Once you have made the decision to become a student and apply for a university degree course, there are a number of factors you must consider to ensure you make the right degree choice. There is the university’s reputation, the city you are planning to go to, the accommodation facilities, and of course the degree course itself. In this article we are going to look at the 8 aspects of a University degree course you need to consider before applying to enrol on a particular course.
1. Length of degree – all degrees differ but the majority are set over a period of 3 years. Some more vocational degrees such as medicine and law will be for as long as 5 or 6 years so it is important to check from the outset just how long you will be at the university for.
2. Cost of degree – there has been a lot of press coverage of tuition fees over the last 5 years and for good reason. Going to university has become an expensive matter and so finding out exactly what those tuition fees are will be important, particularly if you will need to live on the campus as well and need to pay accommodation fees.
3. Will I get a job at the end of the course – the relative job prospects across different university degree courses can be pretty big. A student who has applied to do medicine or law will have a decent chance of getting a job at the end of their studies, whereas someone studying golf course design or anthropology may well find the job marketplace a little more challenging.
4. How competitive is it to get on the course – coupled with the job prospects, it is important to consider the level of competition to do the course in the first place. Find out how many places are available and how many students usually apply for those places, and be realistic about how well you will do in your HE studies, as this is what conditional UCAS offers are based on.
5. How many hours a week – not all courses take up 40 hours per week plus weekends, some in fact can be as little as 8 hours per week with a requirement for students to study in their own time as well. Consider what you want – a system akin to a school classroom where you spend the whole day studying with fellow students, or one where you spend many hours alone self – learning.
6. How the degree course is assessed – university degree courses are assessed either through examinations, dissertations, or practical work. Most are judged on a combination of the 3. Consider how you would feel most comfortable and look at courses which offer you the assessment you are looking for. If you find revision difficult and exams stressful, do what you can to look for courses with a good emphasis on coursework, such as dissertations and practical work.
7. Is there an internship/placement program – many courses nowadays offer the opportunity to go and work in industry either during the holidays or for a full year. Needless to say, these internships provide brilliant experience of the world of work, as well as getting a foot in the door at a potential employer. University degree courses offering internships can be lucrative.
8. Can I do part of the degree abroad – some university degree courses, particularly language based courses, offer the option to go and study abroad for a year at a partner university. If you like to travel and/or plan to live abroad in the future, then these courses will give you a good insight into what it is like and whether it is for you. It is also a useful CV item to show you can manage on your own in a foreign country.
Searching for the right university degree course needn’t be as difficult as it first appears. If you have a broad idea of where you want to be and what you want to study then you are already ahead of most of your peers. When you do look at courses, consider these 8 pieces of advice and apply them to the courses you are considering to make sure you pick the right university degree course.