Friday, 26 June 2015

How to pick the right University for you

Firstly, congratulations on deciding that you want to attend University - It's not an easy choice to make for everyone but you've already taken the first step! I have put together a step by step guide to help you find the right University and right course for you:

  1. Select a subject area (e.g. Sport)
  2. Decide whether it is important to you if you stay near home or can move away. (If you are staying near home your choices can become narrow very quickly).
  3. Try looking at some league tables, for example The Guardian or The Complete University Guide. Note that different University's will rank better for different subjects and under different headings (e.g. student satisfaction, graduate prospects, entry standards etc.)
  4. Use the UCAS Website to Find a Course - look at lots of different courses and different Universities (even if you are planning to stay near home).
  5. Print off some courses and highlight things you like/dislike in different colours. You will start to notice a pattern, for example course content (more science/sociology) or method of examination (essays/exams/practicals).
  6. Find a course that has the most of what you like - it is unlikely that you will love everything about one course but you can like most of it.
  7. Research that particular course and the Universities that offer it.
  8. Narrow down the Universities by checking out their websites, googling news stories, going to open days and chatting to people who have done that course or have studied something else there.
  9. Sometimes courses appear more or less the same, so think about their geographical location - would you like to live by the sea, or in a big city, or in a rural area?
  10. Make your choices on your UCAS application.

This can be quite an emotional time and the process can be quite stressful - be prepared for that. I try to deal with any emotional decision by looking at it logically at first, so following the process above can help with that. Here is another guide from The Complete University Guide.

Most importantly though is that you talk to people about it all - your friends and family can provide a support network and can be great to bounce ideas off of. Don't set your heart on one course at one institution - be aware that things may not develop in the way you intended them to, for example budgets can be cut and thus less places offered. 

Once you have an idea of the course and Universities that you are interested in, BOOK AN OPEN DAY! These are great opportunities to work out whether you like the University, the course and the local area - remember you will live there for at least 3 years!

Any questions please leave a comment below - otherwise, happy searching!

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!….. I’ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work

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