What is a firm and insurance choice?

A firm university choice is your first choice, which is typically the place that you want to go to the most. If you accept a conditional offer and meet the entry requirements, you’ll have a confirmed place there.

An insurance choice is your second choice. Think of it like a plan B, your backup choice. If you don’t get into your firm then at least you have your “insurance” choice if you meet those conditions.

How to choose your firm choice

Here are a few steps on how to choose your firm offer and what I looked for when choosing mine.


I would firstly suggest researching the area that the university is in. Do you want to live outside of your home town or within commuting distance? You should also consider how close your university is to the city centre? Are there many accommodation options near the area or perhaps you need to look at the transport options?

For me, I chose Pearson College London because it was in the city and was within a reasonable commuting distance.

Entry Requirements

The second step is to look at the entry requirements for each of the universities you have chosen. I suggest making sure that the course entry requirements are realistic to what you can achieve or what you have achieved in past exams or coursework assignments.

When picking my choices, I made sure my firm choice offered assessible entry requirements that were realistic to me. Pearson College London did not require me to have a specific grade in Business, so there was more flexibility.

Course Quality

Finally, I recommend putting your universities in the ranking of how important each course is to you and whether it matches your interests. Remember, some universities may have a good reputation, but they may not be specialists in your course!

I would then suggest ranking your courses based on the modules you prefer. Even though the course might be named the same, modules can differ, so it is important to look at each course and see what modules suit you best.

When I was applying, I  made sure that the universities I chose offered me entrepreneurship and not just Business Management by itself.

So, to reiterate, look at the location first. Then look at the entry requirements, because there’s no point wasting your firm choice for a university with unrealistic expectations. Finally, look at the course quality and make sure it has the modules that you want to study.

By Aisha Ditta, 2nd-year Business Management with Entrepreneurship student