Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions of your life, and it is one of the most difficult ones as well! In this blog, I would like to briefly discuss why I chose the University of Dundee and offer a few tips on what to look for in a university! I hope you find this helpful!
For me, the transition to University from AS/A levels was about recognising the fluidity of knowledge; it was about coming out of a compartmentalised manner of approaching science to self-evaluation and evolution-based process. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this while choosing my university, but I hope this might help you (as my readers) make a much more informed decision.
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is that along with your academics, you will live in that city for the entire period of your coursework, so try and identify a town where you will be able to enjoy and participate in your hobbies. For example, I love to travel and explore different landscapes – and Dundee is geographically ideal for someone who would love to explore places like the Highlands, the Wailing Widow waterfall, and the beautiful city of St. Andrews, to name a few!
Following this, try and shortlist the prospective set of courses that interest you and the mannerism of exploration that different universities offer for those courses. Personally, I am drawn toward biological science at a molecular level, and Dundee University provides most of its life science courses focusing on molecular mechanisms. Following this, if you have a clear focus on research, try and look at the scientific impact index of the university (https://www.leidenranking.com/information/indicators ); for the fields of my interest (Parkinson’s Research and Cancer), the University of Dundee was a good fit.
Furthermore, it is also essential to look at the student-faculty ratio – something that will give you an idea about the extent to which you will be able to interact with your faculty. This is very important for me as these first-hand interactions in different research areas offer a great insight into the human aspects and approaches to a particular field (rather than keeping them on a pedestal). In addition, these interactions have helped me choose my modules, plan my career path, and grow as an individual!
Lastly, do not overthink! Instead, enjoy the process and have faith in yourself while making the decision!