Choosing courses and universities

For some of you, it might be the time to start thinking about what university courses you want to apply to and which universities you should choose, hopefully the following tips can help you make those decisions.

Think about your future career

It is important to have an idea of what you want to do in the future, because it ultimately determines what courses you should apply to at university and your life after that. To find the right course for you, you should think about your future career path and if you need help with this, have a look at this post: https://lostling.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/finding-your-career-path/

There are many things to consider when choosing universities and here are some things that you should think about:

  1. City or campus?
  2. Location: do you want to stay near home or get away? What sort of weather are you looking for? Staying in the country or going abroad to other E.U. countries; or maybe even international?
  3. Course structure and curriculum: have a look at what and how a subject is taught at the university, chances are not every university style will suit yours.
  4. Your own personal learning style: lectures? PBL? intergrated?

So how do you go about finding this out?

Order university prospectuses

If you find a university takes your liking and you want to know more about them, go onto their website which will have lots of information about their courses and/or order the prospectuses. If you ever have an queries about the course or university itself, don’t be afraid to contact the universities and ask, they are usually very happy to help and answer any questions that you might have.

Go to university open days and subject talks

Going to open days is a real eye-opener, because looking at pictures just doesn’t compare to actually being there at the university. This way you can get a feel for the overall atmosphere of the place and you can talk to current students and professors. Sometimes you’ll instantly click, others you don’t but it’s only by going to the open day that you really find out.

Attending subject talks or even just going to the section of the university devoted to that subject means that you’ll find that there are leaflets, posters, information stands and many other things that you can consult to find out more and see if it is the right course for you. Subject talks – especially the really popular ones (e.g. Medicine), require you to book beforehand online, so bear that in mind!

Ask yourself if this is a place that you could see yourself being for at least 3 years or so.

University choice, and university course are two very important things to think about. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, and when choosing a university you should make sure that it is a place that you want to go to or a place that you wouldn’t mind being at for at least 3 years.

Visit unistats

http://www.unistats.com – this is a useful link. You need to register but then you can add the university choices and courses that you are considering to a shortlist and compare their statistics with each other e.g. student satisfaction, job opportunities after graduation, average salary 6 months after graduation etc. It is definitely worth a look at.

League tables

These aren’t particularly important, but they can offer some statistics that might be of use to you.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/universityguide

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/gug/

Do you have any other suggestions? Have any queries? Like this post?

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