Who is it for?bestCourse4me is for all students who are considering higher education (or not) or who aren't sure which career, course, or university to attend or what is required once they get there. It is also for their parents and teachers or anyone else who wants to help and advise them, to make the right choice.
Where do I start?bestCourse4me is a good place to start when trying to make these decisions however we do recommend that in addition to using our site you talk to teachers, parents, career advisers and also consult university websites because at the end of the day it is your decision.
On the home page there are a number of options that are aimed towards looking at career and study options for you. Decide which of these matches what you're aiming for and click it. This will then take you through to the Explorer Area where you can chose different universities, their courses, a-levels, or careers and compare them depending on which you selected. From there you can browse and collect information on the Search Summary tab which gives you further information on your choices.
What if I don't know what I want to do?If you have no idea what you want to do, click on the option on the home page 'Stuck for Ideas?' and it'll take you to the start of the comparison process. From here you can select which A-levels you are either studying or going to study. This then creates a pie chart of the most common university courses or careers taken by people who have taken these subjects. This is meant only to give you an idea rather than suggesting you do these. If you do like the options suggested you can select some of those listed or look at them in greater detail.
What makes bC4me better than other comparison sites?Simply, we have more information. We are the first, and only, website that compares both university and employment statistics. We are a charity, aimed at encouraging students and giving them good and practical advice without sugar-coating it. Because of this we are unbiased, we don't favour any university or degree type. What you see is what you get.
What information can I get?We have information on salaries given, A-levels taken, degree studied, university attended and career path followed over the years of large groups of people and how these change during their lifetimes. We have information on length of time out of employment following graduation, both depending on university and degree.
Is it reliable?Simply: yes. Our data on employment and salaries is collected from two official, nationally collected sets of statistics - the Labour Force Survey and the Destination of Leavers survey from the Higher Education Statistics agency. Our details about/of individual courses have been painstakingly collected from the universities' websites.
Is it useful?We like to think so, however if you have any suggestions for improvements we welcome the feedback.
We have large amounts of information that students should be made aware of before making choices that will affect their futures, which we like to think is presented in an easy and approachable way.
Does it include all courses?All undergraduate and foundation courses in the UK that report their data through HESA except where institutions have chosen to withhold thier data. HNDs and HNCs are not included and neither are post-graduate courses. All vocational, academic and arts courses are included if they have been attended in previous years, we have no data on courses that are just starting.
If you find that we have managed to miss a course (good luck!) please let us know.
Is it a fair comparison of universities/courses?Yes. We are an unbiased charity and have no hidden agenda. We won't make any university or course appear better or worse than it is, we will just show you the information that we have. However when looking at our data it should be kept in mind that we might not have a full set of data, depending on what we have been given, and this might affect how a course or university is presented.
What is a conservatoire, how is it different to university?A conservatoire is a specialist music and arts college. A university is a more general place of higher education which offers a wider range of courses. The courses at university may cover a broader spread with the option of making them more specialist at certain points during your study.
Eg. Royal Northern College of Music is a conservatoire whereas Imperial College London is a university.
Do you cover specialist colleges?Yes we do. We have included information from every college in the UK that reports its data through HESA except where institutions have chosen to withhold their data. However if you find a college in the UK that is not listed please let us know. We do not list colleges within universities eg. Cambridge colleges unless they are specialist (eg. Homerton Cambridge)
What level of study do you compare (first degree or others)We compare all first university courses (undergraduate degrees). We also compare foundation degrees where possible however not all universities list these obviously. If there is a foundation degree that you are interested in that we do not give information on it would be in your best interest to search the university website or contact them directly. (sounds like palming them off?)
What if I'm not doing A levels?In our comparisons we include entry requirements from all types of qualification, as long as they are included in the UCAS tariff, e.g. NVQ, BTEC and Scottish Highers. All of those included should be listed on the A-level page
Is it just for the smart and academic?No, we think that everyone should be given the opportunity to go to university and see what options are available to them regardless of their background or grades.
We have information on universities that accept from a wide range of grades and also courses that are both academic and vocational. If you are certain of a career path we also have information on what is required to go into that field so that you aren't left unprepared.
What is the 'best' course?The 'best' course depends on what you are looking for. We aim to give you information about which course would be best for you, career-wise, in the long run, comparing salaries and employment statistics. However, this depends also on the degree class obtained. The best course for you has to be one that you want to do and could face doing for 3 or more years. We can't tell you which course you want to do, only give you an idea of which would give you the best start in your future.
Is my stuff private?Yes, we will not pass on your searches or choices to any other party. We will see which pages have been visited (e.g. resources, contact us etc.) but that is so that we can track which pages are the most popular and try to improve our site to suit you.
I'm confused about what career to pursue after school, how can bestCourse4me help?You can either see which careers have been most commonly pursued by people who have taken the same a-levels as you or you can browse careers list and see which requirements they have, such as a university course. Once you have found a short list of courses you are interested in you can compare their stats, for instance their pay over time.
I'm confused about what subject to study at University, how can bestCourse4me help?bestCourse4me lets you see what students who have taken the same, or similar a-level options have gone on to do at university. This may give you an idea of what course to take at university. We will also give you information about what graduates go on to do after their degrees, whether they have jobs, and what kinds of salaries they are on, depending on what they studied at University. This would give you an idea whether or not that is a life style you might wish to follow.
I'm confused about which University to attend, how can bestCourse4me help?You can compare a number of different universities offering the degree that you want on bestCourse4me, comparing their key information. There is also a direct link given each university's website so that you can get any other information and compare them further.
What data is available for comparison of careers?For each career you can directly compare the average hourly pay rates, the percentage of those within the career that have a degree, the subjects they have studied, and the different levels of qualification held by people in that career.
What data is available for comparison of subjects?For each subject you can compare the percentage of students that go on to be employed, unemployed or go on to do further study in either that same field or a different one. For a given subject you can also compare their average annual salaries and the type of work that individuals are in six months after graduating.
What data is available for comparison of Universities?For each University you can compare the percentage of graduates who, 6 months after graduating, are employed, unemployed or continuing to study. You can also compare the average salary six months after graduating and the percentage of students who do not complete their degree.