Useful Tips for Parents - Thinking About University?

Picking the right degree for you.

Date: Tuesday 07 March 2017

With 50,000 different university level courses at 395 institutions it can be tricky to know where to start your search, but there are some great websites and tools I have found that you can use to help you focus your search.

Personally I try to avoid 'Googling' courses and university websites to start with as this information won’t always be impartial or comprehensive. To help you on your journey I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions I get from parents and students and some useful websites and resources I recommend.

What degree subjects can I do with my A levels/level 3 course?

There are lots of different tools and website that can help you with this. Personally I recommend Which?, BestCourse4Me and Prospects - all of which give great information.

What careers or jobs would suit me?

Prospects have created this useful Career Planner that can give you an idea on what might suit you or your son/daughter. Give it a go today. 

How can I find out more about the subjects I am thinking about studying?

UCAS has compiled a Subject Guide. I find it an invaluable resource, and I'm sure you will too. 

Which Universities offer the subject I want to study and what are the entry requirements?

UCAS lists most of the subhects and universities in the UK. You can visit their website here and click on Course Search to look at a full list. 

What are the best rated Universities for particular subjects?

University rankings come in many shapes and sizes. They can be subjective and depend largely on who is compiling the list. Personaly I like using one of the following, and often use all three and cross reference them

How can I compare the courses at the different Universities to get a shortlist?
How satisfied are students on this course?
What jobs did students go into and what was the average starting salary?
What is average cost of accommodation?


The Unistats website has information on many of the most common questions about going to university. Including the questions above.

How do I organise an Open/Taster Day at the University?

Open Days has information on many of the university open days, but you can also look directly on the university's own website.

What jobs can I do with a degree in…?

Prospects have built this great tool to see what kind of jobs your degree can lead to. 

Are all degrees equal? How do I know if my degree subject will lead to a graduate job?

Of course there is no way to guarantee your degree will lead to a job. But you can find information on which subjects and degrees have previosuly led to employment. I like this resource produced by HECSU.

I hope you've found my tips useful. If you would like any further information please email us at progressionteam@exe-coll.ac.uk. 

Louise is Employability and Progression Team Leader at Exeter College. 


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