Even if you have already decided that university is right for you, you may find yourself struggling to work out exactly what you’d like to study. It’s a big decision, definitely not one to be taken lightly, you will be studying it for several years so you need to be as sure as you can that it’s something you’ll enjoy and excel at, and will hold your interest.
Perhaps for the first time ever, you get to study in your own time and are given a wide range of choice on which particular aspects you want to focus on in your chosen field, so it’s very different to the more prescriptive style of teaching you get at school.
Begin your research as soon as possible – allow yourself plenty time to look into a wide range of courses at lots of universities – they can vary enormously. So, what are the factors you should consider?
What do you enjoy?
Pick the course you love the most, not the one you’re best at. You are going need to motivate yourself!
UCAS Tariff Points
Do your predicted grades meet the course requirements? If not, have a think about alternative courses, for example instead of Economics, perhaps Business Management? Or Criminology instead of Law? You don’t have to change your area of interest completely, and don’t forget that different universities require different grades for the same course.
These will vary institution to institution. If you are good at coursework, don’t pick a course which is 100% exam assessed or vice versa. Give yourself the best opportunity to do well during your course.
You can either choose a course that keeps your options open, or one that leads to your chosen career. Many careers such as finance and law do NOT require you to have studied those subjects as a degree, so if you want to work as a banker but are really interested in Classics, then go for it! Make sure you research thoroughly first!
Are you currently studying it?
If so, you’ll have an idea of what the subject entails but beware – degrees courses are very different, so explore the course content thoroughly
Is it a new subject?
Over 37,000 courses are available via UCAS, one of which will be right for you. Don’t be confined by areas of study you have already covered! Read around any areas of interest, and try to imagine studying the subject academically – a love of sport might not translate to a love of writing a thesis on sport!
Don’t be concerned if you applying to a subject you haven’t already covered before, eg Law A-Level for Law degrees. Even if some of your peers have studied it already, the tutors will take this into consideration and ensure you will all be up to speed soon after Fresher’s Week (unless of course it was a course requirement, in which case you wouldn’t be accepted anyway!).
What does the course offer?
There are so many options to vary your degree. Joint or combined honours, a year abroad, a year in industry, an integrated masters. Research fully to ensure you don’t miss these options.
It’s not just the universities that are ranked – it is also the subjects themselves. For example, there might be an excellent, world-renowned Engineering faculty at a lesser-known university that doesn’t perform so well in the generic league tables. Make sure you do your research – the results can be very surprising.
Remember that no one person or organisation, not even UCAS, can be an expert on all courses. It is up to you to do your own research for the most up-to-date information on the course, its content, how it’s assessed and ultimately if it’s right for you. Register with Pure Potential to be the first to hear about events and opportunities to help you make your decision.