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Guide for parents and guardians

parents at graduation Going to university is a big step, and this section is intended to help you understand the process in order to support your son or daughter with the decisions they will be making. 

To help your son or daughter select the right university and course for them encourage them to think about:

  • What they enjoy studying and which courses cover their interests?
  • Would they rather combine two subjects instead of focusing on one?
  • Are there some courses which would specifically accept the subjects they are currently studying?
  • Are there any courses that would enhance a particular career path they are interested in?
  • What course and assessment structure would most suit them?

Points to consider when choosing a university:

Of course, choosing the right university is also a challenge with many areas to consider as a parent.


Would your son or daughter prefer to stay at home and commute to university or live on campus in catered or self-catered halls at least for the first year. Would they then like to rent private accommodation in the local area?

Employment opportunities

Does the university have links in place to assist students in finding part-time work alongside their studies as well as internships and work placements to boost their employability after graduation?

Student activities and sport

Getting involved in sports |and activities at university is a great way for your son or daughter to make new friends outside their course and continue their hobbies throughout university.

Facilities and resources

 It’s vital for your child that a university has a good library|, IT facilities|, sporting facilities|, a careers service|, Students’ Union| and high-quality teaching areas|.

Other important factors include whether or not there are personal tutor programmes, medical facilities and disability support for students| if they need extra help.

Location and type of university

This will have a big impact on your son or daughter’s experience so they need to decide if they want to stay close to home or move further afield. 

What size university would they prefer (they range from a couple of thousand to more than 40,000 students)? Campus or city? The best way to get a feel of a university is to attend an Open Day|, which you're welcome to attend with your son or daughter.

Quality of teaching and assessment

Universities are assessed on the quality of their teaching through the Quality Assurance Agency and their research quality is assessed through the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which is worth checking out.

We aim to answer all your questions on these topics in our guide for parents, which you can browse through using the menu on the left-hand side.


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