Who knew there were so many courses in university? UCL and University of Bristol, for example, offer over 200 courses each – how do you know which one is right for you? How do you even look through all of them?
First of all, there is really no need to look through all of them. Have a look at different university departments first, and you will have a sense of which ones are for you. This depends on your general interests as well as your favourite subjects in school. You will be able to easily filter out departments you know you are not interested in.
It is important to distinguish here between subjects you enjoy and subjects you are merely taking. Different subject requirements may show you which courses are more appropriate for you and which are not possible to apply for at all. However, subjects you are currently taking are not necessarily an indicator for your course. You might enjoy courses that are nothing like subjects offered in schools. Subjects where you achieve higher grades can also point out your strengths.
You can also consider what you enjoy doing outside of school. Think of your hobbies as well as your interests and career aspirations. Think about what you want to do in the future, and which courses will be helpful. It is not necessary to pinpoint what you want to do exactly, but if you have a general idea of what you want to achieve, it will be help you decide what kind of courses you want to study. Keep in mind that one job may have several courses that are helpful, or may not be related to university studies at all. Don’t think of your career prospects as a determining factor, but rather as a supporting factor pointing out where your interests lay.
Once you have a few courses in mind, look through their course pages to see what exactly you will be learning. The most accurate way to do this is by looking through their modules to check the particular topics you will be learning, but it may also be a good idea to check their assessment methods to see what you would prefer. You may feel more confident writing essays or you may prefer to take exams instead.
If you can’t decide between two courses, you can try considering combined courses. Many universities now offer an extensive list of combined courses where you can learn both courses you are interested in. The only downside would be that you may not be able to learn each course as in depth, but it will be a good option when you have a strong desire to learn both.
You may feel lost and pressured to choose what you will be doing for several years. But once you begin scrolling through the list, it will be easier than you think. It is also reassuring to know you will still be able to change your course after entering university. So don’t stress too much, and try to find where your interests really lay.