Some subjects are taught at many universities so students will have to do a great deal of research to narrow their choices to find the right place. Students should always seek advice and discuss their options with advisers, university staff, family and friends but the final decision should be their own.
Here are our top ten tips to help students find the right university for them:
Course: Firstly you should use the UCAS Course Finder http://search.ucas.com/ to create a shortlist of institutions who offer courses on your subject of interest.
Location: Do you want to stay near to home or go further afield? Would you be more comfortable in a big city or a rural location? If you want to be successful you need to be comfortable with your surrounds. The UCAS course finder can filter results by region.
Reputation: Apply for universities that you will be proud to put on your CV. A degree from a good university will set you up for life. Red Brick and Russell Group universities are often a good option.
Content: A similar sounding degree at one university can be quite different to that at another. Look for information on module choice, assessments and field trips.
Admissions: Universities will often have different requirements for similar sounding courses. Thoroughly check that you meet all the academic requirements. Degree programmes that are in high demand often have additional tests, interviews and work experience requirements.
Course Additions: Can you have an industry placement, or perhaps study abroad as part of your degree? Future employers will be impressed if you can talk about additional experiences that you have.
Free Money: Look out for scholarships, bursaries and grants as every university will offer something different. Check whether you need to apply for this funding or if they are automatically awarded.
Cost of Living: Your student loan will go much further in some cities than others. Have a look at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s list of most affordable university cities. http://personal.rbs.co.uk/personal/life-moments/student-living-index.html
Social Life: At university you will focus on your studies but you need to get the balance right. If you have a particular hobby can you continue it at your new home? Non-curriculum activities will allow you to have fun and you can often use these activities to illustrate your skills to future employers.
Visit: It is essential to visit the places you are thinking of living for the next few years. An Open Day is a great opportunity to see facilities and talk to staff about course content and admissions. If you're unable to visit in person, our Virtual Campus Tour is an ideal way for you to find out more about the campus, facilities and accommodation on offer.
Sometimes it can be hard to quantify but you will know when a place feels right for you.
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