Scientists are renowned for being logical, numerate, excellent problem solvers and creative thinkers, so taking a science course at university can stand you in good stead when it comes to your career. In fact, a poll of 1,000 students conducted by Pearson College revealed that science subjects were seen as the most ‘future-proof’, with engineering and chemistry viewed as the courses most likely to result in an adaptable career. However, if you’re thinking of studying science at university and you want to achieve the best possible outcome, you’ll need to make sure you choose your course with care. To help you, here are a few of the most important things to look out for.
A course that suits your needs
You’ll probably have a good idea of the sort of course you want to select, whether it’s pharmacy, astronomy, physics, chemistry or something else. However, within each general subject area, there will be a whole host of courses provided by different universities. Before you make a decision, it’s important to look carefully at the details of each programme. Ask yourself how relevant and useful the individual modules will be in terms of your career options. Get information on the teaching style of each course too. For example, find out how much of your time will be spent doing practical work and theory lessons. It’s important to check the assessment methods as well. The weighting of exams, presentations and coursework can vary significantly between different courses. Meanwhile, if you want to gain industry experience during your studies, look out for learning programmes that include placements or internships.
High-quality, inspiring learning environments
Pay careful attention to the teaching facilities on offer at universities too. It’s important to be aware that well-designed, modern and practical labs can make completing your studies easier and more enjoyable. Commenting on this topic in a blog post, lab installation specialists Innova Solutions highlighted a range of features that the best labs have. According to the company, these environments are spacious and well-equipped. They also feature durable, high-quality materials and have a flexible design that ensures they can accommodate all the relevant lesson types. The best labs enable a high level of interaction between tutors and students as well.
The fact is, the standard of facilities provided by universities can help to make or break courses, so it’s well worth doing in-depth research on this issue before you sign up to a particular learning programme.
Reviews can provide you with useful insights when you’re assessing your options. For example, you can check out what current or previous students on certain courses have said about their experiences on websites such as Whatuni. You can also find university reviews by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, which is an independent body that monitors and advises on standards within the UK higher education sector. In addition, you might want to take a look at league tables to see where universities feature for particular subject areas.
As well as doing plenty of research on issues like these, it’s wise to attend university open days before you put in any applications. These events give you a chance to explore campuses, check out the facilities on offer and speak to members of staff. They can play an important role in helping you whittle down your options.