How to choose your university
05 October 2023
This piece was written by English with Creative Writing BA(Hons) student Darcy about how she chose to study at Falmouth University.
Choosing your university is a BIG DEAL, there’s no doubt about it. For me, it was a chance to leave my familiar lifestyle and jump headfirst into something new and unexpected in the hope of creating my dream future. Sometimes the process was terrifying, stressful and I wanted to quit. Sometimes it was so exciting that I couldn’t wait to get going.
The main thing you should remember is that nobody's journey to university looks the same. Some people choose their course first and their uni second. Some have known where they have wanted to go since they were 6. Some people are applying when they are 56. To make the process seem less daunting, I've grouped my decision in 3 stages.
Stage 1 - Course:
Once I had chosen my course, I looked on the UCAS website to see which universities offered this and which I could realistically get into with my predicted A level grades. I looked at prospectuses and I compared course content, including compulsory and optional modules. Have a browse on uni websites – it should be as exciting as online shopping, seeing what your potential future could look like! I was drawn to the Falmouth website because there was a clear emphasis on student work, which I think is so important and their modules seemed to be most relevant to the industry I want to go into. Another big decider for me was how my course was assessed. I work best with coursework rather than last minute cramming for an exam.
Stage 2 - Location:
Location then came into the mix. Whereabouts did I want to be? Did I want to commute or live away from home? Did I want to be on a campus surrounded by rural landscapes, based in a busy city, or somewhere in between? How much did reputation matter to me? Knowing Falmouth kept climbing the league tables was a good sign.
Stage 3 - Specifics:
I then got down to the more “minor” details, which are still as important, but potentially more specific and subjective. Ask yourself, what’s important to YOU?
- Facilities – what sports and societies are on offer? Does the uni have the materials and technology to boost your creativity and aid your research?
- Accommodation – although accommodation isn’t everything, it’s still so important to feel comfortable while at uni. Each uni has different options to suit different budgets and requirements. You can explore Falmouth’s university and private accommodation types on the website.
- Reviews – look at university reviews and use the ‘Ask a Student’ tool on the Falmouth website (don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!)
- Community – who do you want to surround yourself with? Would you feel happy and safe in the area? Many students come to Falmouth due to the diverse and vibrant community it offers. I feel like I have complete freedom to be myself here. And what about community connections after graduation? A lot of students, including me, chose Falmouth for its amazing industry links/opportunities.
- Open Days – go to Open Days to get a feel for the campus, local area, and student vibe. In my opinion, they are one of the best ways to help you make your choice. Talk to student ambassadors to get an insight into what it is really like to be a student here. Keep an eye on Falmouth’s virtual experience page for online advice sessions like personal statement and portfolio help and keep an on out for the next in-person Open Days.
Why did I choose Falmouth?
After lots of research I decided on a close-knit Cornish campus uni a stone’s throw away from beaches, where I could complete my coursework, live in an accommodation with an ensuite, spend my evenings watching live music or going to societies that interest me; and overall, where I could be surrounded by other creative souls.
I learnt that choosing your university is a funneling process. It started as this big, scary, life-changing decision and before I knew it, my final decision was based on which university had the better pasties! Enjoy the process - it’s an opportunity to learn what your priorities are.
At the end of the day, every person will love their university for different reasons, so wherever you go will be right for you. It’s an exciting opportunity that opens up the rest of your life, so don’t just go where your friends are going or hold back from moving further away from home because it seems too scary. My advice is – if you can picture yourself there, go for it. The creative community here at Falmouth will be more than happy to welcome you!