Starting university

Thinking about moving onto university? You'll need to find the right course, get clear on application processes and find out how you can negotiate the best support available - plus it's handy to know where you can get financial help.

Read on and you will discover lots of practical support for making the most of university life.

Choosing a university

Start exploring your options with our Choosing a university section offering helpful tips to help you make the right decisions.

Clearing - finding a place at university

Every year, many students miss the grades for their conditional offer and find themselves without a university or college place. If this happens to you, don't worry. You may still be able to secure a higher education place through clearing. Find out more and read our Clearing guide and find out about students experiences of clearing.

Disabled Students' Allowance and other funding

Find out about possible funding and financial support to help you with your studies. With helpful information and advice about applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and finding alternative funding from a variety of charitable trusts and organisations.

If you are blind or partially sighted international student and are thinking of coming to study in further or higher education in the United Kingdom (UK), our 'Information for blind or partially sighted international students' factsheet is for you. It gives advice on applying, obtaining funding and receiving disability-related support.

Negotiating Support at university

Starting University can be a challenging time for anyone as it may involve leaving home and living independently. It will also mean moving to an environment where you are expected to take greater responsibility for your learning needs. Find out more on the importance of self advocating and negotiating the best support for you in our negotiating support at university page!

Life at university

Life at university can be hectic, especially when you've just started a new course. If you've moved away from home to study, read our tips on how to make the most of Fresher's week, including surviving the first term, staying healthy and take a look at our 'moving in' guide.

Study advice

If you're blind or partially sighted, studying doesn't have to be a chore, but it takes organisation and a bit of forward planning to find out which study techniques work best for you. Visit our study advice page for more study tips!

Moving onto university

Jasmine Metcalfe is a student at Swansea University studying English Literature and English Language.

Tell us your experience

The guidance is based on the experiences of 30 young people with VI who have made the transition into higher education. Everyone has difference experiences of HE some good, some more challenging and we want to hear your views! If you would like to help us support other blind and partially sighted young people who are about to make the transition into higher education, please email us at [email protected].


For this project the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) received grant funding from DfE to provide specialist information, advice, support and training to improve outcomes for young people with sensory impairments. The publication of this guidance was supported through this funding. 
The content of this section is based on findings from the Longitudinal Transitions Study which is being conducted at the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research at Birmingham University and funded by the Nuffield Foundation and Thomas Pocklington Trust with support from RNIB.