I hope this series help those applying to study in UK in future 🙂
This is one of the toughest decision you have to make. When you apply to UK for undergraduate degree, you can only choose 5 universities. That can sound limiting to some people and rather good for others. Personally, for me, it was just right. Initially I had 10 universities in my mind. Double the amount. However, at that time I was really being superficial. I was not looking into expenses, graduation prospects and reputation.
People often say that rankings and all are just BS. THAT’S QUITE TRUE. National rankings of different courses like Sunday Times and Guardian are quite shitty. It’s so random that it makes you wonder how few universities even topped the list. Their criteria for ranking isn’t legit most of the time too. Often what happens in small and new universities is that they make students give higher students satisfaction ratings to top the subject lists. This is all insider news from students I have talked to. Trust me when I say this, BE BLIND TO RANKINGS.
The rankings which I quite like to trust are QS and TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION. However, I didn’t just blindly look into them while applying.
Here are few tips for applying 🙂
- Look into the graduation prospects. Unistat provides an overview of how many students were employed and unemployed and average starting salary. A good university usually stays consistent with it’s % of employed students. Unistat ~ click on this to know more.
- City life matters alot. A good city can really help you develop as a person. You should really check out videos and know more about a certain city before choosing to study in a university based there. Specially for international students. Many universities are campus based and not city based, in that case do check out tours of the campus online or in real life. You need to know if you click with that place. I know many students who regret going to a big city because of the crowd and number of people. I also know many students who are bored of their university because the city has nothing much to offer. Hence, choosing the right city is important.
- Department reputation is also something you should look into. Forums like studentroom or university.which.co.uk can really help you in this matter. Often many universities are specialised in a certain department or just better at a certain area. Like University of Southampton is known for its EEE and CS courses. University of Edinburgh is known for it’s AI courses. Kings is known for dentistry. Imperial is known for engineering.
- International reputation (matters mostly if you intend to return back to your home country or go to another country for job). In my case, this was something I really looked into. I really wanted to study in a university which was known worldwide. Mainly because I don’t intend to stay in UK after studying there. I would like to do my masters somewhere else. International reputation can really help while looking for a job abroad.
- Course content and modules. I can’t emphasise enough on how important this is. Knowing your course content is the most important thing of all. You need to know if you actually will enjoy the modules and if they match your idea of course structure. Do you want more theory based or more practical based? Do you think this module will be good enough for your future career? Is taking 2nd and 3rd subject necessary for first year at university? For example, at University of Glasgow, most students have to choose two subjects outside their course. Many may prefer this and many may not.
This is basically it. Also don’t forget to check each university website you want to apply to. University websites contain a lot of information about application process, the university itself and other things.
I hope this helped. My next post will be about UCAS process.