Choosing what to study at university can be a very difficult decision. With so many options available, the process can be very confusing. We suggest you do as much research as possible and explore what's behind your decision-making.
Assess yourself to get a better understanding of your skills and abilities, values, interests, strengths, work experience and qualifications.
Research to find out what options are available to you:
- Going to Uni provides links to all universities offering courses according to major fields of study.
- Investigate the Faculty/School website and handbook to make an initial check for the type of degree you are interested in. UNSW makes this easy by providing an Online Handbook.
- Attend University Open Days or Information Days that are held at major universities in September each year. These events provide an opportunity for prospective students to talk to staff and current students about undergraduate programs, admissions and the student experience. There are often lectures where staff outline the features of their programs and answer any questions.
- Go to the Faculty/School Office of the Faculties who might offer relevant degrees and ask questions. Read further details provided by the Faculty/School on that particular program. Investigate:
- Exactly what is involved in the program
- Read the subject descriptions
- Ask for the names of lecturers who teach and/or specialise in that area. Make appointments to discuss with those lecturers more about the program; for example, what skills and knowledge will be gained, where are graduates from that program likely to work, where have previous graduates gone to work following the program, are there any companies who regularly take graduates from that program
- Ask how the program is assessed (examinations, essays, projects)
- Check to see if there are any new programs in your area of interest being planned or if there are to be any significant changes to the programs you might be considering.
- Repeat the above process in more than one university. It may be useful to do this for all of the universities who offer programs in your specialisation area. They can advise on any new programs and any professional bodies and/or employers in that specialisation.
- Speak to managers and/or staff in the Recruitment/Human Resources section in companies who employ people in the field you are interested in and ask what are their preferred qualifications and/or results and/or specialisations for research areas. You can also approach specialist recruitment consultants at recruitment agencies to find what companies may employ people in your area of interest.
- Research relevant journals and research articles related to your area of specialisation. They often highlight certain companies, individuals or industry sectors that are at the cutting edge of any discipline. Find out from these companies what degrees they recruit from or where they plan to recruit from and what knowledge and/or skills they require.
- Professional associations can also be used to find out more about the particular qualifications required in a professional area. They also have information on the largest employers of professional staff in that area. Some professional associations even have a register of companies. Find out from these companies what degree areas they recruit from or where they plan to recruit from and what knowledge and/or skills they require.
- Attend networking events and conferences related to your area of interest, to find out the directions in which the field is heading, who the key players in that field are, meet people who work in or are interested in that area. You can network and/or find out further information. Conference papers/proceedings can also be useful in providing information about the field.