Choosing a Course and University

If your son or daughter is thinking about studying at university, it’s understandable that you will want to play an active role in the process and provide suggestions, help and advice.

Exploring the benefits of higher education, looking at how to make the right choice of course, and introducing Edge Hill University, we’ll inform you of the useful steps that your son or daughter can take to decide where and what to study. We’ll also summarise how they will make an application once they’ve made up their mind.

Why go to university?

A graduate in cap and gowns and her parents on campus for her graduation ceremony.

Going to university represents an important investment in your son or daughter’s future. However, studying at university is about much more than achieving a degree.

It provides an opportunity to enjoy a life-changing experience during which your son or daughter can expect to make friends for life as they:

  • Significantly enhance their knowledge and skills in their chosen subject by studying it in depth;
  • Open up exciting career options and shape their future after graduation by gaining the edge in a competitive jobs market;
  • Increase their earnings potential. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimates that a university degree can increase lifetime earnings by 28% for men and 53% for women;
  • Benefit from personal development, for example from living independently for the first time, making new friends, gaining new interests, joining clubs and societies, taking a sandwich year, spending a year studying abroad, engaging in language study, or volunteering;
  • Develop transferable skills, such as time management, meeting deadlines, using initiative, problem solving, working independently and as part of a team, communication skills and research skills.

How to Gather Information about Courses and Universities

Three students, one of them on a bicycle, near the Business School and Law & Psychology building.There are lots of ways that your son or daughter can find out more about courses and universities to help identify a programme they want to study and an institution which might be for them.

They should start their search early, perhaps around eighteen months to two years before they intend to start a degree.

  • Research universities and courses – looking at prospectuses and websites is a great way for your son or daughter to start investigating course options, entry requirements and programme content, as well as the location, accommodation and facilities at each university. The Discover Uni website may also prove useful as a means of comparing subject and course options with student satisfaction ratings and employability statistics for each degree;
  • Attend a UCAS exhibition – a great way to speak to representatives from a large number of universities and colleges, pick up prospectuses and ask any questions about universities of interest is to attend a UCAS exhibition. These take place across the country, with the majority arranged between March and June;
  • Consider career options – careers advisers at school or college can help your son or daughter to think about potential career choices, identify relevant courses and provide practical advice on the application process. It’s important to give future career plans careful thought when choosing a degree since some professions may require a particular subject to be studied or professional accreditation to be achieved;
  • A prospective student and her parents walk over a bridge by the Faculty of Education during an open day.Visit universities – by far the best way to decide if a university is where your son or daughter would like to study is for them to gain first-hand experience and see it for themselves. We encourage you to join your son or daughter and visit us for an open day. It’s a chance to view our stunning campus and get a great insight into what the student experience here is like. If you can’t make any of our open day dates, you are also welcome to join your son or daughter on one of our monthly campus tours.

Making the Right Choice of Course and University

A Sports Therapy student practices her massage skills in the sports therapy clinic.

With so many degrees to choose from, at hundreds of universities and colleges, it can be difficult to narrow down the selection.

Some of the key questions for your son or daughter to consider when identifying a suitable course include:

  • What subjects do they enjoy or have a particular interest in?
  • Is there a specific career they have in mind?
  • Do they want to study at a campus or city-based university?
  • Do they want to stay near home or move a little further away?
  • How will the course be structured – for example, are there optional module choices or are all modules compulsory?
  • How is the course assessed?
  • Does the course carry accreditation with a professional body (if applicable)?

Musical Theatre students in costume during a performance.Your son or daughter should also pay close attention to the entry requirements for each programme under consideration. These are usually expressed in terms of UCAS Tariff Points which correspond with A Levels, BTEC awards, Access to Higher Education Diplomas and other recognised qualifications.

Some courses may request grades in specific subjects. Additional criteria may also apply, such as GCSEs, or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure.

Why choose Edge Hill University?

Two students chat while sat by the rear of the Arts Centre overlooking the rose garden on the western side of campus.

Edge Hill University has been named as the Modern University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

The prestigious award highlights the University’s continuous investment in the student experience, its quality of teaching, outstanding facilities and courses that are designed to meet the needs of employers in a competitive jobs market.

This accolade follows the institution being crowned University of the Year in the Educate North Awards 2020/21 in recognition of our continued commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience and our dedication to placing students at the heart of everything we do.

Previously shortlisted for University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2020 and WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020, we have also received international acclaim, winning a Global Teaching Excellence Spotlight Award in 2018, in recognition of ‘the quality of support and engagement infrastructure for students’.

There are plenty of reasons for your son or daughter to study at Edge Hill and enjoy the best student support, University facilities and job prospects in the North West (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020), as well as the safest University campus in the North West (Complete University Guide 2020). They will soon discover why we have been voted in the top three in the North West for student satisfaction (Complete University Guide 2021) and been shortlisted for Outstanding Support for Students and Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community (Times Higher Education Awards 2021).

  • Aerial shot of Chancellors Court halls of residence and the Creative Edge building.Beautiful campus  located in the heart of the North West of England with excellent transport links, our stunning campus combines state-of-the-art facilities with beautifully landscaped grounds, historic architecture, two lakes and even a beach. It’s a unique and innovative place to study and an inspirational learning environment. The campus has been voted in the top five in the UK (StudentCrowd 2018), top in the North West and top five in the UK for University facilities (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020) and top in the North West for learning resources (National Student Survey 2020). It has also been recognised as one of the UK’s best green spaces (Green Flag Award 2021). The cutting edge resources are complemented by 60 acres of sport and leisure facilitiesmore than 2,300 rooms in halls of residence, two theatres and plenty of places to study, socialise and relax;
  • Real-world working environments –  from our TV studio to bioscience laboratories, our sports therapy clinic to our clinical skills and simulation centre, we provide our students with the very best realistic working environments in which to enhance and develop their skills. Students undertake projects for local and national companies, working on live briefs and delivering solutions to real problems;
  • Nutrition students in white overalls and wearing protective goggles practice their skills in a laboratory.Employability focus – partnerships with schools, colleges and businesses enable students to gain vital experience working on placement in a professional environment, alongside field trips, graduate enterprise, language study, and sandwich year or year abroad options. Many of our degrees offer accreditation or exemptions towards professional awards. There are extensive additional opportunities for your son or daughter to volunteer, find a part-time job and secure summer work to further enhance their CV through our award-winning Careers team who can also provide expert assistance and advice in securing graduate employment. 95.8% of our students are employed or in further study within 15 months of graduating (Graduate Outcomes 2017/18);
  • Outstanding student support – the University has been recognised as having the Best Student Support in the North West and Top 10 in the UK (WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020) and shortlisted for Outstanding Support for Students (Times Higher Education Awards 2021). Whether your son or daughter has an accommodation query, needs money advice, wants a confidential one-to-one with a qualified counsellor, or wishes to make use of our multi-faith chaplaincy or health and wellbeing service, our comprehensive student support means help and advice will always be available. Dedicated assistance for students with a disability or dyslexia includes support tailored to individual learning requirements and personal needs, as well as the use of assistive technology.

We will ensure that your son or daughter graduates fully prepared for the world of work, equipped with the skills, knowledge and practical experience to excel in their chosen career and achieve their full potential.

To browse the choice of subjects and courses available, visit

Discover Edge Hill University 

How to Apply

A student sits at a computer overlooking a staircase on an upper floor of the Catalyst building.Once your son or daughter has decided where they want to study and which courses they plan to apply for, you should encourage them to apply as early as possible to avoid the stress of rushing a last-minute application to beat the initial deadline which is usually the last Wednesday in January.

Applications for full-time degrees are made online at Your son or daughter can apply for up to five courses.

The part of the application which they may find hardest to get right is the Personal Statement, where they will explain why they want to study their subject and outline why they would make a great student. A good Personal Statement will add considerable strength to an application so it’s important for your son or daughter to spend sufficient time to ensure it does them justice and really sells them as a prospective student to admissions tutors.

Once an application has been submitted, your son or daughter can follow its progress using UCAS Track. Each of their course choices will receive one of the following responses:

  • Unconditional offer – your son or daughter has a place, if they choose to accept it, which is not dependent on certain grades being achieved;
  • Conditional offer – your son or daughter has a place, if they choose to accept it, providing they achieve the grades stipulated in the offer when their results are published;
  • Unsuccessful – your son or daughter has not been offered a place.

Applicants and family members listen to a member of staff during a tour of the departmental facilities during an applicant visit day.Prior to being made an offer, your son or daughter may be invited for interview or, for some Performing Arts courses, be asked to attend an audition.

If your son or daughter is made an unconditional or conditional offer by Edge Hill University without the need for an interview or audition, they can expect to be invited to an Applicant Visit Day.

Parents and guardians are also welcome to attend these events which include a subject taster session, as well as the chance to view departmental facilities, talk face-to-face with tutors and tour the campus with a student guide.

Next Steps

Our guide to Preparing for University talks you through the options available to your son or daughter when replying to offers and explains what to do next.

Last updated on Last updated on Was this page helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Please tell us more: