Year 12 students, for the second consecutive year, are having to do the majority of their university research virtually. So, in doing this research for their uni course options, how should they approach it? This blog will try to give you some pointers!
As with every other year, www.ucas.com will be a good starting point, which most 6th formers will hopefully have already started to use. There is a huge amount of information on the UCAS site, so do spend time exploring it all – there are lots of ‘hidden gems’ of information there! Universities are now quite adept at doing virtual events, either ‘open day’ type events or more targeted subject sessions (e.g. Lincoln’s comprehensive list of subject talks https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/lincoln-on-demand/#personalised-intro). Whilst you won’t be able to bump into other potential applicants on any of these events, they are aimed at answering your queries about the course and what studying at the university is like. Several universities also have virtual tours, where you can at see what the campus or building looks like (https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/what-and-where-study/open-days-and-events/virtual-tours). Universities are increasing their ‘offer holder’ events too, so that during year 13 you will get to actually visit the university too. Universities know that however good their virtual offerings, actually visiting is something students benefit from doing.
These links will help you decide about which uni course to study, by giving you the ‘official’ university information. You can also use a site called unibuddy (https://unibuddy.com/products/the-unibuddy-platform/). Not every university is represented here, but for those that are, you can talk to students doing the course you are interested in. This can be a great way to find out all those answers to questions that you’d want to ask the student ambassadors at ‘in person’ open days!
So, what are the best ways to make the most of these online opportunities? Make sure you do some research before the event takes place, so that you know the basic information already. That way what you find out can help you ‘fine tune’ your thoughts about the course. It’s worth having a list of questions that you want answered – you can use these with each uni course you are comparing & researched. If you’ve got questions that aren’t answered during the event, there will usually be contact details given out, so make use of these. And lastly, go with an open mind – you could be finding somewhere to spend several years of your life! Enjoy.
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