Choosing a course
There are over 37,000 higher education courses listed on UCAS, offered at over 165 Higher Education Institutions, including 115 UK universities. There are also a significant number of Further Education Colleges which offer higher education courses. With so many options available, choosing a course can be a difficult decision…
HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT COURSES?
There is no shortage of information and resources to help you decide:
UCAS course database to search for particular subjects and courses.
- Higher education fairs, where you can meet representatives from universities
- University websites
- University prospectuses and course leaflets
- Independent university guides such as Times Good University Guide and Brian Heap’s ‘University Degree Course Offers’.
- League tables are available to help you investigate which universities are best for particular courses: The Guardian University Guide and The Complete University Guide
- Research relevant information using Unistats – a highly recommended website which compares all sorts of useful statistics about different courses and institutions.
- Visiting universities to get an idea of what courses involve. Most universities hold open days, master-classes and taster sessions.
- Talking to people who are already studying the subject. This can be done online using student forums like The Student Room, social networking sites, or by visiting the university itself and arranging to talk to a current student.
UCAS : HOW TO CHOOSE A COURSE
POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN RESEARCHING COURSES
- What are the entry requirements? Are they in line with your predicted grades?
- How does the course content vary between universities?
- What modules can you study?
- How long is the course?
- Is it a full-time, part-time or a distance learning course?
- How is the course assessed? By final exams, coursework or ongoing assessment? Is there a final year dissertation/research project?
- How is the course taught? What is the ratio of formal lectures and seminars to independent study?
- Will there be practical/hands on modules?
- Are there opportunities to do a work placement or study abroad for part of your course?
- Is it possible to study more than one subject or study a few modules from other courses, for example a language?
- What jobs do graduates from the course go on to do?
- Is the course professionally accredited?
- What are the tuition fees for your chosen course choices?
If you are at all unsure, telephone or email the admissions tutor for your subject (contact details are available in university prospectuses and on university websites).