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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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In 2013, HEFCE published research into prospective postgraduate student information needs on behalf of the UK funding bodies [Note 1]. We found that the information students needed was available but scattered in various places, and that an independent resource bringing it together in one location would be welcome. 

‘Steps to Postgraduate Study’ is sponsored by the UK funding bodies. It provides information for UK, EU and international students who are making decisions about going straight on to PGT study or returning after a period away from education. The website anticipates the questions students will wish to ask, and points them to where they can find the answers. 

Universities and colleges which run PGT courses are being asked to provide a link to this new resource from these pages on their websites. The website suggests questions for prospective students to ask both themselves and course providers about PGT courses, and provides information on issues such as visas, accommodation and funding by providing links to relevant third party websites. 

The website is part of a HEFCE project on the information needs of taught postgraduate students, and follows on from last year’s ‘Guidance to institutions on providing information for prospective postgraduate taught students’ [Note 2]. Higher education institutions have been contacted about the new site in a circular letter [Note 3], encouraging them to link to this website from their postgraduate information pages. 

Access the new website, Steps to Postgraduate Study.


  1. ‘Understanding the information needs of postgraduate taught students and how these can be met’ and ‘The feasibility of conducting a national survey of postgraduate students’ are available online.
  2. Guidance to institutions on providing information for prospective postgraduate taught students’ (HEFCE Circular letter10/2014) is available online.
  3. Providing postgraduate taught information, and launch of ‘Steps to Postgraduate Study’ (HEFCE Circular letter 16/2015) is available online.