Top 10 things to consider when choosing a uni
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to go to uni, but here at theunipod we understand that doesn’t necessarily make life easier. So, to help you in your quest to find the right uni for you, we’ve put together this guide of the top 10 things to look for when choosing a uni.
- Location, location, location
If you like the creature comforts of home then you may want to look for a uni that’s close by. However, if you’re ready to try it on your own, then why not consider a uni far, far away. Remember, public transport in the UK is great for getting home to mum and dad with a bag of washing, and there’s heaps of ways to communicate with them. (More info on travelling to and from uni)
- City or campus
Not only do you have different unis to choose from but you have different types of campuses as well. Here in the UK, you can either go to a city university or a campus university and here’s the difference: a city uni has its buildings around the city, whereas a campus university has all its buildings in one place. This means you’ll get a totally unique experience from them both, whichever type you choose to study at.
- Home or abroad
The world may feel like a big place but it’s often just as easy to study abroad as it is to stay in the UK. So, if you’ve got itchy feet, you could always consider packing your bag to combine travel with study at an overseas university.
- Subjects and course content
Unis offer an awesome range of subjects to study. Some you’ll be familiar with from school, such as English, maths, science or drama for example, but there may be others you’ve never heard of before – zoology, anthropology, biochemical engineering, to name a few. However, if there’s something you really want to study, then make sure your university has it. Also, be sure to check out the content of the course you are interested in. For example, Computer Science at one university may involve a lot of coding, whilst the same course at another uni may have an entirely different structure.
- The best uni
After spending a bit of time researching unis, you’ll soon have a list of some possibilities. These may be based on the subjects and degrees they offer, student services, location or a combination of things. But it’s also important to check how they perform in university rankings. Each rankings exercise has a different methodology but they’ll help you to identify what exactly it is that each of your chosen universities is best at.
- Student services
Although there are heaps of essays, tests and assignments you’ll have to do at uni, don’t worry – it’s not all work and no play. Each university will have a range of student services on offer. From student clubs and unions to health services, magazines and radio stations – if you’re keen to get involved in extra-curricular activities while you’re at uni, then check out what’s on offer.
- University accommodation
One of the major things about going to uni that you’ll have to organise is where you’re going to live. Fortunately, most, if not all, unis will have an accommodation advisor who can help you. But first, it’s important to know your options. As a first year student, the most popular option is living in halls of residence, but you may wish to go flatting or boarding with a family as well. Our student accommodation guide should help you on your way.
Going to uni is expensive, there’s no doubt about it, but free money always helps. As a student, or a prospective student, you could be eligible to apply for some scholarships. Unis will have a section on their website listing all the scholarships they have. Many are offered by the uni itself, but others may be offered in partnership with business and organisations. There will be scholarships for academic excellence, sporting accomplishments, cultural and diversity scholarships and many more. So take a look, you may be able to apply for a few!
What was that we were just saying about university being expensive? Well, we weren’t kidding. By the time you pay for your fees, accommodation, books, travel costs plus your student lifestyle, you’re going to need quite a few coins in your piggy bank. Your finances are really important, which is why theunipod has a whole student finance section dedicated to helping you sort them out!
- Graduate prospects and career advice
So you go to uni to have a bit of fun and get student discounts, right? But the real reason you go to uni is so you can get a job at the end of it and embark on a successful career. So, you want to make sure that what you’re studying, and the degree you’ll graduate with, has relevance in the outside world. Check the graduate career prospects from your university, and also check to see if your uni has a career services department available to help you get a foot in the door and be well on your way to your dream job after graduation.