How to choose the right uni course

How to choose the right uni course

While finishing school and heading off to uni might sound like a long time in the future, it will come round quicker than you think!

But with so many university courses to pick from, deciding what to study can seem long and pretty overwhelming for many. But this doesn’t have to be the case! We’ve rounded up our top tips for choosing the right uni course, so when the time comes to make that all important decision, you can have peace of mind you’ve made the right one. 

Here are 5 steps to help you choose the right uni course:

  1. Assess your interests and abilities
  2. Research your options 
  3. Evaluate job prospects
  4. Consider the different types of undergraduate courses
  5. Consider location and university environment

1. Assess your interests and abilities.

First and foremost, sit down and really assess what you’re passionate about and what subjects you enjoy the most. Choosing a course that aligns with your interests ensures that you’re studying something you enjoy, which can lead to a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction throughout your academic journey and future career.

If you choose a course you haven’t that much interest in, you’re less likely to be motivated to excel in your studies. Having real enthusiasm in a course can significantly drive your engagement, participation, and effort, resulting in better performance and results.

How to choose the right uni course
As well as thinking about what subjects you enjoy, equally look at which subjects you have proven good grades in, as by selecting a course that aligns with your strengths, you’re more likely to succeed in your studies.

2. Research your options.

Once you know the subject area you want to study, research your course options. There are a number of different resources available to help you gather as much information as possible, such as individual university websites, course catalogues and student websites like UCAS or Discover Uni

When looking at different university courses, take particular interest in the curriculum of the course (i.e. what’s involved), specialisations and the opportunities you might gain from it. Also consider the entry requirements for each course, which will often specify the desired subjects and grades you’ll need to get in order to study the course.

When looking at entry requirements, it’s important to be realistic with what you can achieve. If a course’s requirements are much higher than what you’re actually predicted, try looking at a different university or a similar course with lower grade requirements.

3. Evaluate job prospects.

It’s also important to evaluate job prospects and the demand for professionals in the subject area you’re considering. By this we mean, look for sectors with a consistent need for professionals and opportunities for career advancement. This will make the post-university job hunting process much easier for you. 

It’s also wise to look for information on salary ranges for positions in the field you’re interested in. Take into consideration the average salaries, potential for higher earnings, and benefits associated with those roles.

It’s also worth connecting with professionals already working in the field you’re interested in and seeking their advice. They might be able to share their insights into the course you’re considering and the realities of the profession after graduating. 

How to choose the right uni course
You can also get career advice from advisors at the university or career counsellors at your school/college. These individuals can provide insights into the job market, potential career paths, and the alignment of your chosen course with industry demands.

4. Consider the different types of courses.

When carrying out your course research, you’ll notice universities offer a number of different types of undergraduate courses – from BA to foundation courses, combined honours to sandwich courses.

Here’s a brief summary of the most popular undergraduate degrees in the UK.

The different types of undergraduate courses.

  • Bachelor degrees.

Bachelor degrees usually last either three or four years if studied full-time (although some can be longer).  Many bachelor degrees have core modules which everyone studies, and many courses allow you to choose modules to make up a course that suits your interests. 

There are a number of different types of bachelor’s degrees, including Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), just to name a few. 

  • Foundation degrees.

Foundation degrees are usually two-year courses that are equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate degree. While they are at a lower level than a bachelor’s degree, they are above a high school diploma or equivalent and considered a bridge between traditional academic education and practical, workplace-focused learning. 

  • Sandwich degrees.

Also known as placement courses, these often last 4 years with 1 year spent studying abroad or working in an industrial placement.

Placement/sandwich degrees with a study abroad option are highly beneficial for those studying a language, as you’ll be able to use what you’ve learned in a real setting. That said, many other courses come with placement options too.

5. Consider location and university environment.

Another important thing to consider when choosing the right uni course for you is the location and environment of the university itself. Where you live, eat, rest, revise, sleep and relax will significantly impact your overall university experience, well-being and academic success, so it’s important that you choose a course at a university that you’ll feel happiest in. 

When it comes to location, think about whether you’d prefer to live in a bustling city, a suburban area, or a quieter rural setting, as this impacts your overall lifestyle and comfort while at university. Also consider factors like how close the university is to your home, and the transport links available.

How to choose the right uni course
It’s highly recommended that you visit university campuses on university open days prior to choosing your course, as this will give you a real feel for the campus atmosphere, culture, and the energy of the student community.

You should also visit student accommodation to assess the living conditions, proximity to campus, facilities, safety, and overall suitability. It’s important to feel comfortable and secure in your living space, and this is sometimes hard to gauge just from images online. Here are some top tips for making the best choice for your university accommodation

 

And there we have it! We hope this article helps guide you when choosing the right uni course. Remember to check the reputation of the university and perhaps speak to past students of your chosen course for additional insight. 

For more information about starting uni, check out our student blog packed with articles on the clearing process, how to write personal statements for university, the benefits of private student accommodation and much more! 

Written by Kate for Host.

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