Did the Chicken Come Before the Egg?
By Karen Lee
(Admissions Consultant at The Edge Learning Center)
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? This was a question a good friend of mine at Cambridge studied in detail during the Biological Natural Sciences course (and apparently this old-time riddle can be unscrambled with the principles of evolutionary biology).
But picking the right course and university is no chicken and egg scenario, despite there being over 50,000 undergraduate offerings in the UK. It is fairly straightforward.
The golden rule
UK courses tend to be pretty specialised and each university has its specialism. So the golden rule is: rather than picking a university for its fame, it is more important to see which one offers the best course for you in terms of your academic interest, strength and career aspiration. Below are my top 3 tips for you to get started (or validate your choices if you already have some ideas).
#1: Pick an academic field you enjoy and excel in (and be specific about it)
Say you are good at biology at school. It is important that you take a deeper look at it and ask yourself which area(s) you enjoy studying the most. For instance, if you are interested in the broader study of the behaviour of living organisms, then a pure Biology course might be right for you; but if you would like to study molecular biology and genetics more thoroughly, you should consider Biochemistry. In case you want to take it further and understand its practical application on humans, you should explore other options like Biomedical sciences.
#2: Compare the courses
When you are comparing different courses and universities, look at the modules covered, teaching method, assessment, placement opportunities (especially for vocational courses) and graduation destination so that you pick the ones that are most suitable for you. Scrutinise the course website as there is usually an abundance of useful information.
Another place to look is the league table, which ranks university by subject in the UK. As recommended by UCAS, some of the more impartial ones include The Guardian, The Times and The Complete University Guide.
#3: Look at the entry requirements
Remember to check the entry requirements in the course description. Not only would you need to meet the minimum grades, you would also need the right combination of A-level subjects (or equivalent) as a prerequisite. Some courses might also require you to sit for admissions exams and interviews. Needless to say, your level of competency in English will be key to studying in the UK. Very often you’ll have to prove it by taking the English language tests such as the TOEFL and the IELTS.
Make sure you are crystal clear about individual course requirements as these might influence your selection strategy.
Need more advice? Contact us for an Initial Meeting!
About The Edge
The Edge Learning Center is Hong Kong’s premier Test Preparation, Academic Tutoring, and Admissions Consulting services provider. Founded in 2008, The Edge has helped thousands of students improve their ACT and SAT scores as well as their IB and AP grades. The AC team has just finished off another successful period in which students gained acceptance to schools such as Columbia, Yale, UChicago, UPenn, Oxford, and more! Check out our latest Admissions Results!