Choosing your five course choices

There are several considerations to make when selecting courses for your UCAS application.

1. Choose courses with different grade requirements

It is vital to pick courses with a range of entry requirements. This is to ensure you have a backup option if you fall short of your predicted grades. The general rule of thumb for picking your five courses is:

  • One or two “stretch” options. This is a course with grade requirements which are higher than your predicted grades. For instance, if you are predicted ABB apply for courses asking for AAB or even AAA.

  • Two or three courses which have the same entry requirements as your predicted grades.

  • One or two “safety nets”. This is a course with grade requirements lower than your predicted grades. For instance, if you are predicted ABB, apply to a course asking for BBB or BBC. When it comes to selecting your Conditional Firm (CF) and Conditional Insurance (CI) choices, a safety net can make for a good CI just in case you don’t get the grades you need.  

2. Priorities

Different courses will appeal to you for different reasons. One way to narrow down your long list of options is to decide what is most important to you. 

Your priorities may be:

  • Facilities

  • Research quality

  • Module choice

  • Graduate prospects

  • Accommodation

  • Year abroad or placement opportunities

Our league tables are a good tool to help with this as you can filter the tables by location and sort them by each individual metric.

3. Be consistent with your course selections

Your subject area of choice could encompass a broad range of topics and courses. For instance, you may have decided on Biological Sciences, but that encompasses a number of different courses including Marine Biology, Cell Biology and Ecology.

Try to stick to one area of study within the subject you’ve picked as this will make it easier to write a personal statement; it is hard to write a good statement when you are attempting to convey your interest in two or more distinct areas of study.

By following our advice you should have found five courses which teach your subject area in a way that suits you, in a location you’ll be happy in, which leads to a career you want and asks for entry requirements you can meet.