How did you choose your 5 universities in your UCAS application? Watch

A Rolling Stone
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What resources did you use to make your UCAS uni choices? Did you have any league tables or stats/review websites to help you?

Obviously your #1 choice will be where you want to live and how much you like the course, but how did you make the shortlist from 200 universities down to a small handful?

My parents bring in the Sunday Times and I remember seeing the Good University Guide supplement in one edition and reading all of the reviews
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Bulletzone
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Cost should be the last of your concern unless you're going to anywhere near London.

Just look at Uni's that offer the course you're doing (for me only 9 unis do it).

Look on the Uni website and look at the student life; accommodation options; course features etc.

Look on TSR for threads made about the Uni/Course.

Attend open days.
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Sataris
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Won't lie, for me the shortlist started with the couple dozen unis at the top of the league tables (well, excluding Oxbridge). I took out any in locations where I REALLY didn't want to live (eg London) and then went through and looked at the courses. I picked out the ones I particularly liked the look of, then more closely examined what it would be like to attend and live there
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happywhale
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I think the easiest way to do the huge cut down at the start is to use entrance requirements to rule out the top load if you need to, and then a lower range using league tables / entrance requirements. Then prospectuses and open days are good

I knew I didn't want to be in a huge city or close to home, so that let me cut lots out too. Is there anything like that for you?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by happywhale)
I think the easiest way to do the huge cut down at the start is to use entrance requirements to rule out the top load if you need to, and then a lower range using league tables / entrance requirements. Then prospectuses and open days are good

I knew I didn't want to be in a huge city or close to home, so that let me cut lots out too. Is there anything like that for you?
the big city/small place distinction is actually the best blunt tool to start with tbh!
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JohanGRK
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By throwing darts at a map of the UK
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random_matt
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1) Location
2) Ranking
3) Cost

Number one is super important to me, need tons of green space for my own mental wellbeing. I would try my very hardest not to put one step in London.
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username4193780
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(Original post by Bulletzone)
Cost should be the last of your concern unless you're going to anywhere near London.

Just look at Uni's that offer the course you're doing (for me only 9 unis do it).

Look on the Uni website and look at the student life; accommodation options; course features etc.

Look on TSR for threads made about the Uni/Course.

Attend open days.
Which course is that? It's even smaller than mine!!
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Beth_H
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I really liked the courses at a lot of different universities, but this is a brief summary of how I narrowed the ones I liked down to five:
1) My first choice was Oxford, mostly because of the style of teaching (the tutorial system).
2) My second choice was Durham, because I liked the course just as much as Oxford's, but didn't like the teaching style or the distance as much, and they wanted lower grades (making it a good insurance choice).
3) My third choice was Surrey, because it was the only course I really liked which offered a year in industry.
4) My fourth choice was York, because I love the city.
5) My fifth choice was Sheffield, because I needed a fifth choice and my parents said, "what about Sheffield?".
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by random_matt)
1) Location
2) Ranking
3) Cost

Number one is super important to me, need tons of green space for my own mental wellbeing. I would try my very hardest not to put one step in London.
i get you. but my equivalent of green space was cobble stones... Warwick has lots of green space... and little else for miles lol

but when you say ranking, which did you give greatest credence to? to me it was the individual components of the rankings that mattered, eg. average UCAS Tariff entry points mattered far more to me than it should have!
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DoritoEvie
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The main thing for me was the breadth of the course and the ties with the industry - I'm doing Graphic Design and I know the field is huge - so I needed a course which offered more than just one area, like Reading which only taught Typography. I am also slightly more interested in the digital side of things so I checked that too. Ranking mattered too, but not as much.
There were only really three universities I wanted to go to at first, but that quickly narrowed down after I saw each place and what the people were like. The last two I chose as backups in case I couldn't get anything else and would have been happy to go to those too.

My choices were:
Nottingham Trent University
Kingston University
Lougborough University
University of Brighton
Middlesex University

In the end I went with Nottingham Trent University. The course, the city, and the ties with the industry and how much they try to get you out there is incredible and something I was very excited about when I went to go visit.
Unfortunately Kingston and Loughborough did not live up to expectations at all, with Kingston pushing me to go onto a foundation course when I didn't want to and knew I was experienced enough (got an offer for the bachelor's after), and Loughborough didn't have anything to show for their Graphics students. The walls were bare and I had to ask for a tour of the building because they didn't bother to schedule one. I didn't even wait to see whether I got an offer from them or not, I cancelled after I went. I was so so disappointed.

My advice: go to open days. It says everything.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by DoritoEvie)
The main thing for me was the breadth of the course and the ties with the industry - I'm doing Graphic Design and I know the field is huge - so I needed a course which offered more than just one area, like Reading which only taught Typography. I am also slightly more interested in the digital side of things so I checked that too. Ranking mattered too, but not as much.
There were only really three universities I wanted to go to at first, but that quickly narrowed down after I saw each place and what the people were like. The last two I chose as backups in case I couldn't get anything else and would have been happy to go to those too.

My choices were:
Nottingham Trent University
Kingston University
Lougborough University
University of Brighton
Middlesex University

In the end I went with Nottingham Trent University. The course, the city, and the ties with the industry and how much they try to get you out there is incredible and something I was very excited about when I went to go visit.
Unfortunately Kingston and Loughborough did not live up to expectations at all, with Kingston pushing me to go onto a foundation course when I didn't want to and knew I was experienced enough (got an offer for the bachelor's after), and Loughborough didn't have anything to show for their Graphics students. The walls were bare and I had to ask for a tour of the building because they didn't bother to schedule one. I didn't even wait to see whether I got an offer from them or not, I cancelled after I went. I was so so disappointed.

My advice: go to open days. It says everything.
that's interesting! i never even visited my university before firming, risky i know.

my colleague is actually a Graphic Designer who went to Nottingham Trent, although i think she did the Film & TV course


it seems very sensible how much weight you placed on the breadth of the course
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DoritoEvie
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
that's interesting! i never even visited my university before firming, risky i know.

my colleague is actually a Graphic Designer who went to Nottingham Trent, although i think she did the Film & TV course

it seems very sensible how much weight you placed on the breadth of the course
I knew in the back of my mind that the ranking of the university was important, but that wasn't the thing I was looking for - I'm going to uni to learn new things, and for Graphic Design, I want to be able to explore EVERYTHING they have to offer so that I don't have to do that when I start looking for jobs. Basically, I made sure that my university choices were somewhere in the top 50 and that was good enough for me - it's not the ranking of the uni that determines what job I have in the future, it's my work, ethic, and how I present myself :-) Lucky for me NTU is also climbing the charts like crazy and is waaaaaaay underrated ;-) That's just an added bonus on top of the great course.
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returnmigrant
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How to Avoid 5 University Rejections : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/uni...ity-rejections

Read it carefully - and take on board what it says about 'spreading' your choices across different grade requirements!!
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Beth_H)
I really liked the courses at a lot of different universities, but this is a brief summary of how I narrowed the ones I liked down to five:
1) My first choice was Oxford, mostly because of the style of teaching (the tutorial system).
2) My second choice was Durham, because I liked the course just as much as Oxford's, but didn't like the teaching style or the distance as much, and they wanted lower grades (making it a good insurance choice).
3) My third choice was Surrey, because it was the only course I really liked which offered a year in industry.
4) My fourth choice was York, because I love the city.
5) My fifth choice was Sheffield, because I needed a fifth choice and my parents said, "what about Sheffield?".
Durham was also my second choice (but not to Oxford) and my 5th choice was going to be either York (was obsessed with the place too) or Sheffield (good for biology) but i eventually went for a 'safety' option
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Notoriety
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1. RG. I wanted to go to one; a proper one, not one of the dallying around ones.
2. League/alumni/grad prospects. Standing of lecturers.
3. How the course was assessed. I didn't wanna have some feeble CW-heavy course.
4. Offer that seemed manageable. Meant I exceeded my offer big time in the end.
5. Wasn't bothered about applying to the top courses and being rejected; the next tier down would be in Extra, Clearing/Adjustment anyway.

Didn't look at nor consider location, the city, how far it was from home; nor what pro bono or extra stuff it did. Worked out quite well in the end, but it was a short-sighted way to do things.
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Protostar
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Durham was my first choice, I did a programme with them and I absolutely loved the place, uni and course. I was also guaranteed a 2 grade reduced offer when I applied because of the programme
I narrowed it down by ruling out Oxbridge and places I really don’t want to live (i.e. London), then had a think about distance from home and that ruled out quite a few universities in the south. I then took to the league tables, ruled out the high up top ones because (a) their offers would be higher than my Durham one anyway and (b) I wasn’t confident I’d make the offers. Otherwise I’d have probably applied to Nottingham and Manchester and the like.

My school planned an open day trip to Newcastle (a uni I was somewhat considering but not really) - and I really really liked it, so much so that it became my second choice.

From the league tables I found Lancaster, thought it looked really nice and so researched it more and eventually went to their open day - which was probably the best decision I could’ve made. I didn’t like it all too much, and that’s what swayed me away from having it as my second choice (I’d already applied by this point and was tossing up between Newcastle and Lancaster for my insurance). So Lancaster became my third.

My fourth choice was York because I like the place and it’s a decent uni - didn’t go into it any more than that!

My fifth choice was Leeds because I live here and needed a 5th choice :lol:

So in short:
1) figure out the “level” of unis you want to aspire to (i.e your top choices)
2) make sure they do your course!
3) location
4) go and visit them to get a feel for the place
5) apply for one or two with lower requirements than the rest, as a sort of safety net if nothing else
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Notoriety)
1. RG. I wanted to go to one; a proper one, not one of the dallying around ones.
2. League/alumni/grad prospects. Standing of lecturers.
3. How the course was assessed. I didn't wanna have some feeble CW-heavy course.
This is how an alpha male picks his courses

+1
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Notoriety
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
This is how an alpha male picks his courses

+1
I didn't give myself the username. The Gods descended and presented me with it.
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random_matt
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
i get you. but my equivalent of green space was cobble stones... Warwick has lots of green space... and little else for miles lol

but when you say ranking, which did you give greatest credence to? to me it was the individual components of the rankings that mattered, eg. average UCAS Tariff entry points mattered far more to me than it should have!
Just lucky to have Durham ranked highly overall and within the subject, still would of highly considered it without the ranking though to be honest.
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