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Words of Hannah Kay

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Ha'way Hannah! 002 : University Applications & Surpluses of Courses




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So you've decided you want to go to university in the UK! Good! Well done! But do you know what course you want to do? Do you know where to look for a course? What about the university? Do you know what type of university you want to go to? Do you even know how and where to apply for a course?

At first, I didn't.

But now I do.

So fear not fellow student, for I will help you.


Have a general look.
If you have no idea what courses are even out there, do a quick Google search! Also, make sure you add your country - or the country you are planning to study in - in your search too; you don't want to be looking at courses in America when you are going to be studying in the UK!

Some of the more obscure courses that I have found in the UK are:
  • FdA Contemporary Circus with Physical Theatre -- Bath Spa University
  • BA Brewing and Distilling -- Heriot-Watt University
  • BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering -- University of Central Lancaster
  • BSc Sexual Health Studies -- University of Central Lancaster
  • FdSc Baking Science and Technology (Management) -- London South Bank University
  • BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking -- Abertay University
  • BA Viking and Old Norse Studies -- University College London
See, you really can practically do anything at uni! All you have to do is look for what courses are out there!

Figure out what type of courses interest you.
Now that you're familiar with what courses are out there, you need to decide what courses interest you.

Whether it's English (like me), Art or Geography, if you decide sooner rather than later, you will give yourself a really good advantage.

For my applicant year, some people in my year still don't know what type of course they want to do (I know [even without asking them] this is because they haven't bothered to look).

For some courses, such as Nursing and Dentistry, application deadlines are October/November.

For everyone else, the deadline is January.

I know, I know: that seems like ages away. But trust me. When you are frantically revising for three - maybe four - A Levels, trying to perfect your personal statement and get as much work experience as possible, time flies by very quickly.

Look in detail at the courses.
Modules will vary between courses - even if they are titled the same.

For example, when I was looking at Creative Writing courses, I came across numerous courses that were English Literature and Creative Writing.

When I looked with detail at these courses, some were 90% literature and 10% creative writing; some courses literally only had 1 module of creative writing.

The moral of this section: Course titles can be very deceiving.

BONUS TIP:
It also massively helps if you have a preference of how the course is structured. Using the example above, I didn't like how some courses were predominately literature -- I immediately ruled these out.

But the courses with a more equal balance of creative writing and media appealed more to me; so I saved them, which brings me onto my next piece of advice

Write down ALL (and I mean all) of the courses that appeal.
Great! You have made it this far!

Make a shortlist of all of the courses (and universities) that interest you, and why.

This is really important! Especially after you have scrolled through pages upon pages of search results on the UCAS website, and begin to forget why or why not you liked a particular course.

OTHER USEFUL THINGS TO NOTE DOWN:
  • Entry requirements (grades and tariff points)
  • What type of campus it is (city or campus)
  • What percentage of students are in a good job after 6 months of graduating
  • Student satisfaction
  • And anything else that you may deem useful!
Visit those Universities!
Of that list I recommended you to make, go visit the universities.

Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

This is the only way you can decided if you want to attend that particular university, nevermind if you want to do the course.

After that, either on your pre-exsisting list or make a new one, write down what you liked and did not like about the campus.

Again, you will forget what universities looked like what after being to so many. 

BONUS TIP:
  1. Taking pictures is a good idea! You definitely will not forget what the universities look like this way!
  2. Make sure to look around the accomodation while you're there! You will be staying there, after all.

Narrow down your list.
Applying to university is tiring! But you're nearly there, I promise.

All you have to do now is to narrow down that list.

It's harder than it looks, but it needs to be done.

You need to narrow it down to your top 5.

These are the five you will be applying to.

After you have sent your application off, you will there narrow it down again to 2: your firm choice and your insurance choice.

However, only do this when you have heard back from and received offers FROM ALL 5 of your choices. Once you have set your firm and insurance choice, you CANNOT change them.

FIRM CHOICE:
Your first choice.

INSURANCE CHOICE:
Your second choice for if you do not get the grades etc. to get into your firm choice.


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I hope this has helped! There are other ways you can strengthen your application but I will save those for a future post.

Stay awesome (and don't panic about uni, you got this!)
Hannah x

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Image credit for the post cover image is here.

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Hi, I'm Hannah. This is my blog.

Adventuring into fictional universes is always something that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Now, as an aspiring author, I get to create them too.

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