Parents and supporters’ guide to application

Why go to university?

Going to university is a big decision and you may be wondering if it’s the right choice for your family member. There are many paths they could take after school or college but going to university is a life-changing opportunity that offers more than just a career path. 
If your family member will be under the age of 18 on commencement of their studies they are required to provide us with details of a guardian in line with our safeguarding policy.

Applications for 2023 entry

Find out what to expect from the application process when applying for degrees that start in September 2023.

Reasons why going to university may be the right option

Improve career prospects and earning potential

These days, the careers market is competitive, and a degree will give your family member a head start on their chosen path. With a degree, they are also more likely to progress faster up the career ladder. At Plymouth, we are proud to say we were voted in the top 25 universities for job prospects by WhatUni in 2019.

According to the Department for Education Graduate labour market statistics 2020, graduates will have a 15.1% greater likelihood of being employed

Outcomes six months after graduation

  • 55.2% Working full time in the UK
  • 16.1% Further study
  • 11.9% Working port time in the UK
  • 5.4% Working and studying
  • 5.1% Unemployed, including those due to start work
  • 4.5% Other
  • 1.8% Working overseas

A degree from Plymouth will boost your family member's chances of securing a job. 92.7% of our students are in employment or further study six months after graduation. 

According to the Department for Education Graduate labour market statistics 2020, graduates will earn on average £9,500 a year more than non-graduates.

Develop life skills

Going to university and living away from home for the first time gives students the chance to develop independence and self-confidence in a supported environment. Here at Plymouth, we have just made a £500,000 investment into our supportive services.

Find out about the support available in our new Student Hub

Our degrees also provide scope for our students to develop their communication and presentation skills. University presents plenty of opportunities to develop time management, teamwork and organisation – all of which are important lifelong skills.

Enjoy new opportunities

Both within their course and through our vibrant Students’ Union, our students will have new opportunities available to them throughout their time with us. Our Students’ Union has over 110 societies and 55 sports clubs to choose from.

Many courses at the University of Plymouth provide the option of a placement or work-based learning. If a course doesn’t offer this, then our Careers Service can explore other work experience options. These opportunities will give our students the opportunity to gain real-world experience and pick up a range of employability skills to kick-start their career.

Make lifelong connections

Did you know Plymouth has recently been voted as Britain’s friendliest city? Joining us here at Plymouth is an opportunity to make lifelong connections with fellow students from different backgrounds and cultures. We provide guaranteed places in halls for all our undergraduate first years, and our Residence Life and Student Accommodation team are there to offer advice and guidance. Find out more about accommodation options.

“University is probably the best opportunity you will get to meet new and like-minded people, join endless societies and try things you have never done before. It’s a chance to have lots of fun (and gain a degree of course) before you enter the world of work. You want to be able to look back at your experience and think, I did everything I could have done and had an amazing time. So do it!”

Nina, BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History

Find the right course

We understand that finding that single perfect course from thousands of options is much harder than selecting four A level subjects from a limited list.

Because of this, we encourage applicants to hone in on a broad subject area and to then research University course webpages thoroughly to start to build a picture of what distinguishes one course against another.

Open days also offer a great way for applicants to confirm that they have found the right course or to learn something new about previously overlooked courses.

Browse our course options

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Want all the answers to your questions in one place?

The student life magazine's apply edition has all the essential information you’ll need to help you support someone through their application.

View the Student life magazine; apply edition (PDF)

Virtual tour

Discover our campus by the sea. Discover Plymouth

Experience first-hand what it is like to be on campus and explore the environments and facilities that inspire and shape our learning every day.

Step into one of our campus buildings and picture yourself studying here with us.

Visit our virtual tour of Plymouth page

<p>Google map of University of Plymouth campus</p>

Plymouth named in top 20 best UK Student Cities 2021 as voted by students

Under the radar? Not anymore.

StudentCrowd analysed 6,048 reviews submitted by students on their student review platform over 24 months. StudentCrowd users review their location across 5 categories: living costs, eating out, nightlife, shopping and public transport.

"Plymouth is one of my favourite places! It has everything I need and when I am there I feel so safe and welcomed. The restaurants, views and the town itself is so beautiful."

Discover our thriving waterfront city at the heart of the stunning South West


Fine art studios are based at Royal William Yard, Plymouth.