What should I be doing this month?
What to think about this month - September 2013
School or college may have only just restarted, but the uni train is starting to roll out the station. It's a good time to be thinking about what and where you want study if you're in year 12 or 13, and if you already know, then it's time to get your application started.
If you're in year 12
If you're in year 13
In the news
What to think about if you're in year 12
over a year to go before you even apply, the whole uni choice process
may seem less urgent than an attack threat from a tortoise. But before
you know it, that tortoise could be all over you. What with all the
exams, revision, coursework, holidays, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings,
nights out, time spent playing Angry Birds and so on, it's never too
soon to get focused. Now's a great time to be thinking about two of the
big questions: what do you want to study and where do you want to study
First up, choose a course you’ll be happy doing. You’re going
to spend a lot of time and money on this. It might as well be something
you enjoy... otherwise why bother? If you enjoy your course, it'll also
set you up for a rewarding career afterwards.
Bear in mind
that no two degrees are the same, even if they have the same name.
Studying a history degree at Essex might be completely different from
History at Exeter, just as Birmingham is a very different place to
Once you know what you want to study, there are over
140 unis to choose from and hundreds of other colleges and institutions.
Many of them may offer your chosen course and that's more than enough
choice for anyone. Choose the one that's right for you. Push's Uni Chooser helps you make an ordered shortlist of those that will suit you
best. Put what you want from uni into the Uni Chooser and see what
TOP TIP: The best way to see if a university is the
right one for you to visit some. Of course, you can't visit 140 but
using the Uni Chooser can help you narrow it down to a list of five or
six that would be worth a visit. Most unis do a couple of open days a
year but if you can't make those, most will welcome visits from possible
future students all year. Many schools allow students to take time off
lessons to go to university open days – if they haven't said anything
about that, it's worth asking.
What to think about if you're in year 13
In the news
you’re thinking of going to uni in September 2014 and you haven’t
thought about which unis to apply to yet: You’d better strap your skates
You’ve got until mid-January to complete your application
for most courses, but Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary courses have
deadlines which are only a month away.
Even if you’re not
planning on applying for those courses, all unis can start accepting
applications from now, and so leaving it until the January deadline
might not be the best idea. The unis will already have been making their
'yes' and 'no' piles. Some offers will already have been made. Some
courses may even be full already. Leaving your application till the last
minute looks like you're not serious.
If you know where you want to apply: Then it’s a good time to start think about crafting the perfect personal statement.
personal statement on a UCAS form is a chance to convince the people
who pick who they want for their courses that there’s more to you than
exams and a date of birth.
Many universities have given up doing
interviews (some never did) because, as student numbers have increased
and funding’s become scarcer, they simply don’t have the time. That
means the 47 lines in the personal statement are increasingly the best
and only chance to convince anyone you’re the right person for the
course. No pressure.
Never be afraid to sell yourself and big up
your wondrous attributes and talents. Work on the basis that, if you
don’t think you’re great, why would anyone else?
Graduates earn £200K more on average
report from the Ministry for Business, Skills and Innovation has
revealed that graduates can expect to earn more than was previously
thought. The report suggests that if you’ve got a degree, you could
earn, on average £200, 000 more, over the course of a working life, than
someone without a degree. This is because the recession has taken a lot
of unskilled jobs out of the market, while jobs for graduates have not
been as badly affected.
Students at older unis have larger workload
much work you’ll be expected to do at uni varies greatly between unis
and between courses. A survey has suggested that, broadly speaking,
students at newer unis have a lower workload than older unis. The
average amount of study for course like architecture and building was 40
hours a week, compared to 23 hours a week for communication courses.
More students are working alongside studying
students than ever are finding part-time work to help support
themselves alongside their studies. Some unis are really keen on this
idea and offer their students lots of help to find part time work, from
careers services, online job-boards, some even find jobs for students at
the uni. Some unis are not so keen on the idea, and some will actively
discourage students from working while they’re supposed to be studying.
Head north for student nightlife
survey of students by Which Uni? suggests that if you’re looking for an
active nightlife at uni, then you might want to head to the north of
England or Scotland. Eight unis in the north of England and Scotland
were rated top amongst student for a range of nightlife, from pubs and
clubs to music venues and cinemas.
Of course, not everybody wants
that from their uni – no two unis share the same idea of fun. What do
you find fun? What are you do during the times when you’re not studying?
Sit in your room, twiddling your thumbs? Continue doing something you
already enjoy? Or trying something new?
More apprenticeships in the creative sector
Not sure if uni is for you? A culture-vulture or creative-type?
Creative Employment Programme has announced 54 new apprenticeships and
56 internships within the creative and cultural sector, from orchestras
and museums to galleries and theatres. Apprenticeships can be a great
alterative to uni and give you the chance to benefit from on-the-job
training while getting paid.
Last updated on: 18 September 2013