The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

Top tips to avoid taking the wrong course

We’ve brought you some of the top tips on how you can make sure that you don’t end up choosing the wrong university course.


Do it because you really want to

Are you really thinking or pursuing a university degree because that’s what you really want? Or are you considering it because you’ve been told to do it? You’ve got to be clear of your motivations and do the course for all the right reasons. Doing a degree is a lot of commitment, so if your heart’s not in it, chances are you might fail to complete the course or end up wasting a lot of time, money and effort. If you’re not certain, take a gap year. You’ll have a better idea in a year’s time after having worked or travelled a little.


Research again and again

There can never be too much time spent on researching the right course for you. After all, doing a degree can be an expensive educational experience and you want to make sure that you don’t realise that you’ve taken the wrong course half way through. Look at job websites or attend interviews to find out what employers are actually looking for. Speak to your counselors or recruitment agencies. In some jobs, employers prefer people with specific professional qualifications. For instance, graduate journalists with an NCTJ qualification are a lot more popular compared to those without one, especially if you’re hoping to work in the UK.


Check the university’s reputation

There are loads of ways to check for a university’s reputation. Does it come up tops in student satisfaction? Is the university well equipped with the facilities required for your course? Are its lecturers professionals in the industry? Will the course make you more employable upon graduation? These are some of the common questions students ask and you can get answers to these in university ranking surveys. The Times Higher Education University ranking is well-recognised – definitely worth looking before you make that all important decision.


Talk to the university

Want to know what it’s like studying in that university? Gain first hand opinions by approaching the university’s past students. Alternatively, talk to the university ambassadors, head of department or lecturers. This will give you a better idea of what to expect.


Use a reputable course search website

It’s a lot easier to search for courses on Hotcourses Abroad. You’ll be able to look up courses from the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and lots of other countries. Compare and shortlist undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and if you’re hoping to apply for a scholarship, you can even find a comprehensive list on the website. Good luck!


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An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.

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