Free Career Information and Advice on Higher Education in the UK (...and Europe...) for Foreign and UK Students

Choosing a Course

The choice of courses at UK universities can be overwhelming by the sheer number of courses available. Especially for students who don't have that much choice in their own country, making a well informed choice can be very challenging. 

Most students will have a subject, or malearn-64058_1280ybe even two, in which they are really interested. This is of course a good starting point. It can also be a point of confusion.

  • do you have a career or job you would like to get into, and if so, what does this involve or require? 
  • what does each course involve and what entry qualifications do you need? 
  • what are your chances of getting in? 
  • what is the standing of the course you are interested in? 
  • would you like to combine it with another subject? Or maybe even two? 
  • how much do you know about where it would lead to?
  • what are the course fees and can you afford them? 
  • what about the average living costs for the area where the university is located? London is going to be much more expensive to live in than Huddersfield…
  • London may offer you other things… what would your place of choice offer you? 

Undergraduate students will have a set procedure to go through to apply. There are really good resources for making a choice but it would be important to do your research thoroughly before committing yourself. If you are an applicant for an undergraduate course you have five choices you can apply for through Ucas. 

Postgraduate students may find it slightly less straightforward. There are a number of places which offer an overview of courses, or you may have to apply through a university's vacancy site. Alternatively, you could make a shortlist of universities you want to study with instead and start exploring possible courses later. In addition to this, finding a Phd or another research degree is very different from finding a taught Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate (see education grid).


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