How to choose the right undergraduate course for you

Are you stuck deciding which subject, course type, or uni or college is right for you? Read on for our tips and advice on tackling this big decision.

How to choose the right university course

Current students give their tips on how to decide which course is right for you.

What subject is right for me?

It’s important you choose a subject you enjoy and will help you reach your goals. Here are some things to help you choose the right subject for you:

  • Think about what you enjoy day-to-day – maybe this could be part of a future job role?
  • Explore different job sites and graduate career options to look for ideas on what you’d like to do once you've finished your studies.
  • Think about your career goals and the qualifications required as part of a person specification.
  • Take a look at our subject guides to get an idea of the types of subjects you could study, and the industries graduates go on to work in.
  • Search for courses by subject to see what's available.

UK degree courses tend to be very specialised from day one, allowing students to focus on their chosen subject. However, there are others that allow you more flexibility in what you study. Make sure you read the course descriptions carefully, and click through to university websites for further information.

Thinking about more than one course or subject?

To increase your chances of getting a place on a course we give you the option of applying to up to five courses at once, usually all in a similar subject so that your application is relevant to all of them.

Please note, there are a couple of restrictions though:

  • You can only apply maximum of four courses in any one of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science.
  • Usually you can only apply to one course at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. There are exceptions – visit the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge websites for more information.
UCAS Discovery exhibitions

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What types of undergraduate course are there?

After leaving school, most students going onto university or college study for an undergraduate degree. These are usually made up of modules (some compulsory and some optional) that add up to a full degree.

Here are some examples of the types of undergraduate courses you can do.

If you need a visa to study in the UK, you need to check your visa status allows you to do a part-time course, and/or work in the UK. Check if you need a visa and find out if you’re eligible to work on UKCISA's ‘Can you work?’ website.

Looking to study performing arts?

Photo of dancer at a Conservatoire

As well as university and college courses, you can also choose to study at a UK conservatoire. Courses at conservatoires are more performance-based than you will find at a uni or college. Conservatoires offer courses in music, dance, drama, and musical theatre.

Find out more

How do you want to study?

Most students study undergraduate courses full-time, however this is not the only way. There are lots of different modes of study, designed to fit around your own circumstances.

Home or away: where should I study?

Some students set their heart on a particular university, while others just want to choose the course they like the sound of best. Either way is fine, but make sure you do your research, as changing your university or college once you’ve started isn’t always easy.

Find the right accommodation. Finding somewhere you'll be happy to live is an important consideration when you're deciding where you want to study. To help you make the right choice, use our accommodation search to research your options and find both uni and private student accommodation.

You could choose to study at a UK higher education college instead of a university – find out more.

Here are our top tips to help you when choosing where to study:

  1. Attend an open day or if you can't visit in person, you can go to an online open day – we cannot recommend this enough. It’s an opportunity for you to meet the course tutors, see the facilities, and explore the area.
  2. If you can’t attend an open day, explore the campus with a virtual tour.
  3. Check the application deadline – some universities and courses have a different application deadline, so make sure you know the deadline associated to your chosen course or uni.
  4. Check the entry requirements – different courses and universities will have different entry requirements, which you can check on the course listing in our search tool. Some universities and colleges make contextual offers. This is where the university or college considers any barriers you may face, and will either reduce their grade requirements or give extra consideration when deciding whether to give you an offer. 
  5. Look at the Office for Student’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) ratings on course detail pages in our search tool. The ratings are based on the quality of teaching, learning, experience, and graduate outcomes at different universities and colleges.
  6. Read our tips to help you choose between courses and universities.

How and when to apply

Where can I find out more?

Start your search now

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If you find yourself torn between a few different universities, you may also find it helpful using Unibuddy to speak to some of their current students: 

Chat to students like Clara on Unibuddy! 

Ask me about why I chose my particular course and university, or anything else uni related you can think of! 

You can filter students to speak to on Unibuddy by using the 'Universities' drop-down menu.