The right course and university for you
Taking the time to make sure you choose a subject and university that complements your strengths and attributes before you apply can make all the difference between leaving university with an average degree or graduating with a good qualification, confidence in yourself, a range of transferable skills and work experience, and some fantastic memories.
What do I want?
Take time to think about what you want out of university and also about whether your qualifications, knowledge and other attributes are a good fit for the courses and universities that interest you. Family, friends, teachers and careers advisers can all be good sources of information but what appeals to others may not be right for you. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
What’s realistic for me?
Don’t forget it’s a two way process, universities and students choose each other. Being realistic when you shortlist universities and courses for your UCAS form is likely to give you more options when it comes to selecting your firm and insurance offers.
Do I meet the entry requirements?
Entry requirements vary between subjects and universities so it’s important that you are realistic about your expected or actual A-level, IB or BTEC results when submitting your application and that you choose universities whose requirements are a close match to your predicted or actual results.
For many courses additional information will also be considered as part of the selection process. At Brighton applicants for professional courses such as social work or teaching are required to show that they have done their research and have a realistic understanding of what is involved. This is usually demonstrated by relevant work or voluntary experience before applying.
What’s on offer beyond the course?
Your time at university offers you a unique opportunity to develop yourself. As well as researching courses, take time to look into what else is offered by the universities you are interested in, and by the towns or cities where they are located.
The more you put in to university life the more you will get out of it, and you’ll leave with experiences that will continue to benefit you long after you have graduated. Make the most of opportunities to volunteer in the community, do part-time work, join student societies and sport teams. These things are rewarding in themselves, are a great way to meet people and will give you confidence and transferable skills that will stand you in good stead throughout your life.
Is this a good course for me?
Before you make your application ask yourself the following questions. The more research you carry out, the more likely it is you will make the right decision.
Am I really interested in this subject?
If you want to get the most out of your time at university you should be prepared to work hard. It’s easier to motivate yourself when the pressure is on if you have a real commitment to the subject – and you’ll be much more likely to graduate with a better degree at the end.
Do I know what’s involved?
Your course could involve long hours in libraries, labs, studios or in the workplace. You could find yourself working in project teams with other students as well as learning in tutorials and lectures. Teaching and learning approaches for the same subject can vary between universities so make sure you compare what is involved at different universities.
If you are applying for a subject you haven’t studied before consider how good a match it is for the skills and attributes you already have. You could demonstrate your commitment by reading around the subject, or by doing part-time or voluntary work.
Your university learning experience will be radically different to school or college. There will be an emphasis on independent study and you will have to keep to deadlines with less support than you are used to. Subjects are taught in very different ways and even if you choose to take a degree in a subject you are already familiar with, you should be aware that course content can vary enormously between universities.
How will I be assessed?
Look for courses that are assessed in ways that suit you. Depending on the subject, at Brighton you could be assessed by a combination of written exam, essay, presentation, group work, dissertation, practical experiment or degree show.
Do I want to take a course that is linked directly to a specific career?
If you have a clear career aim in mind, you may choose a degree that includes a professional qualification or licence to practice. At Brighton courses of this kind include accounting, architecture, engineering, nursing, medicine, midwifery, physiotherapy, podiatry, paramedic practice, pharmacy, social work and teaching. Some courses offer a range of career opportunities and a professional qualification.
Our Law with Business degree is a good option if you’re considering a career in law, or a business career where detailed legal knowledge of the law is helpful, for example finance, administration, legal publishing, the civil service and human resource management.
Do I want to concentrate on one subject or combine different areas of interest?
Students on courses such as architecture or software engineering explore a subject area in depth, and a range of teaching and learning methods are used to develop the analytical, technical, and communication skills required for professional practice in these fields.
Choosing a course which combines two subjects can offer the chance to develop an existing interest whilst learning about a complementary new area. For example, you could opt to study Fashion or Textiles with Business Studies. Many students enjoy degrees which combine two subjects because they offer a chance to widen their studies, and the flexibility to explore areas of personal interest.
At Brighton joint degrees are offered in subjects that complement one another. These combinations and the breadth they offer can be attractive to employers, and open up a range of career options.
Do I want to do an applied course?
Going to university gives you a much wider choice of subjects to choose from. You may enjoy mathematics or English, and university-level study will enable you to challenge yourself and explore these subjects in depth. But taking a course in journalism, accountancy or engineering can offer you the chance to apply your knowledge in a professional environment.
Can I get work experience?
Most of our courses at Brighton involve work-based learning. This can be through workshops, short work placements or up to a year in the workplace (usually your third year).
Placements enable you to apply the skills you’ve learned at university in real situations, give you valuable experience that looks great on your CV and help you make important contacts. At Brighton we have placement teams in each faculty, who are here to help students secure placements in businesses and organisations across the UK and beyond. They support students throughout the placement too.
Can I study abroad?
Travel broadens the mind: spending time abroad, studying or working in another country, and perhaps also learning a language is an excellent way to develop yourself and your confidence and contacts. You should also research what chances courses offer to learn in and about other countries. At Brighton courses in business, computing, construction, engineering, fashion and textile design, geography, nursing, service management and social science offer opportunities to study abroad.