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This post (How to find the right uni for you) is written by Hannah Kay.
Going to university is a big decision and then an even bigger one is sprung upon you after that, where are you going to study? Most people would have a rough idea of what course they are wanting to do but then it’s the case of finding that university for you that also does the course you love.
I applied for university back in 2017 and left there to go to into full time dance training after a year, so this post is all my advice on getting you onto the right course at the right uni the first time. When I started my application I wasn’t really clued up in where I wanted to study, I knew I wanted to study full-time dance but with Dance courses you can train at a University or a ‘Conservatoire’/Dance School. I opted with a University (De Montfort University) and after a year decided the course was not for me. I hadn’t researched it enough and found a lot of things I was studying totally not related to what I wanted to go into career wise.
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I’ve compiled a list of things to do or to at least take into consideration when choosing your university of choice. Most of these I either did myself or forgot about which is why they’re on the list for you. I’m hoping that this list of things to consider will help you during your research and application stages of University.
Do some research
When you are looking to find the right uni the first step is finding a variety of universities and courses you’d like to go to and study. Make a mind map of courses or universities you want to consider before doing your initial research. Even those you think you might not be able to get into / go to due to other aspects.
Once you’ve found a few universities, check their rankings in the ‘University League Tables’. This isn’t the be-all-end-all, however, it gives you a rough idea of how well the university is doing overall. Remember this is your decision – don’t let anyone influence it. It’s your future, you be your own author
Write an ‘essentials’ list
This is a list of a few things (don’t make it too extensive, 3 things maximum) that you will not compromise on. For example, I originally wanted 20+ contact hours (on a dance course) and settled for 16 and later found this was way too little for me and didn’t enjoy it. Things on this list could be distance from home, ways of assessment, contact hours or a specific module included on the course etc.
Attend Open Days
A great thing to do to find the right uni for you is to go to open days. Open days are my most pushed advice, you get the first impression from a university on their open day.
Make sure you go to these with some questions you want answering and don’t leave until they’re answered. You’ll get home and regret not asking that one ‘silly’ question. If it matters to you, it’s not ‘silly’. Take into consideration: How organised they are? How welcoming? How does the campus feel/look? What’s on the itinerary? Some other things are:
- Talk to people on the open day; both teachers and current students (remember these students will be you in a few months’ time, get as much information out of them as possible, the more honest the better).
- Go visit the campus’ and accommodations. Take into consideration how far away they are, what area they are in, how much the accommodation is in comparison to your predicted loan.
- If you do something extra-curricular or have a hobby or sport that you will not be giving up alongside university. Consider that.
If you are a swimmer, where is your pool? How far is it from your campus/accommodation? How much is it to enter? What’s the cost of travel to get there? (especially if you’re going every day!)
If you need to be able to travel to competitions or displays regularly, how easy are your travel links. Train? Bus? Car? How far away from these stations are you and what are the cost of your tickets?
The course specifically
Dig deep into the course. You’ll be studying this for a minimum of 3 years. Look into the modules of each year, what you’ll be learning about, what you’ll be assessed on. Research the type of careers you can go into with that degree and see if they interest you. How many contact hours you get and how many assessments you’ll have, it’s good to get an idea of how busy your course will be and how much support you’ll be receiving? How much choice and leeway do you get with picking modules later in the course? This will tailor your course and studies to your potential career.
Especially if you have a rough idea of the career you want to head into to then you might want to have a browse at Graduates and Alumni of your chosen University and specifically the course. Have a look for both inspiration and to get an idea of careers and areas of jobs you can go into after graduating.
After all these points I really do hope I’ve given you a bit more to think about and more depth to your research needed to find the right university and course for you. I would love to hear if any of these points are something you had or hadn’t considered before this and how you get on with your application and interview in taking that big first step into Higher Education.
About the Author
Thank you for reading about how to find the right uni for you!
I’m Hannah Kay from hannahkayblogs.co.uk, been blogging about 3 years now alongside full-time professional dance training. I create content and posts surrounding the topics of: Lifestyle, Fashion, Student Life, Beauty & Skincare, and many more. Make sure you check out some of my other blog posts, there’s something for everyone. All my links are below, and I look forward to hearing from you all.
- Blog – www.hannahkayblogs.co.uk
- Instagram – www.instagram.com/hannah.kay.k
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/hannahkayblogs
- Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/hannahkayblogs
Ming Qian says
When I decided on my university and faculty, I considered all of these factors too. I paid close attention to the people in particular because I feel that since university is a developmental process, the caliber of students manning these booths should indicate the quality of the program.
Thanks for sharing these tips, Hannah! I believe that they will be useful for anyone who is in the position of selecting a university.
These are great tips! I wish I did this when I was picking out mine. I kind of just picked based on location – the farthest one from where I live. Though I did have a good education at the school, sometimes I actually wonder how life would turn out, how I would turn out if I picked a different one.
Liz Hartley says
I think its so important to go to the uni and experience what it is actually like! Before I went to university in Liverpool, me and my mum went for the weekend and spent ages looking around. I was so embarrassed at the time when she was trying to get us to go into all sorts of university buildings but really I am glad she made us do that because it really helped me understand what the university was like!
These are such great ideas and tips – I especially agree with communicating with graduates and students; they’re the best port of call! Finding the right university is so important too – every single one is different.
Paige // Paige Eades
S. K. Nijjar says
I love the tips you recommended. This is a very helpful and well written blog post. Thanks for sharing! 😊
I’m glad you pointed out to that you should do research into the type of jobs that’ll be available with a particular degree. It’s surprising how many people graduate then realize how hard it is to find a job, or at least one that they’re interested in, with the degree they earned.
I needed this post when I was applying to uni! I also settled for a compromise on things that I shouldn’t have, and learnt the hard way. Super helpful!