students smiling at the festival of cultures

making the right decision for you

Still deciding which course and which university is right for you? Here's how to work out what matters to you

Coronavirus information for students

Things will be a little different in 2020/21. We've put new safety measures in place across campus and have plenty of guidance on how to stay safe and what to do if you or someone you live with comes into contact with coronavirus.

See our coronavirus information for students to find out what to expect when you get here.

Choosing a degree is a big decision. You can usually only apply for up to 5 undergraduate or Bachelor's degree courses at up to 5 universities, so you need to do lots of research on courses and universities before you apply.

We'd obviously love you to choose Portsmouth. But we also want to make sure you choose the right course and university for you.

Figuring out what you want to do

You probably already know what subjects you enjoy and what you're good at. Spend some time looking at your options and be honest with yourself about what you like about a subject before choosing your degree. Can you see yourself dedicating time and energy to it in the future? Your degree will probably be 3 or 4 years and influence your future career, so you should pick something you're excited to specialise in.

Think about something you enjoy and decide what you like about it. If you love science fiction movies, do you like the science or are you fascinated by the plot, or the special effects? If you like cars, are you interested in how they work or how people react to them

If you're in school or college speak to your tutors or careers advisors about your options. They'll help you explore what's available. Parents, family, and friends with industry experience can help too. Reach out to friends to ask if they'll join you for a coffee to talk about your choices. Most people are willing to help, and they might be able to give you an insight into your subject that you weren't expecting.  

Researching courses

Find out what you'll learn on different courses by looking at university websites, prospectuses and UCAS. A lot of universities organise their courses by subject so you can choose an area of study before you decide on a specific course. You should explore your career prospects before you apply and find out which courses offer placement years, work experience, or self-employed placements.

Once you pick a degree you’ll also need to check its entry requirements. Entry requirements tell you what qualifications, skills and experience you'll need on the course – but this isn't just about your grades. Consider volunteering, getting work experience, or taking on leadership roles to boost your CV before you start university and develop your skills to give you a stronger application. 

Browse our course pages or order a prospectus to see what courses we offer. When you see a course you like, note its UCAS code – you’ll need this to apply.

University is not only one of the greatest times of your life but a huge stepping stone in your future career(s). People see University as a scary situation but everyone is in the same boat and extremely friendly. And Portsmouth is a fantastic city with everything you need to accommodate and entertain yourself outside of study

Daryl Budd, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice (2016), Police Constable, Surrey Police

Researching universities

Once you've picked your subject or course, explore your potential university. Look at the quality of the teaching, what facilities it has and what past students say, if you can. If you're moving away from home explore your accommodation options and consider whether you’ll enjoy living in a new city

Take a look at what different university rankings mean and compare your universities. Find out what support is available, and choose a university that supports your career, your studies, and your health.

Going to university open days

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, visit your top universities to see them up close. Nothing compares to experiencing a city and hearing from teaching staff and students first hand. 

On our Open Days you get to tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence, and chat with our students. You'll also get advice on finding somewhere to live and funding your studies so you’re armed with all the info you need to apply.

Student standing in front of orange background

Attend an Open Day to:

  • find out more about our courses from lecturers and current students
  • tour our campus and meet our finance and support teams

More about Open Days

Take your time

Some people know exactly what they want to do in the future and how to get there, but a lot of us don't. And we don't always know how to figure it out.

If you’re not sure what you want to do you probably won't decide overnight. Take some time to think things over, explore your options and research different opportunities before you apply. Picking a degree or a career can feel like an all-or-nothing decision, but you'll have the chance to change your mind later if you want to. Some people change universities, degrees, or even their whole career. 

Don't rush your decision, but do spend some time thinking about your choices. Many people around you – including family, friends and careers advisors – are probably more than happy to help if you reach out. If you're not sure where to start, try looking at what degrees are available to see if anything catches your eye.  

Explore your options

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