Supporting Decisions at College

During college your son/daughter will prepare students for their applications to university.  Deciding where to go and what to study is likely to be one two of the biggest decisions they have made so here is some useful guidance how to help them make the right choice for them.

Years 12 and 13

In Year 12, most students will take end of year exams. The results of these exams will be used by schools and colleges to predict the grades they think the student will achieve at the end of Year 13. Universities will use these predicted grades when deciding whether or not to make an offer of a place. These exams are important for your son/daughter’s future progression, so encourage them to work hard and do as well as possible.

Towards the end of Year 12, schools and colleges will begin to prepare students for their applications to university. There will be plenty of opportunities for your son/daughter to hear from university staff at UCAS events, careers fairs and university visits. Universities host open days for prospective applicants to learn more about the course, the university and student life. At most open days, there are talks specifically for parents and carers so that you can find out more about the process, how to apply and the financial support available to their child.

How can you support your son/daughter?

In deciding which university is right for your son/daughter, you should encourage them to do independent research. Whilst the course name might be the same, the content and structure of the courses will vary considerably between universities. Online university course pages offer lots of information that will help with this decision, such as information about the course content, assessment types and graduate employability prospects. The University of Birmingham course finder is a great place to start.

Course-related questions to ask your son/daughter

To help your son or daughter/make informed decisions, you could ask them the following questions:

  1. What are you thoughts about what you would like to do as a career?
  2. What subjects have you enjoyed studying at school/college and why?
  3. Do you know there are more courses available than just the subjects offered at school/college?’ (UCAS has a full listing of all courses offered nationwide.)
  4. How do you learn best and what is your preferred method of examination?
  5. Are you interested in a year abroad or a placement in industry during your course?

University-related questions to ask your son/daughter

This list contains some questions that you could ask your child to help them decide where they wish to study.

  1. Would you prefer to live at university or commute from home?
  2. Do you want to live in a big city?
  3. What financial support does the university offer?
  4. Have you looked into what the university facilities are like?
  5. Does the university cater for your hobbies and interests?


Why do our students choose us?

Take a look at our video to find out what students love most about the University of Birmingham. We also have a wide selection of other videos to help you learn more about us.

What Birmingham students love about the city