How to choose which courses to study

Interested in studying?

Whether you are thinking about studying at college, at university or online this article can help you choose what to study and where.

1. Find out what you want to study

Choosing the right course to study could save you lots of time and money! If you know what job you would like to do start finding out more about the qualification(s) you will need now. A good place to find this information is in job advertisements. You can check out lots of job advertisements for free on job boards such as If you don’t know what you want to do then think about (a) what you enjoy, (b) what you would enjoy learning, (c) the industries and jobs available.

2. Explore different course options

2.1 Course information

View course information online and/or read the course brochure or prospectus for each course you are interested in studying. Remember to check the list of modules or topics that are available for each course. Further research can be done online, at open days, or by speaking with friends, family and educators.

2.2 Entry requirements

Always carefully check the entry criteria to ensure you meet the requirements for the course.

2.3 Assessment

Assessment is a major part of education so it is vital that you understand how the course will be assessed. Will there be exams, coursework, presentations etc? If so, what type of assessments do you prefer?

3. Choose a course provider

3.1 Cost

Cost is a BIG factor that must be considered when choosing a course and course provider. Whilst tuition fees vary from provider to provider it is important that you remember to consider ALL the costs of a course (e.g. tuition fees, accommodation, food, travel, books, stationary etc).

3.2 Financial aid & scholarships

Some colleges and universities offer scholarships and/or financial aid to help cover the cost of education. In addition, you may be eligible for things such as grants, government loans, and/or work-study opportunities. Check out this information before making a decision.

3.3 Other considerations

  • Is the college or university recognised and respected by employers?
  • Does the college or university offer internships or work placement opportunities?
  • Does the course provider have good facilities (e.g. library, computer rooms etc.)?

4. Making the decision

Make a simple table with all the colleges and/or universities you have in mind and compare each course across a range of different requirements that are important to you. This could include: course suitability, library facilities, student teacher ratio, tuition fees, computer and printing facilities, sports facilities, social clubs, accommodation fees, college/university location, links with employers and careers service etc. Give each requirement a score 0 – 5 (were 0 is completely not suitable and 5 is extremely suitable) and see which course scores the highest mark based on your criteria.

5. Final check

It is a good idea to talk through your ideas with family, friends, teachers or advisers before making your final decision. However, remember to choose the course that is right for YOU rather than what others want.

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12 thoughts on “How to choose which courses to study”

  1. I passed well in all the subjects I’ve always wanted to do engineering heavy equipment and repair help with deciding which school to go to and things mostly involved in the course

    • I passed in all the subjects but I got 7 in science and 8 in Maths what course can I do between business administration, Electrical Engineering or Heavy Duty please help?


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