Hello reader! It’s Rachel here, a recent graduate from the University of Worcester. You’ve decided that you want to go to university – great! You may be wondering, now what? If you have collected lots of prospectuses from UCAS events, you may feel a bit overwhelmed in starting to decide where you may want to apply for. But this is completely normal when beginning the application process. These are some ways which helped me pick out my favourite universities.
1. Compare the course content and entry requirements
There are over 50,000 undergraduate courses available in the UK, so many universities have the same degree name – but this does not always mean that the content of the course is identical. It may be that one course at a university uses exams, and another focuses on coursework and essays. So, exploring what each course offers can help you decide what will be right for you. Also, having a look into what the entry requirements are for each course is a useful way to narrow down your choices. UCAS tariff points are a system used for the application process and will be equated against any further education qualifications you receive. The higher the tariff points, the higher the grades needed – this may sound confusing, so here’s a useful link that explains it further: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/entry-requirements/ucas-tariff-points
2. Explore the university’s facilities
A great way to decide which university suits you is to find out what facilities they have on offer. Whether they are course specific, such as specialist sport facilities, or looking into what support is available, such facilities can greatly impact your university experience. For example, many universities will offer different sports and societies; these are great to get involved with if there is something you fancy giving a go, or if you want to continue a hobby you already have, or if you want to meet new people! Attending an open day is a good opportunity to explore what is offered, and to ask any questions you may have. Our next open day is on …, and we’ll be happy to welcome you! You can book on here: https://www.worc.ac.uk/study/open-days/home.aspx
3. Explore the area
Universities can be based in cities, towns, or rural areas – have a think about where you could picture yourself living or commuting. Do you want to be living in the hustle and bustle? Or do you want to be studying in tranquillity? Worcester was great for me, as it has a vibrant city feel, but also beautiful surrounding countryside where me and my flatmates could go on some lovely walks for some fresh air. If you attend university open days, explore the surrounding area, and ask yourself questions like ‘do I feel safe here?’, and ‘does it have everything I need?’. This can really help narrow down your choices on which universities to apply for.
Hopefully these steps may provide more guidance on choosing what to study at university. Having a chat with your friends and family can be beneficial in helping you decide what you want to study too, especially if they’ve been to/are currently at university. Good luck with your application journey!