Guiding university choice

Module progress:

Session two: Reading two

Different types of institution

As you heard in the video clip not all universities are the same. The higher education sector has grown over the last hundred years or so and presents you with a wide and varied choice of institutions to study at. Let’s look a little more closely at the different types of higher educational institutions you might come across in your research.

Type of InstitutionExample
'Ancient' UniversitiesHave their origins stretching back to the Middle Ages. Cambridge, Oxford, St Andrews
'Red Brick' UniversitiesFounded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in major English cities.Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester
'Plate Glass' UniversitiesDeveloped in the 1960s. Characterised by being “Campus” universities.Brunel, Sussex, Warwick
'New' UniversitiesPrior to 1992 these institutions were Polytechnics and Teacher Training Colleges specialising in mainly vocational degrees.Bournemouth, Kingston, London South Bank
Traditional Specialist InstitutionsOffering study in and related to a particular subject area particularly in the creative and performing arts but also in areas like agriculture. Harper Adams, Royal Academy of Music, University of the Arts London
Private Sector UniversitiesOften offering 2 year degrees in areas such as Business and Financial and related subjects.BPP University, Buckingham, Pearson College
Further Education CollegesYou will find that your local college will often offer the opportunity to study for a degree.