So you’ve almost completed your A’ Level or equivalent studies and you’re now looking to go to university. You need to get your UCAS form submitted as soon as possible but you’re just not sure which universities to put down on your form as being ‘preferable’ to you and your needs, desires and aspirations. Choosing a university is a hugely important task. It is where you will spend the next three years or so of your academic life, and for many it is the place where, for the next few years, you will live, socialise and work. When it comes to choosing a university the world is your oyster, but such a great level of choice can make the task of identifying a university all more difficult to complete.
Below are a number of helpful tips to support you in your decision-making process!
– Rule out those universities that you are unlikely to be able to attend. There are many reasons why some universities just won’t be an option to you; perhaps the entrance grades required are too challenging or the location of the university is too far away for you to consider.
– Draw up a criteria list which outlines all of the elements of university life that are important to you. This might include; distance from your family home, likely university choice of friends, the modules taught within your preferred course, the extra-curricular activities on offer, the social life, the style of accommodation on campus, the campus layout etc.
– Order your criteria appropriately, placing the elements that are most important to you at the top. If this is say, ‘distance from your family home’, work out exactly what distance is acceptable to you. You can then automatically rule out or rule in universities based on how well they meet your most important criteria.
– You’ve now got a short list of universities. Next, rate each university against the other elements on your criteria list. Use a simple scoring system such as 5 for absolutely meeting the criteria to 0 for absolutely not meeting the criteria! Once this process is completed, you can total up the scores and identify which universities score the highest.
– It’s important to actually go and see those universities that you’re strongly considering attending, as this will help you determine if you’d be happy studying at such a location. So remember to attend open days or arrange site visits with at least the top 3 universities that rated highest against your criteria list.