So in my last post I gave you a few tips for your first year of uni. But before you pack up and leave your parent’s house, you have to know where you’re actually headed.
Since every university differs, I decided to break down a few things to consider before you make your final choice in four categories:
1. THE UNIVERSITY ITSELF
- Reputation: The reputation of your university as a whole can be very important to employers later on. Universities often have very high rankings for certain courses, and low ones for others. Check where your potential choices rank here: https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings
- Campus/ City based? Would you rather a campus based uni, or one which is integrated into a large city setting?
- Sporting/ Social clubs: If you play a sport and would like to continue within your uni, it may be wise to check if they already have established teams that compete. This also applies to social clubs even though starting a new club can be easily arranged. Check out the student union sites of the unis you’re interested in.
2. THE COURSE
- Course title: Different unis have different course titles, but teach the same content. Bear this in mind. For students applying through UCAS, check the course codes!
- Module choices: Some universities offer module choices within individual degrees. For others, the modules are chosen for you. Decide which system you’d rather be a part of.
- How each course/module is assessed: How much is each year worth towards your final grade? What forms of assessment will you have to complete? How much is the final exam worth for each module? Will you have practical classes? These are VERY IMPORTANT.
- Course accreditation: Ensure your course is accredited by a reputable association. (The Royal Society of Biology if you’re a biological science student for example.)
- Entry grades/ criteria: Are your expected grades/ current grades anywhere near what’s required for entry? Have you fulfilled all the other criteria needed?
- Mode of study: Can your course be taught both part time and full time? Can it be done via distance learning if needed? Definitely things to consider.
- Changing courses: It’s very common for students to start a course and later realize it isn’t what they want to do. Ensure that your uni allows course changes, and if so, be knowledgeable about the deadline.
- Location in relation to school: If you have a car, or don’t mind having to take a bus or train to uni, then where you end up living may not be a huge concern. However, if you’re like me and would rather take a short walk to uni, check how far the accommodations available are before making a firm choice.
- Location in relation to the city: Many students work part time jobs, many of which might be located in the city. You might want your workplace to be easily accessible from your accommodation as well.
- Price: Stay within your budget, but also get your money’s worth!
- Style of accommodation: If you’re more introverted, then you might be looking for a studio or a flat with only 1 or 2 flatmates. If not, some flats take up to ten people! Look at the options available for the universities you’re considering and make an early choice!
4. THE CITY
- Safety: Your safety at uni is extremely important, and whichever one you attend will most likely advise you to avoid going out alone, or if you must, to at least let your friends know where you’re going. Take heed to these warnings. However, if you are looking to go to uni in a city where the crime rate is already very low check out: https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/preparing-to-go/staying-safe-at-university/how-safe-is-your-city/ for more advice.
- Living expenses: The cost of living differs in different cities. Living in Leicester is cheaper than living in London, for example. Be mindful of this.
Note to potential U.K. students: even though many of you may have already chosen firm and insurance choices, clearing & adjustment are both possibilities for changing your choice. Choose wisely!
For more research check out these sites:
peace & positivity