Making sure you’re choosing a course for the right reasons is vital. It would be such a waste down the line if you realised you’d wasted your university funding and time on a course that you chose on a whim, when really you discovered a bit later what you’re really passionate about. Ask yourself:
– Is it really something I could dedicate myself to for three years, maybe more?
– Does the career path I’ve chosen require me to do this degree?
– Am I ready to go to university yet, or should I wait and find out what I’m more interested in?
Choosing what and where to study requires lots of research, so take the time to investigate at what’s available and what it’ll take to get you there.
How to choose the right course for you
If you already know which subject to choose, that’s great. But if you don’t, then there are many categories and sub-categories of subject to choose from. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
– What subjects interest me?
– Which academic skills would I like to hone?
– What are my strengths?
– What career path would I like to take after university or college?
It’s a good idea to research the career you’d like to go into after university to check what qualifications it requires. Some do require degrees, some value work experience, or some both.
Where to research courses and institutions
Courses at different institutions with exactly the same or similar titles can actually differ greatly from one another, so be mindful of this when you’re comparing courses. It’s actually a good idea to make a table headed up by each of the universities so that you can directly compare what they offer in each area. The following resources are invaluable in your hunt for the right university:
– Unistats helps prospective students research subjects and universities, while
– Prospects offers a wealth of information about jobs, which can help you figure out what course, if any, you need to take to follow your chosen career path.
Choose a qualification that suits you
If you think that higher education just means studying a degree, then think again. UCAS is the body that you’ll be applying to go to university through, and is fantastic website that will tell you lots about what types of qualifications are available, where, and what grades you need to get onto each course.
If you’re interested in more than one subject, you can sometimes choose to study a combination on your course, for example English literature and history. These courses are relatively rarer, so only a select amount of universities around the country will offer them. Again, this is something you can research using UCAS course search. Also, you can choose how heavily weighted the course is towards each of the subjects you take together:
– Joint: 50:50
– Major/Minor: 75:25
The best way to get a feel for whether you’d be happy at a university and the city it’s in is by going to university open days. At open days, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to students and tutors, and get an impression of whether or not it’s the right course, city and university for you and your ambitions.
So… Armed with all this information, you can begin your hunt for the perfect course. Do your research little by little, and start as early as possible to ensure that you leave enough time to make a really informed decision!