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How To Choose a Degree

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Education is arguably the most important investment a person can make in the modern, information-centred world. Though traditional education in the form of a degree, masters or PhD is certainly not the only set of options available to those wanting to further themselves through education, it remains the most popular. However, the decision to further one's studies is only the first step; both course and learning institution need to be carefully selected.
What you'll need: 
Pen
Paper
Computer/laptop
List of universities
List of A-level courses
1: 
Draft a rough list of your perceived strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and interests. This will provide an initial framework from which to plan and expand. Asking a close friend/relative to perform the same exercise for you can be helpful in providing an external perspective.
2: 
You may be in the position of having to select school/college subjects for future admittance to a particular degree or university faculty. In such a situation it is useful to work through a list of available A-level courses, singling out subjects of interest. These can then be researched in depth and with reference to university courses.
3: 
Entrance criteria are an important consideration when looking at degree courses. This is where your choice of school/college courses can be a determining factor and particularly so in degree courses focussing on mathematical and scientific subjects.
4: 
Take an aptitude test if you are unsure of your strengths and interests. Such tests can be useful in providing insight into your skills and motivations. The Stamford test offered by UCAS is one such useful tool.
5: 
Once you've identified topics and subjects of interest, begin your research into the universities offering degree programs which include the subjects you have picked out. Ensure your research is thorough and that you look into the course as a whole rather than simply looking for courses which offer a few modules of interest.
6: 
Just as important as the content of the course is the institution at which you will be studying. For many students university is the first move out of home so ensuring a comfortable location is vital. Visit the universities you intend on applying to. It can simply be the 'feel' of a campus that determines whether you will enjoy your time at university so take the trouble to do the necessary research.
7: 
Correspondence or distance-education is an increasingly popular method of study for those wishing or having to work or study on a part-time basis. Again, get hold of the prospectus and research degree programs in detail.
8: 
Individual universities' course content may differ even if degree titles are the same or similar. Look at each course in depth and identify each university's typical 'teaching style'. Some universities may place more emphasis on ongoing assessment/ coursework over exams while others may do the reverse.
Tips: 
Spend time really thinking about your strengths and interests. Choosing the right degree first time can save a lot of time and money and help to make university the enjoyable experience it should be.
Be aware that you may not choose the right course the first time around.
Don't be afraid to change degrees rather than 'sticking it out' on a course you don't enjoy.

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