How To Find The Right University For You
Table of Contents
Finding the right university for you can be a difficult process, whilst some people have their heart set on a particular degree subject and institution from a young age, others may struggle to determine where is best for them and may be unsure of what to do in the future.
There are so many decisions to factor in when it comes to choosing which university to attend, from your course of study to the university’s facilities to the location attributes to the cost of living in the particular city or town, along with plenty of other crucial things.
It’s no easy process choosing the university you’re going to study at and the place you’re going to call home for the next three to six years of your life, but there are things you can take on board to help you make the all-important choice.
This is where we come in handy, with our guide of tips to help you find the right university for you!
Tips To Find The Right University For You
There are over 160 universities in the UK and around 65,000 undergraduate courses, so it’s definitely no walk in the park choosing which institution and course of study is best suited to you.
After all, where you attend university and the subject field you choose will lay the foundations for your future.
It can be a difficult and overwhelming decision to make, especially at a young age, but with our top tips you’ll be able to decide on the best option!
1. Research Course Options
Before deciding on which university you want to study at, you need to first choose which degree course you want to do.
If you already know which field of study you want to go into, you can use the UCAS Course Finder to create a shortlist of universities who offer your subject of interest, no matter if it’s at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
If you’re unsure about which degree subject you want to study, you should research different course options.
Firstly, you should ensure you choose a subject which genuinely interests you, you’re good at, and you could see yourself doing in the future.
Whilst things can change over time and not everyone chooses to go into their degree industry once they graduate, you’re still going to spend a good few years studying this subject intensely, and paying tuition fees for it too!
It’s also important to remember that certain courses are only offered at a select few universities within the UK.
Such as, if you have your heart set on studying European Languages or Veterinary Science, not all universities will offer these.
To help you out, take a look through the study guides on the UCAS website to explore the different types of degrees available.
2. Check Entry Requirements
Before applying to university and determining which one is right for you, a key factor you need to take into account is entry requirements.
Each institution sets their own requirements for the university courses that they offer, which vary depending on the subject.
It’s important to do your research to find out what grades and requirements you’d need to be considered for the degree course you’re applying for.
If you don’t have your results yet, you can compare the requirements with your predicted A-Level grades.
Remember, it’s not just your grades that are important, your personal statement, skills and experience, as well as your passion for the subject are crucial within the application process too.
Entry requirements can take many forms, you may also be required to attend interviews or auditions, complete assessments, or create portfolios, it all depends on each course and university!
3. Make The Most Of Open Days
It’s not always possible to attend university open days for numerous reasons, perhaps because they can be located far from where you live, but if you are able to, we’d suggest visiting a few universities.
University open days are a great opportunity for you to see what campus life is like, speak with current staff and students to gain more of an insight, explore the university facilities as well as to explore your options.
Attending these events are an invaluable way of finding out which universities you want to apply for, or which university is right for you.
This is also a good chance for your family or guardians to explore the universities you want to apply for, as they may be able to help you make an informed decision.
4. Determine Your Ideal Location
It’s not just academics which come into play when it comes to choosing the right university for you, it’s also about choosing the right location.
This is somewhere you’re going to live for many years to come, unless of course you’re going to commute to university and live at home.
It’s important to determine which type of place you’d prefer to live, such as, would you prefer a quiet town, or the big city life?
Where you choose to study can impact your student experience, so if you’re wanting to live somewhere with a vibrant nightlife, jam-packed with exciting things to do, you’re probably going to be better off looking at a university within a city, rather than a small town.
That’s not to say you won’t have a good student experience in a small town, there are pros and cons about both a small-town campus and an urban university, and everyone’s experience can be different.
When deciding which university to study at, you should also think about how far away from home you will be, and research the transport options available.
If you’re wanting to travel back to visit friends and family a lot, studying at a university which is hours away may not be ideal in the long term.
5. Consider Cost Of Living
You will have different living costs depending on where and what you will be studying at university, so if you want your maintenance loan to stretch further, it’s worth doing your research.
Living expenses can vary from place to place, with big cities tending to be more expensive in terms of living costs, utility bills, food and drink, nights out, and transport costs than smaller towns.
Weighing up the cost of living in different places can help you decide which university is right for you, and where is best for you to live.
6. Facilities Available
Whilst at university, there are a wide range of facilities for you to utilise on campus to maximise your learning and to get the most out of your student experience.
From libraries to lecture halls to study spaces to research facilities to green spaces to sports centres and more.
There are some universities which invest more in their student facilities and learning resources than others, so it’s worth exploring to see what each university offers.
You can find out more about campus facilities by heading to university websites, by attending a university open day or even looking at university rankings.
7. Opportunities Offered
Whether you end up embarking on a study abroad or work placement or not, it’s important to explore what course opportunities are offered by different UK universities.
Some universities allow their students to spend time abroad, or offer a placement year in a workplace setting, whilst others may not.
So, if these opportunities are something you’d be interested in doing, there’s not much point applying for a course which doesn’t allow students to spend a semester or year studying or carry out a work placement.
The best way to find out more about what opportunities are available for students is looking at a university’s website, or by asking questions on open days.
8. Societies & Extracurricular Activities
During your university years it’s not just about working hard, it’s also about playing hard.
You’ll spend your time meeting plenty of new people from all walks of life and making everlasting memories whilst at uni.
A great way you can open yourself up to new opportunities is by joining a society or getting involved with an extracurricular activity on campus.
If you have extra-curricular passions that you want to continue with whilst at university, or perhaps new hobbies or interests you want to take up, it’s worth researching about the different societies and extracurricular activities that each university offers.
This can help you make an informed decision about which university is right for you!
9. Speak To Others For Advice
When deciding what university is right for you, it may be wise to get advice from the people in your life whether it’s your friends, family or your partner, to help you make this important decision about your future career path.
It may even be helpful to speak to your college tutors to see what advice they can offer you about your options.
Whilst the people within your life will know you best, the choice you make regarding where to attend university should be for you and not for anyone else to decide.
It’s important not to let your friends influence which university you pick either.
Such as, if all of your friendship groups from college are set on a specific university, don’t just go there because they are.
Sure, you might feel more comfortable going somewhere with people you already know, and you might have a great time, but is it really where you want to go?
10. Find Out About Student Accommodation
Where you choose to live at university has a direct impact upon your student experience, so it’s vital that you find out about the accommodation options which are available to you at different universities.
Here at Prestige Student Living, we offer luxury student accommodation in towns and cities across the UK with all inclusive bills, friendly on-site hospitality teams, fantastic social spaces and modern amenities.
As you’ve discovered, there are many things to consider when determining which university is right for you.
We wish you the best in finding your perfect higher education institution!