Where is best to study?

Big city universities, small town colleges, and everything in between. How do they choose?

Make a shortlist

Use our course choice guide to help your child find out where they can study their course, then do some research. They’ll be applying to up to 5 places at once so they should look at all the options.

Prospectuses will tell you the good bits about the uni or college, student reviews can give you a personal view and league tables can let you see how the numbers add up.

League tables: Unistats – official statistics The Complete University Guide Good University Guide
Student Reviews: Push uni chooser Push uni profiles Whatuni student reviews

Go to Open Days

These are the best way to get a feel for the place, the courses, and find out if they’ll be happy there. Possible students and parents are given tours, meet current students & staff, and see the departments. You can find out dates and sign up on their websites or on Most colleges will welcome people at any time. Things to think about:


How far’s home – too far, not far enough? Is it a nice place?


What’s the department like? Did they see a lecture, was it good?


Libraries, lecture theatres, labs, computer rooms. Are they good?


Is it nice? How far is it from campus? What does it cost?

Student Support

What’s there: Is there support for careers advice and emotional, academic, financial and disability issues?

Student Scene

What’s the nightlife like? Are there active student societies?


Does the institution have a good sporting or music reputation?

Questions to Ask

Finally, they might want to ask: What is the staff to student ratio? How long do you spend in class? What is the expected workload? Does the department have a particular focus? Are there placements with employers? What are the employment prospects from this course?

In the end it often comes down to where feels right, where they think they’ll be happiest and where they get accepted!

More advice: Opendays Advice Search for and Book Opendays