Exams are coming to an end, which means the summer holidays await- making it the perfect time to start thinking about university. We know it can be tough choosing from over 150 universities in the UK alone, not to mention the vast variety of courses. That’s why it’s crucial that you do your homework and start researching early. Here at Tutor Doctor we thought we would help you get started. Here’s our simple guide on how to choose the right university for you and help you make an informed choice.
So.. Where do I start?
Choosing a university can certainly be overwhelming, so it’s important to start with the basics. Begin by thinking about what kind of course you would like to do. Consider what you’re passionate about, what you’re good at and most importantly what will get you out of bed in the morning.
Next think about the kind of university that you want to go to. Write a list of all the things that are important for you to have- for example good sports facilities, work opportunities, close to home etc. It’s all about having the right balance for you.
When you have narrowed down a handful of universities it’s always a good idea to visit them. Don’t just rely on websites and brochures- go to open days and explore. Speak to tutors, students and have a wander around the surrounding area. You need imagine yourself there- do you think you could fit in? Make a pros and cons list if you’re really struggling to choose your top two.
Look Through Forums
Forums are a great place to look for any extra information regarding the university, the course or just uni life in general. Often you find people are a lot more honest and open. Just remember it’s all about research, research, research.
Other things to consider:
Campus or Town
In the UK universities are diverse. You really need to consider what kind of environment you want. A campus is more enclosed and everything is on-site. Town universities are more spread out and often you will have buildings in and around a city. They are very different environments so it’s important to consider which one you prefer, as it can really impact your experience.
Yes choosing the right place is important- but so is the course. You may be in the perfect place but if you’re doing the wrong course is it worth it? Really consider the details of what you’re looking for. Do you want a placement year? Remember that nowadays experience is just as important as the degree you have. Also think about assessment- does the course have lots of exams or coursework? Prioritise what’s important for you.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep into the courses that you’re interested in. It’s important to look beyond the module titles. Delve into the unit guide, as this is where the real information lies. Sometimes titles of modules can be deceiving and you could end up spending three years doing something you weren’t expecting.
Distance From Home
Distance from home is sometimes forgotten about when choosing a university. It’s always a great thing to consider, especially if you want to go back and visit family and friends on the weekends. If you choose somewhere far away it will put demands on your time and money.
Also remember you don’t have to move away to go to university. There is nothing wrong with choosing somewhere close to home to study. Recent stats even show that every year roughly 330,000 students choose to stay at home. It’s a very cost effective way of studying.
University is a huge and expensive commitment so it’s important to be realistic and not make rash decisions. Try to always give yourself choices. For example: Don’t hold hope for just one university and not apply anywhere else. Also, avoid putting too much pressure on choosing a university or course. It’s okay to feel unsure, so take your time and make a choice when you’re ready.
Don’t rule out taking a gap year if you think you need to give yourself some more time to decide. Remember that going to university isn’t for everyone and there are many other routes!
Finally.. Think about you
When choosing a university it’s important to stop worrying about what your friends are doing and worry about what you want. Think about what you want your student experience to be like and what will suit you. Your surroundings will become your home, so trust your instincts when deciding. Balance is key- it needs to feel just right.