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  • Alexandra Jackson

Making your Firm and Insurance choices for UK Universities

Updated: Jan 8


If you are applying to a UK university to start in 2019 then you are rapidly approaching decision time. The offers from the universities should have been in by the 31st March and in most cases you have until May 1st to select two universities to be your Firm and Insurance offers.

What is a Firm offer ?

This is the university where you will go, if you achieve the conditions of their offer. Once you accept this offer you will have formed a legally binding contract with the university. If you change your mind later on you will have to ask the university to release you from this agreement.

What is an Insurance offer?

This is the back up plan and will be a university that has offered you lower grades than your firm offer. It still needs to be somewhere you would be happy to study for the next three or more years as, if you do not make your Firm offer, this is where you will automatically be accepted, assuming you meet the conditions.

Need advice on making your selection – contact Carfax Education on +971 4 438 5276 or at enquiries.uae@carfax-education.com to speak to our expert advisers.

So how do you go about selecting the final two universities – one of which you will most probably attend. Here are our top 5 tips of things to consider.

1. Grade Requirements

With the real exams rapidly approaching and revision reaching a peak, now is the time to consider the grades that you feel are capable of achieving this summer. When making your Firm choice you can err on the side of optimism but your insurance offer should be a safer bet.

2. The Course

Make sure you understand how the course is structured and what you will be studying over the next few years. Is the course right for you? What subject choices will you have? What is compulsory and what is optional? Are there modules there that you are really interested in studying? You need to be sure of what you are letting yourself in for so there are no surprises when you get there. It is also worth checking how many hours of contact time there will be – it may be less than you imagine.

3. Assessment

It is worth checking at this stage how you will be assessed over your degree course. If you are good with a set of exams at the end of the year, that is fine but if you perform better with continual assessment then make sure this is an option on your course.

4. Location

Are you a city person or would you be happy in a campus environment ? There are pluses to both and it will depend on you as a person. If you like to roll out of bed in the morning and fall into lectures then commuting half way across the town will be a struggle! But if you like the bright lights and night life of a city then a remote campus might feel a bit isolated. Think about it carefully – look at the virtual tours- it is a big decision as you will be living there for the next few years.

5. Cost of Living

It is important to factor this in - one of the biggest stresses for students is managing their finances. The cost of living varies hugely across the UK depending on where you live. Particularly look at accommodation costs both in student halls and if you want to rent a house with friends in future years. Living in a big city is going to be more expensive but then again it will be easier to find a part time job!

Most students love their time at university and settle happily wherever they go to study but it makes sense at this stage to review your options and work out what is going to be the best fit for you.

For help making this key decision contact Carfax Education on +971 4 438 5276 or at enquiries.uae@carfax-education.com to speak to our Higher Education Counsellors.

#HigherEducation #UniversityApplications

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