This week I have been thinking all about Universities and which ones I am wanting to apply for in September. Although this is something I have been considering for the past year, after attending a UCAS Fair, officially starting Year 13 and having several talks on ‘all things Uni’ over the past five days, I really am starting to feel the pressure.
I have spent hours this week just looking into every aspect of University and I’ve ended up creating my own mini list of what I find most important when conducting my searches.
Just because a University is of a high status or ranking, it doesn’t mean that it is right for you. I have found that most Universities will have a department that they specialise in and that is something definitely worth being aware of. Additionally, higher ranked Universities do tend to only offer traditional subjects, they might not offer your course or the best version of it. I am personally wanting to pursue a more creative subject and I know that a University of a more creative nature rather a traditional one would suit me much better. My teachers do emphasise the message that University rankings tend not to matter as much so long as this said University offers the best possible version of the course you desire. Obviously, when researching Universities the UCAS Website is your best option. More so, make sure you know what your Course fully entails before deciding. Look into; modules, coursework %, exams, etc.
The Entry Requirments
When getting into University the obvious be-all and end-all are your grades. Looking at Entry Requirements and knowing if I am capable of meeting them is always something I find a little bit difficult. When it comes to the higher entry requirements, I feel like I am overestimating myself but, when it comes to the lower entry requirements, I feel like I am underestimating myself. Knowing what is realistic is necessary, but don’t let higher Entry Requirments put you off applying for a course. The worst thing that will happen is a declined offer – if you are given a Conditional offer, and this is the course your heart desires then just make sure you spend the next year working hard!
The Location of a University is usually the thing that decides it for most people – and I can’t blame them. Some people decide to stay at home but others want to get as far away as possible. Moving away from University and getting to live/experience somewhere completely new is very exciting. There are so many options to explore; The City, The Countryside, The Coast, North, South, Middle – the list is pretty endless. Just remember that wherever you decide will be your home for the next few years.
Most Universities will offer Bursaries and Scholarships. Bursaries are determined by your household income and Scholarships are offered if you are specially gifted; either academically or in things such as sports. The amount of money you will get for these things vary. Each University website should have a section which gives information on Bursaries and Scholarships under their finance section. The Money that a University will offer you can be a deal breaker – especially if you are undecided between a few different Universities. More so, some Universities do also offer you a free year of not having to pay tuition fees. Look into it!
*Scholarships and Bursaries offer money that you do not have to pay back.
A Sandwich/Study Abroad Year
This is a pretty important one for me! A Course that comes with a Sandwich year gives you the opportunity to spend a year in the industry working just like other any qualified professional in the field that you are studying in. A Course that offers a Study Abroad year is rather self-explanatory but this just basically gives you the chance to continue your Course and modules at a different University in a Country of your choice for an entire year! This really does thrill the socks off me.