Choosing the right subject for study at university is an important decision, as it will help you to start on a career path that you will enjoy, and will ensure that you make good progress in your studies, in a subject that interests you. Start by looking through course books and course guides to find modules of interest. Note which subjects are core subjects (compulsory), and which are electives (ones that you choose yourself). Explore areas that are of interest to you, the general study experience at the university of your choosing, and consider what the outcomes will be from your study and what you plan to do afterward. The UK offers a wide range of courses at the graduate and postgraduate level and is renowned for its high calibre of institutions offering studies in everything from accounting and finance, to art and design. It is known for offering some of the best courses in the world for engineering, economics, business, law, nursing, psychology and sport, among other subjects.
Here's a simple guide on how to choose the subject that suits you the most when deciding to study at a UK university.
Tip 1: Consider the study outcomes and teaching standards linked to your subject
If you decide to study at a UK university, you can start by thinking about your interest and carefully considering the qualifications you'll get. Looking at the professional accreditations of a programme is a useful tip in choosing the right programme.
Whether you study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University of Stirling, you'll be taught by world-leading academics, whose internationally renowned research is tackling some of the biggest global challenges. Thus, the students receive a cutting-edge experience with world-class teaching informed by the needs of industry, as well as developing transferable skills which are embedded in every course.
Consider a university which is aligned to the subject you want to study. Many of the courses at the University of Stirling offer subject-specific accreditations that give graduates a head-start in their careers, often with professional exam exemptions. For example, many of the business-related courses at the University of Stirling are accredited by international associations such as ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), AIA (Association of International Accountants) and the Chartered Banker Institute or being the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Affiliation Partner, which is rare to find across the UK.
Tip 2: Note the quality of teaching and study in your subject
The quality of teaching an institution can offer in your subject area, and the type of study experiences you can expect to receive should be a high priority when choosing the right university for your studies. Consider the National Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and where your institution ranks on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. If you are studying education or social science, for example, you may want to consider a course that is offered by an institution that is a world leader within these subject areas. Edge Hill University for example was ranked Gold in 2017 by the TEF, and for 2022 was ranked as an industry leader in the study areas of education and social science.
When examining an institution's credentials in more detail, consider its performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and global recognition for lecturers. Also, think about the university's investment in the student experience. Does the university have good facilities for students? When was the last time it received more investment? Does it offer courses that are designed to meet the needs of employers in a highly competitive job market? What are its rates for graduate employment? Are its further education rates high for enrolment of graduate courses? These are just some of the questions you should be asking.
Students also need support and a great student experience. Note whether an institution offers high levels of student support, and places the student at the heart of everything. You want to look back on your years at university as an amazing time in your life where you enjoyed student life and your course to the full.
Tip 3: Think about your long-term career prospects
Most people study at university to kickstart their career and get the qualifications they need for the establishment start of a particular career path. To enhance your career prospects, you'll need to choose an institution that enables you to practise practice what you have learned, with good connections and opportunities for learning to prepare you for the modern workplace.
For example, if you have chosen to study physiotherapy in the UK, Keele University offers a four-year integrated masters (MSci) that cover all areas of physiotherapy in detail (musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular respiratory), along with intensive placements.
Keele University offers students a range of eight placements including NHS practice placements, private placements, and industry and education-based locations within the MSci programme totalling almost 1300 hours. The cost of travel and accommodation for the placements are normally covered by the university. There is also the availability of an on-campus rehabilitation clinic that students can volunteer in throughout their studies. In addition, Keele University also offers international placements in places like India, Mexico, and Corfu as well as an international study abroad year, the first of its kind in physiotherapy education.
When it comes to picking a course of study at university, the most important thing is to think about what you enjoy doing every day, and how this fits in with your career plans for the future. Can you already think of a career you'd like to do in the long term? If not, explore different faculty sites and investigate graduate career options to see what you'd like to do. From there, you'll be able to browse course information and determine the study outcomes of each course, and whether this is right for you and your long-term career prospects. You should also carefully examine a university's facilities, student experience, and overall standard of teaching to ensure that you are perfectly matched with an institution that fits in with your plans.
More information, please check:
University of Stirling: https://www.stir.ac.uk/
Edge Hill University: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/
Keele University: https://www.keele.ac.uk/