As soon as you start sixth form or college your teachers will start talking about university even though it seems like it is ages away. For some people they will already have an ideal course in mind so the choice is easy, but for others it’s a little more difficult to decide. Hopefully this guide will be able to help you out if you’re one of those people who has no idea what they want to do after their A Levels.
1. Have a look at the courses
Obviously, the first thing to do is look at the courses you can do. You can eliminate certain types of subjects if you haven’t taken the right A Levels, for example almost all science courses will require at least one (usually two) science-based subjects to be taken. This doesn’t work for all courses because quite a few are based on UCAS points rather than requiring grades or specific subjects. This means that it doesn’t matter which courses you studied at A Level as long as you reached the amount of points they asked for.
2. Decide what you enjoy studying
Our advice would be to then look at what do you enjoy studying right now because this can give you a general idea of what you want to go into. If you take biology at A Level but you particularly enjoy looking at things like the digestive system then you can begin to look at university courses like Anatomy and Physiology or Human Biology, rather than just Biology in general. We would also look at areas that do not interest you at all. If you study geography but only enjoy physical geography then look at degrees which only study that. By breaking down your courses that you do at the minute it can help you to see exactly what you like about the subject and what you want to avoid studying further at all costs.
3. Are you more for a practical or theoretical knowledge?
We would also look at the type of courses that you can do at university. For people who want a more practical or vocational experience then there are many courses which include a year in industry alongside the regular degree program. Some courses are also four years long and allow you to gain a Masters degree in the same subject. It is important to look at the structure of the courses to see if they are suitable to what you wish to get out of it or give you the opportunity to go where you want to go.
When it comes down to it, once you eliminate courses that you do not have the grades or the right A Levels for then it is totally up to you. Whilst it is a good idea if your degree can lead you into a job you will enjoy, you also need to make sure that it interests you anyway. University requires a lot of self-directed studying so it important that you choose something which interests you. It doesn’t even have to relate to your A Levels; subjects like Anthropology or Neuroscience may fascinate you even though you haven’t heard of them before. You can choose your course based on your hobby or even your job if you really enjoy it as long as you would be excited to study it, you shouldn't just limit yourself to things you are already studying.