Choosing a University & Course

When choosing a course you should research opportunities thoroughly to make sure you apply for those most suited to you. Things you can do to help you with your decision:

  • Start creating short-lists and researching the universities
  • Identify careers related to your skills, qualities, likes, dislikes and what you want by researching careers on https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/planningyourcareer/jobprofiles/Pages/default.aspx
  • Use library resources in the school library e.g. looking at where subjects lead in 'Making Connections'
  • If you do not know where to start use Careers Match or Kudos, available in school
  • Find our about the different courses on offer e.g:
    • Single Honours – 1 subject
    • Dual Honours – 2 subjects 50:50 or major/minor
    • Combined studies – mix and match
    • Sandwich course/co-op courses – work placements
  • Look at the career prospects following courses – where have previous students gone to?
  • Ensure you meet the entry requirements
  • Know the course content and individual modules
  • Understand the course structure; are there options to change direction?
  • Look for teaching and assessment methods to suit your learning style
  • Find out more through university league tables and teaching quality information available on e-learning

After deciding on which course you wish to apply for it is time to start planning your university choice. It is important to research your options fully; this is a major decision.

Things to Consider

  • Which country do you wish to study in?
  • Would you like to be in a large city, smaller town or village?
  • Are you planning to work part-time? If you are what are the local opportunities i.e. pubs, supermarkets, restaurants
  • Do you prefer a quiet area or one with a busy night life?
  • Would you like to be at a small or large university?
  • Do you prefer to be with mainly school and college leavers or to include a higher mix of mature students?
  • If you wish to stay in student accommodation in the first year, does the college guarantee it? Do you want an en-suite bathroom, self catering?
  • Are the sports and extra curricula activities you like on offer?
  • Surroundings
  • How far – do you want to be close enough to travel home?
  • Cost of travel

Where to Find Out More

  • Prospectuses
  • The internet including Student sites and Blogs
  • Directories
  • CD-ROMs
  • University open days
  • Careers fairs and conventions

Useful Links

The following reference books are now available for use in the Careers Room:

  • Succeeding in your medical school interview
  • Succeeding in your medical school application
  • Succeeding in the UK Clinical Aptitude Test
  • UK Clinical Aptitude Test and BMAT
  • National Admission Test for Law
  • Passing Oxbridge Admission Tests
  • Oxford and Cambridge Entry
  • The Good University Guide 2010
  • USA Education Guide
  • The Gap year guide book
  • Summer Jobs Worldwide 2010
  • What Graduates Do
  • UCAS Open Days and Taster Courses
  • University Interview Guide
  • US and Canadian Universities
  • Student Life a survival Guide
  • Decisions at 13/14+
  • Decisions at 15/16+
  • Decisions at 17/18+
  • Choosing your GCSEs
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