How to choose a university?

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King’s College, Cambridge

Many people don’t know where to start searching for a university and how to avoid mistakes when picking out the right ones? Given that there are over one hundred universities in the UK, such fears are understandable. So, to help you in your selection I have listed some tips below, to help you better choose the best university for you.

 1. Start by reading information about universities in the UK rating tables, for example:

Rating tables are useful as they show you the prestige of the university, the complexity of selection process, how happy students are with their courses, and employment prospects after graduation, among other things. Be sure to check the university’s ranking overall and the ranking for chosen course’s department or School.

2. Consider the location of the university. Here it is necessary to consider not only whether the university is located inside or outside of London, but also other important aspects for you. For example, the climate of Scotland differs greatly from the climate in much of England (especially in winter!). I chose to go to study at Kent partly because there are more sunny days per year on average compared with many other parts of the UK.

3. The specialisation of the University. If the university is famous for its physics department, then it is possible that the arts program may not be as strong as other universities. Specialisation in universities usually means attracting large funds for the development of these specialties, which often leads to a greater number of scholarships on offer for courses relating to those specialties.

4. The academic requirements of the university. If the university requires a First in your Bachelor’s Degree for admission for a Masters, in most cases they will simply reject your application under formal criteria if you decide to apply with lower grades. Perhaps you can apply to one or two universities with the thought: «What if I’m lucky?», but seriously concentrating on them will waste your time and effort.

5. The student life of the university. How is it organised? Are there many student groups or communities at the University? The experience of studying abroad is not only studying, but also how you spend extra-curricular time. It is during extra-curricular time you have better chances of making friends and gaining unique experiences, which could stay with you for life.

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