Preparing to study

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.

Two mature students working together in The Diamond cafe

Before you apply

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 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.


    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. You could improve your confidence in reading, writing and numerical skills by taking a GCSE, or Functional Skills Level 2, in English in Maths.

    Course providers

    The University of Sheffield offers a number of free online short courses which cover a variety of different topics related to our courses.

    You may also be interested in attending our Discover Course.

    There 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.

    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.

    Upcoming events

    Rediscover Your Potential 2019
    28th November 2019 5-8pm

    Our annual open evening event for adult learners thinking about University study.

    Find out more 

    The Discover Course 2019/2020

    Six week courses being offered in Barnsley, Sheffield and Rotherham. 

    Find out more