Smart Advice: Broadening Your Students’ Horizons

A free online course from UCAS, to help advisers understand the wealth of UK higher education opportunities open to students.

6,590 enrolled on this course

Students around a table listening to a man holding a tablet
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Whether you are working as an adviser in a UK school or college or in an international setting, you have a critically important role to perform – your advice can be a life changer for students.

As an adviser, there is an expectation from parents or carers, as well as students, that you are conversant with the wide range of subjects, courses and qualifications that can be used for progression routes to higher education and into employment.

But given the scale and range of UK higher education (the largest degree sector in Europe), this can undoubtedly appear a daunting task for the new or less experienced adviser.

Increase your awareness of UK higher education study opportunities

Over two weeks, this free online course will help to bolster your confidence in answering students’ questions, by increasing your knowledge and awareness of UK higher education study opportunities. By the end, you will understand:

• the different progression pathways available to students;
• the subjects and courses available in UK higher education;
• and the benefits of using an online course and taking part in social learning.

Learn with UCAS experts and other advisors globally

The course has been developed by UCAS – the admissions service for all UK higher education institutions – and UCAS staff will act as tutors, to provide feedback and to answer as many questions as we can.

But you will also join a community of online learners, providing an opportunity for interactive learning with other advisers both in the UK and internationally.

Support your students with a complementary course

This course complements Smart Choices: Broadening Your Horizons – another free online course developed by UCAS, which will be running from November 6th to 16th 2017. Designed for young people in school, it will help them discover more about their post-18 options and pathways, and explore the wide range of subjects and opportunities offered in higher education. Your students can register for this course from September 6th.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Teachers and advisers working in a UK school or college or in an international setting have a critically important role to advise their students as they navigate their way through key education transition points and choices at 16 and 18. I’m standing at the entrance to the UCAS building. This is the organisation that, each year, has the important task of managing over 650,000 applications for higher education study in the UK. We know how important it is that students explore their options and make informed choices about their next steps in education and training. It’s a huge task.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds The UK Higher Education sector is the largest in Europe with a staggering 37,000 degree level courses across a vast array of subjects at over 400 providers. So to help you refresh and extend your knowledge of what higher education offers and to enhance your ability to support your students to make their informed decisions, UCAS has designed this two week course. My name is Louise Evans, head of adviser experience at UCAS. I’m here to warmly welcome you to this course. I’ll be supporting you throughout the course together with experts and colleagues at UCAS and am very much looking forward to working with you.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for advisers in schools and colleges both in the UK and internationally, but it will also be useful to anyone who provides advice on career and study options, such as international agents, community workers, foster carers or prison education staff.

Who will you learn with?

As Head of adviser experience, I am accountable for the effective management of UCAS’ relationship with advisory customers – schools, colleges, teachers, parents, advisers, and overseas agents.

Who developed the course?


UCAS is an independent charity providing information, advice, and admissions services to inspire and facilitate educational progression. Our services support young people making choices after their GC

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control

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