So you’re interested in uni, you’ve been to a UCAS Exhibition and found a bit of info about some degree programmes, but what’s next? 💭
1) Decide which path you want to take 🏃
Unlike applying to college/sixth form, you cannot apply to an unlimited amount of universities, you only get a choice of 5 courses you can apply for via UCAS.
You can apply for multiple course at the same uni or pick 5 different unis, but your choice is still limited to 5 options.
Since you only get to pick 5️⃣ courses, you need to decide which path you’re taking!
You can apply for completely different courses if you wish, but it might affect your application. You can only submit one personal statement letter, if your personal statement is directed towards one subject and you are also sending your application to other courses, it could affect your application (so be wary!).
2) Do your own research 📝
Don’t just assume a uni is perfect for you. Even though you have spoken to representatives at the fair, they will not tell you the negatives about the course or uni.
Go to Google and have a bit of background on the course! For example, I’d check:
- What do current students think of the uni? 👩🎓
- What is the campus location like? 🏞
- What kind of links to industry does the uni have? 👨🔬
Don’t just look at the league table and assume that means the uni is good. Check out other stats, one website I used when applying for UCAS was Unistats (but there are many more resources online).
3) Attend the open days ☀️
Some unis brag about how they have high tech equipment, amazing facilities, but all you have to go by is some photos on their website. You should always double check the building you’re going to be spending the next 3+ years of your life, especially when you’re paying £9,000+ a year to enrol.
When I have got involved with Aston Uni Open Days before, we allow people to explore the building. Use this as your chance to have a look around and speak to some students who are wondering the building (but don’t disturb them if they’re studying!). 👀
Some things can’t be researched online, sometimes you need to experience it in person. The environment, atmosphere, the feel of the campus. Sometimes just stepping in the middle of the campus and taking one deep breath can give you a sense of what kind of place this is (but do speak to some lecturers and attend some talks while you’re there too).
4) Speak to your teachers! 👩🏫
They have been there and graduated! Since you started your education at 3 years old, you have been surrounded by people who loved their degree that much, they did an extra of year of uni to become a teacher.
People at your college/sixth form have stories and experiences which are unique to them. Every story is different, just sit down with them for 5 minutes and ask away. What unis do they suggest? Where have previous student gone? What would they do different? 🤔
Only you and the students in your school have the resource of your teacher. Make sure you ask them; they were in your position at one stage (…plus it is there job to help you anyway).