Wigsbury Frequently asked questions

Quick answers to the important questions

I have good grades in all my IB subjects, I could go and study almost anything at University. What should I do?

You’re in a fortunate position. I suggest you start at the other end of the equation, what comes after university? What would you like to do for a career? And then look to see which university subjects prepare you for that career. It may be that you don’t know what career you want to do, go and have a look on a career’s exploration website. Also, have a look on the departmental websites of UK universities, they always have a list of jobs that their graduates have gone on to. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of jobs that a graduate can do. 

e.g. A graduate in English literature may go on to a wide variety of careers – local government, education, business, lawyer, armed forces, media, event management, teaching etc.

I want to study film; my parents want me to study Business. Help!

There is a way to square the circle here, the first thing to do is talk to your college counselor he/she will have lots of ideas about how you can combine these two subjects. After all, the film and entertainment industry is a very big business. You can take a university course that mixes both business and film.

I want to study business but my grades are not very good, I might even fail the IB diploma. Does this mean I can’t go to university?

Not to worry, there are lots of places at university available to you. Firstly, some universities will take you anyway even if you fall below the magic 24 IB points. If, when your IB results are published, you have failed by a point or two, contact the university and ask them to take you anyway.

Additionally, many universities offer foundation degrees. This may mean you have to take an extra year, or you are put on probation for a few weeks at the beginning of year one and then if you pass a test you are allowed to continue on the full bachelor’s degree. Other universities have what they call a bridging program, again you are on probation for a few weeks and assuming that your grades are alright you can move smoothly onto the bachelor’s program.

There are also below degree level course  typically one or two year programs and when you have successfully completed one of these programs you may be offered the opportunity to take an extra year and trade up to a full bachelor’s degree. So, as you can see there are many different ways to achieve your goal. Talk to your college counselor he/she will be able to help you find the right program to match your academic performance.

Are careers tests/ exploration programs useful?

Yes, they can help point in the right direction, focus your ideas and flag up ideas that you had not thought of. It is a good idea to take a test which includes psychometric profiling as this identifies relative strengths and weaknesses and makes suggestions of which areas you are best suited to study in.

Are rankings useful?

Rankings are useful up to a point, but you should remember that just because the university is ranked number 6 that it is not necessarily a better fit for you than the university ranked number 10. The rankings change each year. I would suggest that you have a look at the subject rankings and this will give you a ballpark figure of where the top 20 universities are for your subject, where the next 20  are etc.

How should I go about searching for courses?

Assuming you know what subject you want to study, you’ll find there are many universities offering your subject and that they will not all be identical. Just because the subject is called ‘economics’ at University A, does not mean it will be identical to a subject called ‘economics’ at University B. You must go on the university website and check out the course content. Have a look at what units you study in Year 1, Year 2  etc. and ask yourself the question, is this what I want to study? 

I have decided what subject I want to study, but there is such a bewildering choice of very similar courses at many universities. How should I differentiate?

Look for add-ons, the extras. Try and find a course that will let you do an internship where you go to work in a company for a year, or a course where you can do an exchange with a foreign university, or a course where you can add an extra subject (elective) such as studying a new language. So instead of just studying business, why not study business plus Spanish? 

You need to consider that when you finally finish university you will be competing for a job, and if you can offer the employer something extra over and above the basic academic program then this will give you the edge in a competitive job market.

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