Choosing the right university is an important decision, and may actually be one of the most crucial that you make in terms of your education. There are several factors to consider, including the location of a university and distance from town or city facilities, the syllabus and course content on offer, career prospects for your chosen subject, facilities at the university, and student support networks. With over 160 universities in the UK to choose from, deciding where to go can feel a little overwhelming. To help, we've put together a guide that should make the selection process more straightforward.
Tip 1: Think about your living and general study experience
When you decide to live away at University, it is important to consider the living experience you will have. After all, you are going to be based there for several years, especially if you decide to go on to post-graduate studies after being an undergraduate. Think about the city or town the university is based in, and what it has to offer students in terms of social life, so that you can get out and about, meet new people and make the most of life in the UK.
Bournemouth University for example is popular with international students because of the facilities the coastal town offers, including disco clubs, student-friendly supermarkets, cinemas, shopping centres and lots of international cuisine restaurants. The university gives students the opportunity to work part-time as a student ambassador and socialise, so they can feel part of a community.
Bournemouth is renowned for seven miles of sandy beaches and boasts one of the nicest beaches in the UK. It’s a vibrant town surrounded by stunning countryside along Britain’s Jurassic Coast which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This gives international students the opportunity to get out and explore some of the most scenic places the UK has to offer.
The study experience you receive at an institution is also important. Think about whether your chosen university has a good support network for your career plans, as well as a friendly community. Bournemouth University is conveniently located near a range of local businesses, companies, and organisations, who recruit our talented students for internships and placements as well as graduate roles. Bournemouth University offers its students career support from the start of its student journey and continues until three years after graduation. This means students are empowered in their career journey and become confident about the skills and abilities they will bring to the workplace.
Consider whether your chosen university has links to organisations across a range of industries in the UK and worldwide, as well as careers advisors who provide tailored support from job search to job application and interview skills. Bournemouth University students benefit from its Skills Development Programme, designed to further develop personal and professional skills alongside the main curriculum, enhancing employability, confidence, and overall ability.
Tip 2: Consider your future professional prospects and the career support you'll receive
Always consider the bigger picture when applying for a university. Studying in the UK is an exciting and life-changing investment, both personally and financially. You need to make sure that your course of study fits in with your long-term ambitions for the future and your chosen career path.
Consider your lifelong aspirations and how your university course of choice will help you to prepare for and achieve them. If you’re hoping for a future that allows you to enjoy a rewarding professional career in your dream job, then there are a number of important factors to consider when choosing the right university for you. Make sure that your university of choice will give you the opportunities and tools that you need to succeed in your chosen profession, and will give you as much support as possible while you study there.
At the University of Hull, alumni achieve success at the top level of every sector – from commerce and politics to science and the arts. This is because the institution prides itself on equipping students with the tools and opportunities they need to flourish in the world of work from the moment that they become university students. Their aim is to encourage and empower students to develop their long-term employability and career potential.
Those studying at the University of Hull will have a wealth of opportunities to develop their employability, gain experience and connect with employers to enhance their CVs, making them more attractive for the hiring process. The university also offers CV-writing workshops and general future career consultancy, helping students to fulfil their career potential while succeeding in professional development.
Tip 3: Check the research strength of the institution and research experience/inspirations
The University of Sussex attracts leading researchers from around the world. Its research is led by people who care deeply about the world and whose discoveries, analysis and insight change society.
Many Sussex research projects and findings also create specific benefits for businesses, public sector organisations, charities and cultural organisations. Its discoveries generate new products, services, and transferable knowledge.
Sussex has had three Nobel Prize winners and a winner of the prestigious Crafoord Prize. Its staff currently includes four Fellows of the Royal Society, three Fellows of the British Academy, eight Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and six Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences.
The discovery of a third form of carbon, the microscopic “footballs” known as “buckyballs”, by chemist Sir Harry Kroto, who was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry, is just one of the historically significant research findings to have taken place at the University of Sussex. Others include the work of economist Mariana Mazzucato on the entrepreneurial state and economics of innovation and the academically and socially influential work by Professor of Biology Dave Goulson and colleagues on the “conservation of bumblebees”.
Sussex research centres and groups are widely recognised as leading their fields. They have significantly affected the direction of research internationally, and include:
- The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), with 50 years' experience as an internationally-recognised leading centre of interdisciplinary research on science, technology and innovation policy
- The Sussex Sustainability Programme
- The Centre for Gender Studies and Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence and the UK Trade Policy Observatory, one of the foremost research-based contributors to the study of Brexit and trade policy.
Deciding on a university that suits you most is a challenging decision, with lots to think about. The most important things to consider are your general living and study experiences at the campus, as well as the amount of career advice and support you will receive during your studies. Your life on campus will be very enjoyable if a university offers a great location, opportunities to meet new people, network, socialise and get support for your future career prospects. You should also check the research strength of an institution and see how much the university invests in current research, as this will influence the quality of the courses on offer.
For more information, please visit the Bournemouth University, University of Hull and University of Sussex websites.
Bournemouth University: https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/
University of Hull: https://www.hull.ac.uk/
University of Sussex: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/