In this blog, I’m going to be showing you the top 10 things to consider when accepting a university offer. These are based on my own experiences when choosing a university a couple of years ago. I will be going through everything from location to the facilities to what courses offer.
1. HAVE YOU CHOSEN THE RIGHT SUBJECT?
The first thing you really need to think about when choosing a university to study at is ‘is this course going to give me skills to use after I graduate?’. It is very exciting being able to choose a new place to study, but if you feel like you only like part of the course or there is only really one or two things you know you are going to enjoy, it might not be the best option for you. Also, your interests may have changed since you applied for different universities. There is a large gap between you choosing/applying for schools and your offers. It’s completely okay to change your interests and is more common than you think!
2. COURSE CONTENT
Is this course something that is exciting to you? When choosing a course, you need to look at what is on offer within the course. Is it a course that you 100% will want to study? Do certain courses offer more opportunities?
When looking at a course, you need to consider how far away you are going to be from home. Are you someone who will be okay being independent? Or do you think you would like to be closer to receive support from your family?
Are you looking for a university that is more city based, or somewhere in the countryside? The reason I chose to study at Salford was because I loved the fact that Salford is located right next one of the largest cities in the UK, Manchester, but it is also very quiet. It is, however, full of nature with Peel Park being so close to our Peel Park campus.
A huge part of living away, especially for me, was the importance of being comfortable in the place I was going to call home. Every university has a range of accommodation you can choose from and a price range to suit every student. For my first year, I stayed at Peel Park Quarter which is a beautiful place to live. I stayed in a bronze room in a smaller flat. My room was very comfortable and I felt very safe staying there. I was right by my campus and just next to the beauty of Peel Park! I had such an incredible view from my window every morning. The University of Salford also provides accommodation in John Lester and Eddie Colman Courts that are a 10 minute walk away from Peel Park campus.
Depending on your course, you will have access to different buildings and different pieces of equipment. If you are studying Nursing, you will be looking at different facilities in comparison to someone who studies Graphic Design. Being an English and Drama student, I am very lucky to have access to two different sides of Salford’s facilities.
The New Adelphi building has huge performance rooms used by students to rehearse in, or take part in performance lectures. It also has access to a beautiful theatre where many students perform. We also get theatre companies visiting and performing for students. These spaces have given me a lot of opportunities to learn skills such as physical theatre and how to make my voice fill a room. The building also offers spaces for other courses such as fashion, music and many more creative arts.
On the other side of my course, I get to go to so many lovely buildings for my English lectures such as the Peel Building. As a bit of a history nerd, I love the fact that the building has lots of character within it. The lecture theatres are beautiful and such a nice space to listen to my lecturers talk about the newest book on our course.
7. THE SOCIAL SCENE
As a student myself, I know how important it is for students to have places to socialise. Whether you love to party or love going out for coffees, your university should be a place for you to enjoy having independence. Being in Salford offers both a fun weekend of partying and quieter cafes. Being just outside of Manchester, the city is bustling every day with lots of fun things to enjoy. Personally, I am not much of a party person but I do love having a good shopping day. You can get a bus or a train into Manchester in under 15 minutes to do this.
If you don’t like busy crowds or travelling around, Peel Park campus offers many places for students to hang out including our student bar, Atmosphere. The bar is a lovely place to catch up with friends, have a drink and a meal and take part in events such as karaoke nights.
Societies are a big part of the university experience. When looking for a university, you should try and find out what societies they have on offer. Starting university can be daunting so knowing there is a group you are interested in already gives you a good head start in making friends. They make up the community of a university and offer different perspectives into hobbies or you can join to learn a new skill.
In the current climate around the world, many students are opting to go to schools that are environmentally friendly. This was definitely something that drew me to Salford when I was applying for schools. The University of Salford have been ranked 9th out of 153 institutions receiving a first class award in the 2022 People and Planet University League. Salford has also received the gold accreditation in the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme.
Finally when choosing a university, you need to make sure there are opportunities for you both during your time at, and after leaving, university. As a student, you need to think ‘where do I want to go after I finish here?’. I know that can be a lot to think about, especially as you are still choosing where you want to go. It is okay if you don’t know what you want to do yet, you don’t have to have everything figured out immediately.
I hope this has been helpful and good luck with your decision!