Picking the right course and uni for you
With all the different universities and courses out there, how do you know which ones to choose? We’re here to help.
Choosing a course – questions to ask, and things to think about
What are you passionate about?
The course you choose to study will need to hold your interest for the next three or four years, so be honest with yourself – does the subject inspire and excite you? What else is there to learn, and where could it take you? Excelling at a subject and caring about it aren’t always the same thing – you’ll work better and harder on a course that you love.
What’s your dream job?
Find out how your course is viewed in the industry. Does your dream job require that specific subject, or are there other pathways to explore? Universities and employers are becoming increasingly flexible, so give yourself as many options as possible.
Thinking of something new?
It might open up a new career path – maybe it’s a passion you’ve always had. Whatever the reasons, make sure they’re the right ones for you. Do your research – understand what’s involved in studying that subject at university. At degree level, every subject has theoretical modules and classroom time, so it won’t all be hands-on learning.
Research your course details
If two courses have the same title, it doesn’t mean they’ll cover the same content. What modules will you be studying on your course? How are they delivered, weighted, and assessed? You’ll need to know these things, before committing to a choice.
Know your lecturers
A university course is only as strong as its lecturers, so look for staff profiles – if you’re going to learn, make sure you’re learning at the cutting edge of your subject.
Look at our students' work
Take any opportunity to see the quality of students’ work – it’ll give you an indication of the scope and possibilities of the course. Interested in art and design? Try to attend the university’s end of year show, and judge for yourself – in a few years, that could be you!
Boost your career prospects
Increasingly, employers want more than a degree – they’re looking for evidence of professional knowledge, skills, and experience. They’ll want versatile, well-rounded people, who can thrive in the cut and thrust of a workplace environment. So, does your course come with the opportunity to complete a work placement or internship? This experience can really enhance your job prospects.
Picking a university – our top tips
Hit the road
The more universities you visit and the more questions you ask, the better informed your final choice will be. Open days are as much about choosing a new home for yourself as picking the right course – a little research goes a long way.
Know what student experience you want
Entertainment on your doorstep, or peace and quiet? Campus life, or the heart of a city? There’s a university for every taste – and often, there’s separate campuses within those universities, offering different types of living experience.
What are the facilities like?
Sports? Drama? Music? University’s as much about learning beyond the classroom, as inside it. You’ll have lots of opportunities to learn new skills and build existing ones – you should leave the university a bigger, braver person.
How do the average rental costs stack up, from university to university? Will you be reliant on public transport? Is there a good range of affordable shops? Pick wisely and have an idea of your budget before committing to a choice.
Compare, contrast, investigate
If you’re attending several open days, it’s easy to forget the little details that can help you to choose your favourite universities. Knowing what matters most to you is important. So, take plenty of notes and pictures – they’ll help jog your memory when it comes to making a decision.
Go with your gut
A good-looking university with great facilities, inspiring staff, and lots to do outside the classroom? A town that never sleeps, with wide open spaces on your doorstep? It probably is as good as it sounds – go with your instincts.
Nothing beats seeing us in person, but that's not possible at this unusual time. That's why we've created our Virtual Open Days to help you explore NTU from the comfort of your own home.
We're holding our Virtual Open Days for 2021 entry on:
- Sunday 8 November 2020
- Saturday 5 December 2020
To book your place, follow the link below to search for your course and year of entry. You can then take your pick from our available events.