How to decide which offer to firmly accept in UCAS

22 February 2024

UG14 Page 026: Penryn Campus
Penryn Campus

This article was written by Game Art BA(Hons) student Callum.

At this stage, you are starting to get offers back from the universities you have applied for, but which university should you make your firm choice? In this blog I’m going to go through the most important things to consider, as well as a bit of my own experience to help you decide where to go. 

First, it's worth clarifying the difference between your firm and insurance choice. Your firm choice is the place you want to go to the most. If this is a conditional offer and you meet all the conditions set, you have a definite place. The same goes if you have an unconditional offer (this means you are guaranteed a place regardless requirements). Your insurance choice is a backup in case you don't meet the conditions of your firm choice. Most Falmouth courses require you to have an interview to find out whether your offer is conditional or unconditional. These interviews are super relaxed and just to see whether you are suited for the course you are applying for.

I think that the first thing to consider when deciding which university to choose, is whether you can actually see yourself studying there. It’s always good to see the universities you are considering in-person. This can help you get an idea, not only for the campus itself, but also for the surrounding area, since you will also be spending most of your time there outside of classes. I highly recommend either attending an Open Day or travelling down for a few days on a holiday. One thing I want to mention if you are doing the latter, is that at Falmouth, you can book private Campus Tours all through the year. This means, if you find yourself not being able to make any of the Open Days, but still want a look around, arrangements can be made for a Student Ambassador to walk you around the campus and facilities. These Campus Tours can be booked on the website here.

There are also options to view online tours, search for pictures on the internet and look through Social Media pages. All of this gives you a feel for the overall vibe of the town that the University is located in. One thing that drew me to Falmouth compared to other universities, was that I really wanted to live by the sea. It's something I'd never done before and it's been such a fun experience. Another thing I think is worth looking into is the lecturers and staff. Lecturers are so important when it comes to getting the most out of your course and I think you should always check to see whether the people who are teaching you have experience. For Falmouth, you can see all the lecturers and their qualifications on the individual course pages on the website. They also have their contact details on there, in case you have any further questions and want to reach out. Alternatively, you can chat to lecturers by using the 'Ask our Community' tool.

If contacting staff members seems too daunting, then contacting current students through the 'Ask our Community' tool is a great way to see what people actually studying at the university think. You can ask their opinions on the course modules and the types of events, clubs and shops around the area.  

Additionally, looking at success stories and employability schemes offered by the university is also super important, since the goal after higher education for most people is to go into a job in their field. You'll want to make sure to go to a university with a good reputation to put on your CV, as well as finding one that can provide you with great industry connections. 

Lastly, my biggest piece of advice is to pick the university you think matches you best. You want to be able to study alongside similar people to you and find an environment that will really help you thrive. With Falmouth being an arts university, I have found so many people with similar ideals and interests, who have made my time at university so much better. Remember, this is going to be the next 3-4 years of your life and you want to be somewhere you will be happy and comfortable. So, if you think you can see yourself studying there, then go for it! 

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