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How to Choose the Right University

Last Updated:

11th October 2019

First Published:

17th February 2016

397 views
how to choose the right university

Sounds obvious, but choosing the right university and postgraduate course to study is vital. Take a course you end up regretting and that’s a lot of studying hours, and more importantly, money, that you can’t get back.

There are tons of courses and institutions that all offer something different, some may be perfect for you while others should be avoided at all costs. So it pays to do your research in order to get on the right track early.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a university to study at...

How You Like to Learn

Do you thrive in practical situations? Do lengthy exams make you want to curl up in a ball? Do essays make you jump for joy (probably not, but bear with us here).

Choosing a course based on your learning style is important. Not only do you want to make sure you don’t get bored, but that you’re also gaining an appropriate insight into your chosen career field.

For example, if you fancy being an architect or a journalist you will need practical experience, so pick courses with placements attached to them. If you want to be a neuro scientist or a doctor then the theory comes first.

What Kind of Lifestyle Will You Have?

So we can all agree that choosing a university based on the price of its G+T’s is not strictly the best form of assessment, but considering the way you might be living whilst studying is.

Consider things like how it might compare to the lifestyle you are currently living. Are you moving from town to country or large city to small town? Do you think you could handle a busier social life on top of the work? Or actually like being in a smaller town with less to do?

Look into the accommodation options too, as well as the kind of prices you’ll be expected to pay for halls or private residences. Work out if you can afford a life outside of the educational payments you’ll be making if you attend that uni.

Pass Rates and Job Prospects

You may think that a higher-ranking university will get you a better job but it’s not always so simple.

For example, established, older universities are great if you want to work for a large company or if you think you’ll want a career in academia, while newer universities often offer more practical work placements and may have ties to employers.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency regularly publish university employment rates, so it’s worth checking that out before you make your final decision.

Consider Careers Advice

If you’ve no idea what you want do to after you graduate, or you do know but aren’t sure how to achieve it then don’t worry, about a zillion people are in the same position.

Talking to a careers advisor at your student services or independently is a great way to make sure you are going down the right path, and not just choosing a subject that you’d find easy or enjoyable.

The best university will be the one that offers you a course that you enjoy but also gets you working hard, with lecturers who know their stuff and can get the best out of their students.

When it comes to your long-term career options, different universities have different strengths. A good way to suss this out is to go on several open days when you will be invited to ask questions about the course, see the campus and see how you might fit into it.

What Now?

Now all that’s left to do is start your application, and remember that first, second and third choices are equally important here, you have to be satisfied to be accepted at all three, not just number one. Good luck!

Next Step: Search for your perfect university

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