How to Choose a University Course

21st September 2021 Shannan Humphrey Study

Trying to decide which university course you should apply for? While choosing a university is a difficult choice, choosing your subject is even harder. Use this guide on 7 tips to help you narrow down degrees and find the right one for you.

1. Consider your interests, values and abilities

There are a lot of different types of courses on offer, so narrowing them down by your interests, values and abilities is a good start. When questioning what to study at university, think about the things you are truly passionate about. An example would be that you are passionate about the environment, so you decide to undertake a conservation degree.

Don’t forget to also take your abilities into account. Chances are, if you weren’t very good at something during your A-Levels, you’ll find it even harder at university. Apply to university degrees that make use of your strengths and align with what you believe in. Remember, you’re going to be studying towards your degree for years, so it needs to be something you’re actually interested in.

2. Think about a joint honours

A lot of students miss out on the benefits of a joint honours course because they mistakenly think it means doing twice the work. The truth is a joint honours degree involves the same number of credits as a single honours course. The only difference is that you’ll be studying fewer modules in each subject.

You’ll be able to apply for a joint honours degree while studying your A-levels or equivalent. You can basically choose two subjects to study, rather than just one. It’s also good to note here that the two subjects don’t have to be related. You can also choose to study them as a joint degree or study one as a major and one as a minor. There is a lot of choices available with this type of degree so it’s definitely something to consider.

3. Look at employability prospects

While choosing an undergraduate course that you are interested in is important, you also need to consider employability prospects. What are the chances of you finding a job with the degree you’ll be studying? You can check the following websites to assess employability prospects before choosing a university course:

The last thing you need is to complete your degree, only to find there are no employment opportunities available. However, don’t be too disheartened if opportunities in your chosen sector are low right now. The situation could change, so factor in future trends and opportunities too.

4. Consider the type of course

When choosing what to study in university, an important thing to think about is the type of course best suited to you. Let’s take a look at your options:

  • Foundation degrees – A foundation degree can be completed on a full or part-time basis. They are focused on a particular profession and combine the workplace with academic skills. If you aren’t sure whether a full degree is right for you, a foundation degree could be an ideal option. They typically take two years to complete on a full-time basis.
  • Part-time study – Part-time courses basically extend the amount of time it will take to complete the degree. You will attend the course for fewer hours each week than you would if you were studying full time. Most part-time degrees take six years to complete. These courses are ideal for those who wish to work as well as attend university.
  • Distance learning – Some courses are offered on a distance learning basis. This means you don’t need to physically attend the university. Instead, you’ll be taught online. You will need to travel to complete any exams you need to take. However, most of the course is done over the internet. This is great for students who can’t travel to their chosen university, and for those who prefer more flexibility.
  • A placement year – You can select courses at a university that offer a placement year in a workplace setting. This gives you valuable work experience you can use when it is time to search for a job. Courses that do include a placement year, usually involve extending the degree course by a year. This means you’ll graduate later than some of your peers.
  • The option to study abroad – Some courses enable you to split your studying between home and abroad. A year studying abroad can be attractive to those looking to travel and experience new cultures.

5. Look at course guides and league tables

Other things you’ll want to look into are course guides and league tables. Pay attention to how the course will be structured. What do other students have to say about the course in their testimonials? You need to be sure it’s the right fit for you. University league tables can also help you to see which uni is better for each subject based on rankings.

6. Visit the universities

Visiting the university you are interested in will help you get a feel for whether you’ll like it there. Most universities have open days; however, you can also contact the uni to see if you can arrange a visit.

7. Check the prerequisites

The final thing to look out for when trying to choose what university to attend is the prerequisites. That is, what does each university ask for you to be eligible to apply? It’s important to ensure you meet eligibility criteria. Only apply for the courses you think you will get accepted on.

So, when thinking ‘what degree should I do?’, considering your interests, employability prospects, and the different types of courses on offer is important. The more research you do, the easier it will be to find the right course for you. If you are studying at University in London, consider checking out our student accommodation.

Shannan Humphrey

Shannan Humphrey

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