Preparing to study at DLL

Image of reading

Joining any of our programmes is a significant step which will impact upon your life in many positive ways; but it may mean that you have to make a range of changes to your current lifestyle as well. It is very important that you have thought about and are preparing for the challenges you can expect during your studies before you apply to study with us.

When assessing your application, both on paper and at interview, we look for evidence of three key things:

  1. that you have developed skills through a combination of prior work, life and educational studies which will help you to succeed on one of our courses.
  2. that you have an understanding and enthusiasm for the subject or subjects you are interested in studying.
  3. that you have thought about and are putting plans in place to meet the challenges you may face during your studies.

Many of the skills, understanding and awareness you will need to succeed can be acquired through the normal course of life and work, particularly if you have pursued an active interest in your chosen subject of study through your work, reading or hobbies. If you are not an active reader or writer and do not have equivalent educational qualifications, then you may benefit from a preliminary course of one sort or another prior to applying to study with us. We have listed some suggestions below.

Preparatory study

Specific educational qualifications are not always required for admission to our programmes, but it would help your application if you take some preparatory courses:

  • in a subject area of interest to you
  • to develop your confidence in reading, writing and numerical skills by taking a GCSE English or Maths, or a Level 2 Functional Skills English or Maths course.

These are really good ways to prepare yourself and get back into the rhythm of studying.

Course providers

Image looking at a computerThere are a number of short courses and flexible study opportunities offered by local colleges and community organisations and also online, for example from Learn Direct.

The Yes Progress website is a good place to start your search for literacy, numeracy and IT courses and providers. If you contact us direct we can also direct you towards current courses in the South Yorkshire and surrounding areas which may be suitable to your needs.

For overseas or second language students, the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) at the University offers part-time English Language improver courses and IELTS testing. A small number of scholarships are available for Asylum Seekers wishing to undertake an English Course. Please contact the ELTC for more information.


The University’s award-winning Discover is an innovative free course which, through visits to museums and galleries and group discussions around themes including community, education, landscape and democracy, aims to inspire aspiration to university study. The course is designed to enhance your confidence and prepare you for Higher Education. Each session lasts 2-3 hours and is held on one morning per week.

You can find more details here and register

Open days

The University holds Open Days throughout the year, which are a good opportunity to come and find out more about what studying at University might be like, and to meet current staff and students. You could also take a campus tour or a or self-guided tour if you prefer

You can find more information and register here