The Student Room Group

Choosing a University; Your Course Choices

Now that the festive season is over and we’re all heading back to our perspective lives whether that is college , your job or whatever your day to day looks like. If you are looking to attend university in the summer of 2024 , it’s time to settle down and select your 5 choices to apply to on UCAS.

The UK has 166 Universities and more than 30 000 different courses to choose from , with that many choices it would be challenging for any person to narrow down their top 5. I can attest to how hard it was to narrow down my choices and make a decision that would affect the rest of my life. Considering that everything worked out perfectly for me ( I got into the course I wanted , picked the school that aligned with my vision and ended up in a beautiful city), here is some advice that might help you.

Narrowing down your programme/subject area of choice.
Before you can consider universities , you need to know what course it is that you would like to study. If you are one of the lucky ones such as myself , I have known since I was 16 . Science has been my calling long before I knew what career opportunities were available to me in different industries. Science and mathematics are my passion and yours should drive your academic journey. Take some time to introspect and jot down what truly excites you. Explore subjects aligned with these passions; in the long run studying something related to your passion will lead to academic fulfilment. It’s not just about what sounds good on paper; it’s about what genuinely captivates you.

Picking a handful University
Initially you don’t need to know what your top 5 is , instead maybe research 10 universities that offer some of the courses you are interested in. Then start comparing the universities based on your most important preferences , this can be anything from facilities to reputable teaching staff , accreditations , sport teams , affiliations with future employers and even diversity. Other than your personal preferences , it is important to bear in mind that your grades need to be in line with the university academic requirements . Nevertheless, still factor in elements beyond the coursework like location, campus facilities, extracurricular opportunities, and potential career paths post-graduation. A holistic approach ensures you're not only investing in an academic course but also a conducive environment for personal and professional growth.

Embrace Open Days
After you have picked some of your favourite universities , the best way to start narrowing down your top 5 is Open Days , they are your backstage passes to university life. Use them wisely. Wander around the campuses, attend sample lectures, and engage with current students and professors. This first-hand experience offers a realistic preview of what studying at that university might entail. Pay attention to the atmosphere, facilities, and whether it aligns with your preferences. I would also strongly advise you to think about what your preferences are before you attend open days , know exactly what you are looking for before you go looking for it.

Choosing a university course is a significant milestone, and it’s normal to feel a mix of excitement and apprehension. Embrace this process as an opportunity for self-discovery and growth. Keep an open mind, trust your instincts, and remember that this decision is a steppingstone toward a future of your choosing . There is no right or wrong decision , only a good one for you.
I would like to leave you with one extra tip , out of your 5 choices pick 1 that has slightly lower requirements that you wouldn’t mind attending just as a backup safety school.

Best of luck!

Energy Engineering student
De Montfort Univeristy

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