Clearing Advice: 03455 76 06 06

How to choose the right degree

We understand that choosing a course might be an overwhelming prospect and you have a lot of things to consider.


A good place to get started would be to chat with your teachers, family or friends about what you initially think you may like to study. You could create a list of pro's and con's for each of your options or book on to some open days, use live chat to speak to staff and students or browse university websites for more information. Start these simple steps as early as you can so that you feel prepared.

We have put together some additional tips below that may bring you one step closer to finding your tomorrow:


1) THINK ABOUT YOUR SKILLS AND WHAT YOU LOVE DOING

Remember, you don’t always have to have studied the course at A-Level to take it at degree level so you may have more options than you realise. You may want to consider something you may hadn't considered before.  

At university, you are exposed to a lot more subject options than at A levels so there may be some courses you've never heard of. Take a good look through the course list to see if there’s anything new that takes your fancy. 

Doing something you love will help you stay motivated throughout your university years so consider the following:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What did you enjoy studying at school?
  • Write a list of things you enjoy doing and think outside the box.
  • Will you still be interested in the course in two or three years time?

2) CONSIDER THE LOCATION OF THE UNIVERSITY

University is a great opportunity for you to move away from home, experience living independently and explore a different part of the country or even the world. Therefore, it is important to choose a course in a location that you can imagine yourself thriving in.

Do you love the busy city life or would you prefer to live somewhere rural and quiet? Do you like to spend your weekends at the beach or the bar? What about your budget?

Ultimately, whatever course you choose also will determine where you might end up living for the upcoming years. At USW, we have campuses across South Wales in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypridd and each offers a unique experience that our students love.

Attend an open day if you can or watch a virtual tour to see if you can imagine yourself studying and living in the area.

3) TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE COURSE CONTENT

It may sound very obvious but we will continue to advise that you take a close look at the course content for each one you consider and compare them against each other. A university course could have the same title at 3 different universities but have completely different content including work experience or modules.

If work placements are important to you, try and find a course that has work placements embedded into the curriculum.

If studying abroad is important to you then take a look and see if there is any travel as part of the degree, or options to study or do a work placement abroad. It might also help to talk to a course leader to ask about previous student’s experiences.

4) CHECK OUT WHAT FACILITIES THE UNIVERSITY HAS TO OFFER

The more ‘hands on’ experience you can get during your studies, the better. Whether it’s getting the opportunity to use machines you would see in the workplace, speciality simulated environments or access to the latest technology and software, it all counts towards your experience and future career as you will already be equipped with the relevant skills upon graduating.

Our state-of-the-art facilities across each of our campuses provide our students with invaluable hands-on learning experiences. Each of our course pages has a list of facilities you can expect to use during your time with us.

5) CONSIDER ACCREDITATIONS AND INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS

If you have a particular career in mind, you may be able to gain work experience in the relevant industry or a similar organisation. Some employers specifically look for accredited degree qualifications so it’s worth checking that the courses you look at are recognised by the relevant boards.

At USW we partner with industry leaders across sectors to ensure what we teach is current and relevant with many of our courses professionally accredited. Check out details on the course pages to see what you can get involved with.

6) THINK ABOUT HOW YOU LIKE TO BE ASSESSED

Ultimately, you want to make sure that whatever subject you choose to study, you can thrive and perform at your best. 

There are many ways that you can be assessed at University such as exams, coursework, presentations, group work or portfolio development. You may have a preference or perform better in certain situations than in others.

If you know that you hate exams, then play to your strengths and find a course that is predominantly assessed through coursework or portfolio development.

At USW we have adapted creative ways to learn and socialise together, both on campus and virtually. Check out our course pages to see how we assess your work.

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