With so many courses to choose from, students can often feel overwhelmed when they start their university research. Advising these four essential steps will help them to get started with the all- important decisions they are making for their future.
Students can get carried away with looking at the aesthetics of a university, the reputation of its social scene, the location and so on. However, enjoying and thriving in their studies is the most important factor they need to consider to help them to succeed. Start by asking your students to shortlist university courses which interest them based on module content alone. This will provide them with a shortlist of open days to attend which will in turn, give them a ‘feel’ of the university during their visit.
You will want your students to be aspirational with their choices, but being realistic in terms of university entry requirements will give them a greater chance of receiving offers. Based on their predicted grades or mock results, encourage them to pitch their choices in line with how they’re performing academically. However, it’s good to have a couple of choices to aim a little higher for and to spur their ambition.
University degree titles often confuse students as
they look similar at first glance. But this is where
your students will need to focus their research.
Once the student has shortlisted their courses,
it is then a case of comparing them to see how
they differ and which one will best align with their
For example, a Business and Management degree at one university might include compulsory modules in Years 1 & 2 but a course with the same title, at another university, might allow the student to be flexible with their module choices throughout their degree.
Encourage your students to look at the mode of assessment in each year of study as well – how is the degree weighted? Some students excel through coursework assessment and others will perform better in exams. They should also consider how practical or theoretical the course is, depending on how they like to learn. University course webpages should provide them with this information.
League tables are a great way to compare
universities, but do promote them with a
Firstly, there are numerous league tables, each with different assessment criteria. Therefore, students will find that a university’s ranking will change depending on which league table they are looking at.
Secondly, and most importantly, make sure your students are comparing universities according to the subject they want to study and not to its overall ranking as an institution. Each university has specialist disciplines so they shouldn’t assume that a university will be highly ranked for all subjects, even if it is positioned well in the main league table.
Along with these tips, encourage students to speak to academic staff and students at open days, as well as signposting them to university course pages and websites such as UCAS, UniTasterDays and DiscoverUni. Doing this research will guide them to make well-considered decisions and will equip them to approach these decisions with confidence.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
by Jon Cheek
posted on 7 Feb '23
The university application process can feel quite daunting for many young people, so it is understandable that parents and guardians will want to be involved and stay in the loop with any updates. This blog will guide you through how universities communicate with students and their support network.