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Choosing the right course and university for you

Published on 02/09/19

For some choosing a course or university can seem impossibly hard. For others, it is a straightforward choice. Some of our students arrive at the sixth form knowing precisely what they wish to do and others have no idea. Both are fine, we simply encourage you to have an open mind and let us help guide you as needed. 

The important thing to remember is that careful research in collaboration with the expertise of our dedicated guidance team will help you come to an informed choice. The decision is yours, but we can help by providing information and helping you to manage deadlines to alleviate some of the stress.  

Considering courses

  • Which subject or subjects really enthuse you? ‘Liking’ something is not enough to get you through the three or more years of commitment required for a degree.

  • Are you able to do some work experience or talk to a graduate about where their degree took them.

  • Does your enthusiasm come with the right level of ability? Unifrog will help students map this out. 

  • Do you need certain A level/IB subjects or experience. Our use of the university platform Unifrog and expert guidance team can help you find out in plenty of time.

  • Do you really know what is involved in undergraduate courses in your subject? Perhaps this is especially important when the subject is new to you for example, Medicine, Law or Anthropology. You may also need to demonstrate this when applying.

  • Is there something that you need to study in order to fulfil a longer term career aim?


  • How close to 'home' would you like to be?

  • Do you want to experience life in London? This is a very different university experience simply because of its size and cost. 

  • Do you want to go to a collegiate university, a city or a campus university?

  • Are you considering the University of Oxford or Cambridge? Whilst these are not the best choices for all subjects, they offer a unique undergraduate experience. Read more in our section on applying to Oxbridge.

  • Is the cost of living a consideration? 

  • Might you consider a university abroad or a private university such as Buckingham. You can apply to these in addition to UCAS. If you are not dependent on a student loan they may work out as less fees for a more dedicicated university experience and shorter degree such as the four and a half year Medical degree programme.

  • What bursary/scholarship support packages are offered?

  • Is there a particular physical environment that would be good for your leisure interests (e.g. hills for climbers, sea for sailors)?

There is the option of choosing up to five university courses unless applying for Medicine or Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine/Veterinary Science when there are only four choices. It is not possible to apply to both Oxford and Cambridge unless for an organ scholarship.

In order that each and every student is fully supported through the process they will have meetings with their tutors and guidance team in Year 12 and a dedicated guidance contact by the start of Year 13 depending on their subject area. Students are also encouraged to speak to their subject teachers regarding their subject area of interest and in case of applying to a course that does not naturally fall into an obvious department, the Head of Guidance and Careers. This will ensure each student has the best academic support for their chosen degree course.

Students all have the University and careers platform ‘Unifrog’ on their ipads that they are encouraged to use to research both career options and university admissions requirements. This links to specific details of the application requirements for that course and other details such as the range of offers that they might give, the number of students on the course, competition, future employment and even a ‘geek out’ section for those that crave further information. It is essential to use these websites to look for nuances between courses and any specific requirements.

Sources of information

  • In addition to the expertise of our Guidance team students have full access to the online university choices platform ‘Unifrog’. This is used throughout tutorial and university workshops to help students identify opportunities available. Used in conjunction with UCAS both platforms support alternative post educational choices such as degree apprenticeships and foundation courses. Students coming through from our senior school also have the continued use of the Morrisby profile they generated in Year 10 and research done on this platform. 
  • University/College websites – These can be sourced independently or through Unifrog and many of these contain specific advice on what the university is seeking from applicants for specific courses. They may also contain statistics such as applications to offers percentages.

  • Whilst our library continues to house university prospectuses, the majority of these can now be accessed online. The growing trend in virtual tours was already allowing students to access information from a broader range of universities at the click of a finger tip but this has magnified exponentially since the isolation period of 2020 in the midst of university applications for that year. 

  • Teachers, friends or relatives are all sources of information both from those recently graduating for advice on the university or those now in employment for what employers are looking for in a degree. Our Guidance and Careers fair along with our alumni experience and Inspire and Guide speaker can also provides this information.