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Exploring your options

If you are unsure about which course you would like to do then a good place to start would be thinking about what subjects you have enjoyed in the past - for example, you may be interested in doing a Biology course but are still unsure about which one. If this is the case then looking at what courses are available on the University website relating to that subject can be very insightful.

When thinking about courses you are interested in, you may also want to consider if you would like to study a course which is focused on more practical aspects and placements rather than academic pursuits. If you are more interested in practical courses you may want to look at the Degree Apprenticeships that are offered. Some courses also offer a year in industry or a year abroad, which may be something worth considering if you want to have these opportunities during your time at university. Additionally, different courses also have different assessment types. For example, Nursing courses have assessments that are completed out on placement as well as more traditional assessment types such as presentations, exams and essays. Finding a course that plays to your strengths is likely to make the course more enjoyable for you.

A key thing to consider when picking your course is the opportunities that the course will open up to you in the future. There may be a specific career you are interested in doing, in which case doing a course related to that career would be ideal. If you are not quite sure ‘what you want to be when you grow up’, it could be useful to look at the rates of employment (especially in related or graduate entry jobs) of current graduates from that course. If you have ambitions to complete further studies (such as a Master's or PhD) in a specific area, however, you should primarily consider courses that directly lead to these degrees.

Another area that may be worth considering is the financial aspect of the courses, as some courses have associated bursaries or scholarships which may be worth researching and applying for.

Choosing a course will also depend on your previous qualifications, as some courses require specific entry requirements. These entry requirements can be checked on the University website. If you do not meet these requirements but are keen to do a specific course, then there may be the option to do a Foundation Year for that course.

Narrowing down the options to pick the one

Now that you have a few courses you’re interested in you may want to narrow them down to your favourite. There are a few ways to do this but for me, my favourite is to do a pros and cons list to compare your favourites. Amongst other course-specific pros and cons, you could compare the courses on things like teaching styles, career options, and rates of employment after the course.

If you are still unsure of what course to pick, it may be helpful to ask around and find out what courses people you know, such as siblings, parents or family friends, have done or recommend.

There is also always the option on the University of Chester website to talk to current students (myself included), where you can ask them about what they have enjoyed about their course or any other questions you may have.

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