Parents, carers and families

Research course and university options

Understanding what your child wants to achieve in their future is a great place to start when researching the next steps. Some may have a clear direction ahead of them; however some may need assistance narrowing it down. It is important that whatever they choose to do is their choice and something they have an interest in.

Researching course options

Start by considering what they want to study. Some important things to help them think about are:

Is this the right course path for their career?

Some careers require a certain degree and level of knowledge. Examples of these include Medicine or Law on accredited courses.

Does this course cover areas of interest?

Sometimes the course name and the topics covered don’t always match like you might think. Research course modules and facilities to make sure that each course covers what they expect.

Will they be able to study on this course?

Are they studying the right subjects at A Level (or equivalent) and GCSE, and are they likely to meet the entry requirements?

Some key things to look out for when researching courses are:

  • How long is the course?
  • What is the style of study expected on the course?
  • What facilities are available to students?
  • Are there any opportunities for career development?
  • What are the course rankings?
  • Is the course accredited (if applicable)?
  • Are there any opportunities to study abroad and/or take a year in industry?
  • Is there an integrated Masters option?

Researching universities

When considering higher education, think about where your child would like to study. Some things to consider include:

What facilities are available?

Does the university have the right facilities for them? Not only on their course, but personally too.

How does the university support their students?

Learn more about their career services and graduate prospects, as well as looking into the support services available to students for their mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing.

Where is the university located?

Consider whether the location has good transport links and its proximity to home, what the cost of living is like in this location, and whether this environment suits their desired lifestyle.

What are the rankings, league tables and accreditations?

Research the accreditations and rankings in league tables the university has achieved. Things to look out for include the ratings in the Teaching Excellence Framework, national and global rankings, and results from the recent National Student Survey.

What are the accommodation options?

Look into university-managed accommodation, it’s cost, proximity to campus and what’s included.

Student life

Check the Students’ Union website for societies and sports groups they can join. Look into what the events programme looks like and research the local are to find out if there is affordable things to do nearby.

Get a feel for the university

When looking at different universities, it’s important to try and attend in-person events where possible, this includes Open Days, Offer Holder Days and campus tours.

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