When you compare universities, what should you measure them by? Here are five vital checks that will help you test whether a uni is right for you.

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a uni – and not just the price of a pint (although, it's up there). Here are the top five.

The course

Yep, we're jumping in at the deep end. Because, although you'll be having the time of your life, you are at uni to study (we hate to break it to you). So you need to make sure that the course you pick is the perfect fit.

Look at the modules and see exactly what it involves. Is this a good match with your interests, or are you actually more passionate about a different subject? It's also worth looking at the type of teaching the course offers – is it mainly classroom based or more practical? Which method suits you? Are there any chances for work experience placements?  

And on that note, it's always insightful to see what alumni have gone on to do. It'll give you a good indication where the course will lead you and if it suits your career goals. It might seem like a long way off, but trust us – it's not (gasp).

Culture

Every uni has its own culture. Some have their own traditions. Some even have a bit of a reputation (although this isn't always a bad thing). After all, Oxford and Cambridge are known for educating some of the best minds in the world. There might be some really cool student groups you can get involved in. So go on, grace them with your presence on an Open Day and suss it out for yourself.

Location

You need to dedicate a decent bulk of time considering where you want to base yourself. Are you drawn to the big lights of a buzzing metropolis, or tempted by an unconventional seaside city? Draw up a shortlist of the places that interest you and then research what's in the area. What's it known for? Does it work for you? Has it got industries suited to your studies? Think about how far away it is from home, too. You don't want to face a seven-hour commute at Christmas time (or maybe you do)! 

Cost of living

Students aren't famed for their Michelin-starred cooking, but you'll need to eat more than beans on toast from time to time. Which is why it's important to take into account the cost of living. Look at how much a beer will set you back in different cities, and how much a decent meal is. You'll be surprised at how quickly you can spend your student loan.

Support networks

Uni is a big upheaval. While family and friends will always be on the other end of the phone, sometimes you need a bit more help when the going gets tough. So it's a good idea to look at the sort of support networks different unis can offer you. Look at what's on offer – that way, you know you're in safe hands.

Start your adventure

Book your place on the next Open Day or campus tour.