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A parents guide to helping your child through their UCAS application - from a Pearson College London student

Chloe Jarman

Chloe Jarman posted on

Helping your child to decide which higher education institution and course is right for them can be a tricky and difficult decision. It’s extremely important, and requires a lot of research and thinking about. If you follow the advice below, it should make life easier when guiding them through the process, and helping them decide what they want to do and where they want to go.

Do your research

This is one of the most fundimental parts to assist your child in making their decision. There are over 395 providers of undergraduate courses in the UK, some which you may have never heard of. It’s important to see what they all have to offer, as it might be a deciding factor when they make their decision.

Furthermore, there are 50,000 Undergraduate courses, and I’m sure they didn’t study as many subjects as that in sixth form/college! There’s courses they’ve probably never heard of, so take some time with them to see what they entail and if it’s something that they might be interested in. Many institutions also offer Taster Days, which is a great opportunity to sit in a seminar-style class and find out if that course is for them.

Be organised

Creating a table or making lists are the most organised ways of noting down your research. Creating columns with things that are important to your child (e.g. distance from home, clubs and societies, city or campus institution etc.) is a great way of narrowing down their search and it will give them a great indication of who will be in their top 5.


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Seek advice

Their sixth form/college teachers and advisors, friends and family can be useful in providing second opinions and advice. What do they think they’re good at? What do they think they enjoy? You shouldn't be afraid to ask, they might have some great words of wisdom which can help your child with the decision process.

Institutions themselves can provide information that can help with the transition into higher education. For example, if you're unfamiliar with how Student Finance works, the difference between a lecture and seminar, or need guidance with accommodation, ask the institution for help and advice.

What are they passionate about?

What is their favourite subject at school? What interests them outside of school? What have they always been curious about? These questions really help determine what course they might want to study. Unlike sixth form/college they’re only studying one subject, so they have to be completely sure that this is the path that they want to go down.


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Opportunities after graduation

If they have a career path in mind (which will make their decision a lot easier), it’s vital to look into what degree is needed in order for them to perform that job. If they don't have the required degree, it may affect them getting the job! To help with this, you may be able to take a look at an institution's alumni success stories to see what opportunities they've been involved in after graduating.

Making the decision

Although your help and guidance is useful, at the end of the day it's their decision! Don’t let anyone pressure them into a decision that they're not 100% sure on. Ultimately it’s your child that’s studying the course, and it’s their life that it mainly affects. Whilst it’s great to have others' input, it's important they take advice on board but don’t make their decision solely based on it.

To find out more about the courses available at Pearson College London, search here.

A parents guide to helping your child through their UCAS application - from a Pearson College London student
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