entry into higher education.

    honours degree – most undergraduate degrees in higher education can come with honours, which is a distinction of quality. usually awarded for completing the full three-years (or more) of study and passing the maximum number of modules on offer.

    ucas tariff – this system allocates points to the different qualifications a student can use to get into university.

student accommodation

will your child be moving into university accommodation?

discover more
international students at a welcome event on campus

key dates

please note: some of these deadlines have been changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. visit the ucas website for most up-to-date information.


15 january

initial ucas deadline.


student finance applications open.

multiple 11

february - april

applicant visit days. for most courses, we invite offer holders to learn more about their chosen subject. these can be on campus or virtual events.
mobile chat


application responses. as long as the student applied by the january deadline, they will receive a decision by the end of march.

march - april

if your young person has made manchester met their firm choice, it’s time to register their interest in student accommodation.
i check


decision time. if they have received all of their offers by march, they have until early may to make their firm and insurance choices.


student finance deadline. for specific dates, check your country's student finance website.


results time. do they have their grades for their conditional offer? are they still looking for a place? if so, visit our clearing site.
  • undergraduate student relaxing in campus social area
  • A male and female student looking through an open day brochure