Choosing a university and course subject is a big step in determining the rest of your life. It’s an incredibly stressful time. There are over a hundred higher education institutions and tens of thousands of courses to choose from. You’ll find you get input from well-meaning relatives, college tutors, friends and sweethearts. Take back a bit of the decision-making by comparing everything on your own terms and in your own time with a college course finder comparison app. We review one of the largest and see what else they have to offer.
The university application process used to be even more long-winded and arduous than it is now. Trawling through university prospectuses and telephoning around institutions for information and options. Nowadays we have fingertip technology that can help us in our choices. Knowing where you want to go and what you want to study, with well thought out back-up choices is a major advantage. There are a few course finding apps around – UniChooser is an option, it has lots of information on courses and universities, but can feel a little childish, with quizzes and animated videos between screens.
Which Course Finder App
The free Telegraph Uni Finder app is available for Android on Google Play and Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad). It was launched last year to great reception and has improved for 2013 with a new design and is now powered by data from the Key Information Set (KIS) – this is information from students themselves (from the National Student Survey NSS), the education institutions, UCAS, and Uni Leavers. All this information is amalgamated and made into more digestible reading to help you compare universities on a level playing field.
You can search by location within the UK, a specific institution or course, so you can start with your highest priority – being near home or as far away as possible; or attending the university that all your family have gone to; or finding the best place to study your desired course. The app will tell you when there are open days, how many UCAS points you will need for entry. There’s information on the number of students, their average spend and the female to male ratio (if that’s a determining factor for you!). The data is presented infographic style so it’s easy to absorb.
Education news is available through the app, which is helpful because it might give you an insight into the future of a certain university or how useful specific courses might be. For example, future investment in your relevant department might signal better quality of teaching and better resources for students.
UCAS Calculator: How To Calculate Your Points
The Telegraph has also brought out a UCAS Telegraph Calculator which will convert your A level and A/S grades into UCAS points. This can help you determine if you have achieved enough for your chosen course or university. You can also use it to work out in advance what combination of grades will be acceptable.
One you’ve calculated your UCAS points, you can look at suggested courses based on these grades – either ‘sensible’ or ‘random’. Click on one of the sensible options that are chosen for you and you will be taken through to more information about that course. The random button will take you to a light-hearted example of a course you almost certainly wouldn’t have heard of. They might seem whimsical, but sometimes a bit of inspiration is all you need!
Both these apps/resources are great if you want fast responses to your questions about universities and courses. The Course Finder app is comprehensive, easy to use and draws on impartial, official data from a wide range of sources, which are relevant to you (i.e students). These apps will be especially useful during the clearing process where you might need to make very quick decisions.
Author: Thank you to Jenny Ann for providing this review on resources in education.