5 Tips for Choosing the Right University

Choosing the right university is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. For most students, their time at university is looked back on fondly, and this is all down to picking the right one.

But where do you start? There are so many things to think about, including choosing the right course, that it can all get a bit overwhelming. To help you choose the right university for you, we’ve put together 6 tips.

1. Decide on the course you want to study

In a recent survey, 18% of current university students questioned said they regret their choice of degree course, stating that their lack of research was the main cause of their regret. To avoid this, you should make sure that you do lots of research, and are confident that you’re choosing the best course for you.

Your research should include a range of factors on the course and the university itself. Consider things like what you want to do when you graduate, or your personal style of learning, when you’re investigating course areas. Don’t be afraid to have a wide set of courses to research, as you don’t want to limit yourself to only the courses that you already think you might enjoy. There are hundreds of courses in the UK and even more in the EU, so don’t be too strict – even if you think you know what you want to study.

To help you carry out your research, try using MyUniChoices. It asks you a series of questions about your likes and dislikes, and then shows you a list of courses that are best suited to you. You can use it to carry out a huge amount of research into universities, for example by filtering based on your predicted grades. Centigrade also contains information about starting salaries for graduates, as well as common career choices for graduates of specific courses.

2. Understand the impact of your choices

Your choice of university and course will likely have a wide-reaching impact on your life and career. However, don’t let this worry you into choosing a course that you’re not going to be happy undertaking – but you should make sure that you understand what’s at stake. Your university choice can affect the careers that are open to you, as well as your routes into those jobs.

Universities are ranked in league tables, and you should bear these in mind as the most prestigious universities are well-respected by employers. However, it’s also worth considering that many of these league tables are subject-specific. For example, some universities may be higher up the league tables for science-based courses than arts-based ones. You should bear these reputational differences in mind when considering your courses.

3. Think carefully about the location you want to study in

Your decision shouldn’t just be about the course or the league table ranking of the universities you’re considering. Studying and living in a location that you like is important to your success at university.

Universities are often classified into two distinct groups: campus universities and city universities. Campus universities are usually self-contained within one or two large sites, with nearby accommodation, while city universities tend to be a grouping of buildings with more scattered accommodation. Think about how you want to spend your time at university and the type of person you are. While every university is different, there are lots of similarities between these two groups. Think about the broad areas of university life and which type of campus you’d like to live and study on, and then get more specific.

4. Make the most of open days

Open days are essential when it comes to choosing your university. You should try and visit each university that you apply for, as it’s important to get a good idea of what the university is like and what makes each one different.

Remember that open days are designed to show the university in the best possible light. Don’t simply take claims to be true – but try not to be overly critical. Open days are a great way to explore the university and see what it has to offer. Don’t forget to think about the wider area, as well.

There can be other benefits to open days, too. Admissions tutors will often give presentations where they discuss the types of applications they’d like to see, and there will usually be time for you to ask specific questions to help you in your application process.

5. Think about the whole experience

Making the right university choice isn’t just about finding the best place to study. You’ll also want to think carefully about things like work experience and internship opportunities, as well as graduate employability and industry pathways from universities.

Most universities have very successful careers support services, and will be able to help and support you as you transition into work. However, if you’ve got a very specific idea of what you want to do when you graduate, you may find that some universities offer specific services or opportunities that will really help you.

If you’re finding it difficult to make the right choice on Higher Education, try MyUniChoices. We match you with courses and universities that are suited to your interests, and help you streamline your research.