How to choose the university for you

Posted by:
October 24, 2021
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Congratulations on finishing school! If you’ve decided that going to uni is the right choice for you, you may still be amazed and even confused by the range of uni options available to you — which uni should you go to, and what are the right undergraduate courses for you? What’s the best uni to get a French degree and what schools have the highest employability ranking?

At My Language Lab, we’ve made it our mission to help language students succeed at school, uni, and in between. Read our top tips to pick the right university for your needs, as given by the experts.

Tips to choose the right university

If you start doing your research in advance and asking yourself the right questions, you’ll have everything you need to make the right choice.

Start from your experience at school

To make the right uni choice, start with what you know. You’ve spent a great part of your life studying, so try asking yourself:

  • What subjects do I enjoy the most and why?
  • Where do I excel at school?
  • What types of assessment am I most comfortable with?
  • What type of learner am I?
  • What activities do I like? Consider things like the class environment, clubs and sports teams, field trips, labs, language conversation classes, seminars, etc.

Decide what uni courses are for you

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like to study. Remember that some subjects you’ll already know but there are plenty of fields that you haven’t explored yet and you may find you’re passionate about.

To figure out your subjects, also think of your dream career (if you already have one): does it require a specific degree? Does it require going to uni at all, or would you benefit from a vocational or mixed course? Is it important that you get work experience at uni?

UK degrees tend to be quite specialised from day one, but some courses allow for multiple subjects. Spend some time online exploring options and course programmes.

Choose the right location and university lifestyle

Not all universities are the same, and your uni experience in a small town’s institution will be very different from that of a big London campus. Neither is better: you know yourself best, consider the below to make sure you enjoy uni life at its best:

  • Do you want to move away from home? If so, how often would you like to visit your family?
  • Would you be happier in the buzz of a big city or by the sea?
  • What type of accommodation would you prefer?
  • How much can you afford to spend on tuition/cost of living? Will you need access to funding and part-time work opportunities?
  • Do you think you’d be happier sharing the campus with one or twenty thousand other students? If you had to choose, would you pick more course choices or a place where professors know your name?
  • How important is prestige to you? Are you after a degree from a famous institution?
  • What does fitness look like to you,  team sports or solo gym sessions?
  • Consider your hobbies — will you be able to pursue them at uni?
  • Would you appreciate having places to celebrate your faith around campus?

Deciding which uni is right for you

Based on all the factors above, you may now have a list of potential unis, but how do you choose the actual school to attend? 

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you choose. For most, you won’t even have to leave the house.

Tools to figure out what uni to attend

Most of the research can be done online, starting with the university website. Check and compare things like teaching staff and application process — what is the acceptance rate for the courses you chose and when are the deadlines? 

If competition is high, it can be a good idea to apply for at least one course with lower entry requirements to have as a reserve offer. Consider hiring a specialised tutor that can help you with your UCAS application.

Remember: different departments and courses may have different application deadlines so prepare well in advance.

The official website will also give you the details of open days and virtual tours, which are the best way to get a feeling of what life at uni is like and also the opportunity to ask all the questions you have.

You may also want to check out student satisfaction and employability rates. These are often highlighted on the uni’s website but can also be found on independent university ranking pages.

Finally, hear from students and graduates — there are plenty of dedicated forums and social media pages where you can check out reviews and opinions, and even ask specific questions and advice.


When should I start thinking about uni?

It’s never too early to consider your passions and the choices available to you. Most students will start thinking about courses and applications in Year 12 or Year 13. 

If you don’t feel ready, consider taking some time off and work, volunteer, or travel to figure out what you really like.

Which degree is best for my future?

When choosing your degree, you’ll need to take several factors into account. Sure, employability is important, but getting a job in a different field from your degree subject isn’t uncommon.

Your passions, learning style, and career hopes are all crucial to your degree choice. Start doing your research well in advance and don’t be scared to ask your friends, family, and teachers for advice.