University is a big step: studying with new people, living in a new place, and gaining independence. However, the quality of your university experience also depends on your choice of course. So how do you choose the right university course?
Nobody wants to be stuck studying something they don’t like for three or four years. At best, you’ll still graduate and get a job you do enjoy. At worst, you’ll hate attending lectures and lose all motivation for your studies. Consequently, choosing the right course is a big decision, and you might be looking for help to make the right choice.
Well, EDUopinions is here to make that decision easier. Here are our top seven tips on how to choose the right university course.
How to Choose the Right University Course
1. Think about what you enjoy
The first step in choosing the right university course should be thinking about which subjects you enjoy the most.
You might have already made some study choices at school – why did you choose those subjects or that academic area? What about it interests you?
Draw up a list of the subjects/areas you enjoy and why. Don’t leave anything out at this stage; you want to get an overview of everything you might pursue at university.
2. Make a list of subjects you’re good at
The next step will be to match up those subjects you enjoy to the ones you’re good at. Of course, university education is very different from school with regards to assessments, essays, and student life. However, choosing a course in a subject you’re good at might to give you extra motivation while at university.
Try to cross-reference your list of subjects you enjoy and subjects you’re good at. Are there any subjects that stand out? Any subjects where you enjoy the work you’re given and are motivated to do revision for?
3. How do you want to be assessed?
If you’re wondering how to choose the right university course, t’s important to understand the ways you like to be assessed. Do you perform better in exams or essays? Practical exams or written questions? This might give you a better idea of which type of university course might be best for you out of humanities or sciences.
For example, a traditional humanities undergraduate Bachelor’s degree will typically feature written coursework as well as yearly exams. For science subjects like medicine, chemistry, or biology, you may also have to pass practical laboratory exams. Social science subjects like psychology, sociology or anthropology may combine assessments from both humanities and science subjects, with written coursework and exams and some practical elements.
4. Read Student Reviews
Student reviews are a great way to get an idea of what a specific course might be like to actually study. You can trust that verified reviews are from real students on real university courses, offering you a way to preview what your chosen course might be like.
Try reading reviews for courses or subjects you might be interested in on the EDUopinions website. You can search by course or university, and read through thousands of reviews written by real students or alumni from those courses. You can also request personalised student advice from higher education experts.
5. Brainstorm careers you might be interested in
One way to look at the decision to choose a university course is to consider the eventual career you might like. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as simple as choosing a career and then choosing a course – some careers like journalism, for example, do not require one specific degree. However, it might give you an idea of which course will be more useful for your future aspirations.
Write a list of everything you might be interested in doing. Don’t be afraid to keep this vague – no first-year university student knows exactly what they want to do in three or four years’ time! But try to be realistic, and think about what you might enjoy doing. Then, try and research how to pursue a career in this area. Do you need a specific qualification? Does it matter where or how you study?
6. Do research
Of course, the biggest step in how to choose the right university course will be simply doing research. Find examples of courses you might study on the internet and read through their curricula – does it interest you or not? Could you see yourself spending three years studying this subject?
Your research could also take place outside of the internet. For example, university open days are a great way of finding out what multiple courses are like, and you might even be able to sit in a sample class to see if you enjoy it or not.
7. Ask friends and family for help
Finally, it’s always possible to turn to people who know you well for advice. Your friends and family may be able to offer insights into what you might enjoy or not enjoy, helping you make your decision.
Remember, though, that it is your decision. If you think you’ve found a course that you will enjoy and are excited about, try not to let anyone sway you from your decision. This is a big decision, and you should feel confident that you’ve made the right one.
Hopefully, by now you have a better idea of which university course might be right for you. Remember – it’s not a big deal if you choose the wrong course, as many universities will have a grace period at the beginning of the year where you can transfer to a different course.
However, if you do all the research you need and think carefully about your choices, there’s no reason you won’t find the perfect university course for you.
Your next step after choosing a course will be choosing the right university. To help you with that decision, check out our article on the UK universities with the happiest students. If you fancy studying in Europe, discover the top countries for international students.