Top tips for choosing the right uni

We understand that thinking about going to university can be a bit daunting to get your head around, so we're here to help guide you through the process, whether it’s by highlighting the key dates you need to know or offering you top tips and guidance to support you in finding your ideal course and university.

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September is a good time to start thinking about what course you might want to study, and what it is you’re looking for in a university. You’ll also need to get started on writing your personal statement. Why not use our how-to guides and bitesize tips to support you?

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October is a great time to start visiting universities at open days. They are a chance for you to visit the campus and learn more about your subject(s) of interest.

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By November, you may have more of an idea of the subject or university you want to study at. Now would be a great time to visit again, either at another open day, or by booking a campus tour to really get a feel for what it could be like as a student there!

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You’ll need to submit your UCAS application by 6pm 25 January 2023 in order to meet the UCAS equal consideration deadline. You can apply for up to five universities.

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Now’s the time to start applying for Student Finance! Make sure you send in your application before the May deadline to ensure  you receive your full loan by the start of term in September.

Our top tips for choosing the right uni

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Make a list of possible courses and universities you’re interested in

Think about what subjects you enjoy now, what you would like to learn about at a higher level, and what your future career goals are. This will help you decide on your priorities, and once you have an idea, you can do your research and look into more course details such as module choices and flexibility. You can even use our ‘which course and which university’ guide to help you get started!

Illustration of male student looking at a laptop screen

Make a list of what you want from a university

Think about whether you want to stay close to home or move further away, set out what sports or social activities you would like to get involved in, and create an ideal list of what you would need, and what it would be great to have. Once you have this, you can start comparing universities and start to think about where you see yourself fitting in.

Illustration of male student on a university campus

Visit universities

There’s no better way to get a feel for a university than stepping onto its campus! Whether you want to have a guided campus tour, or you want to go to an open day with lots of subject tasters and see the campus in full swing. Sometimes these events really help you decide whether you could feel at home at a university, or not!

Illustration of a student holding a phone with a list of people to chat to

Chat to current university students

What could be more insightful than chatting one on one with actual university students? You’ll be able to find out all about their experiences, what they love about their university or their course, and they’ll happily give you advice on things they may have wished they had known before applying or studying at university.

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Look after your wellbeing

Don’t forget to look after yourself, and get the support you need from family and friends. Making a big life decision doesn’t have to be done on your own!

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Apply by the UCAS equal consideration deadline

Applying by the 25 January UCAS equal consideration deadline will not only keep you on track with your planning at sixth form or college, but it also means your application will be considered by all universities you apply to. If you submit your application after this date, universities do not have to consider applications received, so it’s always best to submit before the deadline.

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