Student guide: Choosing the right university & course for you

Picking a university, and course, can seem a difficult task. With over 50,000 undergraduate courses at more than 395 providers in the UK, it's important you do your research. Here's some advice to help you.

Picking a university

The top things you need to think about when considering which university is best for you are:

  • Do you want to be at a campus or city university?

  • How far from home?

  • What accommodation do they offer?

  • What sort of environment do you want to live in? I.e. by the sea, in a city, in the countryside etc

  • Where are the university in the league tables for the subject you are thinking of studying?

  • How have previous students ranked the university?

  • What extra things do the university offer? This could be bursaries or scholarships, societies, trips abroad etc.

Picking a course

Equally, there are key things you need to consider when researching university courses. These include:

  • What do you want to study?

  • Do you want to do a combined course?

  • Have you thought about if you’d like your course to include a year abroad either working or studying? Maybe you’d like to do a year’s industry placement as part of your course?

  • Have you looked at the course modules and the way the course is taught and assessed?

  • Look at the grade requirements, are they realistic?

  • What A Level subjects do you need?

  • The number of teaching hours

Where to research universities and courses

Here are some of the websites and resources you may wish to use to research which university is best for you:

  1. UCAS

  2. Individual University websites

  3. UniTasterDays

  4. The Uni Guide

  5. WhatUni

  6. Guardian League Tables

What else could help you decide?

  • Have a look at what students have rated the university as using:

What Uni | Student Crowd | The complete university guide

  • Make a list of all the things you DO and DON’T want from your university/course. Knowing what you don’t want is just as important.

  • Speak to your careers lead at school if they know of students who have gone to a university you're considering that they can put you in touch with.

  • Go to virtual open days and student Q&A sessions!

  • Order a prospectus online

  • If you can, go to a physical open day at the university

No1 Tip: Don’t leave your university research too late! The sooner you start, the less stressful the process will be.

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