When it comes to choosing where to go to university and what course to study, the options can feel overwhelming.
Read on for some tips to help guide you through the process and make sure you choose the qualification that’s right for you.
- Research all the options
Begin by exploring all the different courses and careers you might be interested in. There are lots of websites that can help you with this, such as UK Course Finder, which can help you find a suitable course by completing an online questionnaire.
Other good websites to check out include Prospects.ac.uk, which provides information about different careers and routes to various jobs, and Careerpilot, which explains your choices and the different types of degrees and courses available. Meanwhile, Discover Uni explains how to start choosing a course.
- Consider the entry requirements
When you have a subject (or subjects) in mind, it’s worth checking the entry requirements. These will vary depending on the university, and how competitive the subject is. While you may not be able to meet the requirements of one university or college, you may do so in another.
It is worth also applying to courses with different entry requirements in case you don’t quite achieve the results you were hoping for.
The UCAS website offers information about courses and their entry requirements as well as links to the universities and colleges providing them. Using the Uni Guide website, you can search for courses using your predicted exam results.
- Consult university rankings
Three national rankings of universities in the United Kingdom are published annually – by The Complete University Guide, The Guardian and jointly by The Times and The Sunday Times.
The rankings rate UK universities based on a range of criteria, including entry standards, student satisfaction, staff/student ratio, academic services and facilities expenditure per student, research quality, the proportion of Firsts and 2:1s, completion rates and student destinations. All the league tables also rank universities on their strength in individual subjects, so it’s worth filtering them to check how well they score in the subject you’re interested in.
- Visit open days
University open days will give you a chance to get a feel for the university and department you’ll be studying in, as well as speak to lecturers and tutors to ask any specific questions you might have.
You’ll also be able to speak to staff and students and find out more about anything else you’re interested in – from sports and societies to student support and wellbeing services. The website Opendays.com contains a helpful directory of upcoming university and college open events.
- Chat to current students
Before making your final decision on what and where to study, it’s a great idea to talk to some current students. The UCAS Unibuddy website provides a way for you to chat to dozens of different students at universities across the country to help you find out what uni life is really like.
We hope you found this useful; if you have any questions or would like to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please do get in touch.