Produced by Gemma Jewell
BA (Hons) Television Production
University is a big commitment, so before deciding upon where you want to study, it’s important you do a bit of research. A key thing most people consider is the reputation that the university has; you can find out this information by looking at university league tables and ratings in the Guardian and the Times. By doing this, you can compare research quality, student satisfaction and entry standards. Another good website to use for comparison is unistats.com.
If you’re thinking of doing a creative course it’s also good to look at the Creative Skillset website and see which courses have been accredited with their Tick as this is only given to courses that have the strongest links with the industry.
Course content and facilities
If you know which degree you want to study, it’s best to compare the course content between the universities, because you don’t want to turn up and be surprised about learning a certain topic that you had no idea about. It’s also a good idea to see what facilities that university has to offer, so you can find out which course will be most beneficial to you. One of the main reasons I picked Bournemouth Uni, was because I wanted to study Television Production and Bournemouth has one of the biggest media schools in the country; when I looked at the course content and facilities I knew it was where I wanted to study.
Location and transport links
When looking at the geographical location of universities, it’s good to think about if you want to live at home or move away, and if so how far away do you want to be? You may have to be a bit realistic with this; if you know you’re someone that will want to go home regularly you may want to think about how accessible this is going to be and how much travelling will cost. A way to find this out is to look into the transport links that the city or town has.
Another point to consider when thinking about location is exactly what you want out of university life; do you picture yourself living on a campus, or do you want to live in a big city? Both have their benefits so it’s all about what you believe will suit you better.
If you are going to be spending three years in a new town or city you want to have the best possible time. So if you’re a big party goer and know you want a buzzing social life make sure you do your research and find out what the night life is like in the town you’re thinking about studying in. Google can tell you the amount of different clubs and bars they have and there will be lots of reviews from a student’s perspective on The Student Room website. Even if you’re not into going out at night, it’s good to see what else the town has to offer. Alongside this, you should check the university’s website and Student Union page to see what clubs, societies and sports they have to offer.
Naturally, after doing a degree you are going to want a job, most likely in the field you have just been studying. So it’s important to see what your career prospects are before starting and what the university can do to help. One of the main reasons I picked Bournemouth University was because it offered placements, giving me the chance to work alongside potential future employers and gain valuable experience in the industry. Bournemouth also has services such as the Career Hub that helps with anything from CV building to finding part time jobs.
Overall these are my top five things that I think you should consider when making a university shortlist. However, my biggest piece of advice is simply to attend a university open day. Not only will you have the opportunity to ask all the questions you have about the town and your course, but you’ll also be able to see it and get a feel for it. Your instincts will tell you a lot; usually just from walking around a university you will know if it just feels right or not.
By Gemma Jewell