Deciding whether you want to attend university is a huge decision – and deciding on what course to study is probably an even bigger one! We know that you want to get this right, so to help point you in the right direction, we’ve compiled some handy tips on how you can ace this process.
First things first, considering other factors before picking the actual course may help you narrow down a shortlist. Maybe think about which city you want to study in or whether you want to study part-time, full-time or remote, for example. Once you’ve decided on the nitty-gritty, it’s time to select your course.
What do you enjoy?
Believe us or not, this process doesn’t have to be as stressful or overbearing as you may think, you just need to weigh up some options… Such as thinking about what subjects you’ve enjoyed at school.
Do you find yourself always looking forward to science classes, or do you feel excited to carry on with that novel you’re reading in English? Whatever it is, how much you enjoy the subject is probably the most important aspect to consider, because who wants to dedicate three or more years of their life to a course they don’t enjoy? Not us! You need to be passionate about your course and motivated to actually attend uni. You know, to get your money’s worth!
Where you go excel?
Once you’ve worked that part out, next have a think about what you’re good at. Now, we know we just said passion is the most important aspect to consider, but being realistic is key, too. What subjects do you get the best grades in at school and in which area are you most likely to be successful in? Figure out where your strengths lie and use them to guide you to a suitable course.
On the back of this, you may want to look at course assessment methods to solidify your choice further. Why? Well, picture this. You’ve been at sixth form for two years and the only assessments you’ve ever had to do are exams. You feel super confident and at home in the exam hall…but your university course requires written coursework, group work and presentations. What now?!
If your answer is ‘panic’ – happily, you don’t have to. There are plenty of courses focusing on the same subject that will have different assessment options. Find a uni that offers the assessments you’re comfortable with and good at and take it from there. That way, when you’re approaching your first ever uni assignment, there’ll be no nasty surprises.
Next up for consideration - employability. We’re sure that you’ll be going to university to better yourself and your future, so you’ve got to be thinking about where you want your course to take you. Consider which courses are likely to get you hired and what their starting salaries might be. It’s important to be practical, after all, uni is a huge investment – of your time, your money, your energy – so make it pay off (literally) as much as it can once you graduate!
Where will you study?
Ok, that’s a lot to consider, right? We know. But it’s a great starting point! Now it’s time to take all your notes and put them into action. One of the most crucial ways you should be doing this is by physically attending a bunch of universities. From the long list of courses you’ve drawn up, have a look at which unis are holding open days and get yourself booked in!
Going to lots of open days is super beneficial, because there’s only so much you can decide before seeing a university in real life. When trying to compile a list of courses to apply for, there may be one or two options that you're still unsure of – this is exactly what an open day will help with.
By touring the university campus for yourself and speaking directly to students and staff, you’ll quash any reservations you had and answer any remaining questions. Or, it may do the opposite, and confirm your fears – in which case, you can cross the course or university off your list. Sounds like a win-win!
So…what now? Well if you’ve followed our advice, you should be well on your way to feeling confident about your course choices. Considering all of the above will ensure you’ve got much less to worry about when you actually start uni, and will take the pressure off massively during the A-level exam and results day period.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to be worrying about university when you’ve got deadlines and exam revision coming out of your ears! Rest assured though, as long as you give it some careful thought and don’t make a rash decision, picking your university course will go swimmingly. In fact, it’ll probably be much better than you think!