Firstly, nail down what subject area you are looking for. Many students have multiple areas of interest but if you can decide on one subject in the beginning you can focus on which UK universities offer the best programs in your field. That being said, university programs are often very specialized in the UK- so you will most likely apply for slightly different programs but with similar course content.
Ask yourself questions
Choosing the right university takes a lot of thought and research. Ask yourself a few basic questions to help get yourself started:
- Do I have a specific area where you want to live? A big city or a rural town?
- How important is the cost of living to my decision? Big cities are often more expensive.
- Are there any UK universities that stand out to me right away?
- Is there something specific I am looking to get out of my experience in the UK?
Once you have a list of universities that meet your criteria, you should start thoroughly researching the programs and universities. We recommend starting with the course pages for each of your possible choices. The course pages are often very detailed and even list possible modules and faculty. It can be tough to keep track when researching so many universities, so why not start a pros and cons list for each program?
At this point, hopefully some will have stood out more than others so that you can begin eliminating. The next step is to research the overall university. Do they have high student satisfaction? Post-graduation employment rates? Good support for international students? Or any other facts/information that may be important to you.
Rankings are a good resource to look into, but don’t base your whole decision off of rankings.
For graduate students especially, we recommend choosing the university with the program that best suits your interests and future career goals.
If you are able to, it’s nice to set up a campus visit beforehand to see if you like the atmosphere and to check out the facilities. We realize this isn’t possible for many students but most university websites have great virtual tours.
Use your resources: many universities have a wonderful international team to answer any of your questions. Also, Across The Pond is here to help you research programs and find the best fit for you.
Making this decision is the first step of your exciting UK adventure! If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, please contact one of our Advisors.