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With so many options to pick from, choosing the right university programme becomes a daunting task. While the internet offers multiple resources and comprehensive research material regarding UK universities, it becomes difficult to skim through and narrow down the magnitude of information. To save your mind from wandering into chaos and confusion, here is a step-by-step guide on how to choose a UK University programme.
Step 1 – Shortlist the Undergraduate Degree of Your Choice
The most popular UK university programme is a bachelor’s degree as it offers multiple subject disciplines to choose from. Undergraduate degrees at Bachelor’s level (BA, BEng, and BSc) spread over three to four years. Throughout this duration, your assessment is made based on written exams, assignments, and group projects. Various bachelor’s degree programmes in the UK offer the opportunity to spend a year abroad or include opportunities to work in the industry.
Another popular degree offered at UK universities is the foundation programme. These programmes stretch over a 2-years time frame. You also have the option to join a bachelor’s programme in the third year to complete the degree.
Apart from this, UK universities offer various shorter courses like the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the Higher National Diploma (HND). If you are passionate about social work, you may be better suited for a vocational award.
Step 2 – Consider Your Area of Interest
Students who have their career plans sorted and know exactly what they are passionate about are in luck. If they are interested in subjects like medicine, law, or journalism, choosing a degree programme is pretty straightforward for them.
If you are someone who is either indecisive or interested in multiple subject matters, narrow down your options by considering the following questions:
- Which subjects are you particularly interested in?
- Which subjects will be categorized as your strength?
- Which one of these subjects have you not studied before?
- What do you want to pursue professionally after university and how would your chosen degree be helpful in this regard?
One of the most critical parts of choosing your UK University Programme is considering where your choice will lead you once you graduate. Although having a degree is an essential job requirement for most graduates, most jobs don’t require their candidates to have their degrees in a particular discipline. Choosing a degree of your specific interest will only give you added advantage.
While there is the option for you to change or leave your course according to your will, finding the right course in the first place will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Step 3 – Compare Different University Courses
The courses offered in a degree programme will vary from one university to another. Hence it is highly essential to compare different university courses with each other. Here are some critical points to consider when comparing courses:
Reputation and ranking of the course
You can find this information on the Qs World Rankings or Times Higher Education (UK). More than 50% of the UK’s top 150 recognised universities get featured in the QS World University Rankings.
Course structure, modules, and timetable
You need this information to analyse if the course matches your studying preferences or not.
Various courses offer other opportunities like studying abroad or working a year in the industry.
It is highly essential to measure how valuable will your selected courses be for your professional career.
Evaluate all the above factors very thoroughly as you will have to go forward with your decided option for at least a year or two. If academia is not your strength, opt for courses that will provide you with a more hands-on experience instead of going for a theory-based programme.
You can find various tools online for course comparisons of different universities. These tools will provide you with accurate information and help you in decision-making. You can compare courses based on the following judging criteria:
- Student satisfaction with the quality of teaching
- Earnings of graduates six months after the course completion
- Course costs, plus university accommodation and tuition fees.
Step 4 – Compare Different Universities
There are various ways how you can explore and research which university would be right for you. Here are some tips you can consider while doing your research:
Visit Open Days
Avail this golden opportunity to get up close with the current students and alumni of a university to find out about their experiences to get a feel for the university before you apply.
Go-through University Website
You can tell a lot about a university by just going through its official website and social media platforms. This is one of the best methods to assess how the university projects itself. The information on the website and social media is accurate, so it’s a great way to fact-check things.
Attend University Fairs
Suppose you are unable to visit any university open days. In that case, these local university fairs act as a great platform to make contacts, get expert advice and explore various UK university programme options available to you.
Some important factors to consider when comparing universities include:
- Fee structure of your degree programme
- Living and accommodation costs
- The transport cost of travelling to and from university
- The campus life and student culture, including the student clubs and societies and what they have to offer
- The location of the university, what city or town it is based in, and what attractions do they offer
- Student satisfaction scores
Step 5 – Check TEF University Ratings
The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) is a platform released by the government in 2017. TEF is a great platform to assess the level of academic excellence at UK universities and colleges.
The ranking system enables students to compare the positioning of various UK universities based on their teaching standards and quality of education. This helps students make well-informed decisions regarding what option is best for them.
In 2018, nearly 300 institutions in England, Scotland, and Wales participated in TEF.
The TEF awards are categorized into the following categories:
If the university you wish to select falls under the Gold and Silver category of TEF awards, then you are in great hands. Bronze and provisional TEF awards also hold great significance for UK universities. Still, you should aim for Gold and Silver award winners if you wish to receive the highest quality of education.
Submitting your application through UCAS allows you to select up to five related courses, giving you the scope to choose from several institutions and increasing your selection chances.
We hope that by now you have a clear idea of how to choose a UK University Programme and the process has become easier for you. The final decision will depend on you when it comes to choosing a UK University programme you think is worth investing your time, money, and effort for.
We will advise you to make a checklist of the steps mentioned above to ensure you do not miss out on any important when starting your quest to choose the right university programme. To make life a bit easier for you, our expert professionals can take you through the entire application process and guide you every step of the way. Please contact us if you need further assistance.