There is a flood alert in effect. Please stay safe and follow the latest Flooding information and advice.


Higher education describes post-eighteen learning that takes place at universities and other colleges and institutions that award academic degrees, professional qualifications, and Continuing Professional Development modules. It is usually referred to as HE.

This is an option that some consider straight away, and others choose to delay. There is also an option of achieving HE qualifications through degree apprenticeships. Different post-sixteen and post-eighteen pathways may ask for different entry requirements depending on the course and/or college.

Some people take a gap year while still deciding what to do. In a gap year most people use it as a year to focus on any other projects they want to do outside education such as work experience, volunteering or traveling.

Many people choose to move away from home to attend a university. This means you will need to organise your food, money, health, and accommodation. Some people choose a university in a county next door and travel each day. Some people choose a university that offers courses run with colleges in Somerset. Others choose distance learning where they can both live and work in their home and use the internet to take part in learning.

At university, your EHC Plan will no longer be applicable. Instead, you will have to talk to your university about your needs. They will then make sure that the right support is in place, for you to be able to complete your degree successfully.

Each university will have their own Learning Support offer for students with a range of additional needs. Their learning support team can provide additional support for you if you have a learning difficulty, disability, medical condition, literacy, numeracy, or language need. This can include for example specialist academic support, study centres, sensory rooms, and support applying for Disabled Student’s Allowance.  For example, learning support offered in universities nearby include:

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

A higher education student living in England can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance if they have a:

  • disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulties like dyslexia

You can find more information about Disabled Students’ Allowances here.

Last reviewed: November 20, 2023 by Gemma

Next review due: May 20, 2024

Back to top