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So here we are, November already and it seems like the Christmas lights have been up since at last Easter. But there’s so much to do before the end of 2016. Fireworks, Christmas Shopping, RSVPing those Christmas party invites... oh, and your UCAS application. Even if you won’t be applying until next year, take some time out this month to put your feet up and take in the info-packed bestCourse4Me newsletter. Don’t say we never get you anything nice.

 
This month
What to think about if you're in year 12

Maybe you’ve only just started dipping your toes into the idea of going to university. Maybe you’ve already planned everything you’ll be doing up to the age of fifty. Either way, it can’t hurt to know a more. Click here to read what our friends over at Push think really matters when you're building a shortlist of unis.
 
Already got your heart set on what you want to study? Take a look to see where it could take you in terms of a future career. If you already have a dream job in mind but no idea how to get there, take a look here to see what sort of courses can get you where you need to be.
 
For more information download our smartphone app for on-the-go information.

 

What to think about if you're in year 13

If you’re still tweaking your application or personal statement it’s time to stop faffing, do one last spell check. We’ve got a great blog that can help you do that double-checking and fill you with the confidence you need to hit the send button.
 
But what if you still have empty choices to fill? You can submit your form and add more uni choices later, but do fill the gaps. You're going to want a back-up choice in case you don’t get the grades you were expecting. Our degree course profiles show you what previous graduates got in their A-levels, so you can find a course you can get on to whatever the grades - even the ones you dread most.
 
Even if it seems a million years in the future (it’s more likely only four), you should spend some time thinking about what will happen after university. Our course profiles will give you an idea of how quickly certain degrees will get you out of mum’s house and into a stable job.

About to start Year 12? Check out the bestCourse4me website to see where your A Levels could take you.
 

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Browse our brilliant blogs
It’s an exciting time at the bC4me blog, with our great team of student bloggers giving advice on A-level choicespersonal statements and much more. Why not explore the archive.
 
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Race 4 the Top
Take a look at our game.  Progress from your GCSEs through sixth form and your A-levels and on to university and the job market. Soon enough you could make it into our high earners.
 

In the news

MOOCS
No, it's not the sound of a poorly Cow, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a free way to study. You study online, in your own time, without much (if any) teacher support, but with a community of other students. And did we say, it’s free? 

They started a few years ago with some of the best American universities offering courses (offered through platforms like Coursera, the Khan Academy and Udacity). For the past couple of years the UK has also had its own platform, FutureLearn, built by twenty top unis in this country. 

Anyone, anywhere in the world can sign up to these online courses. They use video, online presentations and interactive methods of marking throughout the course. 

You don’t usually get any kind of qualification — except a certificate to say you completed the course — but it’s a greta way of dipping a toe into new subjects and sprucing up your UCAS application or CV. 

Click here to see the debate and hear why academics are worried it might give universities a run for their money... 

 1%
As we're sure you know (after memorising the UCAS deadlines) 15th October was the deadline for those early applications to places like Oxford and Cambridge, as well as for subjects like medicine, dentistry and veterinary degrees. This year UCAS has just reported a 1% increase in people who made this early deadline. 

That might not sound like much, but actually it's another 560 people from last year — which means a grand total of 57,190 people have already applied to uni. Early applications from the EU however have fallen by 9% (about 620 people) which given the Brexit referendum result, is a suprise to no one. 

 Drop-out rates
Although there are punch-packing arguments why going to uni is a wonderful opportunity for many people, Push would never say it doesn’t have its downsides too or that it’s right for everyone. It isn’t. If you want proof, in January a survey of 1,200 first-year students indicated that 28% were either thinking of dropping out following the Christmas break or had actually gone ahead and done it. 

Sometimes people realise a bit too late that uni is not for them or that they’ve chosen the wrong course or the wrong place to study. This is exactly why Push keeps droning on (sorry if it gets tiresome) about the fact that there’s no such thing as a ‘best’ uni, only one that's right place for you. There's nothing worse than making that commitment of money and three years of your life to something that doesn't make you happy. 

 
 

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