The deadline for applying to most universities is approaching fast - mid-January next year. Within this period, students seeking admission need to decide on the universities and courses of their choice, specify their personal details and submit their UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) forms.

These days, students have become a bit jittery about applying for universities. With the constant hike in tuition fees, one needs to judiciously decide on which university to choose and which course to pursue. With the overload of information these days - the flood of open-day events, prospectuses and degree comparison websites – the choice has become harder.

Here are some tips, which every student can use before taking this vital decision-

Firstly, the choice of a course is not necessarily set in stone. A student can not only switch universities but also switch courses. While a student can think of moving to a different university during the summer, he can also opt for a different course within two weeks of starting the first year, although such transfers are often at the discretion of the course leader or the head of department.

Secondly, employability after a course should not be that great a worry. Students need to be focused and first decide on the course they would like to take up before anything else. What matters to potential employers, is the class of degree acquired by a student and whether he/she participated in extra-curricular activities during the span of the course.

Thirdly, research is the key to choosing the right course. Prior to applying for a particular course the concerned student should consult the university staff, current students or his career adviser to learn about the course.

Fourthly, don’t judge a book by its cover or a course by its title. Students should do a thorough study of the modules of a course before applying because often the degree title gives them a rough idea about the contents of the course and there is the possibility that they will end up choosing the wrong field of study for themselves.

Finally, take a look at the university’s statistics. A student needs to go through the key information set available on a university’s website to collect information about the university’s ranking, its placement records and other valuable details. However, statistics do not tell the whole story, a fact that students should keep in mind before drawing any conclusions.

Source: The Guardian