How to Pick a University Course

Picture this.

You’re about to finish the last exams you ever will do in high-school and are getting ready to move onto the next phase in your life of education: university.

You flip through a few prospectuses, listen to advice from your school counsellor, but you just can’t decide on studying something that really interests you.

And, we mean really interests YOU. Not your parents (admit it, we have all been in THAT situation).

Feeling stuck in this scenario is completely normal.
Not everyone is 100% certain about what they want to do in the future, but there are ways to point you in the right direction!

If you need help in deciding what you would like to study at a university level, here are 5 things you should think about to help you make that decision:

1. Subjects & Skills
2. Career Prospects
3. Types of Degrees
4. Pathway for Professional Practice
5. Accreditations and Professional Bodies


 

Subjects and Skills

This is the first step to identifying where your interests lie and what skills you are most compatible with.

Think about what subjects you liked studying in school.

Listing them down according to how passionate you are about each subject, or create a mind map with the subjects and see how they connect.
It is important that you do not let anything other than your own interests affect what you write down, including pressure from family, peers and success stories of other people.

Also consider the skills related to the subject you are interested in!
For example, if you are thinking about doing architecture, some level of art and designing skills may be needed.

However, if you love a particular subject but may not have the level of skill for it, there are also other relevant courses that do not require them.
Using the previous example of architecture, you could alternatively consider architectural engineering or structural engineering.

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Career Prospects

In the end, university is supposed to help you decide where your future career begins!

Reasearch what careers you could go for if you decide on particular course.

Doing your research on what jobs could be more in demand in the future can increase your chances of getting hired after you graduate.

You could do this by reading online research or keeping up with current news to get a good understanding of  developments in industry and what jobs could be in demand as a result.

If you have the chance, you should also try talking to a professional in the field you are interested in.
Ask them about what they had to study, what working life is like, starting salary, career development opportunities and anything else that may affect your expectations in a future career.

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Types of Degrees

When looking for a university course, you would often see that they start with a few letters that look like code, such as BA, BSc, MA and MSc.

These letters represent the degree’s level of study and the type of course it is, to make it easier for students to indentify.

BA refers to a bachelor’s degree in an arts or humanities course, such as design, business management, architecture, etc.
BSc, on the other hand, indicates a bachelor’s degree in a science-related course, such as engineering, computer science, biomedical science, and so on.

Some courses could also combine the 2 terms, meaning that students can choose to study it as a BA or BSc which take on different pathways.
One example is psychology, where a BA would lead into careers such as counselling and social work whereas a BSc would look into the field of researching the mind or clinical psychology.

MA and MSc are degrees that follow the same pattern as the degrees shown above, but instead of a bachelor’s, the M indicates a master’s degree.
There are also other courses which have unique codes, such as LLB (bachelor’s degree in law), MBBS (bachelor of medicine) or BVSc (bachelor of veterinarian science) to name a few.
If you are unsure about what type of degree you should be looking for, don’t hesitate to ask us!

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Pathways to Professional Practice

Some professions take more than just a bachelor’s degree to achieve.

There are certain career pathways that require students to go through further training or study in order to become a full-fledged professional.
Some of these include being a chartered architect, a doctor and a barrister to name a few.
Check out a few of the pathways included below to see what they look like:

Pathway to becoming a Barrister

Pathway to working in the medical field

If you would like to know if the career you are looking for requires professional practice, contact us to find out more!
Our education counsellors can provide you the most updated information on the required pathways you need to take to achieve your career goals.

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Accreditations and Professional Bodies

Accreditations  and professional body memberships are offered by note-worthy organisations and associations that recognise the value of courses offered by universities.

Graduating with an accredited course provides students with an even better chance of finding a graduate job as most employees will be looking into your education background.
With each course comes different accreditations depending on what association has recognised them.
Here are a few recognised courses and their accreditations from UK organisations:

Being admitted as a member into a professional body also gives graduates access to networking among your peers and constant updates within industry, which is quite useful when in the workplace.

If you don’t see your course or want to know about a specific accreditation, contact us so we can provide you with the information.

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TO RECAP:

These 5 factors are some of the most important things that you need to consider when deciding on what course you want to study at university. Make sure you do your research on these areas before applying for one.

Already know what course you want to study?
Check out our tips on how to pick a university that complements your study choices!

Need help with your university application to the UK?
Get in touch with us so our dedicated education counsellors can assist you today!