With over 160 universities and colleges and limitless courses and study options on offer, you can make your UK higher education experience as unique as you are.
There are specialist universities and colleges, world-renowned historic institutions, modern innovative facilities and pioneering and progressive research centres in locations all over the country, offering you the chance to tailor your learning to your aspirations and career goals.
Many UK universities are world renowned for their subjects, courses, professors and tutors. There are also universities and colleges that have a very strong focus upon a specific subject area, such as business, art and design, music or engineering.
These institutions offer highly specialised education in your chosen field and you will be surrounded by like-minded students – great for focused development, future contacts as well as making friends.
How to research
There is a lot of information available to help you decide which course, location and UK university or college is right for you. A good place to start is Unistats, the official website for comparing UK higher education course data. On this website you can select and compare subjects, modes of study, teaching outcomes and location to help you learn more about the courses on offer. For each course there is a ‘Key Information Set’ which tells you about professional accreditation, student satisfaction and provides employment statistics. You can also look at the University’s own website and there are a number of university league tables (or rankings) that provide more information.
Some organisations publish rankings at institutional and/or subject level include QS World Universities, Times Higher Education and The Guardian. The People & Planet University League is a ranking of UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance. UCAS also has a wealth of support on how to choose your course and how to apply to study in the UK. The Association of Colleges site offers a map of colleges in the UK alongside links and vital information.
University and college websites and prospectuses have full listings of courses on offer, details of course content and modules, and success stories of previous graduates. Many have student blogs and promotional films, and there is also lots of material created by current students about their UK experience.
Things to consider
- Does the university offer the right course options and flexibility for you?
- How does it rank for student satisfaction and care?
- What are your career prospects? What percentages of its students go straight into employment or further study after graduating?
- What are the teaching standards like?
- How does it perform in terms of research activity?
- What facilities are on offer? Consider things such as libraries, lecture halls and study spaces
- Are there extra-curricular opportunities such as student unions, societies and sports teams?
- Is the university based on campus or spread out over a city?
- Where in the UK? Studying in a city centre London University will be a different experience to a smaller university in Wales that is close to the countryside.
- What are the course fees and accommodation costs and standards like?
- Is the institution recognised by UK authorities as having UK degree awarding powers?