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Researching your HE options

Printed publications are available in Careers Resource Room

Prospectuses and websites for each UK university plus some overseas universities
Essential for obtaining more detail about course content and the facilities on offer, but remember they are glossy marketing documents!

NB The websites will always be more up to date than the prospectus and the UCAS website, as Universities  have to input course details into UCAS and this will always be done after updating their own site.

Brian Heap “Choosing your Degree Course & University”
Helps you to think about the full range of degrees which would be suitable for you based on your career ideas or the subjects you’re studying now.  Includes information on what’s involved in studying each subject and the kinds of questions you should ask when comparing courses.

Brian Heap “Degree Course Offers”
Shows where you can study each subject and the grades/points required by each university.  Also includes some information on number of applicants per place, advice on personal statements, interviews etc.

CRAC Degree Guides
Separate guides for each subject area give detailed description of what’s involved in the course and enable you to compare courses in the same subject at different institutions

Virgin Alternative Guide to British Universities
Based on what students say about their universities and courses and good for getting a flavour of what each uni has to offer as a place to live as well as to study

The Guardian Guide to University courses
 
Written by Educational Journalists, this gives general overviews of subjects, and specific ratings by areas such as “spend per student” and uses the Student Satisfaction Survey (see www.unistats.ac.uk for full results). A good basic text.

Top Higher Education Websites

If you don’t know what you want to study, go to www.ukcoursefinder.com.  Answer the study interest questionnaire and the site will suggest possible HE courses for you to consider.  The 'Advice' page is also recommended.
 
For students with disabilities, go to www.skill.org.uk for information pages and freephone advice service details.

Ucas www.ucas.com
THE place to find out where you can study your chosen subject and what qualifications you need to get in.
Provides links to each university’s own website for you to find out more.

Everyone looks at the league tables, but they don’t judge universities on what’s important for you, so should be used with caution and are no substitute for detailed research.
 
Some of the most useful information is at www.unistats.ac.uk   It give you the real feedback students give on teaching quality and what they learned on their course- as well as degree level achieved, and whether or not they found relevant employment (and if at Graduate level) six months after graduation.

The newspaper tables can be found at
Times www.timesonline.co.uk.  Choose Education and then Good University Guide.
Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk.  Choose Higher and then University Guides.

www.push.co.uk is a site produced by a member of The Independent newspaper group- and is a result again of educational journalism aided by students who go out to see other Universities whilst they are at University themselves- giving ratings of all kinds based on what students actually want.

The site also enables you to search by course, region, university or other factors and save your list as you progress in your decisions.

Ask the experts!

Attend an HE Fair- Various Fairs happen locally and UK-wide yearly,  including “Pure Potential” events- see www.purepotential.org which bring together Universities and Employers at large events. Connexions usually hold a North London Higher Education Fair between March and June each year. Watch out for notices emails, the VLE and Careers Bulletins for these events

Make the most of the Woodhouse HE Day
At the end of March each year the Woodhouse Careers Co-ordinator holds a series of talks by university tutors and students on some of the subjects you can study in higher education.  This is your chance to find out what’s really involved in studying a particular subject and work out whether it is right for you.  Tutorials and lessons are cancelled for the afternoon, so you are required to attend at least two talks. 

Attend open days
All universities hold open days where you can go and see for yourself what the buildings, atmosphere, students and staff are like.
See the noticeboard in the careers resource room and look out for information about upcoming open days in careers bulletins and at www.opendays.com  Look on the website of any specific uni you want to visit for details – often you need to book your place.

Attend taster courses
These are a great way to find out for yourself what it would be like to study at university and to explore what’s really involved in studying a particular subject.  You get to visit the university for between one day and one week, attend lectures and tutorials, use the facilities, meet the staff and try out student social life.

Taster courses are available in a wide range of subjects from Architecture to Veterinary Science and, best of all, most of them are free! See the tasters section on www.opendays.com

Look at the brochures in the careers resource room to find out what’s available.  Places are limited, so you need to get your application in soon.  For London Unis see www.lon.ac.uk/tasters.
 
For further details and more help refer to your UCAS booklet and the Woodle Careers page 'Progression to Further Study'.