Choosing a University
and a Course
Andy Sherlaw, Kirsty Hutchinson and
Michael Knott
Intro Song
What is Higher Education?
Programme of study at a higher level than A Level
 3 year eg. BA, BSc
 2 year Foundation Degrees
 4 year Masters courses and others
You can study at University, Colleges of Higher
Education or Further Education Colleges.
Choosing the Right Course
 300 Universities / Higher Education Institutions
 Over 50,000 courses available in Higher Education
 Do you choose to study…
A course which you are studying at AS/A2?
A vocational course?
A completely new course?
Number of Choices
 Students choose up to 5 courses
 Students start receiving offers from October
to March
 Students choose two courses to hold
One FIRM Choice
Most Popular Destinations
Listed here are the most popular university destinations for Year 13
students in 2012:
Northumbria University
Newcastle College
Sunderland University
Leeds Metropolitan University
Newcastle University
Sheffield Hallam University
Durham University
Cumbria University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Leeds University
York University
Teesside University
Sheffield University
41 students
15 students
14 students
13 students
12 students
10 students
9 students
7 students
6 students
6 students
4 students
3 students
3 students
Over 230 students have applied to University this year.
Wine Studies
Internet Security
English Literature
Soil Science
Computer Science
Types of Course
 Single Honours
 Joint Honours
 Combined Honours
 Foundation Degrees
 Sandwich Course - thick or thin
Other considerations Course Structure
 Compulsory vs optional modules.
 Course Assessment.
 Professional Accreditation.
Other considerations –
Types of University
 Campus University
 City Centre University
 Collegiate University
 Traditional or Progressive?
 Old or New?
 Large or Small?
Location, Location, Location
 Accommodation
Catered / Self catering halls?
Private accommodation?
Distance from University?
 Distance from Home
 Social Life - it’s not all work!!!
 The feel of a place
Support - Useful Websites
There are also free apps to help
 The Telegraph Course Finder – a free app
which allows you to search and compare
different universities.
 The Student Room – A blog which discusses
many issues that A Level students have –
such as post 18 options.
 ITunesU – An app where Universities upload
lectures, podcasts and tutorials on personal
statement writing and UCAS advice.
UCAS online (via YOUTUBE or UCAS
website) provides many video tutorials
Other Sources of Information
 University websites, videos, CD-ROMS
 Visit Days / Open Days / Taster Sessions
 Parents / Friends / Teachers
What do you think are common
problems with students’ applications
to University?
Common Problem
What do you think are common
problems with students’ applications
to University?
Common Problem
Getting offers only from Universities that
students do not want to go to
Getting offers from Universities students
have not visited.
Students being rejected by all of their
Avoiding the Problems
 Check UCAS website and University Prospectuses.
 Draw up a shortlist of Universities.
 Contact Universities.
 Visit Universities.
 Look at Independent Guides e.g. Times Guide,
Hotcourses & Heap’s Guide.
 Be realistic!
Methods of Selection
 UCAS form only or UCAS form and…
Group Discussions
Examples of Work
Additional Testing LNAT, UKCAT
Points or Grades
How we deliver
support and guidance
Students have already completed sessions
Post 18 Opportunities
“What career is for me?” and CareerSoft
Personal Skills identification
Does University Pay?
Which degree and university should I pick via a large range
of useful websites
 The PARTNERS scheme via assembly
 Useful resources in the library
 Taking a GAP year
How we deliver
support and guidance
The following sessions are yet to come …
 Higher Education Evening Fair
Wednesday 17th April 5-7pm
Finance and University
Careers Day
Writing a successful Personal Statement
Online Applications
Improving Interview technique – General Studies /
Critical Thinking / Discussion Group
 Accepting and Rejecting Offers
How we deliver
support and guidance
Further support is offered through …
 Personal Statement support sessions.
 Connexions.
 Mock Interviews.
 General Studies and Critical Thinking courses.
September 2013
 UCAS start to accept University Applications
15th October 2013
 UCAS deadline for Oxbridge, Dentistry, Medicine and
Veterinary Science
15th January 2014
 UCAS Deadline for all other applications
Mid March 2014
 Most students will have received all of their offers (offers start
from October or earlier)
 Students select two offers to hold (Firm and Insurance)
From Now:
 Researching courses and Universities
 Tutorial – Everyday students take part in an activity which will
benefit their application
 General Studies sessions devoted to preparing UCAS
Summer Term:
 University Open Days
 Careers Day - Wednesday 26th June
 Personal Statement drafting
September –
October 2013
Each tutor completes a tutorial looking into options after Sixth Form
including websites such as
January 2013
Students are actively encouraged to research courses and
Universities whilst conducting wider reading in their interested area.
January – June
Tutorial tasks help students to make decisions on their next step.
Students work on their personal statements aided by tutorial activities.
June – July
Students attend University Open Days – in chosen establishments
July 2013
Tutor checks personal statement for the last time
August 2013
Personal statements and CVs to be handed in during Year 13
SeptemberOctober 2013
Remainder of the form completed and checked by tutor. Interview to
be arranged and completed with a Sixth form or Leadership team
October 15th – Early Application Deadline (Oxbridge, Veterinary
Science/Medicine, Medicine, Dentistry)
December 10th
Final interviews arranged before Christmas to guarantee applications
will be sent.
January 15th
Deadline for all applications to UCAS. Students can still apply after
this date and it is up to Universities if they look at their forms.
All references written by
Senior members of staff
after reference interview
Expecting over 230 of
present Yr 12 to make a
UCAS application
“APPLY” System
Apply early for
high tariff
courses /
Nursing /
Only 4 choices for Medicine,
Dentistry, Veterinary Science
Support Is Always Available
Steve Wilson
Assistant Headteacher
Andy Sherlaw
Head of Year 12
Steve Williams
Head of Year 13
Michael Knott
Sixth Form Enrichment Co-ordinator
Adam Rule
Sixth Form Guidance Tutor
James Branson
Sixth Form Guidance Tutor
Richard Chambers
Sixth Form Guidance Tutor
Kirsty Hutchinson
Sixth Form Guidance and Support Assistant
Helen Davison
Sixth Form Administrator
Sheila Scoffham
Sixth Form Administrator

Choosing a University and a Course