Six tips to help you choose the right university
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Six tips to help you choose the right university

Carmela De Simone January 27, 2022

There are over 100 universities in the UK so how on earth do you make the right choice? Here are some helpful hints to ensure you are fully informed.

Check student satisfaction rankings

I can’t emphasis this enough. This is going to be the biggest indication of whether recent graduates felt their university experience was worthwhile. As they say: hindsight is 20/20.

University Rankings and League Tables 2022 (

Do the journey!

While it’s tempting to get a lift to Open Day (and considerably less stressful) make sure you do the journey from your hometown to uni before you take the plunge. Consider how often you would like to visit home and how feasible it is to do the journey as often as you plan to.

Do some detective work

Use your search bar to your advantage. It’s always useful to follow and engage with your prospective university’s accounts on as many platforms as possible. But one thing I wish I’d thought to do was follow current students, lecturers and society pages. A simple Twitter search will tell you what the websites definitely won’t…and provide some insider information.

Don’t underestimate yourself. Be realistic, but positive

Quite often, people are put off by intimidating entry requirements and inevitable self-doubt. The short solution is: Don’t be. If, like me, you let the crippling fear of rejection rule your decision-making, you may take results day with a pinch of salt. Remember, there’s always the possibility you surpass your expectations and, if you don’t, there is always clearing.

Universities are a business and you are their customers. When you think of it like that, it’s not so scary.

List the pros and cons of your top three options

Simple, yet brilliant. It’s not an easy decision and, like anything in life, something’s got to give. There is no perfect university that ticks every single box. But the right choice for you will tick the most boxes; the ones most important to you.

Have a contingency plan

No great plan comes without a Plan B. Whether it’s an apprenticeship, an internship, a volunteering role or a gap year, have a backup plan that’s feasible for you. You may never need it. It could become a distant ‘what if’ that lingers for the years that follow. But there’s no harm in having one.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to studying a degree. It doesn’t matter if you graduate at 21 or 41; it has the same value. You never know, as the start of term looms, your backup plan might start to sound increasingly appealing. Some people benefit from gaining work experience before jumping into an entirely unfamiliar industry or subject. Some people are serial procrastinators who need to leap straight in without having too much time to think.

You know better than anyone what category you fall under.

Read next: How to look after yourself in exam season

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I am a journalism graduate from Brunel University. My background is in property lettings and the motor industry. I’m obsessed with all things health & beauty, travel, music and Turkish food. You will most often find me drinking vodka lime sodas and watching Shrek.