17 Feb 2019 | Student Life

If you’ve decided to go to university, you’ll likely have the subject you want to study in mind – which is a good start, but what next?

Choosing your course is important, but so is thinking about the city where you want to live. These are all big decisions for you to make, and the good news is you have us to help you with these tough choices. Keep reading to find our advice for choosing the right university city.

Look at University Rankings

After using UCAS to find information on the courses you might want to study, narrow down your search using university league tables. This will help you find the best ranked universities for teaching your subject of choice. Once you have a shortlist of suitable courses and universities, you should focus on what each university and city has to offer.

Research Online

UCAS provides documents, virtual guides, videos and other helpful information about each UK university, yet you’ll want to search in more detail. Look at university websites, or browse their social media accounts to get a flavour of exciting things happening during term time.

Look for content that inspires you, such as recordings of lectures with interesting speakers or interviews with current students. Spend time doing this for all the universities you are considering.

If you’re interested in societies or joining a local sports club, can you find any of interest you would join? Look online for people who are already taking part and see what they have to say.

Most cities have online guides which list the latest goings on. Browse those sites and see if the city looks like somewhere you could live happily for the next few years of your life.

Consider the Course Content and Structure

A choice between two universities might come down to the course structure, which means the topics you’ll cover and how lectures and seminars are organised during the week.

Are there modules you particularly want to study or any you don’t? Read the course prospectus, thinking about topics that you’re interested in learning more about.

If you have other commitments, such as having to travel home for the weekend, think about the days lectures and seminars are held on, considering what your new university lifestyle will be like.

Factor in the Cost of Living

Cost is a factor which will affect your decision. Look at tuition fee prices for your course at different universities. Then look online for average rent prices in each city, and calculate how much you’ll likely need to spend on food, travel and going out.

Take a look at our blog to learn more about how much going to uni in the UK can cost.

Attend Open Days

Open days are a great way to understand more about universities, get your questions answered and see if a city or campus is right for you. Staff and students will be able to provide insights you can’t find online, and really help you understand what’s on offer.

Campus tours and talks by university staff members will help you make a decision, while getting to look around your halls of residence is great for envisioning your university life.

Explore the City

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to between two and four universities, you should visit each city, to get a feel for whether you can see yourself spending the next few years there.

Think how you’ll get from your accommodation to campus, if there’s parking, or if there are convenient bus routes or cycle lanes to get you from A to B swiftly and on time for lectures.

Stay for a weekend if you can. Visit with friends or family to get their opinion, making sure you walk around different neighbourhoods in the city. Be a tourist, eating at local restaurants and enjoying parks or attractions like museums, art galleries and theatres.

Make the Right Choice

For more tips on making the right choice, visit our blog – where you can find plenty of local guides and study tips.



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