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University choices: the key points to consider

By Bella Eccles, founder of Tinker Tailor
24 May 2023

We asked Bella Eccles, founder of career-mentoring consultancy Tinker Tailor, to give us the lowdown on everything you need to know about making university choices – from narrowing down the right course to understanding your options if university doesn’t feel right for you. Watch the video in full below – or if you’re short on time, skip ahead to the chapter which interests you...



3.26 - Where do I start?
  • Choose what you’d like to study, and then decide where you’d like to study it
  • Do your research thoroughly into the courses - look closely at the modules that make up each year of study
  • If you don’t yet know what subjects you want to study, think about what careers you might be interested in, and then come back to think about the subject to choose
  • Look beyond the obvious; make sure the course requirements are realistic and don’t make assumptions
9.30 - Which matters more: choice of university, or choice of course?

10.40 - Location: what are the key points students should consider?
  • Where are you going to feel most comfortable: in a city or out of town; close to home or miles away?
12.06 - If I have to compromise, should I go for the wrong course at the right university, or the right university and the wrong course?
  • The most important thing is to enjoy what you are studying, and excel at it1
13.40 - Do Oxbridge and the other Russell Group universities still count in the world of work?
  • Some of the best-known and most-respected universities aren’t members of the Russell Group - and employers are now focusing less on prestige and more on what someone has studied and what they have achieved academically
15.23 - A-levels, IB or BTEC - will this impact my options?

16.12 - I’m not sure university is right for me – what are my options?
  • Think about where you want to continue to learn and where you want to get to
20.15 - What are the pros and cons of a four-year placement course?
  • Placement courses are a brilliant opportunity to start putting your academic subject into the context of the wider world – so start gathering as much work experience as possible now
22.18 - I’m thinking about studying abroad: what are the things I need to consider? 
  • Think about the costs involved, including the cost of living in the city or country where you’ll be based – and be aware of the application processes and timelines
24.39 - What’s your advice for parents?
  • Encourage your son or daughter to do their own research, and hold back on judgement - it’s your child’s decision to make.
27.21 - Is it worth attending online university open days?

28.16 - Where can I find more information?