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?

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:

Choosing a Course and University

  • 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

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 Unistats website may also prove useful as a means of comparing subject and course options alongside student satisfaction ratings and employability statistics for each degree;
  • Choosing a Course and UniversityAttend 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;
  • Choosing a Course and UniversityVisit 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

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

Choosing a Course and UniversitySome 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)?

Choosing a Course and UniversityYour 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 Professional Skills Tests (for initial teacher training courses), GCSEs, or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure.


Why choose Edge Hill University?

From being ranked in the top five in England for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016) to being voted in the top three in the UK for university facilities (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016), there are plenty of reasons for your son or daughter to study at Edge Hill University and enjoy the best student experience in the North West and outstanding facilities voted in the top three in the UK (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2016).

More than 95% of graduates from our full-time degrees are in work or undertaking higher-level study within six months of graduation (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2016).

  • Choosing a Course and UniversityBeautiful 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 cutting edge resources are complemented by 60 acres of sport and leisure facilities, more than 2,200 rooms in halls of residence, two theatres and plenty of places to study, socialise and relax;
  • Choosing a Course and UniversityReal-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;
  • Choosing a Course and UniversityEmployability 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 Centre who can also provide expert assistance and advice in securing graduate employment;
  • Choosing a Course and UniversityOutstanding student support – 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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate.


How to Apply

Choosing a Course and UniversityOnce 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 of 15th January.

Applications for full-time degrees are made online at www.ucas.com/apply. 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.

Applicant Visit DaysPrior 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.