How to choose a course

Choosing a university course is a big decision that will have an impact on your future. How do you go about deciding which degree to study?

I found that when it comes to choosing a course there are three types of people. Some know exactly what they want to do in the future; others have a vague idea and some don’t have a clue.

I fell into the latter category. Although it felt like everyone else knew what they wanted to do with their life, most people are actually in the same boat. So don’t worry if you feel this way too.

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when deciding which course is right for you.  Here are my top three tips to bear in mind:

Choose a subject you enjoy

Make sure you choose a subject you enjoy as you are committing to it for three or four years. You’ll be more motivated to work harder (more likely to attend your 9am lectures) and your time at university will be a positive experience.

I know of a few people who have changed courses due to not enjoying them. This was down to selecting a course for the wrong reasons. This could be basing choice on what someone else thinks you should be studying, because you think it will get you a well-paid job or because someone you know is applying for it too.

If you can’t settle on just one subject, consider a Joint Honours degree which will give you the opportunity to explore two different subjects you are passionate about.

Course and career

Thoroughly research the options available. Universities will offer courses which have the same name, yet the contents will differ.

It’s important to consider what you hope to do once you have finished higher education. How will the course contribute to achieving that goal?

It may be that your dream job requires a specific degree or a set of skills only certain University courses teach. Compare the modules offered and how you will be assessed. I liked the variety on my course: coursework, exams, creative group projects and presentations. You may prefer all-exam or all-coursework assessment.

Course extras

Some courses offer the opportunity to undertake a year in industry. This will help you apply what you learn in real world situations and boost your employability when you leave university.

You may even be able to take a year of study abroad. If this is something you are interested in, check that the universities and courses you apply to support their students with this.

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