If you’re considering higher education, you’ll need to decide what subject, course type, and course provider is right for you. Here are some tips and advice to help you.
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Choosing courses
There's a lot to consider when choosing a course, so our guide gives you hints on what to think about.
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This signed video takes you through what to consider before deciding on what and where to study.
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1. Choosing a subject

It’s important you choose a subject you enjoy and will help you reach your goals. Here are some things to help you choose the right subject for you:

  • Think about what you enjoy day-to-day – maybe this could be part of a future job role?
  • Explore different job sites and graduate career options to look for ideas on what you’d like to do once you've finished your studies.
  • Think about your career goals and the qualifications required as part of a person specification.
  • Take a look at our subject guides to get an idea of the types of subjects you could study, and the industries graduates go on to work in.
  • Search for courses by subject to see what's available.

UK degree courses tend to be very specialised from day one, allowing students to focus on their chosen subject. However, there are others that allow you more flexibility in what you study. Make sure you read the course descriptions carefully, and click through to university websites for further information.

Thinking about more than one course or subject?

To increase your chances of getting a place on a course we give you the option of applying to up to five courses at once, usually all in a similar subject so that your application is relevant to all of them.

Please note, there are a couple of restrictions though:

  • You can only apply maximum of four courses in any one of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science.
  • Usually you can only apply to one course at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. There are exceptions though – if you'll be a graduate at the start of the course, and you're applying for graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Cambridge, you could then also apply to medicine (course code A100) at Cambridge, as well as graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Oxford. (Some applicants will need to complete an additional application form to apply – visit the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge websites for more information.)

2. Types of undergraduate course

After leaving school, most students going onto university or college study for an undergraduate degree. These are usually made up of modules (some compulsory and some optional) that add up to a full degree.

Here are some examples of the types of undergraduate courses you can do.

If you need a visa to study in the UK, you need to check your visa status allows you to do a part-time course, and/or work in the UK. Check if you need a visa and find out if you’re eligible to work on UKCISA's ‘Can you work?’ website.
Looking to study performing arts?

As well as university and college courses, you can also choose to study at a UK conservatoire. Courses at conservatoires are more performance-based than you will find at a uni or college. Conservatoires offer courses in music, dance, drama, and musical theatre.

Find out more


3. Choosing how to study

Most students study undergraduate courses full-time, however this is not the only way. There are lots of different modes of study, designed to fit around your own circumstances.


4. Choosing where to study

Some students set their heart on a particular university, while others just want to choose the course they like the sound of best. Either way is fine, but make sure you do your research, as changing your university or college once you’ve started isn’t always easy.

You could choose to study at a UK higher education college instead of a university – find out more.

Here are five top tips to help you when choosing where to study:

  1. Attend an open day – we cannot recommend this enough. It’s an opportunity for you to meet the course tutors, see the facilities, and explore the area.
  2. If you can’t attend an open day, explore the campus with a virtual tour.
  3. Check the application deadline – some universities and courses have a different application deadline, so make sure you know the deadline associated to your chosen course or uni.
  4. Check the entry requirements – different courses and universities will have different entry requirements, which you can check on the course listing in our search tool.
  5. Read our tips to help you choose between courses and universities.

How and when to apply


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