What to look for when choosing a course

Choosing the right course is a challenging endeavour, and many will be plagued with indecision, self-doubt, and perhaps - further down the line - regret.

Here's a list of things to watch out for in order to make an informed decision on a course.

Graduate prospects

This is one of the most important factors to consider, and it is essential to be self-aware about it when deciding on a course. Studying an interesting but esoteric course may seem tempting – and indeed, suitable for many – but if the employability ratings are low you should at least be aware of this: there’s no harm in having a back-up plan.

Course content

Many people look at specific universities when applying for a course, but it often makes more sense to apply for a specific course. Some universities are world-renowned and thus have a big name, but other universities might provide a specific course that has more interesting modules, more engaging lecturers, or better graduate prospects. On top of this it can be extremely useful to know exactly what will be covered in a course, guaranteeing that there are no unwanted surprises once the course begins.

Our recent survey found that specific module and course content is an often overlooked part of the application process, yet it can play an important role. You can read more about our findings here.

Professional accreditation

One that’s often overlooked is a course’s accreditation.

What is professional accreditation?

If a course has professional accreditation it means that an external professional body has accredited and endorsed the specific course. For example, a psychology course might be accredited by The British Psychological Society.

Professionally accredited courses can increase employability ratings and make finding a job after graduation that little bit easier.

Work experience

Many employers will only hire applicants who have had experience in their respective industry, and one of the best ways to help ensure a high level of employability is by choosing a course that offers a year in industry, or other kinds of work experience or internships.

Visit the universities

The best way to get a feel for the course and university is by going to visit, in person. Many students show up to university without having visited at all, and, needless to say, many of them also regret their decision. A visit will help reassure you and reduce the risk of regretting your choice.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash