New Year, New Opportunities?

With the advent of a New Year, people often take time to reflect and start thinking about future aspirations. Maybe:

  • There’s something you’ve always been interested in – like learning a new skill or hobby, for example.
  • You’re considering a change of direction in terms of your career or professional development.
  • You want to do something to because you’re motivated by improving your knowledge in a particular area.

There are a whole host of ways you could go about making these changes – there may be local workshops, adult education classes or short courses provided by education providers in the area. For more significant changes, you could be looking at retraining through a degree or professional qualification.

Careers advice:

If you’d like to explore avenues for developing yourself or doing something different but you’re unsure about what you’d like to do, perhaps talking to a careers advisor could help. Visit http://careersadvice.direct.gov.uk/  for more information about contacting a qualified careers advisor.

Study options:

If you do decide to take up study; it doesn’t have to mean studying on a full-time course; there are a multitude of part-time or short course options that might be appropriate, depending on the subject you’re interested in. But, if you do want to consider more substantive study options, it’s important to be fully clued up on what’s available and what you’ll need to do. You’ll need to research courses, study commitment and costs for starters.

Finding a course to suit you:

Tools such as www.hotcourses.com can help you to find everything from short courses to postgraduate study in your area or further afield. Postgraduate study options can be researched at www.prospects.ac.uk. The UCAS website has a great course search function, allowing you to explore available full-time undergraduate courses. And, of course, university and college websites will tell you more about what’s on offer at particular institutions.

Money matters:

How much will the course you’re looking at cost? Is there any financial support available? Here are a few starting points you can use to find out more about possible sources of funding:

  • Information about financial help for adult learners can be found here
  • Want information about student financial support for University and Higher Education courses? Look here for more details.
  • Postgraduate funding is different to undergraduate funding and there is, generally, no financial support available through the government. However, there are exceptions to this, such as certain NHS-funded courses, Social Work courses and PGCE qualifications. Prospective postgraduate students often need to be resourceful in seeking out funding opportunities. If your proposed study is related to your current job role, is it feasible to talk to your employer about support for the course – either as study leave or in terms of paying for the course? Are there any relevant scholarships or bursaries available? The Prospects website has links to resources which can help you find any such schemes.

First steps:

Whatever spurs you on, you can start taking steps towards your goals and exploring options open to you. If you’d like to chat to a course adviser about any courses offered at Birmingham City University, please contact Choices on 0121 331 5595 or email us.

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