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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Frequently asked questions 

Looking for advice? Take a look at our answers to frequently asked questions about higher education and the work of QAA.  

We hope that our FAQs help with your enquiry, but if you can’t find what you are looking for please get in touch.

If you're looking for more specialised information:

Q I have a complaint about my university. What should I do?

A You should first follow the complaints procedure of the institution concerned, then, if necessary, contact the OIA or the SPSO. QAA has no power to consider personal complaints from students or staff.

If you supply evidence that the institution has jeopardised academic standards or the quality of its programmes QAA will consider opening a Causes for Concern enquiry.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) (opens in new window)

Telephone: +44 (0)118 959 9813

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) (opens in new window)

Telephone: +44 (0)800 377 7330

Concerns about standards and quality in higher education

Q Is X course at X university accredited/recognised?

A Lists of recognised universities and providers are held by BIS.

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (opens in new window)

Q What level is my qualification?

A Your awarding institution will be able to tell you. QAA's frameworks for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland outline the different levels.

Frameworks for higher education qualifications

Q Where can I find, review and compare official information about higher education providers?

A Official information regarding subjects and universities/colleges can be found at the Unistats website.

Unistats (opens in new window)

Q How do I apply to university?

A For full-time undergraduate courses, contact UCAS. For part-time or postgraduate courses, apply to the institution you wish to study at.

UCAS (opens in new window)

Q Where can I find information on further education or lower level qualifications?

A Ofqual, and in Scotland the SQA, can answer queries about lower level qualifications. QAA deals with higher education.

Ofqual (opens in new window)

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) (opens in new window)

Q I have a qualification from X country. What is the equivalent as a UK qualification?

A UK NARIC (opens in new window) provides information on the comparability of international qualifications.

Q What is Access to Higher Education (HE)? How do I apply?

A The Access to HE website (opens in new window) provides full details including courses and providers in your local area.

Q Does QAA review Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)?

A At present, QAA does not review Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). For more information, please see our Statement on Massive Open Online Courses.

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