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Uni applicants 2014: how and why you made your choices

What was important to you when you made your uni course choices? With the application deadline behind us, we asked you how you made your choices. Here’s what you told us….

We've also got advice for you on what to consider when making your firm and insurance choices... 

Top employment factors 

Your main reason for deciding to go to university is for the employment opportunities – six in 10 of you told us you’re going in order to pursue a specific vocation or career ambition or to improve your employment prospects more generally.

So when you made your course selections, employment factors counted – and graduate employment figures in particular, as 58% of you told us that graduate employment rates were important. Fewer of you (30%) thought starting salaries for graduates were important, though.

Links between the university and employers was a top career consideration for half of you. 

Top academic factors

The course content was by far your number one academic factor when making your choices – three quarters of you told us it was important. 37% of you also told us that the type of work involved, such as essay-writing or practical work, mattered when making your decisions.

Overall academic reputation was another key consideration - six in 10 of you said it influenced your choices. And four in 10 of you told us that league table rankings counted in your decision-making.

58% of you factored the quality of the academic facilities – such as the library, labs and studios  into your decision.

Top extra-curricular factors

Nearly half of you said that the quality of the university's non-academic facilities – such as the accommodation  was important to you when making your choices.

42% of you considered the attractiveness or features of the university location, while more than a third weighed up the cost of living there.

Being close to home was important to nearly four in 10 of you –  while 14% of you wanted to be a long way from home!

How you made your uni choices 

The top sources of information you used when making your initial five Ucas choices were:

1. Uni prospectus/ website: 74%
2. Ucas website: 62%
3. Open days: 54% 

And when making your firm and insurance choices:

1. Open days: 40%
2. Uni prospectus/ website: 34%
3. Parents/ family members: 28%

Applicants share their course choices

We headed to a sixth form college to ask a group of applicants what courses they'd applied for, and why. Here's what they said: 


Source: An online survey of 1,003 applicants intending to start university in September 2014, conducted via Youthsight. 

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