Josh’s Blog – December 2013

Josh Smith blog entry

Welcome to my December Christmas blog and the last one of 2013.

The first term/semester is nearly over for motorsport students and I expect everyone is looking forward to a break before it all starts again in January. This month I am going to discuss the areas of progressing from FE to HE from a student perspective.

UCAS applications should be nearly complete for students who wish to progress onto Higher Education (HE). Once this is complete, as a student, you should ensure you go and visit the universities that you are applying for in order to get a feel for the campus and ask any questions that you feel are necessary – accommodation, facilities, extracurricular activities etc. By the end of January you will start receive some offers from the universities you have a applied for.

Accommodation is an area that needs to be targeted next, as soon as you have your offer from the universities and you have responded to these offers.

Housing can be a minefield but you must ensure you have your accommodation arranged as soon as possible, once you have made your decision on where you are going to study. Student rented houses and the universities halls of residence are often widely available but the prime locations and nicer condition options are snapped up first with there often being little difference in price between the nice and the ‘not so nice’ houses as someone will have to end up with last pickings if they have left it too late and accommodation is better than no accommodation.

You ideally need to get this situation sorted by around March/April time. Most housing agencies will require a deposit of up to 1.5 months rent along with a guarantor to be in place. A guarantor is someone who will pick up the cost of your rent and bills should you not be able to pay – this often falls with parents. Most housing contracts will last 12 months but some may offer 10 months.

Saving money over the summer and preserving your maintenance loan/grant is important to ensure you can survive through the academic year and a lot of students going to university often find part time work when they arrive, again, jobs tend to get snapped up pretty quickly with a large influx of students all looking for work.

Good luck with your applications and seek advice from your tutor or careers advisors as college/school if required.

Some useful links include:


Student Loan Company –

Uni Pod –