Making the right choice

Your child is about to make one of their most important decisions. Here are some ways in which you can support and guide them as they prepare for the future.

Is university right for them?

Ultimately it's up to them to decide whether they want to go to university - and if so, which one. If they're unsure, here are some of the things you can discuss with them to help them make up their mind:

Career – does their future career require a degree? Or would it help them progress more quickly? Teachers and careers advisers at school can help you find out.

Independence – university can provide a great stepping stone towards becoming independent, particularly if they live in halls of residence where they are supported by staff and other students.

Broadening horizons – they’re more likely to meet people from a range of backgrounds and countries, which helps them to mature and gain a different perspective.

Trying new things – there are so many opportunities to get involved in clubs, societies and social activities when you’re at university. They’ll learn new skills, meet new people and discover more about themselves.

Choosing a university and course

If you’ve talked it through and they’re interested in exploring university, what are the next steps?

Things to consider


By far the most important thing to consider is their course. What do they want to study and why? Which universities offer the course? And does the teaching style and module content suit your son or daughter?

Entry requirements vary from course to course and between universities. Check the individual course pages or the UCAS website for specific details.


You'll need to think about where the university is and how easy it is to get to. Will your child be travelling by public transport, or will you be driving them? How far are you all prepared to travel, and how often are they likely to want to go back home during term time?

What is the surrounding area like, and does it suit your child? Are they looking for a busy city life, or do they prefer a lower key vibe? What can you find out about the town or city?


What's the student accommodation like, and how will it work for your child? Can they live in university accommodation every year if they want to? Will they need to travel between accommodation and lectures?

Student life

What kind of social life is there? Are there clubs and societies that match your child's interests? Are there opportunities for them to keep their activities going, or find new ones?


The best way to find out if the university and course is right for them is to attend an Open Day. While many parents come with their child, there's no expectation for you to do so. Discuss what works best for your family. 

Visiting will give you a good feel for the university, accommodation, student life and facilities. It will help you decide if the location works for you as a family, and most importantly your son or daughter can ask questions and find out more about the course they're interested in. 

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your undergraduate Open DayBook your undergraduate Open Day