Choosing a university

With over 160 universities and colleges and limitless courses and study options on offer, you can make your UK higher education experience as unique as you are.

There are specialist universities, world-renowned historic institutions, modern innovative facilities and pioneering and progressive research centres in locations all over the country, offering you the chance to tailor your learning to your aspirations and career goals.  

Speicialist universities

Many UK universities are world renowned for their subjects, courses, professors and tutors. There are also universities and colleges that have a very strong focus upon a specific subject area, such as business, art and design, music or engineering.

These institutions offer highly specialised education in your chosen field and you will be surrounded by like-minded students – great for focused development, future contacts as well as making friends.

How to research

To help you decide make sure you look at universities own websites, professional UK and worldwide rankings, newspaper and online articles.

As well as listing the top universities overall, you can also find subject-specific rankings and rankings for other areas like student satisfaction and how environmentally friendly the university is.  Some organisations that publish rankings include QS World Universities, Times Higher Education, The Guardian, UCAS and universities own websites.

University websites and prospectuses have full listings of courses on offer, details of course content and modules, and success stories of previous graduates.

Many students also find it helpful to look online for blogs or videos. Many universities have student blogs and promotional films, and there is also lots of ‘homemade’ material created by current students about their UK experience.

Things to consider

  • Does the university offer the right course options and flexibility for you?
  • How does it rank for student satisfaction and care?
  • What are your career prospects? What percentages of its students go straight into employment or further study after graduating?
  • What are the teaching standards like?
  • How does it perform in terms of research activity?
  • What level of facilities are on offer? Consider things such as libraries, lecture halls and study spaces
  • Are there extra-curricular opportunities such as student unions, societies and sports teams?
  • Is the university based on campus or spread out over a city?
  • Where in the UK? Studying in a city centre London University will be a different experience to a smaller university in Wales that is close to the countryside.
  • What are the course fees and accommodation costs and standards like?
  • Is the institution recognised by UK authorities as having UK degree awarding powers?