It is very important to base your university choice on the degree scheme that you want to study. As a general rule, pick a course that is of high quality, ranks well in terms of student satisfaction, and is something that you genuinely want to study for three or more years. Choosing a university then stems from this by looking on university league tables and profiles for that specific course. This article will explore the different ways in which to pick a university.
Choosing the course
There is this complexity underlying the process – a debate over what courses are beneficial in the long term. This has become especially prominent since the rise of tuition fees in 2011.
Just pick a degree that you love!
- The first argument is that in this current employment environment, it is incredibly important to have a degree. A lot of people have one as a qualification, so in order to compete, a degree is a basic way to increase your employability.
- Some argue that the course itself does not matter, as long as it is a degree with a grade of 2:1 or above, you will impress and go up in your employer’s estimation. It will further you in your career prospects whatever the subject matter.
- As a result, it is important to choose to study a degree that you are passionate about, something you will like and will be motivated to study. The more you love your course, the more you will be prepared to work for it and enjoy your experience.
- A benefit of this mindset is that you are not tied down to just one particular career, you can think about and career options during your degree whilst simultaneously working for those top grades.
You should pick a degree that will further you in your career!
However, the other side of the argument is that, it is crucial to pick a highly employable course. A course with high employability rates, good graduate schemes, and if possible, is a sandwich structure.
- This idea argues that a degree in any subject is not enough, it must be a prestigious course from a prestigious university that has a high probability of getting you a job when you graduate.
- You need to be able to distinguish yourself by going that extra mile. Studying at university involves you making the most out of it. This usually means picking a degree scheme that is tailored to a particular career. Education is a good example – you are preparing yourself for a career in teaching and not just learning a subject. It is important to do some research in the job market. Find the job sectors that need a lot of graduates – like engineering – and then plan your career accordingly.
- It could also be a good idea to look at different versions of the same course you are interest in. Perhaps consider a duel degree, one which a similar structure but with different modules, a equivalent sandwich degree.
Do bear in mind that both arguments have their benefits, choose the path that you feel will help you more as an individual
Choosing the university
After thinking through the debate, and finding a course that suits you, it is time choose the university. A good place to start is the Complete University Guide.
Take a look at the overall league table for universities and perhaps make a note of highly ranked universities – it is usually based on university satisfaction results, research quality and graduate prospects.
Once you have made a note of this, refine the league table results by looking specifically at your chosen course. Make a note of all the universities at the top of the rankings. Employers will be looking at these and your overall grade on your CV when you apply for a job.
Visit the university websites and look at entry standards. When shortlisting universities, it is important to do some further research, such as visiting university profiles. It is also a good idea to make a list of universities with higher entry standards and lower entry standards. This way, you can put a university with a lower entry standard as your insurance choice so that if you do not manage to get the grades for your firm choice, you can still get into a university you like and have shortlisted.
Once you have a list of universities you are interested in and have researched, it is time to look at some open days. Make sure you make the most out of university open days.
Remember to conduct as much research as possible so you can find a university that is just right for you.