Preparing for university study

Get ahead of the game

Whether you are yet to choose your GCSE or A level subjects or you are looking at researching study options for when you finish school, we've compiled a useful guide to make things easier and help you in your next steps towards your future. 

Find out all you need, from advice on the best ways to choose the perfect course for you, to busting the myths about university open days.

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Even though university may seem a long way off, there are some important things to think about when choosing school subjects.
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One of the most important things when thinking about university study is choosing the right course for you.

“I know that a lot of Year 12 students attend open days in the Autumn before the January deadline – is it possible to visit universities sooner and give myself more time to make decisions?”

It's never too early to attend an open day and universities will certainly not turn you away just because you're not studying A levels yet.

While the majority of students will be going to open days when they are starting Year 12, it certainly makes sense to look to visit universities sooner, whether you have an idea of what and where you want to study or not.

Writing a personal statement

“This is your chance to sell yourself. Be honest, think about what makes you interesting, and show passion for your course.”

Lois Tucker
Outreach Officer

The personal statement is your opportunity to show an admissions tutor why you’re the right student to be offered a place on their course. Bearing in mind you're more-than-likely to still be researching what and where to study, universities don't expect you to claim that you've wanted to be a marine biologist since you were five years old but you can certainly still use this opportunity to demonstrate a passion to learn a subject.

Discover some of our personal statement tips.

Busting the myths about university study

“It isn’t worth going to university…” 

  • Having a degree under your belt can give you the opportunity for greater earning potential in your future career.
  • Going to university can open the door to an exciting range of careers.
  • Volunteering, studying/working overseas and getting involved in student life all help to enhance your university experience.
  • Studying at university can improve self-confidence and skills such as problem solving and communication.

“University is too hard for me…”

  • Work levels increase gradually and you’re supported all the way through.
  • Time is built in to your week for personal study.
  • University induction week prepares you for the start of the year.
  • Choosing a subject area you enjoy makes it easier and more interesting to study.
  • There are a variety of teaching styles – large groups, small groups, practical sessions.

“I won’t make friends…”

  • You will meet people during induction week, in your accommodation, and at any additional activities you take part in.
  • Each university has a Students’ Union which run hundreds of clubs and societies, and social activities.
  • You will meet like-minded people through your course and hobbies, from all corners of the globe.

“I won’t receive enough support…” 

  • Support is available for all your learning needs.
  • Support is available for health problems or if you need someone to talk to.
  • You will have a personal tutor who is there to help if you need it.
  • In all first year halls you’ll have second or third year students who live in your hall block in case you have any problems or worries. 

“I can’t afford to go to university…”

  • Funding is available to pay your full university fees.
  • You can get funding to help with your living costs.
  • Scholarships and bursaries are available at all universities and you don’t have to pay these back.
  • You can work part-time and get relevant work experience whilst earning.
  • Repayment after university is dependent upon your earnings not how much you owe.