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Five tips on how to choose a university during the Covid-19 pandemic

15 October, 2020Mutahara Gofur

You can apply to up to five universities through UCAS. But there are over 100 in the UK with an extensive list of undergraduate degree courses. How can you narrow that down? How might Covid-19 affect the application process and your student life? These five tips could help.

binoculars1. Attend virtual open days

One of the benefits of everything being online currently is virtual open days. You may want to visit universities in person, but virtual tours do have their perks too!

For example, you won’t have to harass your parents to drive you to loads of universities or fork out on train fares. And you can attend more open days than you would usually be able to, while still getting all the relevant information you want.

Try to make the most of this and attend as many virtual open days as you can.

2. Think about how will Covid-19 might impact your university experience

For the time being, universities are teaching online and social distancing is preventing students from enjoying the social lives they may have expected.

Let’s hope September 2021 will be different! But it’s important to be prepared in case the pandemic is still a problem next year.

Look at the universities you’re interested in and find out:

  • what are they doing to make sure their students get value for money in terms of learning?
  • what measures have they put in place to protect both the physical and mental wellbeing of their students?

3. Get prepared for your A’levels

The government is currently planning that A’level students will sit their exams as usual next year, but three weeks later than usual to give you more time to prepare. This is to help address some of the disruption to education caused by the pandemic.

However, be aware that they’re also developing ‘contingency plans’ in case exams are disrupted by the pandemic. Ofqual has said, “We recognise there could be further disruption next year. We will continue to develop contingency measures, exploring different options.”

This may mean that teacher assessment and your mock results feed into the final results of your A’levelsyour current progress and what your A Level grades might be. How do these measure up against the entry requirements for the courses that interest you?

If you’re worried about entry requirements, speak to your tutor about how you can boost your grades.

4. Look at the detail of your degree course

If you know what sort of career you’re looking for, look at the modules of the degree course to see if they’re relevant. You should be able to download a qualification specification from the university’s website.

Make a note of how modules are assessed too. Most universities use exams as the primary form of assessment, but include some coursework. Some degrees are solely coursework-based. Think about what suits you.

5. Find out how much careers guidance and support the university can offer

Most universities will have a careers office to support students, as well as job fairs. These will help you prepare for the world of work, and help you find work placements and internships while you’re studying. This can help you find what you’re interested and what you want to steer clear of.

Some universities offer sandwich degrees, where you do a one-year industrial placement before you final year. Others, like our university college at LIBF, offer vocational degree courses that prepare you for work in a specific sector.

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